Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts

Of Course Ina Garten's Ice Cream Hack Is Totally Brilliant

Store bought is fine, sure—but why not make it even better?

March 31, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

Ina Garten’s cooking is always alluring in its simplicity, making it seem like it is easy to be as effortlessly fancy as she is. Part of that is her expertise in knowing exactly which parts of a meal you should spend time on, and which parts can be best assembled from store-bought ingredients.

In a segment this week on the Today Show, she offered a brilliant suggestion: how to gussy up plain ol', store-bought vanilla ice cream and make it into a dinner party-worthy dessert.

She went on to promote her new show, called Be My Guest, where she invites people over to cook, eat, and chat. She also shared some recipes—as well as some ideas that barely qualify as such because they're so simple. For dessert, she suggests serving a few scoops of vanilla ice cream with limoncello poured over it and biscotti from a bakery tucked into the side.

“Everybody will lose their mind,” she claimed. If you ask us, that's a pretty enticing endorsement for something that takes almost no effort.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Goodness folks, Ina is just as human as we are. I think that is part of her charm and popularity. I would bet many of us have chosen an easy dish to serve an to family and guests at some time. The simplest ingredients can make a great dish to serve anyone that grace our tables. I for one, appreciate a good tip, or new recipes to try. ”
— Becky W.

In the course of serving it, she also declared Taylor Swift the best dinner party guest, saying “She was pretty great. And perhaps more importantly, Ina admitted that she also bought the lasagna she served them for their meal. When asked if the host needs to 'fess up when something they are serving was purchased rather than made from scratch, Ina gives everyone permission to keep your own secret.

All you need to say, the dinner party queen directs, is: “I’m so glad you like it.”

What's your favorite way to gussy up store-bought ice cream? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Aadithya
  • BonnieC.
  • MoodyFoodie310
  • abbyarnold
  • AllKinds
Naomi Tomky

Written by: Naomi Tomky

The world's most enthusiastic eater of everything


Aadithya February 27, 2023
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anne R. February 27, 2023
Can you buy Minus 30 in the USA?
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Aadithya November 15, 2022
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BonnieC. June 25, 2022
Another nice boozy ice cream dessert is your favorite brand of vanilla topped with a drizzle of "Chambord" black raspberry liqueur, some fresh raspberries, & a dollop of whipped cream.
MoodyFoodie310 June 25, 2022
I really like Kroger Special Reserve chocolate ganache ice cream with toasted pecans and a drizzle of good bourbon poured over..
abbyarnold June 22, 2022
My son scoops ice cream into a bowl and adds a sugar cone to the side for crunching along! Other toppings welcome depending what's available.
AllKinds June 12, 2022
A scoop of vanilla ice cream, Cointreau, topped with toasted almond slices. Refreshing with a little bit of crunch!
Lynda June 12, 2022
THIS is my pornography
Elizabeth D. June 12, 2022
Simple is best... I love strawberry ice cream with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar, it's so good! Trader Joes carries their own brand of reduced balsamic vinegar - it's delicious!
Becky June 7, 2022
Am I the only person seeing cornflakes in that picture? I clicked on the recipe imagining something along the lines of Christina Tosi's Cornflake Crunch. Now that's what I want! Thanks for the subliminal suggestion. Cheers!
Minta June 7, 2022
I thought I saw cornflakes, too. Certainly doesn't show either the limoncello OR the biscotti!
Evie S. June 11, 2022
Put your glasses on Lol
sws June 7, 2022
For me, the classic ice cream and booze dessert has to be Affogato. The combination of vanilla gelato, espresso and amaro is perfection!
anshikassss June 5, 2022
best vegan ice cream near me at
anshikassss May 8, 2022
Minus 30 brings a series of delightful sugar free ice creams near me and you. Go get yours at .
jlareine44 April 9, 2022
I was very excited to make the simple vanilla dessert. Food52 articles make cooking so exciting. So borrowed some vodka and picked 10 lemons for the limoncello. Thought I'd check the "comments" for additional hints, instead read a bunch of bummer remarks.
Becky W. April 10, 2022
jlareine44- keep that excitement and plan to make that vanilla dessert. Don’t let others diminish your plans. Keep that wonder!
jlareine44 April 10, 2022
Thanks. I will survive.
KB April 10, 2022
Lot of Will Smiths here!
jlareine44 June 5, 2022
I did it. Waited a month to serve. Was a hit and great conversation piece. Oh and the little buzz was topping on the ice cream!
Linda L. April 8, 2022
OMG im drooling
kynthelgironan April 8, 2022
Take a large can of sliced peaches (48 oz?) and drain their syrup off. Add about ¼ cup of brandy and let them sit covered. Overnight is best. Take one carton of good French vanilla ice cream and let it sit to soften up. You'll need to stir through it with a heavy spoon, but you don't want it soupy. Stir in the peaches and brandy, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it back in the freezer. Make a seedless raspberry sauce with fresh raspberries (blend well and press through a seive). Serve scoops of the ice cream with the sauce on top. Peach Melba ice cream.
Nicole J. April 11, 2022
Love this - can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing♥
Joan April 8, 2022
Folks!!!! It’s just IceCream. Complaining about Hack•Pop of Colour…..imagine?! Just grab a spoon and enjoy…..sweeten up those thoughts and tongues✨
Becky W. April 8, 2022
Goodness folks, Ina is just as human as we are. I think that is part of her charm and popularity. I would bet many of us have chosen an easy dish to serve an to family and guests at some time. The simplest ingredients can make a great dish to serve anyone that grace our tables.
I for one, appreciate a good tip, or new recipes to try.
KB April 10, 2022
Lot of Will Smiths here!
Minta June 7, 2022
Explain, please.
Jac April 7, 2022
As a teenager, after modeling lessons taken at a hotel, we girls would go the hotel restaurant and treat ourselves to Creme de Menthe sundaes. I can't stand the thought of it now.