Cakes, Cones & Pops, Oh My! Amazing Ice Cream Treats for Summer
Jeni Britton Bauer
“Flavor is everything,” says Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The Columbus, Ohio-based company is known for its unexpected taste combinations, like Ricotta Toast with Red Berry Geranium Jam and Salted Honey Pie. While Jeni didn’t start out dreaming of being an ice cream creator, she has always been fascinated by scents and flavors. At first Jeni wanted to be a pastry chef, then a perfumer, and then the two blended together. While her flavors are innovative, the ice cream itself is back-to-basics: dairy from grass-pastured cows with no artificial dyes, emulsifiers or anything synthetic. She is particularly proud of her Salty Caramel, which is made the traditional way—by cooking sugar over a burner. “Tasting it is almost like seeing live music,” she says. “Whenever I have a spoonful, I think of it as representing one moment when one person caramelized a batch of sugar in our kitchen. Only a few people in our company can do this without burning it, and each batch turns out tasting slightly different. I love the flavor for that reason.”
Jeni honed her craft by infusing store-bought ice cream with essential oils, sort of like training wheels for her future experiments. Now, 22 years later, she has 1,000 employees, 34 stores in seven states and packaged pints in supermarkets nationwide. (They can also be ordered from jenis.com.) “We look for quality and true partners in what we do,” she says.
Jeni has some true partners at home too. Her husband, Charly, is the Head of Stewardship and spends his days helping to build community outreach. Their kids, Greta, 10, and Dashiell, 9, are always ready and eager to taste. “They’re at an age where they have lots to offer [opinion-wise],” says Jeni. “They know this is what the family does, not just Mom and Dad.”
Jeni doesn’t limit herself to ice cream when it comes to flavorful matchmaking. In the summer, she loves topping a tart fruit pie with her Lemon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt. “Sometimes ice cream is the actual dessert,” she says. “But sometimes it can be the wingman to another dessert.” And that’s how Jeni inspired us to come up with our own playful takes.
Layered Ice Cream Pops
Tip: Don’t worry about spreading the ice cream too much—we learned the swirls can be quite forgiving!
Dipped Unicorn Cones
Tip: To make the perfect drying stand for dipped cones, invert an egg crate and pop holes into the bottom of each egg holder. The holes should be big enough to hold cones upright.
For an extra pop of color, add some homemade “Magic Shell.”
DIY “Magic Shell”
Melt 1/2 cup melting candy or chocolate chips with 1 tbsp coconut oil. It’ll harden over ice cream in 30 to 45 seconds.
Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Cake
- Make the brownie up to 2 days in advance and store it in the fridge.
- Swap Jeni’s Green Mint Chip for any flavor or brand you like. (This applies to all of these recipes!)
- Strawberry or mixed berry sorbet can be swapped for the Frosé.
- Think of the sorbet as a frozen drink mixer. It’ll sweeten and temper your drink as it melts.