If you’ve never had an ice cream ball before, you might be wondering what they are and how they’re made.
You can find them at many coffee shops and bakeries around town, but if you want to know how to make one yourself, keep reading below to learn more about this delicious treat and its history.
What Is The Recipe For An Ice Cream Ball?
Ice cream balls were first created by accident in the 1950s when a woman named Nellie Bly was visiting her sister-in-law in California.
While she was there, she visited several local ice cream parlors and sampled their flavors.
When she returned home, she shared her experiences with friends who loved the idea so much that they began making their own versions of these tasty treats themselves.
These days, people create their own ice cream balls at home using any kind of frozen treat as long as it has a creamy texture.
The basic ingredients for an ice cream ball include two parts of ice cream (any type will work), sugar, whipped topping, and some sort of garnish on top.
You might choose to use different types of toppings depending on whether you want something sweet, salty, crunchy, etc.
Some common options include:
- Chocolate chips
- Chopped nuts
- Nuts or seeds mixed together
- Candy bars (especially Reese’s Pieces)
- Sugar cones
- Caramel sauce
- Mini marshmallows
- Fruit pieces
- Toffee bits
- Granola bar crumbs
- Flaked coconut
- Powdered sugar
- Graham crackers
Once you have all your ingredients ready, follow these simple steps to make an ice cream ball:
Step 1: Choose Your Ice Cream Flavor
First, decide which flavor of ice cream you’ll be serving up.
Then select one that you think would go well with whatever other toppings you plan to add later.
Step 2: Get Everything Together
Next, mix everything together until it forms into a nice doughy mass.
If you like, place the mixture inside a food processor or blender and pulse it a few times to break it down further.
This step is optional, however, since most of the time, you won’t need to pulse it too hard.
Step 3: Roll It In
Now comes the fun part — rolling the icy goodness in your chosen toppings.
Start by rolling the ice cream ball in powdered sugar, granulated sugar, or even mini marshmallows.
Next, sprinkle on crushed candy bars, flaky sea salt, or toasted oats.
Finally, coat the whole thing in caramel sauce, melted chocolate, or hot fudge.
When you’re done rolling, put it back in the freezer for five minutes to firm it up again.
Now, enjoy it plain, or try adding another layer of icing on top.
How Do You Make An Ice Cream Ball?
Ice cream balls have been a staple on menus for decades now, so you may think that making them isn’t too difficult.
But there are some things to consider when deciding whether to serve these treats as part of a meal or just as a sweet snack.
- Are you looking to make a large batch? If so, you need to plan ahead by purchasing all of the necessary ingredients. You will also need room-temperature equipment such as bowls, spoons, and whisks, which means you should set aside time to prepare everything before beginning the actual process.
- Is the weather hot outside? The best way to cool down after eating an ice cream ball is to place it in the fridge. However, if you want to keep your guests happy, then you might want to stick to serving ice cream balls inside instead of out.
- Do you have children who love playing with food? Ice cream ball recipes typically call for small amounts of milk or other liquids to help create smooth mounds of ice cream inside each sphere. Children often don’t appreciate being told not to play with something, especially since they won’t understand why you’d put their hands in warm water first.
- Will your party consist of adults only? Many people enjoy having adult conversations while enjoying desserts together, but others prefer to focus on the food rather than talking. If you want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to talk without distraction, you’ll probably want to avoid serving ice cream balls at parties where conversation is expected.
The History Of Ice Cream Balls
Ice cream balls were originally invented back in 1892 by two brothers named Frank Epperson Jr.
and James Epperson Jr., both from New York City.
They began selling their creations at a shop called Bakersfield Confectionery located near the Central Park Zoo, but today, most people associate ice cream balls with Ben & Jerry’s because the company purchased the rights to distribute the confection in 1981.
While Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t actually sell any kind of ice cream ball itself, it does offer several flavors of “balls” that are similar to traditional ones.
These include Cherry Garcia (a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream topped with fudge), Cookie Dough Oreo, Rocky Road, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Choco Taco.
What Are The Ingredients For An Ice Cream Ball?
An ice cream ball is simply an ice cream cone that has been rolled into a sphere shape.
It’s not difficult to make an ice cream ball because all you need is some ice cream (or any frozen treats), some cones, and a rolling pin.
You may also use a cookie cutter, though we recommend using a large spoon instead.
The key ingredient is the ice cream itself, so choose something tasty and unique.
If you don’t have time to stop by the store and pick up a pint on the way home from work, check out these great flavors online.
Here’s everything else you will need for making an ice cream ball:
- Ice Cream Ingredients: Any kind of ice cream will work well here, as long as it’s soft enough to mold without breaking too easily.
- Cone Ingredients: Choose between waffle, sugar cone, or regular cone shapes. The smaller the size, the easier it will be to form.
- Rolling Pin Ingredients: A rolling pin works best for this project, although if you don’t have one available, you can get away with using a wooden spoon or even a glass jar lid.
- Toppings Ingredients: Choices include sprinkles, crushed cookies, candied fruit, mini marshmallows, or anything else you think would look good inside the ice cream ball.
