Hosting an Ice Cream Social & All the Health(ier) Recipes!

Aaron and I had a blast hosting our first ice cream social this past Sunday evening as a way to reach out and befriend co-workers and other folks we’ve been getting to know in the area. I didn’t want to take on too much this summer while being late in my pregnancy (37 weeks!), but still wanted to take advantage of the lovely backyard we’ve been blessed with and all the sweet friends the Lord is sending our way! So we decided to host an ice cream social. It was a great success and was relatively simple to coordinate. If you don’t have a lot of time or energy or financial resources, but still want to reach out and be hospitable this summer, I highly recommend this idea!

The menu was simple: vanilla, strawberry, and varieties of chocolate ice cream (cookies & cream, mint chocolate chip). I also added my own homemade concoctions of coffee ice cream and banana ice cream (recipes below) with healthier ingredients to meet the needs of those health conscious among my guests. And who doesn’t like homemade ice cream? And lastly, I had a dairy free coconut water sorbet available. For toppings, I assembled bananas, fresh whipped cream, nuts, reese’s peanut butter, m & m’s, and homemade berry sauce and chocolate sauce. We also asked our guests to bring their favorite topping to share, so we had a plentiful supply!

It was so much fun and the ice cream was scrumptious! Did I say that my homemade versions turned out splendidly? Here are my recipes to get you inspired for your own homemade ice cream makings this summer!

Stumptown Coffee Ice Cream

I made this with our locally roasted Stumptown coffee beans, but you can definitely use any coffee beans. This tasted like a Starbucks frapaccino without all the junk and would make a great summer coffee beverage as well if you cut out freezing process. Yum! You can replace all the milk with all cream for a more creamy texture on any ice cream recipe. Homemade ice cream is also best made the day of within a few hours of serving so it maintains a more creamy texture. The longer it sits in the freezer the more icy it will become.

2 cups strongly brewed coffee, cooled (decaf was my choice in case anyone was sensitive to caffeine)
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup sucanat/rapadura (I used sucanat, but you can experiment with any natural sweetener here!)

Combine ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Transfer to your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also place in a freezer safe covered container and freeze for several hours till frozen.

Yield: 2 quarts.

Banana Ice Cream

Do you like something fresh and flavorful, yet light and relaxing? Try this banana ice cream. It will satisfy that sweet tooth and still be naturally healthy for you.

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
5 bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw honey

Combine ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Transfer to your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Yield: 2 quarts.

Want some healthy toppings?

Chocolate Syrup

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1 1/2-2 cups sucanat/rapadura
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt

In a medium saucepan, whisk the cocoa powder, water, and sweetener until well blended. Bring to a gentle boil and boil for 6-10 minutes, until mixture becomes thick. Store in an airtight container in the fridge if not consumed in one setting.

Yield: 1 cup.

We use and highly recommend the cuisinart ice cream maker! It has served us so well in preparing more healthy treats for our family with real food ingredients! It whips up a batch of homemade ice cream in 20 minutes!

Fresh/Frozen Berry Sauce

This topping is a favorite at our home from pancakes, waffles, to ice cream! It can be used as a berry syrup for your breakfast topped with some fresh whipped cream!

1/2-1 cup water
2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
2-4 Tablespoons honey (raw is preferred)
2 cups berries (fresh or frozen raspberries, blackberries or blueberries)

Blend 1/2 cup water, arrowroot powder, honey, and 1/2 cup berries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and clear. Gradually add the remaining berries and enough water to reach the consistency you desire.

Yield: 2 cups.

There is nothing like hospitality to get you motivated to get cleaned and organized. I was amazed how much we were able to get done this weekend in preparation for our party!

Take advantage of the wonderful summer weather and invite a few friends, co-workers, neighbors, or family over for an ice cream social! You won’t regret it!

Other homemade Ice Cream Recipes from my kitchen:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Coconut Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

32 Responses to Hosting an Ice Cream Social & All the Health(ier) Recipes!

  1. Emma October 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    This is such a lovely idea.

  2. Kristin October 2, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    I made the chocolate syrup for on top of a brownie recipe and substituted stevia for sugar. It worked so well! Thanks for the recipes!

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  5. Kristen in NH July 21, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    I have the Cuisenart ice cream maker– the interior of the frozen cartredge appears to be aluminum.

    It’s super easy to use, takes 20 minutes to make ice cream, sorbet, etc. but mine needs a full freeze to make a second batch, at least 4-5 hours in my chest freeezer. The model I have makes a quart at a time.

    Ice cream socials are great for the gluten free crowd, too. Organic coconut flakes, banana chips, dark chocolate or carob chips, fresh diced pineapple, cherries, strawberries, and assorted chopped nuts make great healthy toppings. And, oh…. maple syrup on homemade vanilla ice cream is just this side of heaven!

  6. Alissa Irwin July 21, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    Such a yummy idea! I’m new to dairy-free this summer because of my newborn’s sensitivity and have been missing our homemade ice cream. Can you share your recipe for the dairy free coconut water sorbet please?

    Thanks!

  7. Marisa July 19, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Hi Lindsay, could you tell me if the Cuisinart ice cream machine has a stainless steel interior? Or is it aluminum? Thanks!

    • Lindsay July 21, 2011 at 5:16 am #

      Not really sure. You’d have to contact the company on that one.

