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Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars… But Make ‘Em Sundaes

We never had an ice cream truck trolling our neighborhood until this summer, and I’ve quickly come to the conclusion that it’s trolling me specifically.

It always shows up in the afternoon, right at the moment when I’m starting to feel sluggish, and parks right outside our house.

From my office window, I have a direct view of the cotton candy-blue truck and its placard of treats: Chipwiches, fudge pops, Drumstick cones, chocolate eclair bars, and most tantalizingly… strawberry shortcake ice cream bars.

strawberry shortcake ice cream bar sundae
Photo: Casey Barber

And that’s what gets me. As much as I love Drumsticks and creamsicles, strawberry shortcake ice cream bars are my favorite of all packaged ice cream treats.

I developed my recipe for homemade Good Humor-style strawberry shortcake ice cream bars in my first cookbook, Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats.

It has all the elements of the classic treat: a sweet-tart strawberry core surrounded by pure vanilla ice cream, coated lavishly with strawberry-vanilla cake crumbs.

homemade strawberry shortcake ice cream bars
Photo: Casey Barber

The triumvirate of sweet-tart, creamy, and cakey-crunchy is a pure nostalgia trip every time.

This ice cream sundae recipe uses the same elements. But instead of making bars, it adjusts the process to make a swirled, crumb-studded ice cream for sundaes instead.

If you’re not thrilled by the prospect of making multi-layered ice cream bars—which, let’s be honest, applies to me too most days—you’ll find this much easier.

strawberry shortcake ice cream bar sundaes
Photo: Casey Barber

And if you don’t want to make your own vanilla ice cream, I have a shortcut for you too.

Just pick up a quart of your favorite vanilla ice cream and let it soften slightly on the counter.

Then use it in place of the homemade vanilla ice cream in the recipe instructions below, layering it with homemade strawberry ice cream and cake crumbs.

I mean, you gotta at least make the strawberry ice cream and cake crumbs from scratch. That’s what really sets these sundaes apart and gives them the real taste of strawberry shortcake ice cream bars.

strawberry shortcake ice cream bar sundaes
Photo: Casey Barber

You can make your strawberry ice cream with fresh berries when they’re in season, or frozen strawberries any time of year. (You can have ice cream bar cravings in winter, I’m living proof!)

And if you’ve never eaten or worked with freeze-dried strawberries, they’re not hard to find these days. They are widely available in grocery stores—look for them near the nuts and snacks.

strawberry shortcake ice cream bar sundae

For instructions on making strawberry shortcake ice cream bars with these ingredients, pick up a copy of my cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats.

strawberry shortcake ice cream bar sundaes

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar Sundaes

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes

If you love strawberry shortcake ice cream bars, you'll love these homemade ice cream sundaes made with real ingredients.

Ingredients

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 2 1/2 cups light cream or whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen strawberries, thawed, or 1 pound fresh hulled strawberries
  • 1/2 cup light cream or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (39 grams) light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Strawberry Cake Crumbs

  • 1 (1-ounce) bag freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (21 grams) dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Toppings

  • whipped cream
  • fresh strawberry slices

Instructions

Make the vanilla ice cream base:

  1. Pour 2 1/2 cups cream into a small (1-quart) saucepan and bring to a bare simmer over medium-low heat.
  2. Remove from the heat once you see steam rising and small bubbles forming around the edges of the cream.
  3. Whisk in the sugar and the vanilla until the sugar fully dissolves.
  4. Pour into a clean bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until fully chilled.

Make the strawberry ice cream base:

  1. Add the strawberries, the remaining 1/2 cup cream, and corn syrup to a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend or pulse until the berries break down into a thick puree.
  3. Add the sugar and cornstarch and blend or puree for 1 minute more.
  4. Transfer to a large (4-cup) measuring cup or bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Make the cake crumbs:

  1. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper, making sure the edges of the paper hang over the lip of the sheet.
  2. Grind the freeze-dried strawberries into powder by pulsing in a food processor until no chunky pieces remain.
  3. Transfer the strawberry powder to a mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk in the flour, milk powder, confectioner's sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  5. With a small silicone spatula, gently stir in the melted butter to make clumps of cake crumbs.
  6. Pour the crumbs out onto the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour.
  7. After the crumbs have frozen, you can transfer them to a smaller container. Keep frozen until ready to assemble.

Make the vanilla-strawberry swirled ice cream:

  1. Pour the chilled vanilla ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.
  2. When the vanilla ice cream has finished its cycle in the ice cream maker, transfer the soft serve to a bowl, scraping out as much as you can from the freezer bowl. It's ok if there are some streaks left, since they'll churn into the strawberry ice cream.
  3. Place the vanilla ice cream in the freezer.
  4. Pour the strawberry ice cream base into the ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.
  5. When the strawberry ice cream has finished its cycle, it's time to put everything together.
  6. Scoop about 1/3 of the vanilla ice cream into a wide quart-size freezer-safe container.
  7. Swirl half the strawberry ice cream into the vanilla ice cream, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons cake crumbs over the ice cream.
  8. Repeat with another 1/3 vanilla ice cream, then swirl in the remaining strawberry ice cream.
  9. Sprinkle another 2 tablespoons of cake crumbs, then top with the remaining vanilla ice cream.
  10. Freeze for at least 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.

Make sundaes:

  1. I mean, you know how to do this, right? Scoop the ice cream into bowls.
  2. Top with a big old dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle generously with cake crumbs.
  3. If desired, top with fresh strawberry slices.

Notes

For instructions on making strawberry shortcake ice cream bars with these ingredients, pick up a copy of my cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 20gProtein: 6g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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