Keep Your Cool with Frozen Treats

Nothing is quite as refreshing as ice-cold ice cream shakes, pie, or fruity pops, and we kick it up a notch with recipes to make your own grown-up drinks and kid-friendly treats
Key Lime Boozy Shakes

Photo Gareth Morgans/Ryland, Peters & Small

The summer heat is certainly sizzling, and frozen treats are a welcome afternoon snack or after-dinner dessert. Here, we step it up a notch with more natural flavors and colors than those all-too-familiar brightly colored goodies on a stick in this collection of recipes from “Frozen Sweet Treats & Desserts” by Ryland Peters, and Small. You can get into it and make your own lime ice cream, which is easy to do—just plan ahead for freezing time. Then, make the Key Lime Pie Boozy Shake, or use store-bought ice cream to improvise and get mixing right away. With fruity pops made from watermelon, strawberries, mango, and passion fruit, as well as an easy-as-pie, well, ice cream pie, frozen goodies have never looked so good. If you don’t have pop molds, you could use plastic cups. You can also get creative and mix up the treats to suit your tastes. And, if you wanted to add a splash of say, crème de menthe to the Mint Chocolate Shake, or some vodka to the Juicy Watermelon and Strawberry Pops for a Daiquiri-like treat, that might be even better. Just keep them away from the kids! Stay cool!

Key Lime Pie Boozy Shake

Serves 2 | Recipe by Hannah Miles

For full authenticity, use Key limes, which have a higher acidity and are more aromatic than green Persian limes, although these will do the job nicely if that’s all you can find. –H.M.

For the Lime Ice Cream
¾ cup condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes

For the Shakes
Grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes, plus extra grated zest to garnish
3½ ounces vodka (or lime vodka)
4 scoops Lime Ice Cream (see above)
1/3 cup milk
2 mini meringues
½ cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tumblers, chilled

  1. Begin by preparing the lime ice cream. Whisk all the ingredients together until very thick and transfer to an airtight plastic container. Simply place it in the freezer for at least 6 hours—there’s no need to churn it.
  2. For the shake, blend together the lime zest and juice, vodka, and ice cream until thick and smooth. Add the milk and blend again.
  3. Divide the shake between the chilled glasses. Add a mini meringue to the top of each shake. Sprinkle with the cracker crumbs and a little extra lime zest before serving immediately.
Juicy Watermelon and Strawberry Pops

Photo Ian Wallace/Ryland, Peters & Small

Juicy Watermelon and Strawberry Pops

Makes 8 to 10 | Recipe by Louise Pickford

All you need is a splash of vodka here and you’d have the perfect frozen Daiquiri! But hey, who needs alcohol when you can enjoy this healthier fruit version in the form of a frozen pop? –L.P.

10½ ounces strawberries, hulled and halved
3 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 pound 2 ounces watermelon
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

8–10 small pop molds and sticks

  1. In a bowl, stir together the strawberries and sugar and leave for 1 hour for the strawberries to release their juices, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cut away the watermelon rind and deseed and roughly dice the flesh.
  3. Place the strawberries and all the juices, the watermelon, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds. Add the sticks in an upright position at this stage, or freeze first for a while until the mixture is firm enough to hold the sticks straight. Freeze for 4 to 6 hours until frozen.
  5. When you are ready to serve, dip the molds into hot water for a second or two, then gently pull out the pops.
Ice Cream Pie

Photo Steve Painter/Ryland, Peters & Small

Ice Cream Pie

Serves 6 | Recipe by Hannah Miles

This pie is completely kitsch and quirky. You can make it with any flavor of ice cream—or why not try mixing different flavors for a two-tone pie? As the pie contains ice cream, it is important to work quickly and place it in the freezer as soon as possible for best results. –H.M.

For the Pie Crust
9 ounces (about 1½ cups, 10-12 crackers) graham cracker crumbs
7 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Filling
16 ounces ice cream (flavor of your choosing)
1¼ cups heavy cream

To Decorate
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
Chocolate confections

  1. Grease a 9-inch deep pie dish.
  2. Blitz the graham crackers to fine crumbs in a food processor or blender, or place in a clean plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Stir in the melted butter, ensuring that all the crumbs are well coated. Press the crumbs into the base and sides of the greased pie dish using the back of a spoon. Place the pie crust in the freezer and chill for 30 minutes. It is important to do this so that the case is cold, which will help prevent the ice cream mixture from melting.
  3. For the filling, bring the ice cream just to room temperature, until it is soft enough to spoon out. Gently whip the heavy cream to soft peaks, then beat in the ice cream quickly. Working very fast, spoon the ice cream mixture into the frozen pie crust and transfer immediately to the freezer.
  4. Leave until the filling is frozen completely.
  5. To decorate, drizzle the frozen pie with the cooled melted chocolate and fix chocolate confections on top with a little chocolate. You need to work quickly, as the chocolate will set very quickly on the frozen ice cream. It is also important that the melted chocolate is cooled; if it is drizzled while hot, it will melt the ice cream. Return the pie to the freezer immediately and freeze until you are ready to serve.
  6. When you want to eat the pie, bring it to room temperature and then serve in large slices to your guests. This pie will keep for up to a month, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the freezer.
Coconut Mango Passion Fruit Pops

Photo Ian Wallace/Ryland, Peters & Small

Coconut, Mango, and Passion Fruit Pops

Makes 6 to 8 | Recipe by Louise Pickford

Indulge in the tropical taste of these layered fruit and coconut pops. Bamboo cones lined with baking parchment have been used as molds, but plastic Champagne glasses are also an excellent idea. –L.P.

