We admit it — there's nothing quite like grabbing a pint of your favorite ice cream and digging in; no bowl, no toppings, and no sharing.

But, as deliciously decadent as that may be, it's possible to take that same pint to creamy and dreamy new heights with very little added effort. Believe us, we like eating ice cream straight from the container as much as the next guy, but there are a surprising number of ways to quickly and easily transform your frozen custard into something even more amazing.

Some people say that there's nothing that can't be made more delicious by adding cheese; others say the magic ingredient is chocolate. We argue that you'd be hard pressed to find something that isn't made more wonderful by a scoop of two of ice cream. Whether you're craving something salty, crunchy, and a little bit savory or something ultra-smooth and sweet, ice cream could be the secret ingredient you've been searching for.

If you're looking for a quick and easy upgrade, you can add a scoop of ice cream to just about anything you have lying around your kitchen. For instance, put a scoop between two cookies for an instant ice cream sandwich or plop some into a glass of your favorite soda for a good old-fashioned ice cream float.

But if you have a little more time on your hands, take advantage of the fact that ice cream contains many of the essential ingredients needed for your favorite baked goods (eggs, sugar, and milk) and use that pint to bake something incredible. Banana bread with just three ingredients? Yeah, that's a thing, thanks to ice cream.

Whatever you decide to make with that pint of creamy frozen custard, we guarantee it will be sweet and delicious. Need a few ideas to get you started?

1. Fried Ice Cream


Fried ice-cream and whipped cream (iStock)

No need to go out to the restaurant for this tasty treat if you’ve got a pint of ice cream on hand. Fried ice cream is easy to make, but it does take some time, so plan ahead; the ice cream needs to be really cold before it’s fried.

2. Affogato

Affogato with Ice Cream and Coffee.

Affogato with Ice Cream and Coffee. (iStock)

Forget iced coffee or coffee-flavored ice cream; all you have to do to make this simple and delicious treat is pour a shot of espresso over a scoop of ice cream. Want to take it to the next level? Top the affogato with shaved dark chocolate or crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans.

3. Banana Bread

Banana Bread Slice


No one will believe you made this moist and delicious banana bread with a pint of ice cream. Just mix the pint of ice cream with 1 ½ cups of self-rising flour (or all-purpose flour with a tablespoon of baking powder and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt) to form a batter. Fold in chopped banana and then bake the bread in a greased loaf pan in a 350-degree-F oven until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

4. Creamy Ice Pops

Frozen yogurt with oats and raspberries

Frozen yogurt popsicles with oats and raspberries (iStock)

Make the prettiest ice pops by layering puréed fruit and ice cream (that you’ve stirred to soften a little) in popsicle molds. The key to success with ice cream-based pops is to use a bit more fruit than ice cream — the fruit freezes up to an icier consistency, holding the ice pop together when it’s removed from the mold. Try starting and ending with fruit when you create the layers.

5. Float



There’s nothing better than an ice cream float. We’ve got an easy recipe for the classic root beer version, but you can use any flavor of soda and any flavor of ice cream that you’d like.

Check out more fun things to do with ice cream.

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