20+ Homemade Ice Cream Toppings
Ice cream sundaes are one of the great treats of summertime (or really, anytime!). Learn how to make your own homemade ice cream toppings such as hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, and more with this roundup of easy recipes!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission when a purchase is made at no additional cost to you. Read more here.
Ice cream is a popular (and irresistible!) dessert option. It’s easy to serve, comes in a seemingly infinite variety of flavors, and makes the perfect base for delicious toppings like fudge sauce or whipped cream.
Americans love their ice cream. Whether blended into a shake or malt, served up in a cone, or scooped into a ice cream sundae, it’s one of the most popular summertime desserts. Just writing this up has me wishing for a bowl right now.
So, why not make some of your own homemade ice cream toppings and host an ice cream social party? Or, just enjoy the recipes with your own family! It’s easy to make homemade sauces and toppings and so much fun to do.
Why Bother with Homemade Toppings?
It’s easy enough to purchase a bottle of hot fudge sauce or a can of whipped cream, so why bother with homemade? There are lots of great reasons to make your own ice cream toppings!
- You have total control over the ingredients. Did you know most “chocolate syrups” contain minimal chocolate and are mostly high-fructose corn syrup? A homemade version on the other hand (depending on the recipe) contains real chocolate, heavy cream, and actual sugar (not HFCS).
- You can make sauces and toppings that are adapted for specific diets or allergy restrictions.
- The flavor is better! Have you ever tried a homemade hot fudge sauce? Totally irresistible. You might just forego the ice cream and eat the sauce it’s so good.
- It’s fun! Making ice cream sauces and syrups at home is really quite easy and it’s a great way to get kids in the kitchen too. Pick a few recipes to try and host an ice cream sundae party with the finished products!
How to Host an Ice Cream Social
Kids love this (adults too!) and it doesn’t have to be fancy. Bring out plenty of bowls, sundae cups, or even disposable ice cream dishes, and assemble your toppings with one or two choices of ice cream.
I like to have at least one sauce available (fudge, strawberry, or caramel) and fudge usually wins the day. Whipped cream is another essential. If you are making homemade and still want the fun of spraying it out of a can, try a whipped cream dispenser. We love using ours!
Adding crushed cookies (like Oreos or crunchy chocolate cookies) is a great addition. Colorful candies like M&Ms are popular, and nearly any crushed candy bar works too. If you want to stick with more wholesome choices, there are varieties of popular cookies and candies being produced without food dye and questionable additives. Seek these out at a well-stocked grocery or a health food store.
More Easy Ice Cream Topping Ideas
There are endless possibilities for topping ice cream. You could also use leftover desserts such as brownies or cookies, cake or cheesecake to top ice cream sundaes. Have fun and get creative with your combinations!
- Brownies: Partially freeze leftover brownies and chop into small squares.
- Cookie dough: use edible cookie recipes for safety.
- Cheesecake: leftover cheesecake makes an insanely good ice cream pairing.
- Cookies: peanut butter, chocolate chip, sugar cookies, you name it!
- Holiday treats: save holiday treats like homemade candies in the freezer and use them for topping sundaes.
Best Homemade Ice Cream Toppings to Make
Ice cream is delicious all on its own, but it's even better when topped with extra treats too! Learn how to make your own homemade ice cream toppings such as hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, and more with this roundup of easy recipes! Next time you are craving an ice cream sundae, revisit this list for lots of tasty topping ideas.
Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce (Chocolate Sauce)
This homemade Hot Fudge Sauce from Sugar Spun Run includes chocolate chips, sugar, and heavy cream and takes only fifteen minutes to make. It does use some corn syrup (but not the high fructose kind of course).
How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream
Homemade Whipped Cream is easier than you think! Start with fresh heavy whipping cream and add sugar (powdered or granulated will work) and vanilla extract. Whip it up with a hand mixer, stand mixer, or even a bowl and a whisk for a fluffy and delicious treat that beats storebought every time. Tip: If you want the fun of a spray can without all the questionable ingredients, consider purchasing a whipped cream dispenser. We added one to our kitchen a few years ago and love it!
Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce
This Hot Fudge Sauce recipe from If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen uses bittersweet chocolate, Dutch-process cocoa, and several other ingredients to make this quick sauce. No corn syrup in this one if that is something you are looking for.
Homemade Caramel Sauce (Without Corn Syrup)
Five ingredients and about fifteen minutes and you can indulge in this decadent Homemade Caramel Sauce from Food Worth Feed. Yum!
Chocolate Whipped Cream
Chocolate Whipped Cream is a simple recipe that is a fun change from a classic vanilla-flavored whipped cream. Give this easy recipe a try next time you are preparing homemade ice cream toppings!
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Chop up your own homemade Peanut Butter Cups for a delicious ice cream topping. This recipe would be a little more involved since you are preparing the peanut butter cups and then chopping them up, but I think it'd be great if you were making a batch anyways. Recipe from Sugar Spun Run.
Edible Vegan Cookie Dough
Edible cookie doughs are a great option for an ice cream sundae party! Try this Edible Vegan Cookie Dough from Addicted to Dates.
Vegan Caramel Sauce
One of the best parts of making your own ice cream toppings is that you can select recipes that are adapted to specific diets or allergy restrictions. This Vegan Caramel Sauce from Addicted to Dates uses ingredients like vegan sweetened condensed milk and butter to create the sauce.
Strawberry Sauce is an excellent topping for many desserts, but it's especially delicious over vanilla ice cream. Try this easy recipe for Strawberry Sauce from Love From the Oven.
How To Make Salted Caramel Sauce
A short ingredients list is all that's required for preparing a gooey Salted Caramel Sauce at home. Recipe from Emma Duckworth Bakes.
Homemade "Magic Shell" Chocolate Topping
If you love the crunchy "Magic Shell" topping, it's really easy to make at home too. Try this great recipe from Christina's Cucina!
2-Ingredient Chocolate Sauce Recipe
If you are looking for a chocolate syrup recipe that can be ready extra-quick, try this 2-Ingredient Chocolate Sauce from Christina's Cucina.
10-Minute Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
Butterscotch Sauce is a fun change from chocolate or caramel (or make them all!) and this recipe from An Edible Mosaic can be ready in just 10 minutes.
Homemade Lotus Biscoff Spread
Drizzle this Homemade Lotus Biscoff Spread from Spatula Desserts over your ice cream sundae for a tasty twist!
Homemade Marshmallow Sauce Ice Cream Topping Recipe
You can make Homemade Marshmallow Sauce right at home! Try this yummy recipe from Tikkido.com.
Simple Pear Compote
This Simple Pear Compote from Emma Duckworth Bakes features flavors of ginger and maple syrup and makes a sophisticated topping for ice cream.
Blackberry Jam (Easy No Pectin!)
For another fruity topping for your ice cream treats, try this 3-Ingredient Blackberry Jam recipe from On My Kids Plate.
Homemade Blueberry Sauce Recipe
Blueberry Sauce from Life Love and Sugar is another fruit filled recipe that is perfect on top of ice cream and plenty of other desserts too!
Easy Raspberry Sauce Recipe
Raspberries are my favorite berry, so I couldn't forget to include a yummy raspberry sauce recipe too. Try this one from Sally's Baking Addiction--it works with fresh or frozen berries!
Strawberry Whipped Cream
This Strawberry Whipped Cream recipe is made with heavy whipping cream and strawberry gelatin powder, so it's actually more stable than a traditional whipped cream. It's SO good on top of ice cream!
Coffee Whipped Cream Recipe
Coffee Whipped Cream is another great whipped cream variation for topping ice cream!
Nutella Whipped Cream Recipe
Try using your favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread to create this easy whipped cream for topping ice cream!
Toasted pecans are a popular ice cream topping and you can make it even more special with this Candied Pecans recipe from Spend with Pennies.