Looking for the best crunchy toppings for ice cream? Then you’re at heaven’s gate!
There are loads of different topping ideas that you can try with a range of ice cream flavors. Whether it’s nuts, popcorn, or more, we’ve accumulated a comprehensive list of some of the tastiest and crunchiest ice cream toppings you can use!
So, what are the best crunchy toppings for ice cream? If you want to keep things traditional, then go with a nuts and sprinkles or Oreos. You can also try wafer bits, cereal, maple nuts, pretzels, chopped chocolate, and more!
Read below and discover the best toppings that you can try the next time you have a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream.
The Best Crunchy Toppings for Ice Cream
Pick any one of these toppings or use them in combination for the best flavor!
Hot Fudge With Chocolate Chips
We’re starting with the basics! Hot fudge and chocolate chips are one of the quintessential ice cream toppings in history.
It is gooey and the crunchiness of the chocolate chips truly adds a whole new dimension of texture to soft-serve ice cream.
If you don’t like hot fudge (hard to believe) then you can also just sprinkle on some chocolate chips to the ice cream for more or less the same effect.
Trust us, whether you eat the ice cream in a cone or cup, this classic topping will prove to be the best comfort food for all your ice cream needs.
1. Maple Nuts
Combine ½ cup of corn syrup and maple syrup, add two tablespoons of butter, and heat the mixture until you get a homogenized gooey syrup. Now add chopped pecans and walnuts along with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Let the mixture cool and then add them to your favorite vanilla ice cream – or literally any other flavor!
The crunchy and caramel flavor of the pecans along with the rich and sweet flavor from the walnuts will make for an unforgettable bite!
2. Wafer Bits
Chop your favorite wafer (we love these ones from Loacker) into small cubes and then add them on top of your ice cream.
We recommend decorating the top of the ice cream by lightly pushing in the wafer bits so that they partially stick out.
This will add presentation points and prove to be an extremely satisfying crunchy topping.
Want more? then drizzle some strawberry or chocolate syrup over the wafer bits for an even greater depth in flavor!
3. Crushed Oreos
Crushed Oreos make for a highly convenient and accessible topping that you can prepare within minutes.
In our opinion, everything is better with Oreos, and if you want to take your ice cream game to the next level, then we recommend coarsely crushing a few cookies until there are just small bits. Try not to pulverize them into powder!
Add the bits on top of the ice cream – or better yet, try adding a layer of hot fudge and then sprinkle on the Oreos for a thoroughly tasty experience.
4. Chocolate M&Ms
This one is another basic topping but is an absolute essential! A classic M&M topping is a perfect way to add crunch and flavor to any ice cream.
We recommend adding either whole M&Ms or crushed M&Ms for the best experience.
Make sure that the candy is frozen before you crush it or it might just flatten out and create a mess.
Add the M&M bits to your ice cream and top with maple syrup for an extremely tantalizing scoop! You can even take this topping to the next level by opting for Peanut M&Ms.
5. Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate
Fair warning before you try this topping: It’s highly addicting and may set the bar too high for any other topping!
Chopped Reese’s peanut butter chocolate will add saltiness and contrasting flavors from the peanut butter and the tempered chocolate will provide a satisfying crunch with every bite.
We guarantee that this topping will go well with any flavor but for the best results, we recommend starting with vanilla.
6. Nuts And Sprinkles
If you don’t have access to any other topping then a simple sprinkle of pistachios, almonds, and sprinkles will be the next best thing!
If you are looking for even more flavor then try adding roasted nuts. The deep-roasted flavors of the nuts along with the sweetness of the ice cream will work incredibly well and you can try this topping with just about any type of flavor in existence.
Popcorn is perhaps the best crunchy ice cream topping because it adds a distinct crunch and you can even use flavored popcorn for more flavor and better textures! We recommend going with caramel popcorn since these will provide the most crunch.
Just add the popcorn over the ice cream or lightly crush them and sprinkle the bits over your scoop for an intense but very satisfying flavor.
