Best DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar Ideas (Toppings Included!)

This post is all about making your own ice cream sundae bar.

ice cream sundae bar ideas

One of my favorite things I did last summer, was create an ice cream sundae bar for a few of my close friends.

Based on my fun little event’s success, I wanted to share all the details about to make your own ICE CREAM SUNDAE BAR.

Have in mind I tried to get most things at the dollar store, but some things I had to find elsewhere while still on a budget (as you might as well).

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Making a DIY Sundae Bar for Your Ice Cream Party

Different Ice Cream Choices

Different flavors of ice cream mean more FUN for everyone! Will it be vanilla or something more adventurous like rocky road? And let’s not forget about those who can’t decide – they can choose to add multiple favorite ice cream flavors!

Of course you can also go ALL OUT and churn some homemade ice cream. With a ice cream maker by your side, the process can be very creative and become a fun activity for guests. Imagine your friends seeing creamy, fun flavors that you can’t find in stores?! Make sure to have gallons of ice cream, from the ever-popular classic vanilla ice cream to a variety of flavors that would satisfy every palate.

And the magic DOES NOT STOP at the ice cream.. WAFFLE bowls and cones add another layer of deliciousness, while REGULAR small bowls and ice cream bowls are essential for those who prefer a less sugary avenue. I found a muffin tin incredibly handy for separating those smaller toppings, ensuring each guest could easily sprinkle their masterpiece with little bits of happiness.

Favorite Toppings

ice cream toppings bar

Toppings turn a simple ice cream scoop into a masterpiece. You can’t have too many as it is all homemade. A wide array ensures everyone finds their joy.

Start with classics like maraschino cherries and move to inventive ones like cookie dough bits. Don’t forget the chocolate chips or chopped Oreos. They’re a game-changer.

Consider serving them in a muffin tin. It’s perfect for separating different toppings. Think of peanut butter cups and candy bars chopped up for easy grabbing. Whipped cream and marshmallow fluff elevate the experience, offering a cloud-like texture atop your cold treat.

  • Gummy worms and bears add a fun, chewy contrast.
  • Rainbow sprinkles bring joy with every spoonful.
  • Fresh fruit, like blueberries or other berries, introduce a refreshing element.
  • Chocolate sprinkles and mint chocolate chip pieces are for those who crave that extra chocolate kick.
  • Mini M&M’s, mini cookies, and small candies guarantee a bite full of surprises.

In the ultimate DIY ice cream sundae bar, the toppings are more than just additions; they bring texture, color, and flavor that transform your dessert into a personalized treat!! So, dive into the variety and watch your next party come alive with flavors.

Different Sauces

ice cream station ideas

Now, let’s talk about the magic makers of any ice cream sundae bar – the sauces. Imagine scooping out your favorite ice cream and drizzling it with gooey caramel sauce or smothering it in rich chocolate syrup. Mouthwatering, right?

I find that having a variety of different sauces elevates the experience to a whole new level. You get to customize each bite EXACTLY how you like it (and how much you like :P). Whether it’s the classic taste of caramel syrup seeping through scoops of vanilla ice cream or the indulgent warmth of hot fudge sauce melting over cold cookies and cream, these sauces turn a simple sundae into an EPIC DESSERT YUMMYNESS.

And here’s what I personally can’t get enough of when making my own ice cream sundae bar:

  • Chocolate syrup/hot fudge sauce– because who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate in every bite?
  • Caramel sauce – for that sweet, smooth finish that pairs perfectly with nearly every flavor.
  • Strawberry syrup – it’s a reminder that more strawberry means more joy.

Don’t skimp on the sauce – it could very well be the best part of the party!

Charcuterie Boards

ice cream party bar

Charcuterie boards; you usually see them filled with meats and cheeses, right? But let me flip the script for our ice cream sundae bar. Imagine a sprawling board adorned with a rainbow of toppings. It’s a DELICIOUS DREAM and a feast for the eyes of your guests (especially the young ones). I scored most of my goodies from the dollar store keeping things budget-friendly.

A vast variety of toppings sat in small, clear bowls across the board. Here’s where creativity kicked in. From classic sprinkles to chopped nuts and everything in between – your guests will LOOOOOOVE the abundance.

