16 Creative Bases To Switch Up Your Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice cream sandwich with bases
Ice cream sandwich with bases - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

There's no better feeling on a sweltering summer day than sticking your head into the freezer and grabbing the pint of ice cream that's been calling your name. Except, of course, when that pint is transformed into an even more nostalgic treat like an ice cream sandwich.

Many folks are familiar with ice cream sandwiches in the form of rectangular frozen treats wrapped in paper -- complete with the chocolate wafer cookies that always manage to leave a sticky residue behind on your fingers. Or, their minds go to the Chipwich, an ice cream sandwich made with two chocolate chip cookies. But what if we told you there's a whole world of ice cream sandwich bases that turn the definition of a traditional sandwich on its head?

We're here to highlight some of the best substitutes for traditional ice cream sandwich bases. These selections will allow you to mix and match your favorite flavors of ice cream, as well as your coatings and sauces of choice. While the consistency might not be the same as the status quo sando, we can assure you that these suggestions are equally as refreshing at any time of year.

Read more: 23 Best Ice Cream Brands Ranked

Give Your Ice Cream Sandwich A Soft Twist With Arepas

Corn arepas on a board
Corn arepas on a board - Civil/Shutterstock

Some ice cream sandwich bases are hard to sink your teeth into -- literally. So, the next time you whip up a batch of these frozen, summery treats, reach for homemade (or store-bought) arepas instead.

You can easily upgrade your ice cream sandwich by using this base instead of a classic cookie. Arepas are made with corn flour, so they have a subtle, soft bite that will make eating them with ice cream a sublime experience. Moreover, the arepas' flavor is rather neutral, so you can easily change your ice cream from the classic scoop of vanilla to something fruity, or even something heavier like dark chocolate.

The key to working with arepas is to consider adding a crunchy element to the party rather than just sticking to everything soft. You can add some flaked sea salt, nuts, or crushed candies to the surface of your ice cream to balance out the textures a bit more.

Add A Hint Of Salt With Saltines

Saltines crackers in bowl
Saltines crackers in bowl - Amarita/Getty Images

There are dozens of creative ways to use a sleeve of saltines, from sprinkling them in a bowl of chili to covering them with chocolate and eating them as a quick, simple dessert. Saltines and ice cream sandwiches are an excellent pairing because they balance out the flavor of one another; stacking a disc of ice cream between two cookies can be a sugar overload while eating saltines alone can be an unsatisfactory experience because they tend to lack flavor.

You can get wildly creative with your ice cream flavors and sauces of choice for these sandwiches. Try a deep, fudgy ice cream with tons of candy pieces to boost the texture, or add a scoop of your favorite sorbet for a lighter dessert option that won't leave you feeling bogged down at the end of a meal. Since saltines are prone to getting soggy, we recommend preparing discs of ice cream ahead of time and sandwiching them between the crackers right before you're ready to eat them.

Think Sweet With Baklava Ice Cream Sandwiches

Fingers holding baklava
Fingers holding baklava - alkang/Shutterstock

Baklavas are one of the tastiest sweets you can enjoy. While there are many different variations of baklava that use a medley of walnuts, pistachios, and sugar syrups, you can generally expect delicate layers of phyllo pastry sandwiching layers of nuts and syrup.

There's nothing wrong with eating a square (or roll -- or whatever shape you order) of baklava straight out of a Middle Eastern bakery, but the best way to enjoy baklava is in a dreamy ice cream sandwich. You can either take a single piece of baklava, peel back the top few layers, and scoop your ice cream in -- or take the traditional sandwich route and tuck the ice cream in between two whole pieces of baklava. Both are equally as delicious -- it's just a matter of how much you can open your mouth to take a bite.

Pair your baklava sandwiches with an appropriate ice cream flavor to accentuate the flavor of the pastry. Generally, neutral flavors like sweet cream and plain vanilla work well, although you could add a subtle cinnamon or honey-infused ice cream to add a gentle hint of flavor.

