Make this quick and easy Gingerbread Ice Cream Parfait for a special holiday dessert. Layered with a rich gingerbread-flavoured sauce and gluten-free gingersnap crumbs and topped with whipped cream, this gourmet ice cream sundae will be a hit!
Gingerbread Ice Cream Parfait! Here's a festive holiday dessert made with a quick-to-mix gingerbread sauce, vanilla ice cream, crumbled gingersnaps (gluten-free gingersnaps, if necessary) and topped with whipped cream.
This ice cream sundae is so easy and SO delicious! This gingerbread dessert would be perfect for New Year's Eve or as the crowning touch to any holiday meal.
It ranks right up high with this Creamy Ricotta Coffee Mousse, Affogato Coffee Dessert, Caribbean Bananas Flambé or this Strawberry Eton Mess as my favourite choices for a special rich gluten-free dessert.
Have you ever had gingerbread ice cream? If not, you must! It's amazingly delicious and worth taking a few minutes to make the gingerbread sauce.
Read on to see just how easy it is to create this parfait! Ice cream parfait . . . gingerbread ice cream sundae . . . whatever you choose to call it, this dessert is to die for!
For the sauce:
- coconut sugar: coconut sugar has a lovely caramel flavour and it has a lower glycemic index than granulated or brown sugar, meaning that it won't spike your blood glucose and insulin as quickly. However, you can easily substitute brown sugar in this recipe.
- gingerbread spice: see recipe below. It's quick and easy to mix up.
- molasses: use cooking molasses or fancy molasses in this recipe
For the layers:
- vanilla ice cream: I use French Vanilla ice cream in this recipe for its rich vanilla flavour.
- gingersnap cookie crumbs: store-bought, or homemade gingerbread cookie crumbs. Gluten-free gingerbread cookies are easy to find in supermarkets.
- whipped cream: for a decadent sundae topping!
🥄 How to Make Gingerbread Spice Mix
To make your own gingerbread spice, combine the following and store in a small jar. You'll only need one teaspoon of this mix, but you can save the rest to make Gingerbread Spiced Granola, Sweet and Spicy Gingerbread Spiced Nuts, or this healthy Chia Gingerbread Smoothie.
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make this gingerbread sundae. Detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- You'll begin by making the sauce. Simply mix the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 2 - 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Let cool a little, or if you like, you can make it ahead of time and cool it completely. Drizzling warm sauce on ice cream makes an absolutely delicious mess in a dessert glass, but this dessert is just as good with cold gingerbread sauce.
- Put four gingersnaps or gingerbread cookies in a zipper lock bag, seal, and crush with a rolling pin.
- Now you get to create the layers:
- begin with a teaspoon of gingerbread sauce in the base of each of four dessert glasses.
- top with a a small scoop of ice cream,
- drizzle more sauce,
- sprinkle with gingersnap crumbs,
- add more ice cream,
- more sauce,
- more gingersnap crumbs,
- then top with whipped cream,
- and finally, end with a sprinkle of crumbs for a finished look.
❓Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can certainly prepare parts of this gingerbread ice cream parfait in advance. Make the sauce, cover and refrigerate. It will last up to a week in the fridge. You can also have the cookie crumbs crushed and ready to use. Keep the ice cream well chilled in the freezer until you're ready to assemble this dessert. Then all you'll have to do is layer the parfait in dessert glasses just before serving.
Ice cream without gluten is readily available, but always read the label first to be sure. You may find this article listing the Best Gluten-Free Ice Cream Brands helpful.
🔁 Possible variations
If you'd like more crunch elements in this gingerbread ice cream, add toasted sliced almonds, or other finely chopped nuts, like pecans or pistachios.
You might like to layer it with chocolate chip ice cream instead of vanilla. Add your own touches!
🗒 More dessert recipes
Love gingerbread flavours? Check these 6 Easy Gingerbread Recipes for more inspiration!
Gingerbread Ice Cream Parfait
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoon cooking molasses, or fancy molasses
- 1 teaspoon gingerbread spice mix *see note below for alternative
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream gluten-free
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon confectioner's sugar, also called powdered sugar or icing sugar
- 4 gingersnap cookies crumbled, gluten-free if necessary
- Combine butter, coconut sugar, molasses, water and gingerbread spice mix* in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth, about 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool slightly.
- Whip cream with confectioner's sugar until medium peaks form. Chill.
- Add a spoonful of sauce to each of 4 dessert glasses ( or use wine glasses.) Top with ¼ cup ice cream, a thin layer of crumbled gingersnap cookies, then repeat layers and top with freshly whipped cream. Serve immediately.
This recipe was adapted from Food Network Kitchen's Gingerbread Sundaes. This recipe was originally published in 2019. It has been updated with new information to make it more helpful.
I made this on the weekend to get us all in a holiday mood! It's incredible! That sauce! Thanks--will definitely make this one again soon.
I love this gingerbread sauce too, Cara. While it's not colourful like a fruit sauce, it has so much flavour and it's not too strong for kids! Thanks for commenting!
I made this for our friends during the holidays. Everyone loved it! I'm sure this will be a regular holiday dessert. Thanks for a great recipe!
Flavour & Savour
I'm so glad they were a hit!