½ cup white granulated sugar
1 ripe mango (about 1 pound), peeled, pitted, and flesh diced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Generous ¾ cup coconut cream
Generous ¾ cup passion fruit pulp (from about 6 passion fruit)

6–8 pop molds and sticks

  1. Place the sugar in a pan with 1 cup water and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. Place the mango flesh in a blender with the lime juice and blend until smooth. Taste and add a little of the cooled sugar syrup, if necessary.
  3. Whisk together the coconut cream with 1–2 tablespoons of the sugar syrup to your taste. Blend the passion fruit pulp with some of the remaining syrup to your taste.
  4. Divide the passion fruit syrup among the molds, filling a third of the way up and freeze for about 1 hour until firm.
  5. Next, add the coconut cream layer and freeze for about 30 minutes or until the mixture is firm enough to hold the sticks. Press the sticks in gently. Add the mango layer and freeze for a final 2 to 3 hours until frozen.
  6. When you are ready to serve, dip the molds into hot water for a second or two, then gently pull out the pops.
Boozy Pina Colada Shakes

Photo Gareth Morgans/Ryland, Peters & Small

Piña Colada Boozy Shake

Serves 2 | Recipe by Hannah Miles

Dance along to the Piña Colada Song, while slurping from hollowed out pineapples filled with these kitsch cocktail shakes. Fresh, sweet, and tropical, you won’t even need to get caught in the rain to enjoy them! –H.M.

2 small pineapples
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 scoops coconut ice cream (see Editor’s Note)
¾ cup coconut cream
5 ounces golden rum
1¾ ounces coconut-flavored white rum, such as Malibu
Maraschino cherries, to garnish

2 cocktail umbrellas
2 paper straws

  1. Slice the top off of each pineapple and reserve to make lids. Use a pineapple corer to remove the flesh of each fruit and pop your pineapple cups in the fridge until needed.
  2. Place the pineapple flesh in a food processor and liquidize. Push the pineapple purée through a fine mesh strainer and discard any pulp. Blend together 1 cup of the resulting pineapple juice with the coconut oil, coconut ice cream, coconut cream, golden rum and coconut rum, until thick and smooth.
  3. Divide the shake between the chilled pineapple cups. Garnish the edge of each pineapple with 2 maraschino cherries pushed onto a cocktail umbrella. Serve immediately.

Editor’s Note: In the book, this includes a recipe to make your own Coconut Ice Cream, which starts with homemade vanilla ice cream and adds 1¾ ounces coconut-flavored white rum, such as Malibu, and 2/3 cup coconut cream to the mix before freezing. So, if you can’t find coconut ice cream, you could start with vanilla and add these ingredients to the mix, and also adjust the rum to your tastes.

Mint Chocolate Shakes

Photo Kate Whitaker/Ryland, Peters & Small

Mint Chocolate Shake

Serves 2 | Recipe by Hannah Miles

At a summer dinner party, why not end the meal with a mint chocolate shake? If you want to make more of an impact, you can intensify the green with a little food coloring. Either way, these shakes are the perfect refreshment on a warm evening. –H.M.

4 scoops store-bought mint chocolate chip ice cream
1½ cups milk, chilled
A few drops of green food coloring (optional)
Chocolate sprinkles, to decorate
4 chocolate peppermint sticks or squares, to serve (optional)

For the Chocolate Mint Sauce
1½ ounce peppermint-fondant filled dark chocolate squares (such as After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 soda glasses, chilled
A squeezy bottle or piping/pastry bag with a small round tip

  1. To prepare the chocolate mint sauce, put the peppermint fondant filled dark chocolate squares in a pan with the cream and syrup and simmer over a gentle heat, stirring, until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth sauce. Set aside to cool.
  2. Put the chocolate mint sauce in a squeezy bottle or piping/pastry bag and drizzle pretty patterns of sauce up the inside of each glass.
  3. Put 2 scoops of the ice cream in a blender with the milk and the food coloring, if using, and blitz until smooth and frothy.
  4. Pour into the prepared glasses, top each with a scoop of ice cream and decorate with chocolate sprinkles. Serve immediately with more chocolate peppermint squares or chocolate peppermint sticks, if using.


Recipes and photos from “Frozen Sweet Treats & Desserts: Over 65 Recipes for Popsicles, Sundaes, Shakes, Floats & Ice Cream Cakes” published by Ryland Peters, and Small ©2023 used with permission.

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.