Food Quantities

How Much Ice Cream For a Crowd?

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Ice cream, a beloved cold treat, is a perfect addition to any party or gathering. Whether it’s a sweet treat on its own or a delightful dessert after a meal, serving ice cream at your next event is sure to be a hit. To help you plan the ultimate ice cream party, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how much ice cream to buy, popular toppings, drinks to pair, and more. Read on to make your celebration a sweet success!

How Much Ice Cream Do You Need for a Crowd?

When estimating the amount of ice cream needed for your party, a general rule is to plan for 12-32 ounces per person. People tend to consume more if ice cream is the main attraction. Purchase gallon-size tubs, with one gallon serving approximately 10-15 people when scooped generously. Refer to the following table for a quick reference on the amount of ice cream needed based on the number of attendees:

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Number of People Attending Amount of Ice Cream Needed (oz)
10 people 120-320 oz
25 people 300-800 oz
50 people 600-1,600 oz
100 people 1,200-3,200 oz
200 people 2,400-6,400 oz


Toppings for Ice Cream:

Enhance the ice cream experience by offering a variety of toppings. Consider popular choices like caramel, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, and an assortment of candies and fruits. To accommodate guests with allergies, be mindful of nut allergies and exclude nuts if needed.

Drinks to Serve with Ice Cream:

Complement your ice cream offerings with a selection of drinks. For a non-alcoholic option, consider soda, water, and sparkling water. If your audience is of legal drinking age, alcoholic pairings such as ale, beer, wine, and cocktails can elevate the experience.

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What You Need for an Ice Cream Party:

To host a successful ice cream party, ensure you have the essentials:

  • Several ice cream scoops
  • Single-use bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • Toppings
  • Sugar cones and/or waffle cones
  • Metal cups with warm water for cleaning scoops
  • Napkins
  • Decorations to create a festive atmosphere

Ice Cream Flavors to Have Available:

Appeal to diverse tastes by offering popular ice cream flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, rocky road, and more. Consider preferences and purchase larger quantities of the most favored flavors.

Ice Cream Alternatives:

Accommodate lactose intolerant or dairy-free guests with alternative options like sherbet, dairy-free ice cream, custard, chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, yogurt parfaits, gelato, and shaved ice.

Keeping Ice Cream Cold During the Party:

Prevent melting by keeping ice cream in the freezer until ready to serve. Use dry ice, regular ice, or aluminum foil to maintain the cold temperature during the event.

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Cost Considerations:

The cost of hosting an ice cream party varies based on factors like the number of attendees, ice cream quantity, toppings, and additional food options. Ice cream containers typically range from $4 to $9 each. To control consumption, offer a variety of desserts alongside the ice cream.


Hosting an ice cream party is a delightful way to treat your guests. With careful planning, a variety of flavors, toppings, and alternatives, you can create a memorable event that caters to everyone’s preferences. Whether it’s a birthday celebration, summer gathering, or any special occasion, an ice cream party is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Enjoy the sweet moments and create lasting memories with this ultimate guide to hosting the perfect ice cream party.

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