How To Make Ice Bowls

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Ice bowls make a big impression if you’re having guests over for a special springtime meal, and they’re surprisingly simple. We recently made a couple and recorded the process for you here.

Ice bowls can be made of just ice, but they can also be prettied up a little to suit the appetizer or dessert you’re serving in them. We chose baby basil leaves — as we had some growing — and lemon slices. This combination could very well be used for a savory shrimp appetizer, a cold soup starter, or a sweet sorbet dessert. And we love the fresh color combination of green basil and yellow lemon.

What You Need

  • pairs of nesting bowls – large for serving or small for individuals – in ceramic, metal, or glass
  • fillers like basil, lemon slices, lavender, mint, or edible flowers
  • ice chips
  • a pitcher of ice-cold water
  • something to weigh down the inner bowl during freezing, like bags of rice or frozen peas


1. Place some ice chips in the bottom of the larger bowl. Their depth should equal the thickness you eventually want for the wall of your ice bowl.
2. Set the small bowl on top of the ice. Fill the gap between the inner and outer bowl with more ice chips to stabilize the inner bowl.
3. Place decorative fillers amongst the ice chips. Push them into place with a toothpick if needed.
4. Weigh down the inner bowl in preparation for filling the “mold” with water. We used bags of rice.
5. Pour water into the gap, filling the space by about 1/3.
6. Freeze until solid. Repeat with two more layers of water until the space between bowls is filled and completely frozen.
7. Remove the inner bowl by filling it with warm water for a minute or so until it is loosened from the ice bowl. Remove the outer bowl by dipping it in warm water.
8. Wrap completed ice bowls in plastic and store in the freezer until immediately before use.

(Images: Regina Yunghans)