website How to Host a Successful Ice Cream Bar - Frozen Dessert Supplies

How To Set Up Your Ice Cream Bar

Everyone loves a good bar -- an ice cream bar, that is! If you and all of your friends love ice cream, then why not host an ice cream party complete with your own ice cream bar? Whether ice cream is the focus of your get together or just dessert, you can't go wrong with this delectable treat. Research by NPD Group shows that 40% of Americans will eat ice cream in any given two-week period, so it's clear that your ice cream party will be a hit with your guests. You just need to know how to spice it up!

Now, it's understandable that there is a lot of pressure when it comes to choosing the right frozen treats and accessories for your bar, but there are some simple things you can do to make your ice cream bar the best one you and your friends have ever seen. Let's take a look at a few tips.

How to Set Up An Ice Cream Bar

Designing a captivating ice cream bar is a delightful endeavor, providing customers with a personalized dessert experience. If you're wondering how to set up an ice cream bar, start by curating a selection of premium ice cream flavors that span the spectrum of taste preferences. To add a refreshing twist, consider exploring how to set up an outdoor ice cream bar, capitalizing on sunny days and creating a festive atmosphere. Arrange the ice cream containers thoughtfully, ensuring easy access for customers. Incorporate a diverse array of toppings such as vibrant sprinkles, crunchy nuts, luscious fruit, and decadent sauces. For a thematic approach, create a DIY ice cream bar with a variety of cones and bowls. Maintain optimal serving temperatures to keep the ice cream at its best, and regularly restock toppings to guarantee freshness. Employ clear signage and perhaps offer recipe cards to guide customers in crafting their own signature treats. Engage friendly staff to assist customers, adding a personal touch to the experience. An expertly set up ice cream bar not only satisfies sweet cravings but also becomes a focal point, sparking joy and fostering a sense of community.

Ice Cream and Gelato

When it comes to choosing the right flavors for the job, sometimes going plain is the best option. This is especially true when setting up an ice cream sundae bar, as the toppings and accouterments are half the fun. With a plain choice of chocolate or vanilla, you're giving your guests the freedom to spice their dessert up with a plethora of toppings. Aside from the flavor, it's important to note that some people may have allergies to milk, nuts, or fruit. By excluding any ice cream that comes with nuts or fruit in it, and by offering your guests a lactose-free ice cream option, you'll be able to allow everyone to take part in the ice cream party fun.

One of the best parts of ice cream is what you put on top. First, consider the sprinkles. Sprinkles come in many different shapes, flavors, and colors, but don't skimp on the sweet stuff. The more you have, the merrier! Once you have the sprinkles covered, it's time to start thinking about the whipped cream and hot fudge. Make sure the fudge is hot enough, but not burning so that it doesn't hurt the mouths of those who want to eat it. Also, don't forget the cherries! For a list of our other favorite ice cream toppings, check out this list of the most popular ice cream sundae toppings.

What other toppings can you put on an ice cream sundae bar? 

Elevate your ice cream sundae bar with a diverse range of toppings. Beyond classics like hot fudge and sprinkles, add sophistication with crushed nuts or fresh fruit like strawberries and bananas. Experiment with unique options such as shredded coconut, cookie crumbles, or a sprinkle of sea salt. Include specialty candies or bacon bits for a sweet and savory twist. Offer a variety that sparks creativity, allowing customers to customize their sundaes to perfection.

Once you have the ice cream and the toppings, you need to give your guests something to actually eat the ice cream with! Supplying your ice cream buffet with paper ice cream cups, spoons, lids, and containers is a must! While you can always make do with bowls or cheap styrofoam options, purchasing your own paper ice cream cups, colored spoons, and frozen dessert supplies is a better option. You can even purchase custom printed ice cream cups for an unforgettable party that will be a sure hit on social media.

How long can you leave ice cream out for? 

When considering how to set up an ice cream bar or an ice cream sundae bar, it's essential to be mindful of food safety, including the duration ice cream can be left out. Ideally, ice cream should not be left at room temperature for more than 30 minutes to an hour. This becomes especially crucial when setting up an ice cream bar, where multiple flavors and toppings are on display. To maintain optimal quality and safety, it's advisable to keep the ice cream containers in a well-chilled display and encourage customers to select their favorite flavors promptly. This practice ensures that the ice cream remains enjoyable and safe for consumption throughout the setup duration, offering a delightful and worry-free experience for those customizing their sweet treats.

Everyone loves ice cream, and they can love your ice cream bar even more if you follow the tips listed above. Take those ideas and spice up your ice cream party's main feature.

Profile Picture

About the Author: Tim Porter

Tim is the CEO and people builder of In his free time, he enjoys being with his family, collecting watches, and Classic Mini Coopers.


Our purpose at Frozen Dessert Supplies is "Build People and Deliver Joy." That means that everything we do, from manufacturing to packaging to delivery, is to build you and your business and deliver joy to you. We also strive to build our employees and help them to be better people.

Our paper ice cream cups are made withFDA approved food-safe papercoated in a thin layer ofPE (Polyethylene). Our clear plastic cups, banana split boats, and plastic dome lids are made fromPET (Polyethylene Terephthalate). Our plastic spoons and straws are made fromPP (Polypropylene). Our eco-friendly ice cream cups are made fromFDA approved food-safe papercoated in a thin layer ofPLA (Polylactic Acid). PLA is plastic made from corn starch. Our eco-friendly spoons are also made from PLA. Our eco-friendly wooden spoons are made from FDA approvedsmooth birch wood.

How to Host a Successful Ice Cream Bar