Use Toast For Your Ice Cream Sandwich

Cinnamon sugar toast on table
Cinnamon sugar toast on table - Cislander/Getty Images

Toast ice cream sandwiches might seem like a late-night craving when you realize you ran out of cookies, but we can assure you that it's worth trying. You should try using toast when making an ice cream sandwich because it provides a neutral canvas to play with your ice cream flavor and extra ingredient add-ons.

There are some breads that work better for ice cream sandwiches than others. Cinnamon raisin toast stuffed with a rum raisin or caramel ice cream would be heavenly, while an Italian panettone could enhance your sandwich with flavors straight from Italy.

Don't stop at just plain toast, either. You may consider making a batch of French toast to sandwich your frozen treat with. It's a great way to use up those leftovers (because let's be real, day two French toast isn't that tasty). Just be sure to let your toast cool down a little bit to prevent your ice cream from dripping and melting all over your hands.

Keep Things Simple With Canned Biscuits

Biscuits in basket on white surface
Biscuits in basket on white surface - Jupiterimages/Getty Images

Canned biscuits are an essential to have in your fridge. Not only are they super easy to twist open, pop in the oven, and make whatever rendition of a savory breakfast sandwich that you're craving, but you can also use them for unconventional uses, like canned biscuit ice cream sandwiches.

Biscuits have a light airiness to them that cookies don't. Imagine how heavenly it would be to bite down on a strawberry-shortcake-turned-ice-cream-sandwich with creamy strawberry ice cream, strawberry sauce, and canned biscuits. You can bake the biscuits according to the directions on the can (or whip up a batch of homemade ones, if you're feeling particularly ambitious). If you're short on time, pop your rounds of dough onto a greased waffle iron. There will be tons of nooks and crannies for the ice cream to seep into. Regardless of your methodology, just be sure to cool your biscuits down before you add in your ice cream.

Brownie Brittle Adds A Chocolate Crunch

Brownie brittle stack
Brownie brittle stack - Chatchai.wa/Shutterstock

If we make a trip to our local Trader Joe's, you better believe we're coming home with a bag of brownie crisps. They're just the perfect mix of chocolatey and crunchy, without having the same denseness as a traditional brownie.

Trader Joe's had the same thought as us to combine the crisp with ice cream, creating brownie crisp ice cream sandwiches, which use coffee ice cream. But if you're not a fan of that ice cream flavor, or if you don't have room in your freezer for a box of these pre-made sandwiches, you can make your own at home. Simply freeze your rounds of ice cream ahead of time and pop them between two crisps.

Granted, Trader Joe's did do something right when they brought out the coffee ice cream. But we could also see any flavor that matches with chocolate working well here. A dark chocolate fudge ice cream could add some toothsome morsels to the mix, while cookies and cream ice cream would be a great vanilla-chocolate mashup for this dessert.

Pizzelle Cookies Can Make Choco Taco-Inspired Sandwiches

Pizzelle cookies on board
Pizzelle cookies on board - leungchopan/Shutterstock

The Choco Taco will go down as the best ice cream novelty ever created. For the uninitiated, this treat was originally made with a waffle cone "tortilla" encasing a layer of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and peanuts. It has all the great aspects of a sundae converted into a portable sandwich.

Our recipe for Choco Taco-inspired ice cream sandwiches may not offer the same nostalgic feeling of getting one of these sandwiches from an ice cream truck, but it does hit the spot. It's made with Italian pizzelle cookies, which are thin, waffle-like cookies. The vanilla flavor is subtle, and the crunch on these cookies is absolutely sublime. But the worst thing about these sandwiches (besides being very addicting to eat), is that making the cookies on a pizzelle iron is quite challenging because you have to mold them into the pan and then let them droop to form the taco shape. But you can also use store-bought pizzelle cookies and settle for a standard ice cream sandwich too. Just roll the finished sando in the chocolate sauce and peanuts.

Use Leftover Bread Rolls For An Unconventional Ice Cream

Brioche con gelato sandwich
Brioche con gelato sandwich - Lapasmile/Getty Images

Sesame rolls are a slightly savory twist on a classic roll, and they can make all the difference in your ice cream sandwich, too. This nutty addition is the perfect ice cream sandwich base for when you want to distract from the purely sweet flavors of your bun.