Using this board wasn’t just practical; it elevated my sundae bar to resemble a mini ice cream parlor. And at the heart of it all was the sheer joy of mixing, matching, and making that ultimate sundae creation. So, next time you’re party planning, think outside the box. A well-arranged charcuterie board can transform your gathering, making it as joyous and unique as the variety of toppings it holds.

Decoration Items to Keep in Mind

I found the perfect way to pump up the vibe for our ultimate sundae bar – decorations! It took a minute, but I realized that going all out didn’t mean breaking the bank. Dollar store finds became my secret weapon. I grabbed a white table cover that stuck to my party’s theme.

Make a Guest List

You can’t just wing it when throwing the ultimate ice cream party. I learned early on that a guest list isn’t just a formality; it’s a cornerstone for party planning. Imagine running out of Neapolitan ice cream halfway through a bash at a school event. Nightmare, right? That’s where the magic of a *guest list* comes in. It tells you who’s coming, who’s likely to dip their spoon into which flavors, and, most importantly, how much of everything you need to stock up on. Whether it’s a low-key birthday party or a full-blown ice cream social, knowing your numbers is key.

Utensils and Partyware

You’ll want the perfect utensils and partyware for your DIY ice cream sundae bar. Having the right tools, especially a good scooper, can turn a good party into a great one. Now, let’s talk specifics because details matter here.

First off, bowls. You might think any bowl does the trick, but no. Opt for bowls that are shallow yet wide enough. This way, everyone piles on those toppings without anything toppling over. Next up, spoons. Then a scooper.. preferably one that is easy to scoop out not all manual.

Remember the toppings? You’ll need small bowls or maybe a muffin tin. Genius, right? It keeps those toppings organized and accessible for less.

And let’s not forget about cones and waffle bowls for those who love their ice cream on a waffle boat. Include napkins, lots of them, because let’s face it, ice cream melts, and things can get messy. Lastly, don’t skimp on the decorative touches. Bringing out those bright, fun tablecloths and colorful spoons can add so much joy.

Here is the breakdown:

  • Bowls: Regular and waffle
  • Spoons: Durable and can scoop easily
  • Ice Cream Scoops: A few to prevent waiting
  • Toppings Station: Muffin tin or small bowls
  • Scooper: With a thumb-press for scooping
  • Cones: Cake cones and waffle cones
  • Napkins: Plenty for cleanup
  • Decorative Touches: Bright tablecloths and colorful spoons

Gathering these items won’t just make the sundae bar functional; it’ll elevate the entire experience. Your guests will notice the thought you put into every detail. And let’s be honest, seeing their eyes light up as they build their ultimate sundae? That’s the best part.

ice cream sundae bar

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Trying to create the best ice cream sundae bar for a birthday party or special occasion? Your guests will love these ideas!


  • Ice Cream (Vanilla, Neapolitan, Cookies n' Cream, etc.)
  • Syrup (Caramel, Hot fudge, Chocolate, Strawberry)
  • Whipped Cream
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Sprinkles
  • Shaved Coconut
  • Mini Oreos or Crushed Oreos
  • Gummy Bears
  • Maraschino Cherries
  • Hershey's
  • Cookie Dough Bits
  • Skittles
  • M&M's
  • Waffle Cones and/or Bowls
  • Cake Cones
  • Regular Bowls and/or Cones
  • Bananas
  • Charcuterie Board
  • Mini Tray (for ice cream mess)
  • Ice Cream Scooper (with thumb press)
  • Clear Bowls (for toppings)
  • Mini Spoons (for toppings)
  • Regular spoons (for eating)


  1. Add table cloth.
  2. Set up charcuterie board and tray (for ice cream messes) with ice cream scooper.
  3. Lay clear bowls on edges of board. Fill these up with toppings.
  4. Add mini spoons to clear topping bowls.
  5. Lay out bowls and cones.
  6. Add bananas to charcuterie board.
  7. Add whipped cream and syrup to board.
  8. Ask guests to choose their choice of ice cream and toppings!
  9. Clean up time.

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