Ina Garten’s Boozy 3-Ingredient Dessert Is Easy Elegance and We’re Obsessed

Updated: Feb. 01, 2024

Is this the most sophisticated ice cream sundae ever?

Whip out the nice china sets: entertaining season is officially upon us. While any time is a good time for a dinner party, there’s something uniquely special about summer fetes. Those long golden hours and warm breezes just pair so beautifully with the abundance of fresh summer produce. But with children out of school, moves on the horizon and vacations to plan, this can also be one of the busiest times of the year. Your dinner party calls for a sophisticated menu, yes, but you also need to be able to quickly prepare dishes for a crowd. What’s an eager entertainer to do?

Fortunately, Ina Garten, the queen of store-bought shortcuts (and our hearts!), has the ideal 3-ingredient summer dessert to awe your friends without spending hours in the kitchen. It utilizes store-bought ingredients and comes together in less than five minutes. Here’s everything you need to know about the boozy dessert, including how to make it and how to customize it to your tastes.

All About Ina Garten’s Limoncello Dessert

Ina Garten first shared her limoncello dessert with the Today Show back in March. It utilizes store-bought vanilla ice cream, lemon liqueur and a biscotti cookie. The Barefoot Contessa describes the dessert as “fast yet impressive.” Beyond its ease, the dessert awes, thanks to its balance of flavors and textures. Garten emphasizes the richness of the ice cream, the “bright flavor” and color of the limoncello, and the “pleasant crunch” from the biscotti.

How to Make Ina Garten’s Limoncello Dessert

Dish Of Half Eaten Vanilla Ice CreamBRETT STEVENS/Getty Images

Garten posted her official recipe here, but we have some pro tips for your preparation. First, ensure your limoncello is properly chilled before you start constructing the desserts. Then, you’ll need to find the best serving dish. While any dish will work, we love the elegance of these Nick and Nora glasses.

Now that you’ve gathered your materials, Garten suggests adding two scoops of ice cream to each glass ahead of the party. Keep the glasses with the ice cream in the freezer until you are ready to serve them. Then, pour a splash of chilled limoncello on top of each ice cream serving and stick a biscotti into the ice cream. That’s it!

How to Customize Ina Garten’s Limoncello Dessert

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can of course make your own homemade vanilla ice cream and biscotti. You can even make your own limoncello! But you can customize this dessert in many other delicious—and less time-intensive—ways. As Theresa Greco suggests on Parade, you could also replace the limoncello with hazelnut or espresso liqueur. Or, for the chocoholics, try using chocolate ice cream for an extra-decadent dessert. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, why not dress up that biscotti with a dip in melted chocolate? The sky’s the limit with this sophisticated spin on a sundae!