The best part about using sesame rolls for your sandwich is that it will clearly allow your ice cream to shine. The nuts are a great pairing for subtle ice cream flavors, like mint or matcha, that would otherwise struggle to compete with a sweeter sandwich base. Or you can use a fruity ice cream, like cherry, that craves something fatty and complex to balance it out.

You shouldn't just use any ol' roll for this recipe. Enriched breads, like milk bread or brioche, are the best for your recipe because they're pliable, soft, and have a subtly sweet flavor. You can seek inspiration from Italy's brioche con gelato, which is made with a soft, brioche burger-like bun filled with traditional Italian gelato flavors, including stracciatella and pistachio ice cream.

Sweeten It Up With Fruit Roll-Ups

woman holding fruit roll-up ice cream
woman holding fruit roll-up ice cream - sydwingold/TikTok

If you're someone who doesn't love all things sweet, you're going to want to skip this one. But, if you can't get enough of all things candy, you may want to try wrapping your ice cream in a Fruit Roll-Up. We can thank TikTok creators for this one, who used the app to share how they carefully place a blob of ice cream in the center of the gelatinous fruit treat and encase it entirely. After a short chill in the freezer, it's ready to enjoy.

The chilling process will make the Fruit Roll-Up harder than the gummy candy we know and love. So, you'll get an unexpected crunch when you bite into one, along with the cooling, soft texture of the ice cream.

There are a ton of different flavors you can use for this treat, from a mango sorbet to a plain vanilla ice cream. We think that a rainbow sherbet would further add to the nostalgia factor of this super unique frozen treat. You can also swap the conventional Fruit Roll-Up for fruit leather.

Stroopwafels Can Add A Caramel Flavor To Your Ice Cream Sandwich

Stroopwafels on blue background
Stroopwafels on blue background - Fascinadora/Getty Images

Stroopwafles are the cookie upgrade you need for your ice cream sandwich and may lead you to consider dropping the classic chocolate chip cookie for good. We can thank the Dutch for these subtly vanilla cookies, which are sandwiched between a layer of decadent, chewy caramel. While they're a great cookie for putting on top of your steaming coffee so that the caramel and the cookie soften ever so slightly, they also are thin enough to make an excellent addition to your ice cream sandwich.

Stroopwafles are available in the international aisle of many grocery stores or online retailers, or you can go the extra mile and try (emphasis on "try") to make them yourself. These cookies are finicky because they have to be just thin enough to hold the caramel, and you have to get a special iron to press the cookies out. Once you've secured the stroopwafles, you just need to select an ice cream flavor that pairs well with caramel, like vanilla bean.

Cornbread Can Switch Up Your Ice Cream Sandwich Routine

Mixing cornbread in a bowl
Mixing cornbread in a bowl - Berna Namoglu/Shutterstock

Cornbread probably isn't at the top of your list for cookie bases for your ice cream sandwich, but if you like things that are a tad unconventional, you might be smitten with these sandos.

Cornbread ice cream sandwiches are the frozen dessert you need to try. You don't want to just grab a cast iron skillet and a box of Jiffy and go to town, though. Rather, you should convert the conventional cornbread mix into something cookie-compatible by adding extra flour and butter. Then, you can pipe or scoop the rounds onto a cookie sheet, pop it in the oven, and bake it until crisp. These cornbread cookies won't resemble the same soft, buttery cornbread you're used to, but the novel texture will surely add a unique element to these sandwiches.

There are tons of ways to flavor these sandwiches with your ice cream of choice. Cornbread pairs well with chocolate and vanilla ice cream equally. Another unexpected filling for these cookies is blueberry ice cream. The sweet berry chunks are flavorful and can really elevate this sandwich to a new level.

Concha Makes An Excellent Cookie Replacement

Conchas stacked on table
Conchas stacked on table - Fabian Montano Hernandez/Shutterstock

If you aren't familiar with Mexican cuisine, concha may not be on your radar. Conchas combine a sweet seashell-shaped roll covered in a sugary topping. They're a type of sweet traditionally eaten for the Day of the Dead and can be modified with an array of fillings and flavors.