  8. Becky July 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    I have the same ice cream maker, but my consistency is always much softer than yours looks in this picture. Did you put it in the freezer to get firm? If so, do you have trouble with it becoming icy? I like the ease of the Cuisinart, but I haven’t had success with getting my ice cream to turn out the way we like it.

    • Lindsay July 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

      Yes! I always mix it and then put it in the freezer for an hour or so for the best consistency. I usually transfer it to a covered container to prevent it from getting icy. In this case, I had to serve in the original bowl so it got a bit more icy that I like. But best results are when you serve it within an hour or two or preparing.

  9. Chantelle July 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I just made the banana icecream and it is VERY good! I’m anxious to try the others! Thanks!

  10. Sherrin July 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    A beautiful idea that looks like heaps of fun!! Well done :) . Hospitality inspires creativity and creates fun memories – and you never know all the ways you bless others through that personal love.

  11. Victoria July 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    These recipes sound so good, especially the coffee flavored ice cream. What type of ice cream machine do you use or recommend?

  12. Jaime July 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this! I was just about to concoct my own naturally sweetened chocolate sauce recipe to pacify my begging son who hasn’t had chocolate milk in ages – now you’ve got me covered!

  13. Cath July 14, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    What a great idea! Could I have some coffee icecream with nuts for the topping? ;-)

  14. Rachel July 14, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    Wonderful idea! I’m planning mine now!! Thanks for sharing. :)

  15. Carly Turner July 14, 2011 at 6:35 am #

    I am SO excited about this post! We had already planned an ice cream party for our kids birthdays this coming weekend and I was thinking about getting online to look for some fun, yummy recipes but haven’t done it yet. Imagine my excitement when I looked at my inbox and saw this! You brought the information to me! Thank-you! We’re going to try the coffee ice cream and maybe the berry topping. We are planning on doing it just like you did, providing some and everyone is bringing a topping. I love your blog, I have been inspired in so many ways by it! Keep it coming!

  16. Living So Abundantly July 14, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    Fun! That is a great idea. I appreciate how you are always looking for ways to be hospitable. ;)

  17. Angela Ayaz July 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    What a great idea! Simple and fun for all ages, not too much cleanup or prep work. I love your website. Thank you so much for being such an encouragement and example.

  18. Audrey July 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    I just wanted to add that if your blender is powerful enough, you can make banana ice cream with bananas ONLY…great for dairy-free, gluten-free, and even sugar-free! Just found this out and tried it today… Yummy!

    The social is a wonderful idea that I think we’ll try!

  19. Jessica T July 13, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I am saving the coffee ice cream recipe, thanks! Hubby and I are thinking it’s time for our family to get an ice cream maker. I can’t wait!

  20. Rachel B July 13, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    I love this idea! I’ve wanted to host something for our neighbors for some time and I’ve never been inspired about what to do exactly. Now I am!! Did you have any other activities planned to bring everyone together or was the ice cream enough? :)

  21. Allyson @ A Heart for Home July 13, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Lindsay, I love this idea. What a great low cost and low labor way to get people together for some fun and fellowship. I’ll definitely be keeping this in mind as we look for ways to show hospitality to others.

  22. Lisa July 13, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    To avoid the rock-hard, icy texture that homemade ice cream gets after being frozen a few days, add a tablespoon of arrowroot per batch. That keeps the texture softer and more like commercial ice cream.

    • Allyson @ A Heart for Home July 13, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      Thanks so much for this tip. We have not purchased and ice cream maker yet, but would love to get one before next summer.

    • Amanda July 13, 2011 at 9:59 am #

      Ooh, great tip!! I love arrowroot powder… :)

  23. Mare@just-making-noise July 13, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    This is great! I’ve always thought an ice cream social would be fun and wish I could do that here in Honduras (we are missionaries in a very rural area). Maybe when we get more dairy goats and possibly get one of those self contained compressor freezer for making batch after batch of ice cream. Would love to do that with all the kids that we minister to throughout the week!

    Also, I am going to be releasing my first ebook and its about ICE CREAM! Would you be interested in doing a review and giveaway? Please let me know! Looking forward to hearing from you :o )

  24. Joy Y. July 13, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    What a great idea! I love the fact that many would understand if you did nothing much at all at 37 weeks….yet, you are still doing what you can to be hospitable, and then some! Awesome, Lindsay. Love that. You have Christ shining through you for sure.

    By the way, we have banana ice cream for breakfast a lot. When banana chunks (spotted bananas, not unripe ones), are frozen and then thrown in the food processor with just a tad of cow’s or coconut milk or other liquid, they whip up into a lovely soft-serve ice cream. We add frozen fruit and whip some more, then top with healthy nuts and seeds and MAYBE a bit of maple syrup.

    Here’s the link if anyone would like to try it:

    http://vimandvigor.typepad.com/vim-and-vigor/2010/11/my-entry.html

    Blessings,

    ~Joy~

  25. Lacey Wilcox July 13, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    This might be one of my favorite hospitality ideas ever! Ice cream is a BIG favorite in our home! What a sweet way to bless others, and enjoy community! I love this, and I can’t wait to try the coffee ice cream!!

  26. Heather July 13, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    What a great idea! I have trouble figuring out how to bring larger groups of different people together, and this seems like a good way to do it!

  27. Angela Palmer July 13, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    Sounds very tasty – I should try it in about 5 months, when it’s our summer!

    I wouldn’t have even thought of such an idea, is an icecream social common in America?