No-Glass Sundaes: 9 Better Ways to Eat Ice Cream

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We’re all familiar with the classic ice cream sundae, the kind you might devour at an old-fashioned soda fountain. It’s a decadent yet straightforward equation: one or more scoops of ice cream + some variety of sauce or syrup + whipped cream + a glistening maraschino cherry on top. You’ll often find a sprinkling of chopped nuts, seasonal fruit or sprinkles thrown in too. All of this comes served in a glass sundae cup with a long spoon for mess-free fun. But the next time you’re hosting a party, take the traditional sundae to the next level by ditching your glass cup in favor of a brownie, cookie, shortbread or cake base. Here are a few clever ideas to help you make the most of ice cream and your favorite baked goods the next time a sweets craving strikes.

Waffled Brownie Sundae (pictured above)

Now this is a sundae fit for a special occasion. Baking the brownie batter in a waffle iron cuts your baking time in half and eliminates cooling time altogether. Plus, all of the waffle’s nooks and crannies will catch whatever sweet sauces and toppings you choose for decorating. For the best results, pile ice cream and toppings onto these cakey brownies hot off the press.

Chocolate Chip-Caramel-Ice Cream Sundae

Chocolate chip cookie squares form the base for these think-outside-the-bowl sundaes. Complete the dish with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge, caramel sauce and — of course — a cherry on top.

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Super Chocolate Sundae Cake Bar

Boxed cake mix and good-quality, store-bought ice cream create the base for these build-your-own sundaes. The rich chocolate sauce is easy to make, so don’t bother running out for the store-bought stuff. For a salty touch, place a few pretzels on top of your slice before diving in with a fork.

Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes

You can remix classic strawberry shortcake by topping warm strawberries and buttery shortcake with vanilla ice cream instead of the classic whipped cream. Drizzle the whole thing with strawberry juice for a sweet finishing touch.

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Skillet Cookie Sundae

Ree Drummond breaks out her skillet to prepare a chocolate chip cookie large enough to feed a crowd. Instant coffee adds richness to the cookie batter, complemented by the chocolate chips. For good measure, top the whole thing off with a few scoops of ice cream.

Mexican Chocolate Brownie Sundaes

Instead of adding spice to the brownies, try adding cayenne and cinnamon to a fresh batch of whipped cream. Dulce de leche is the most-obvious (and -craveworthy) pairing.

Cake Mix Ice Cream Sundae Cake

This ice cream cake is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike. You can add the sundae toppings before serving, or put them out in bowls to let each person customize his or her own slice.

Dulce de Leche-Pineapple Ice Cream Sundaes

These 20-minute sundaes are like mini pineapple upside-down cakes topped with ice cream. Start with a toasted brioche bun as your base, then layer a few slices of sweet caramelized pineapple on top. Bring it into sundae territory by piling on a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, dulce de leche and coconut flakes.

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Indoor S’more Sundae

Not everyone has a backyard equipped for roasting marshmallows, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the campfire favorite. Melissa d’Arabian combines two of summer’s quintessential desserts — s’mores and sundaes — with this oven-baked mashup. Start by preparing the graham cracker crust in a muffin tin, then add a scoop of ice cream to each crust and decorate the tops with mini marshmallows. Once the loaded sundae cups are frozen, toast the individual bites under the broiler; top each treat with hot fudge just before serving.