An ice cream bombe only looks impossible to make. We show you just how fun and easy this frozen dessert can be.
What is an ice cream bombe?
An ice cream bombe is an impressive yet easy-to-make French frozen dessert, made of layers of ice cream and frozen in a spherical mold such as a bowl.
Any flavor of ice cream will do but you can also make bombes with sorbet or a mix of ice cream and sorbet. We love bombes because they are far more fun to serve than simply dropping a scoop of ice cream into a bowl, and they immediately get rave reviews because of their shape and layered deliciousness. Once you master this basic bombe recipe, you can try any number of variations to match your mood, use up the ingredients you have on hand and delight your ice cream craving loved ones.
Basic ice cream bombe recipe
- 2 pints chocolate ice cream
- 2 pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
- 1 cup crushed cookies, such as sandwich cookies, crunchy chocolate chip, vanilla wafers or ginger snaps
- 1 (7 ounce) container chocolate shell ice cream topping
- Spray a 12-cup bowl with cooking spray, then line the bowl with enough plastic wrap to extend the width of the bowl (you’ll be covering the ice cream with the plastic wrap once it is molded in the bowl).
- Cut the cartons off of the chocolate ice cream and use a sharp knife to cut the ice cream into three-quarter-inch rounds.
- Place the ice cream slices in the bowl to cover the bottom and up the sides to within one inch of the top of the bowl. Use a spatula to fill in the gaps and make the ice cream an even layer.
- Place bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes or until firm.
- Spoon softened vanilla ice cream into the bowl and spread it until it is level at the top.
- Sprinkle the crushed cookies on top and gently press into the ice cream.
- Fold the plastic wrap over the top to cover ice cream. Freeze for eight hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile, cut a piece of cardboard into a circle that is the same size as the top of the bowl (you’ll be inverting the bombe onto the cardboard).
- After bombe has frozen solid, remove the plastic wrap from the top. Place the cardboard circle on top of the bowl.
- Invert the bowl with the cardboard in place and set the bombe on top of a wire rack. Remove the bowl.
- Cover the ice cream with the shell topping, using a spatula to spread it evenly.
- Transfer bombe to a serving plate and place in the freezer until ready to serve.
- To serve, use a sharp knife to cut bombe into wedges and transfer to dessert plates.
- Ice cream bombe: Experiment with other ice cream flavors, such as coffee and chocolate, strawberry and pistachio, or give your bombe a different look by using neopolitan ice cream.
- Sorbet bombe: Use two of your favorite sorbet flavors instead of ice cream or swap in sorbet for one of the layers of ice cream.
- Candy bar bombe: Cut up candy bars and mix them into softened ice cream before layering in the bowl.
- Cookie bombe: Stir chunks of cookie or brownie into softened ice cream before layering in the bowl.
- Filled bombe: Spread a layer of whipped topping in between ice cream or sorbet layers.
- Go nuts bombe: Finely chop nuts and add to the cookie layer, then coarsely chop toasted nuts and stir into softened ice cream before layering in the bowl.
- Cookie-coated bombe: Crush cookies or wafers and mix with enough corn syrup to moisten. Press cookie crumbs inside the prepared bowl to coat bottom and sides before filling with ice cream.
- Garnished bombe: Complement the ice cream or sorbet flavors with tasty garnishes, such as a drizzle of caramel or dark chocolate sauce, fresh berries or berry coulis, small cookies, crushed chocolate covered coffee beans or a dollop of freshly whipped cream.