Concha is the cookie alternative that your ice cream sandwich needs because it has that soft bready bite and unique sugary coating. You can take a trip to your local Mexican bakery to survey your concha options or try whipping up a batch of them on your own. If you're particularly inspired by classic Mexican flavors, try a horchata ice cream with a chocolate or vanilla concha. You can also add a swipe of sweet jam or Nutella to add extra flavor to this classic sweet.

Grab your concha and cut it open in the center. From there, you can stuff it with your ice cream and any extra flavorful additions.

Make Your Ice Cream Sandwich Snap, Crackle, And Pop With Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispies cut up with marshmallows
Rice Krispies cut up with marshmallows - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Rice Krispies Treats are much more malleable than other cookie substitutes on this list. Once you have a finished batch of homemade Rice Krispies Treats, you can shape them into squares, rounds, or whatever shape your heart desires. They're also relatively easy to add extra flavors to; you can add extra marshmallows, a chocolate drizzle, or even peanut butter to make them uniquely your own.

To add Rice Krispies Treats to your ice cream sandwich, start by squishing out your treats into a thin layer. You'll want to have a solid balance between the base and the ice cream filling, so it's best to take a rolling pin to your cereal bars to make sure they're perfectly flat. If you're worried about sticking when rolling it out, wedge a piece of wax paper on top and under the Rice Krispies Treats.

You can make individual treats by cutting out squares, adding your ice cream, and refreezing the entire sandwich. Or layer sheets of Rice Krispies treats on top of one another, add them to your freezer, and then slice the entire batch up.

Rice Cakes Give Ice Cream Sandwiches A Crispy Flair

Rice cakes with jar
Rice cakes with jar - Stefan Tomic/Getty Images

Rice cakes are often relegated to snack-only territory, but they're also a great tool to whip up delicious ice cream sandwiches. These cakes are crispy and light, and even the flavored varieties won't skew your entire ice cream sandwich in any particular direction. You'll find plain, unsalted rice cakes, as well as chocolate and caramel ones in your local grocery store.

Rice cakes can offer a gluten-free alternative to your classic ice cream sandwich, too -- just make sure your choice of ice cream is also gluten-free if that's what you're seeking. If not, you can add whatever ice cream flavor you have in your freezer. A plain vanilla would be a refreshing option -- especially when rolled in rainbow sprinkles. Or you can go for all things chocolate with an intense chocolate ice cream, chocolate rice cakes, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. There is no wrong answer when it comes to these snackable cakes!

Oreo Cookies Add A Chocolatey Bite To Your Ice Cream Sandwiches

Oreo cookies on table
Oreo cookies on table - Achmad Agus Ilyas/Shutterstock

Milk's favorite cookie isn't just a one-trick pony. Besides crumbling Oreos on your ice cream sundae, whipping them into a milkshake, or eating them straight from the package, you can also use them as the perfect base for your ice cream sandwich.

These sandwich cookies are much sturdier than the softened chocolate wafer that traditionally comes with store-bought ice cream sandwiches. Oreos are relatively resistant to melty ice cream, and it's super easy to give your cookies a twist to pop them open, add a scoop of ice cream, and assemble them back together.

The sheer number of Oreo iterations also allows for a lot of opportunities to experiment with this base. Opt for a Golden Oreo cookie to go with vanilla ice cream or pair the divisive birthday cake Oreo cookie with a scoop of cake batter ice cream.

Add A Breakfast Twist With Toaster Waffles

Toaster waffles on plate
Toaster waffles on plate - Niko Natsuki/Shutterstock

Frozen toaster waffles are nothing if not convenient. Seriously, it's so easy to pop a few in the toaster while you're getting ready for class or trying to whip up a crowd-pleasing breakfast for the kids. These waffles are quite robust, so they can hold up to the weight of your ice creams and any toppings that you try to add to the mix. Once you have your waffles toasted, you can chill them down to room temperature and then sandwich them with your ice cream. Like other sandwich bases, you need to make sure that everything is properly chilled before you assemble them. Otherwise, you could have a very sticky situation on your hands -- quite literally.

You aren't limited to only plain toaster waffles for this euphoric creation. Use chocolate chip waffles instead or try one with pockets of maple flavor infused.

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