While August 2 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, we never need an excuse to celebrate some of our favorite ice cream sandwich recipes, because they rank high on the list of best dessert inventions ever. A fully edible package that combines creamy ice cream with soft and chewy cookies (or brownies, or cake, or doughnuts, or waffles, or even Rice Krispie Treats), an ice cream sandwich is a bit more decadent than the classic ice cream cone. Plus, it provides more options for fun flavor combos (for the record, though, hot dog ice cream sandwiches are several steps too far), and is basically like having your own personal ice cream cake.
We even love winter ice cream sandwiches; with the right warm flavors, they can be quite cozy, despite their cold (delicious) hearts of frozen cream. But right now, in the midst of another steamy summer, these ice cream sandwiches are just the thing to cool you down.
And whether you bake the cookies (or other bread equivalents in this dessert-centric sandwich) and/or make homemade ice cream, or just pick up everything store-bought before smashing your chosen ingredients together, the end result is sure to be delicious. Razzle-dazzle ’em with a chocolate dip (does that nudge them into ice cream bar territory?) or a roll in some sprinkles along the sides if you please. No need for napkins, because you’ll finish these before they have a chance to melt.
Our first ice cream sandwich comes courtesy of Coolhaus and is a perfect testament to the versatility of the form. Herbal matcha ice cream meets warmly spiced ginger molasses cookies—forget screaming, we’re swooning. While the matcha ice cream in this recipe isn’t vegan, you can find suitable recipes online, or just swap in your favorite store-bought vegan ice cream flavor. Get the Coolhaus Matcha Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
Coolhaus Ice Cream Book, $20.79 on Amazon
Even more custom ice cream sandwich inspiration, with recipes for top-notch ice cream, cookies, gelato, and sorbet.
Sugar cookies are a holiday staple, but they’re just as delicious in the summertime, and paired with cinnamon ice cream, it’s a taste sensation that recalls a snickerdoodle. If you can’t get enough cinnamon, sandwich the ice cream between actual snickerdoodles instead. Or try some snickerdoodles with chocolate ice cream (any excuse to use the word snickerdoodle, really). Get our Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
These chewy chocolate cookies are studded with crunchy bits of chocolate-covered toffee (think Heath bars, or their superior counterpart, Skor bars); sandwiched around dark chocolate ice cream, they pack a real cacao kapow, but they’re also fantastic with vanilla ice cream or—*cue Homer Simpson drooling GIF*—salted caramel ice cream. Get our Fudgy Double Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
If you’re feeling like changing things up, you don’t have to stop at inventive ice cream flavors. You can replace the cookies with basically any other baked good with reasonable structural integrity—even meringues, which happen to be a great gluten-free option. The chocolate chip pancake cakes here are not GF, but they could be if you used a gluten-free flour blend. A touch of maple syrup in the cake batter makes this a great partner to banana ice cream—or banana nice cream, even. Or amplify the breakfast flavor with maple ice cream. Get our Chocolate Chip Pancake Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
Thick rounds of chewy chocolate brownies enhanced with a dark, rich, roasty chocolate stout make these ice cream sandwiches for adults only. Pair with your choice of ice cream flavors, from classic vanilla bean to Mexican chocolate, or even s’mores ice cream for extra-summery flair. Then again, you could double down on the beer dessert theme and use Guinness milk chocolate ice cream. Get our Chocolate Stout Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
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Not about to turn on your oven in this heat? Whip up some no-bake cookies and scoop a generous amount of ice cream between a couple of those instead. Problem solved. (All problems solved…at least for a moment.) With these chocolate oatmeal cookies, almost any flavor ice cream is great, but we’re thinking strawberry sounds especially good. Or even fruity raspberry sorbet. Get our No-Bake Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
Peanut butter and chocolate is a no-brainer, but not as often enjoyed in ice cream sandwich form as it should be. Rectify that oversight with this recipe, which happens to be gluten-free. Peanut butter cookies, vanilla ice cream, and homemade chocolate Magic Shell is a peerless combo, but we’d wager using peanut butter cup ice cream in the middle would also be amazing. Get the Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
Here’s another no-bake dessert recipe that is also gluten-free—and vegan, and doesn’t require an ice cream maker. That’s what we call a unicorn dessert (but not the kind with rainbow sprinkles). Blended cashews help the coconut milk-based ice cream stay rich and creamy, but there is an option given to make it nut-free too. Get the Vegan Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
This brownie ice cream sandwich brings coffee into the mix, and keeps the brownie rounds thin yet fudgy, with a crackly top. We’re thinking this is kind of like Trader Joe’s Coffee Brownie Crisp Ice Cream Sandwiches, but better (in no small part because they’re bigger), and seems like a reasonable replacement for cold brew on the hottest mornings. Get the Coffee Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
Sunny lemon is an underrated ice cream flavor, but a worthy centerpiece in an ice cream sandwich. This rendition uses lemonade, cream cheese, condensed milk, and heavy cream for an easy, no-churn ice cream that gets gently smooshed between two fluffy sugar cookies—but we suggest sandwiching some between spicy ginger molasses cookies too. (Or if you want to DIY the doughnut ice cream sandwich thing, the tart lemon would be fab with simple glazed rings.) Get the Easy Lemon Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
And who could forget Rice Krispies Treats? So easy, so adaptable, and so good, even if you’re not in grade school anymore. These ice cream sandwiches upgrade the outer layer with brown rice cereal and uses honey and peanut butter as mortar (rather than marshmallows); swap in a plant-based liquid sweetener for a vegan treat. The suggestion of chocolate peanut butter ice cream is honestly perfect, so for once, we don’t recommend switching things up. And don’t skip dipping it in dark chocolate or sprinkling on that fairy-dust touch of flaky sea salt at the end either. Get the Rice Krispie Treat Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
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Header image by Chowhound.