Waffle with ice cream at IHOP
Ice cream and waffle is also a combination popular among residents. This can be found at IHOP. Image Credit: Shreya Bhatia/ Gulf News

What you need to know:

  • Gulf News is going on an ice cream trail this Ramadan.
  • Our 29th and final pick of the month is ice cream and different desserts.
  • Be prepared for our list of 29 ice creams for 29 days.
  • End your fast and enjoy the Summer months with these sweet and cold treats.

During the past 28 days of Ramadan, we’ve seen many different versions and combinations of ice cream. Whether it was traditional Turkish ice cream, the Syrian Booza, the Japanese mochi or the classic milkshake, ice cream is one dessert that goes with just about everything. For our last pick of the series, we look at a few desserts that go well with a scoop of ice cream.

#29 Ice cream and dessert

I’ve always considered the combination of warm, gooey chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to be food for the soul. The duo goes together like butter with toast, and it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Fried cheesecake and ice cream served at Chili's Dubai.
Fried cheesecake and ice cream served at Chili's Dubai. Image Credit: Shreya Bhatia/ Gulf News

Although ice cream is a dessert that can be served independently, it is also used as an accompaniment to cake, brownies, cookies, apple pie and other desserts. These days, waffles and pancakes are also being served with a scoop of ice cream, thus replacing whipped cream as a topping. Why is this combination so popular?

According to Samir Gokhale, head pastry chef at Emirates Golf Club, the combination of having something warm, with something cold, is liked by most people. It gives people a change in texture, flavour and temperature, when consuming a single dessert.

Gokhale told Gulf News: “When you add a scoop of ice cream on warm apple pie or cake, the ice cream melts. The taste of that is delicious. That is what people like.”

He said ice cream is a crowd favourite, and simple vanilla is popular among children.

“When we create our set menu, we make different desserts and usually make a variety of ice cream flavours to serve with our desserts. We usually serve ice cream with a chocolate brownie or fondant.”

Residents share their stories

Dubai resident Mamoon Khokar tried dessert with ice cream for the first time five years ago.

He said: “The first time I tried dessert with ice cream on the side was while eating gulab jamun (fried milk solids-based dumpling), a traditional Indian dessert. I had it with vanilla ice cream. Ice cream and gulab jamun are great on their own, but as a combination, they’re even better!”

The client representative added: “I’ve also tried some combinations of my own. I’ve had ice cream with the Arabic dessert Umm Ali and with the Indian sweet, laddoo. These were experiments done with left-over food in the fridge.”

The 34-year-old Indian national said that the contrasting temperatures of the desserts, paired with ice cream, are what add to the appeal.

“I’ve been having a cold cupcake dipped in a cup of hot, sugary milk with saffron, since I was a child. It is always better than having the two items separately.”

Jordanian national Kamel Ra’ed Zeitoun thinks adding ice cream on dessert makes the dish more “adventurous”. The Sharjah resident said that he tried ice cream with a dessert, for the first time on a chef’s recommendation.

He said: “The chef at the restaurant recommended I have my dessert with ice cream. The employee there also recommended it. At first, I was kind of against the idea, but I took the recommendation, and it was very delightful.”

Molten chocolate Cake found at Chili's
The Molten chocolate Cake found at Chili's is served with ice cream, chocolate sauce and caramel sauce Image Credit: Shreya Bhatia/ Gulf News

In the UAE, a popular dessert that is usually served with ice cream is the molten chocolate cake. The name comes from the dessert’s liquid chocolate centre. It is also known as lava cake because of its gooey chocolate centre. The dish was created in the US and according to reports, French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten claims to have invented the dessert in 1987. Restaurants all around the world have created their own variations of the molten cake.

Maya Ezzelarab, is a fan of molten chocolate cake with ice cream.

The 12-year-old told Gulf News: “The ice cream melts with the cake and it tastes great. The molten cake is warm, sometimes it is too hot, and so you need something that is a little cold to have with it. It changes the flavour and texture.”

“I also like apple pie. If I am at a restaurant and all they have is apple pie, I can’t eat it as is. I need to have ice cream with it.”

RDS_190431 Melted cookie with ice cream-1559570737609
The Soft Baked Cookies - is served in a sizzling pan with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. It is available at Home Bakery. Image Credit: Supplied

Where can you get dessert and ice cream?

Almost all restaurants in the UAE have at least one dessert and ice cream option. At Home Bakery, they have a soft baked cookie that they serve with a dollop of ice cream (Dh39).

According to a spokesperson from the restaurant: “The cookie comes in a hot sizzling pan, and is served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. For some of our dishes, we buy the premium branded ice cream and for other dishes, we have our homemade ice cream ... it complements the dish. In the UAE with the warm weather, ice cream is always the best complement anyone could have.”

If you are a fan of waffles and ice cream, you can get a lotus waffle with vanilla and chocolate ice cream at IHOP (Dh55) at their outlets in the UAE.

Lene Grace, the commis chef, or the person in charge of food preparation work, at IHOP said: “We uses a Lotus syrup over the waffles that is made from Lotus spread. We add two scoops of ice cream, chocolate and vanilla. We also crush Lotus biscuits over the dessert.

“The reason the restaurant started putting ice cream on waffles was to be different. It makes the dish tastier.”

However, Grace believes that ice cream is not replacing whipped cream as a topping over desserts. Whipped cream is still popular and it depends on the preference of the customer.

Baskin Robbins also serves pancakes with ice cream at their dessert cafés.

Catch22 in Dubai serves Lotus French toast with ice cream (Dh58). According to brand manager Katie Moffett: “Ice cream is the perfect complement to so many desserts, and often the hero to make most desserts complete. Whether you like to pair it with a hot or cold dessert, ice cream adds a different taste sensation to your experience.”

RDS_190431 French toast with ice cream cropped-1559570740380
The Lotus French Toast is available at Catch22 Dubai. It is priced at Dh58. Image Credit: Supplied

The dish they serve is brioche bread that is toasted. They then layer it with ‘Lotus cream with Crème Anglaise (a light pouring French custard)’. A scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream is added to the dessert.

If you are a fan of cake and ice cream, then the molten cake mentioned earlier is something you should try.

At Chili’s, they serve their molten chocolate cake (Dh48) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The dessert is then topped with warm chocolate and caramel sauce.

According to general manager of the restaurant, Bryan Bernales Gonzales: “Molten chocolate and ice cream is a popular dish in the US. People love it because of the taste and appearance. When you cut it, the melted chocolate oozes out.”

He added that people like the contrast of flavours – having something warm and cold together.

“The ingredients for the dish is imported from the US. Additionally, we also serve fried cheesecake with ice cream. Cheesecake balls are coated with bread, cereal and is fried(Dh38). We also have the ‘paradise pie’, a layered dish topped with walnuts and ice cream.”


Where: Chili’s has outlets across the UAE. Catch22 has restaurants at Jumeirah Beach Residence and La Mer in Dubai, Home Bakery has outlets in Dubai, and IHOP can be found in Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.

Are you a fan of dessert and ice cream? Does it bring back any fond memories? Write to us at readers@gulfnews.com.