Ice cream is a cold, refreshing dessert that is a favorite any time of the year. Ice cream toppings can make any flavor of ice cream even more delicious. Some good toppings include hot fudge, caramel or butterscotch sauce, strawberry topping, syrups, "Magic Shell," fruit, whipped cream, nuts, candies and sprinkles.
Hot fudge is one of the most popular ice cream toppings. When hot, rich fudge sauce meets cold, delectable ice cream you get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy hot fudge over ice cream in a restaurant or buy sauce in the supermarket and heat it up on the stove or in the microwave.
Caramel and butterscotch sauces are also among the most popular ice cream toppings and can be used on their own or blended with hot fudge or chocolate for extra decadence. Caramel and butterscotch are both made with brown sugar and butter. The difference between them has to do with cooking temperatures. Caramel is caramelized, which means the sugar is cooked on the stove at a high heat so that the crystals are completely melted down. Butterscotch is a butter and sugar mixture cooked or baked at a lower temperature and caramelizing does not occur.
Strawberry topping can be found in supermarkets, but some people use strawberry preserves as ice cream toppings as well. Syrups are also popular to top ice cream — especially chocolate syrup bought in squeezable, easy-to-use plastic bottles. Maple syrups also make delicious toppings, such as when they are poured over maple walnut or vanilla ice cream topped with chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
There are several brands of "Magic Shell" ice cream topping in the market. When these toppings are poured on ice cream, they freeze right on the ice cream and create a hard chocolate candy coating. The coating breaks easily with a spoon and adds a crispy chocolate flavor to ice cream.
Fruit, such as pineapple chunks, chopped mangoes, blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries all make excellent toppings for ice cream. Cherries and bananas are associated with the classic ice cream dessert, the banana split. A banana split is made by splitting a banana lengthwise and placing three scoops of ice cream in between the two banana halves. The scoops are topped with chocolate, caramel and strawberry sauces. Whipped cream, chopped nuts and a cherry are then placed on each of the three ice cream scoops for a classic banana split.
Whipped cream, nuts, small candies and sprinkles make easy ice cream toppings for any flavors of ice cream. You can set out a selection of these toppings for a children's birthday party or a backyard barbecue and each guest can have what they want. Even a few shakes of multi-colored cake sprinkles makes a scoop of vanilla ice cream more fun. A scoop of chocolate ice cream can be elegant when whipped cream, a bit of chocolate syrup and slivered almonds are added.