Sweets & Desserts

How to serve ice cream

When I was a child, no Christmas or New Year family reunion was complete without ice cream. We’d drive to the Magnolia ice cream factory behind the ice cream parlor along Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City, buy four gallons in different flavors and bring home the ice cream packed in boxes with dry ice. That was before ice cream became available in neighborhood grocery stores. My grandparents would serve the ice cream in small squat glasses and that was that.

When Speedy and I were dating, the first time I was invited to a family celebration, there was ice cream and how his family enjoyed their ice cream gave me quite a shock. His mother had those ice cream boats, the kind used in ice cream parlors to serve banana splits and each person was handed a boat with three scoops of ice cream. Alongside the ice cream boat was a dessert plate with a generous slice of cake. Apparently, they always ate their ice cream with cake.

I do like ice cream occasionally but I’m really not a huge fan. I like making ice cream better than actually eating the stuff. And on those occasions when I eat ice cream, one big scoop or two small ones are usually quite enough for me. And as I grew up, I realized that ice cream by itself was too cloying for me — I prefer it topped with whipped cream, drizzled with syrup and sprinkled with something crisp or crunchy like nuts, puffed rice or even toasted coconut. In short, I like variety and contrast in texture.

With those two things in mind — small servings and textural variety — I experimented with different ways on how ice cream can be served. I treated the scoops of ice cream as though they were chocolate truffles and I rolled them in crushed nuts, puffed rice and crushed cookies.


If you’d like to try serving your ice cream this way for a rather large gathering like a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day party, here’s the fuss-free way to go about it.


Recipe: Ice cream balls


  • ice cream, homemade or store bought
  • toasted crushed nuts
  • crushed chocolate cookies
  • puffed rice
  • toasted coconut
  • sweetened coconut flakes


  1. Using an ice cream scoop (how large or small is up to you), form the ice cream into balls. Arrange the balls side by side on a tray and stick the tray in the freezer until the ice cream balls are really firm, about a couple of hours.
  2. Place the nuts, cookies, puffed rice, toasted coconut and sweetened coconut flakes in shallow bowls. Roll each ice cream ball in any one of them. Rearrange on the tray and put back in the freezer.
  3. When ready to serve, simply drop the ice cream balls into cones or place them in small bowls.
  4. Optionally, depending on the flavor of your ice cream, you may want to drizzle the ice cream balls with salted caramel, chocolate syrup or even strawberry syrup.


Quick notes

Puffed rice is available in baking supply stores.

Toasted coconut and sweetened coconut flakes are available in better grocery stores.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): variable

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