8. Cookie Dough With Chips
There is very little that can go wrong with having cookie dough with chocolate chips. The worst that can happen is that you would end up overeating this decadent and delicious topping.
The gooeyness of the cookie dough along with the crunch from large chocolate bits or chips will completely uplift the underlying flavor of any ice cream.
You can use any type of cookie dough for this but for the best result, we recommend going for a commercial cookie dough since then you won’t have to spend time making the dough yourself!
9. Crunchy Cereal
Cereal and milk are a match made in heaven and they also work extremely well as an ice cream topping! Mix and match different cereals for contrasting colors and flavors. Dip your cone in a bowl of cereal to create a layer of delicious cereal.
Top with your favorite ice cream syrup for an even better flavor! Don’t forget to use different color cereal for added presentation points!
10. Crushed Biscuits Or Graham Crackers
This is a no-brainer when it comes to ice cream toppings. Crushed biscuits or graham crackers are extremely versatile and you can easily mix them with any of the other toppings discussed on our list.
Pick your favorite crunchy biscuits and lightly crush them until you get bite-sized pieces. Add them on top of your ice cream and throw in some nuts or add some fudge for good measure.
We guarantee that this topping will make you want to experiment with more combinations!
11. Buttercrunch Toffee (Or Any Toffee)
Buttercrunch toffee is an excellent way to elevate the flavor of your ice cream and add an amazing crunch to it as well.
Any type of toffee can work well in this situation so we suggest that you let your imagination loose and try out different combinations at home!
12. Honey Glazed Pecans
Not only is this topping extremely delicious but it can also add nutrition to your ice cream too!
All you need is a cup of plain pecan pieces and one tablespoon of honey. Line the pecans on a baking sheet and add the honey. Coat well and then roast them at 325°F for about 10 minutes or until fragrant.
Let them cool for 10-15 minutes and then add them whole or in small pieces to your favorite ice cream!
The caramel, buttery, and rich flavor from the honey and pecans will add an entirely new dimension of flavor and will also be super crunchy!
13. Rainbow Sprinkles
This one is for the kids and young-at-heart adults who love rainbow sprinkles on their scoop! This is a classic topping that will add a sugary crunch and a beautiful presentation to your favorite scoop of ice cream.
The great thing about rainbow sprinkles is that they can go with just about any flavor and they can also be used in combination with other toppings too.
We suggest pairing the sprinkles with hot fudge or cookie dough for a decadent scoop!
14. Caramel-Dipped Maraschino Cherry
Looking for a fruity topping? Then why not try maraschino cherries! Caramel-dipped cherries are an excellent way to add crunch and a fruity flavor to any type of ice cream.
You can buy maraschino cherries from the store and make the caramel mixture at home using any popular recipe.
Just dip the cherries in, let them set and then decorate your dream ice cream cone or cup! Throw in sprinkles or roasted nuts for a thoroughly delicious flavor and texture!
Ice cream toppings are all about trying new combinations and letting your imagination run wild! Now that you know the best crunchy toppings for any ice cream, here are some related questions:
What topping goes best with mint ice cream?
Mint ice cream is known for its refreshing flavor and although you can pair many different types of ice creams with it, we recommend trying hot fudge with chocolate chips for the best experience.
The chocolate will mediate the minty flavors and will work well with any type of mint ice cream!
What toppings go well with a sundae?
Sundaes are an excellent opportunity for one to experiment with not just one but multiple flavors. You can try adding a combination of chopped wafers, fudge, M&Ms, crushed biscuits, syrups, and more!
Most people go crazy with the toppings when it comes to sundaes which is why we recommend that you try and come up with your very own combination!
What is the best way to add toppings to a cone?
Cones are a bit difficult to work with when adding toppings because you need to be careful of the amount and type of toppings that you can add.
For a well-coated cone, put the toppings on a plate and lay down the cone on the plate on one side. Then rotate while scooping up as much topping as possible, without letting the cone fall apart.