We all scream for ice cream this time of year, don’t we? The summer heat brings with it a need to cool down, and there’s no better way than enjoying a delicious frozen treat in some shade or air conditioning. Whether customers choose sugar cones, waffle cones, cups, chocolatey dipped cones, waffle bowls, cake cups, gluten-free cups or any of the countless other options for holding ice cream, there is no wrong answer.

As with many other food and drink categories, the sheltering in place stages of the coronavirus pandemic created a need for comfort. The easing of mandates, and consumers continuing to seek indulgence as they spend their hard-earned dollars in the community, gives retailers the chance to provide relief in several ways during the summer months.

A way for your bakery to jump on this incredible opportunity is by incorporating your own unique flavors into the mix with ice cream. Use your signature baked goods to create exciting tastes that customers can’t get anywhere else.

For instance, Cinnabon recently teamed with Breyers to create three delicious recipes featuring their new collaboration, Breyers Cinnabon Frozen Dairy Dessert. On store shelves now, this bakery-inspired frozen dairy dessert features swirls of gooey cinnamon, a sweet cinnamon flavored base, and delicious dough bites for the ultimate twist on the Classic Cinnabon cinnamon roll.

Cinnabon released three unique recipes to incorporate this new ice cream flavor. These include:

  • Breyers Cinnabon Waffle Tacos – A scoop of Breyers Cinnabon wrapped up in a Cinnabon-inspired cinnamon roll waffle taco topped with toasted pecans and a drizzle of caramel
  • Breyers Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Cone – Cinnabon-inspired Cinnamon Roll ice cream cones rolled or coated in cinnamon sugar and topped with a scoop of Breyers Cinnabon and a cherry
  • Breyers Cinnabon Affogato – Breyers Cinnabon mixed with Cinnabon-inspired cinnamon roll coffee and garnished with cherries and chocolate shavings

Ice cream pairs well with a variety of baked goods, but few provide the perfect complement like cookies. National cookie chain Great American Cookies partnered with Marble Slab Creamery earlier this year for a new cohesive brand vision and co-brand experience, bringing the fresh-baked cookies and homemade ice cream iconic concepts together in one destination.

The first store featuring the integrated branding opened in Columbia, South Carolina, with curbside pick-up and delivery currently being offered due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to ice cream cookie sandwiches, other sweet treats offered include Create Your Own Cookie Shakes, Ice Cream Double Doozies, and Cookie and Cheesecake Brownie Sundaes. The “Unlimited Mix-Ins” Marble Slab Creamery is known for has been reimagined to “Free Mix-Ins” and the customization Great American Cookies is known for now extends to all cakes and cookies.

The latest sweet treat from Insomnia Cookies’ CookieLab, a new R&D Department for cookie innovation, arrived just in time for National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, July 19. The Monster’wich takes the brand’s popular Cookie’wich to the next level by mixing a crushed cookie and up to two toppings in ice cream, then sandwiching it in between two warm cookies.

An unconventional item that can be used for ice cream sandwiches is waffles. This interesting variation on the ice cream sandwich comes courtesy of Dallas-based waffle shop Press Waffle Co. Vanilla ice cream is sandwiched between two of Press Waffle Co.’s Liege waffles. Guests can also select one sauce of their choice, including Nutella, cookie butter, or caramel, to top off their sandwich.

“Ice cream is the most refreshing dessert when it’s hot out, so what better idea than to combine it with our famous waffles?” says Bryan Lewis, co-owner of Press Waffle Co. “We’ve been working on perfecting this idea for a while, and we are now ready to amaze our guests with this sweet summer special!”

Storytelling can play a major role in product design. Desserts are an escape, and one that is especially needed right now as the coronavirus has limited travel for families. One ice cream company in Los Angeles has found a tasty way to bring different parts of the world to customers.

Wanderlust Creamery’s menu, which rotates month-to-month, is inspired by global travel. July offerings included an ube malted crunch flavor inspired by the Philippines, a violet marshmallow flavor inspired by Southern France, a passionfruit cacao flavor inspired by Brazil and a sticky rice and mango flavor inspired by Thailand.

Dairy-free is becoming an integral part of sweet offerings to cater to people with that dietary concern. According to The National Restaurant Association’s annual survey of chefs, which looks to identify food and beverage trends for the coming year, the top trending snacks and sweets for the year include dairy-free ice cream.

One solution to is to use alternative milks. Trader Joe’s recently introduced its own strawberry-flavored oat milk frozen dessert for the dairy-free fans out there. It features an oat milk base that is dotted with almond brittle and candied strawberries.

Another way to make your ice cream stand out is with ice cream pops. You can use creative shaped pop molds for unique designs that match your bakery profile. For instance, new donut and pretzel shaped pop molds from kitchenware and bakeware company Lékué are stackable and easy to fill. The ice cream pops unmold in seconds since the molds are made of platinum silicone. The molds peel away from the ice cream keeping the shape intact and hands clean.

The molds stack flat, horizontally, saving space and making them more stable in a full freezer. Each pop comes with a newly designed stick that curves upward like a “u” to better hold the round shape of the donut and the pretzel.