National Ice Cream Day recipes

Michele Borboa, MS

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According to the International Ice Cream Association, in 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day (July 17th, this year). Though we don’t need a holiday to celebrate the cool, creamy treat, we do plan to eat more ice cream and frozen desserts throughout the month. If you’re on the same ice cream eating mission, here are a few yummy ice cream recipes to put on your summer menu.

Ice cream pie

Easy Ice Cream Pie

Dishing out a scoop of ice cream is the easiest way to serve up the frozen treat, but transforming a couple pints of ice cream into a sweet tooth pleasing pie doesn't take that much more effort. The following ice cream pie recipe is merely a guideline for you to swap in your own favorite ice cream and stir-ins.

Serves 8


  • 1 pint vanilla bean ice cream, softened slightly
  • 1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened slightly
  • 1/2 cup chopped premium white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped premium dark chocolate (Try Lindt 90 % Dark Chocolate Bar)
  • 1 (9-inch) ready-baked graham cracker crust
  • Whipped cream, if desired


  1. Scoop vanilla ice cream into a medium bowl. Scoop chocolate ice cream into a second medium bowl.
  2. Fold white chocolate into chocolate ice cream and dark chocolate into the vanilla ice cream.
  3. Spread chocolate ice cream into the prepared crust. If ice cream is super soft, place pie and the vanilla ice cream in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
  4. Spread vanilla ice cream over the chocolate ice cream layer. Freeze until firm.
  5. To serve, cut pie into 8 slices and garnish with whipped cream, if using.

Coconut (Non-Dairy) Ice Cream Cake

Whether you're vegan or following a dairy-free diet, you can still celebrate National Ice Cream Month with this tasty ice cream cake. Ciao Bella's coconut sorbet is my preferred brand, but any non-dairy ice cream will do. You'll need a 2-layer white cake mix – regular, dairy-free, or vegan, depending on your diet.


1 box white cake mix
1 pint Ciao Bella Coconut Sorbet, softened slightly
1 cup toasted coconut flakes, divided
1 pint chilled heavy whipping cream or coconut milk whipping cream
Diced mango for garnish, if desired


  1. Bake cake in 2 (9-inch) baking pans according to package directions. Invert onto wire racks and cool completely.
  2. Scoop sorbet into a medium bowl and stir in 1/2 cup toasted coconut. Place in the freezer while whipping the cream.
  3. In a chilled bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat whipped cream until soft peaks form. Place in the refrigerator until cake is ready to be frosted.
  4. Set 1 cake layer on a cake plate. Evenly spread softened sorbet onto the cake layer to the edges.
  5. Set remaining cake layer on the sorbet. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  6. Frost cake with whipped cream. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.
  7. Slice and serve immediately. Garnish with mango.

Summer Semifreddo

When the half-gallon of ice cream from the supermarket starts to lose its allure, make this berry nutty good semifreddo. I saw a pistachio strawberry semifreddo recipe on and was inspired to create my own rendition. Semifreddo is a layered dessert that is particularly impressive to serve to summer dinner guests. Though time intensive, the sweet results are worth it.

Serves 10


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-1/3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream


  1. Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with 2 layers of plastic wrap that are large enough to leaving generous overhang on all sides.
  2. In a food processor, grind almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until very finely chopped.
  3. Transfer almond mixture to a small saucepan and add 3/4 cup milk. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
  4. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and drain mixture into bowl, discarding solids in the strainer. Stir in almond extract and set aside.
  5. Place remaining 1/2 cup milk in a separate small saucepan, and stir in ginger. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
  6. Strain ginger mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, discarding solids. Refrigerate.
  7. In a food processor, purée blackberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until smooth. Pressing blackberry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids and stir in vanilla.
  8. Whisk eggs, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water).
  9. With an electric hand mixer, beat egg mixture at high speed until it triples in volume and an instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 170 degrees F, about 3 minutes.
  10. Remove bowl from over water and continue beating until thick and cool, about 3 minutes. Add one-third of egg mixture to each of the almond, blackberry, and ginger mixtures. Gently fold each just to blend.
  11. In a large clean chilled bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add one-third of cream to each of the three mixtures, gently folding each just to blend. Cover berry and ginger mixtures with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator  to chill.
  12. Pour almond mixture into the prepared loaf pan and use a spatula to smooth top. Cover and freeze until firm, about 50 minutes.
  13. Pour blackberry mixture over almond layer and smooth the top. Freeze until firm, about 50 minutes.
  14. Pour ginger mixture over blackberry mixture and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm, at least 5 hours.
  15. Remove plastic wrap from the top of the pan. Using the overhang of plastic wrap, lift semifreddo from the pan. Invert onto a chilled platter and peel off plastic. Slice crosswise to serve.

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Michele Borboa, MS
Michele Borboa, MS is a contributing editor for specializing in health, fitness, and all things food. She is a veteran health and fitness professional, personal chef, and mom in Bozeman, Montana. She is also the author of the time-saving cookbook Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy (Fair Winds Press, July 2011). You can contact Michele at or give her a tweet at