12 Ways with Ice Cream That Are Anything but Vanilla

Vanilla ice cream gets ignored. It’s not as lusted after as Chocolate. Not as rich as Peanut Butter Cup. And not as attention-grabbing as Triple Chocolate Chocolate Swirl Chocolate Explosion  (which, for the record, isn’t an actual flavor—yet).


But to us, Vanilla is the OG. And when it’s done up right… it is beyond satisfying. These recipes give Vanilla the attention it deserves. If you think you’re above Vanilla—maybe you say it’s too “boring”—you haven’t tried sandwiching it in between two mini churro waffles or drowning it in a shot of espresso. See: Vanilla ice cream doesn’t need a makeover, just maybe some new clothes, if you will. That being that, here are 12 recipes that prove Vanilla is anything but boring:


1. Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce and Pretzels 




Homemade chocolate sauce is super easy to whip up—and even easier to pour on top of ice cream with chopped, salted pretzels.


2. Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice Cream Frosting




Bye-bye buttercream. This one-ingredient frosting is, in a word, awesome.


3. Cherry-Vanilla Buttermilk Ice Cream 




Break out your ice cream maker (or loaf pan): Buttermilk adds a pleasant tang to this homemade ice cream.


4. Vanilla Ice Cream “Drowned” in Espresso  (Affogato al Caffè)




Throw in a cookie or two on the side and dessert is done, son.


5. Churro Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches




Cinnamon-sugar churros (waffled, not fried) are the perfect vehicle for vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.


6. Ginger-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream Sandwiches




Stir crystallized ginger and chocolate into softened vanilla ice cream for a decadent DIY ice cream flavor.


7. Ice Cream Pie with Warm Blueberry Sauce 




You could also use chocolate, strawberry, or caramel sauce in place of the blueberry.


8. Peanutty Ice-cream Sandwiches




Swirl peanut butter into vanilla ice cream, sandwich it between two oat-peanut cookies, and roll in coarsely chopped peanuts. Boom.


9. Banana Split Ice-Cream Sandwiches




Eat this gooey sandwich with a knife and fork (or don’t—no one will judge you).


10. Malt Shop Ice Cream Pie 




Kind of like a deconstructed ice cream cone, this pie’s crust is made of crushed sugar cones.


11. Ice Cream Treasures




Cereal + Ice Cream = Dessert or breakfast? I vote: both.


12. Vanilla Ice




With three ingredients and no special equipment required, the hardest part about this dessert is waiting for it to freeze.


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