How Do You Flavor An Ice Cream Ball?
The best way to create a flavorful ice cream ball is by using any of these methods:
- Add flavoring extracts to add additional flavors to plain vanilla or other flavored ice creams.
- Sauté fresh herbs and spices directly into the base of the ice cream mixture before freezing. They will last longer when frozen that way.
- Use fruit puree instead of sugar to sweeten the mix—it adds texture as well as flavor.
These are just a few examples of different ways that people have created their own versions of ice cream balls over time.
The possibilities are endless! If you don’t see anything here that interests you, look up some other ideas on Pinterest or Google “how to make ice cream balls recipes” and let us know how yours turned out.
What Is The Most Popular Ice Cream Flavor For An Ice Cream Ball?
The easiest answer here would be vanilla because it’s always available (and so tasty!). But don’t limit yourself to those flavors — there are plenty of other options that will work just as well.
While we have no data on which ice-cream flavors people choose when making their own balls, we did take some time to figure out what goes into creating these delightful treats.
And while not every store sells ice cream ball recipes, there are plenty of online resources that provide step by step instructions for making one from scratch.
To get started, let’s explore two different types of ice cream balls: rolled and scooped.
The differences between them may surprise you.
Rolled Ice Cream Balls
Rolled ice cream balls are usually sold at specialty stores where you can buy them by weight.
They come pre-packaged and ready to eat right away.
You won’t need any special equipment to make them either, since all you really need is a rolling pin and a few ingredients.
There are several ways to create a rolled ice cream ball.
For example, you could use a simple sugar cookie dough as the base instead of using ice cream itself.
If you’d prefer, you could also add chopped cookies to the mix.
Just remember that adding too much flour will affect the texture of your final product, so start off small.
A rolled ice cream ball doesn’t taste quite as good as a scooped version does.
However, it offers a lot less mess when eating.
Plus, you can enjoy it without having to clean up any bowls and spoons afterward.
Scooped Ice Cream Ball Recipes
Another type of ice cream ball involves scooping your favorite frozen treat into a bowl and shaping it into a sphere.
Depending upon the size of your bowl, you can create three different sizes of balls: mini, medium, and large.
While each has its own characteristic look, they all share the same basic formula.
- Add 1 cup of ice cream to a bowl. Then, add 3/4 of a cup of powdered sugar.
- Mix until thoroughly combined. Add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup and combine again.
- Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
- Pipe batter onto wax paper and allow it to harden.
- Once hardened, peel off and place on serving tray. Repeat steps above to make additional balls.
This method requires a bit more skill than simply rolling out a batch of sugar cookies, but it’s still very manageable.
Plus, you can customize the flavor of your balls by choosing different ice creams and sugars.
It’s a great option if you want to try something new.
What Is The Best Way To Serve An Ice Cream Ball?
Ice cream balls aren’t just for kids anymore.
They’re perfect as a party favor, hostess gift, or even date night dessert.
An ice cream ball is basically an ice cream cone filled with ice cream instead of scoops of ice cream.
The best part is that you get all the same flavors available on top of the ice cream cone without having to worry about getting messy hands.
But how exactly does someone go about making an ice cream ball? Let’s take a look at the process to see which ingredients work best.
- Ingredients: If I wanted to make an ice cream ball from scratch, what would my ingredient list include? Here’s what I think works well:
- 1 pint (473g) of ice cream, such as vanilla bean, chocolate chip, rocky road, etc.
- A scoop each of three different edible toppings, such as sprinkles, mini M&Ms, pretzels, crushed cookies, etc.
- Chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, or any other topping that will hold up on the outside of the ball.
- Toppings, such as coconut flakes, peanuts, candy corn, raisins, etc.
- Sugar cones, if desired
In addition, you may also need some tools, including:
- Small bowl
- Spoon or spatula
- Plastic wrap
- Parchment paper
- Rolling pin/cookie cutters
- Cookie sheet
- Baking mat
Now that we have our ingredients covered, let’s talk about serving options.
How Do You Store An Ice Cream Ball?
Ice cream balls have two main components: ice cream (which keeps everything together) and a hard candy shell that holds all the ingredients inside.
The hard candy is usually formed into a sphere shape by using a mold.
Once the ice cream has been scooped into the mold and frozen solid, the hard candy is added on top, creating a firm outer layer.
The ice cream in the center will melt as soon as it comes out of the freezer.
That melting causes the hard candy to become soft enough to stick to the outside of the ice cream ball.
As the ice cream melts further, the sugar begins to dissolve, causing the hard candy to shrink away from the ice cream.
So when you eat an ice cream ball, the hard candy starts off sticking to the outside, but eventually dissolves back into the melted ice cream.
At first, the ball is nice and firm, but after a while, the hard candy falls away completely, leaving only a hollow void where the ice cream used to be.
That’s why you should always buy your ice cream balls when they’re still fresh — not too long ago, these treats were sold individually, so there was no need to worry about storing them any longer than necessary.
Why Do Ice Cream Balls Have Hard Candy Shells?
There are several reasons why people choose to use hard candy shells instead of other types of molds.
For starters, hard candy is much easier to work with than other materials.
It also stays relatively stable once it’s hardened, which makes it perfect for holding things inside a sphere-shaped container.
On top of that, hard candy doesn’t absorb flavors very well, so you won’t end up getting any extra taste from food coloring or flavoring agents that may be mixed in during the manufacturing process.
How Long Does An Ice Cream Ball Last?
An ice cream ball should stay good for up to three days once it has been stored properly.
If the ice cream ball is very cold when you put it away, it will also stay nice longer.
When storing the ice cream ball, wrap it tightly so that air doesn’t get into the container.
Keep it out of direct sunlight as well, since heat will cause the ice cream to melt faster.
An ideal temperature range for storage is between 40°F-60°F (4°C-16°C).
You can use a refrigerator or freezer for safe keeping, though a fridge is less likely to damage the ice cream ball than a freezer would.
Tips on wrapping the ice cream ball
- Use plastic wrap or wax paper to cover the top of the ice cream ball completely. It keeps moisture from getting inside the container while still allowing air flow.
- Roll the ball in the toppings to seal it shut, making sure not to pile too much onto the ball.
- Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil after rolling it heavily in toppings to prevent melting.
How to freeze an ice cream ball
To freeze an ice cream ball, place it in a large zip-top bag or other airtight container.
Once the ball is frozen solid, remove it from the bag and transfer it directly to the freezer compartment of your refrigerator.
When ready to eat, unwrap the ice cream ball and allow it to thaw slightly before eating.
What Are Some Creative Ways To Serve An Ice Cream Ball?
Ice cream balls are simple desserts that are typically served as part of a larger meal.
But don’t let their simplicity fool you — these treats have a lot of potential when it comes to presentation.
You can use different types of fillings to create unique creations.
For example, you could add small pieces of fruit, marshmallow fluff, mini cookies, or even candied ginger to the inside of the ball for something extra special.
Here are just a few ideas on how to present an ice cream ball:
- Roll up your ice cream ball in parchment paper (or wax paper) so that it resembles a little tube.
- Use strips of colorful cellophane tape to decorate the outside of your ball.
- Paint the outside of your ice cream ball using edible paints.
- Fold two short ribbons together and tie each end with a bow.
- Glue a piece of foil onto the bottom half of a cupcake liner and wrap it around the top half of another cupcake liner.
- Make a cone out of a plastic grocery bag by folding it over itself twice.
- Cut a hole into a large glass jar and place it upside down on top of the bowl containing your ice cream ball filling.
- Wrap the sides of a muffin tin in cellophane and cut off any excess.
- Put a scoop of ice cream in a martini glass and cover with whipped cream.
- Fill a small bowl with water and dip your spoon into it every time you take a bite from the ice cream ball.
- Dip your ice cream ball in melted chocolate.
- Place a scoop of ice cream in a small dish and pour hot fudge sauce all around it.
- Take a small knife and press it through the center of a graham cracker and stick it in the middle of your ice cream ball.
- Gently fold a sheet of aluminum foil into quarters, then gently smooth it out flat. Place a scoop of ice cream on the foil and fold both ends of the foil inward until it forms a tight seal. Fold it again in thirds, then twist the ends together to form a knot.
- Insert a lollipop stick through the center of a pretzel rod and insert the other end of the rod into the ice cream ball.
- Create a “hole” in the center of a store-bought cookie dough, then use your fingers to push the cookie dough into the center of the ice cream ball.
- Slide a candy cane into the hollowed-out space where the ice cream was once located.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to serve an ice cream ball.
The point here is that you should feel free to get creative with your presentation.
What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Ice Cream Ball?
Ice cream balls are usually made by rolling scoopfuls of ice cream into little spheres.
They’re not as hard as they look, so don’t worry too much if yours aren’t perfectly round yet.
And even though these treats are super sweet, there are tons of different flavors that make great choices! Here are some suggestions on which kinds of ice creams work best when used in ice cream balls:
- Caramel & Cream
- Vanilla Bean
- Mint Chocolate Chip
- Gingerbread Cookie Dough
- Peanut Butter Cup
- Butterscotch Brownie
- Cookies ‘n’ Creme
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Tutti Frutti
There are also plenty of specialty ingredients you can add to help give each bite a unique taste experience—like crushed Oreos or pretzels, mini marshmallows, dried fruit, coconut flakes, or even caramel popcorn kernels!
If you want to go all out, try filling your ice cream ball with a mixture of whipped cream, fresh berries, and dark chocolate sauce.
- 1/2 gallon ice cream
- 1 cup crushed graham crackers
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Caramel to top
- The crushed graham crackers, peanut butter, sugar, and cinnamon should all be combined in a big shallow basin.
- Make ice cream balls by scooping it. Slice the ice cream into four equal squares, then cut each slice into four pieces to achieve even sizes. Create balls out of the components as soon as possible using plastic gloves.
- The graham cracker mixture is used to roll the ice cream balls. Work on no more than 1-2 balls at once, and store the rest in the freezer. Until you’re ready to serve, freeze them.
- Add caramel and any other desired toppings by drizzling them. Dispense and savor!