Pineapple Ice Cream Float

Am I the only one that had never heard of a pineapple float before? I mean, I do happen to live in the vast wasteland of the midwest where nothing much is happening right now except for wind and snow. So I don’t blame you if you are thinking, “Man, she needs to get out more – pineapple floats are, like, so last summer.” But honestly, my only recollections of any kind of drinkable float are of the root beer variety, so when I saw this recipe title in a cookbook, it peaked my interest big time.

After making it and devouring it, all I can say is: a float by any other name shall not taste as sweet as this. It was downright incredible. Now if you have moved beyond thinking I need to get out more and are now wondering why on earth I am making an ice cream drink in the middle of winter…well, all I can say is that denial is the best form of medicine for surviving winter (that, and screaming in a pillow, of course). And I have a feeling this drink will be making an appearance year-round from now on.

Made with either fresh or canned pineapple (I highly recommend fresh if you can find it at a reasonable price – fresh pineapples have been dirt cheap in my snowy neck of the woods lately!), this icy concoction requires some prep work but the glazed pineapple and syrup can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated.

Roasted pineapple, oh yum!, is topped with rich vanilla ice cream, topped again by a deliriously delicious pineapple syrup and smothered in icy cold club soda. Honestly, this desserty drink was so refreshing and glorious that I’ve requested it for my birthday “cake.” Not sure how the candles will work out, but who cares…it’s all about the pineapple float. Promise me you’ll make this soon. It’s the only way we can be friends.

P.S. Nervous about cutting up a fresh pineapple? Click here for the how-to on getting the job done.

Pineapple Ice Cream Float

One Year Ago: Naan
Two Years Ago: Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

Pineapple Ice Cream Float

Yield: Makes 8 floats

Pineapple Ice Cream Float

Note: In place of the fresh pineapple, you can drain two 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple, roast it, and skip making the syrup.


  • 1 pineapple (about 4 pounds), top trimmed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1 liter club soda, chilled


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the pineapple using a sharp knife, reserving the peels and core as you work. Go here for a tutorial on cutting up a pineapple. Cut the pineapple flesh into 1/2-inch cubes. Transfer the peels and the core pieces to a large pot; reserving the cubed pineapple flesh.
  2. Add 5 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Cook for about 30 minutes, mashing the peels occasionally with the back of a spoon or a potato masher to extract the juice. You won’t actually see the pineapple peels “give” at all – but mashing still helps to release the juice.
  3. Transfer the cubed pineapple to a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the pineapple with the brown sugar. Cook until just golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days (or use immediately once cooled).
  4. Pour the pineapple peel mixture from the pot through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup about 10-12 minutes. Refrigerate the syrup, covered, until it is ready to serve, up to 2 days.
  5. When ready to serve, divide the pineapple evenly among the 8 serving glasses. Top with 2 teaspoons syrup and 2 scoops of ice cream. Fill with club soda. Drizzle with remaining syrup and serve. I garnished the glasses with a few chunks of pineapple skewered on a wood stick.

Recipe Source: adapted from Martha Stewart

Pineapple Ice Cream Float

25 Responses to Pineapple Ice Cream Float

  1. Karen K says:

    What about using coconut ice cream or coconut gelato??
    YUM! (A pina colada float 🙂

  2. cynthia says:

    If you ever make it to Hawaii, go to the Dole Plantation…they have pineapple softserve. They make an AMAZING pineapple float with pineapple juice…YUM!

  3. Cassandra says:

    Hi. There’s no link for how to cut a pinapple. Please help.

  4. juliann says:

    I was looking for shrimp recipes for a pirate dinner we are having during our beach vacation but this looks PERFECT for a dessert drink……or appetizer drink with maybe some vodka 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jennifer says:

    What type of club soda did you use? I’d love to make this… Thanks!

  6. Katy ~ says:

    I haven’t heard of pineapple float either til this post. It sounds incredible. Will definitely save it for this summer, though, I think. In the meantime, bookmarked!

  7. restrainedchaos says:

    My family had a habit of making floats out of any soda we could get. Grape, strawberry, and pineapple are all a wonderful, light respite from rootbeer.
    I never knew you could make a syrup from the pineapple peel. I wonder if I could add some to a jam for the pineapple flavor?
    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sounds great. I have never heard of these before so you are ahead of the curve in my book. Happy birthday too! I hope your day was fun! -Liz K.

  9. Kim says:

    I wouldn’t be screaming into my pillow if I had one of these:D It looks delicious.

  10. Sook says:

    This looks great, Melanie!

  11. grace says:

    count me amongst the shmucks who hadn’t heard of this or anything like it before, but dang, it sounds amazing! i love the taste of juicy, fresh pineapple, and ice cream automatically makes everything better, right? 🙂
    and wait–happy birthday wishes are in order?

  12. Beth says:

    I haven’t had a float in years

  13. Heidi says:

    This looks so good! I love fresh pineapple.

  14. camille says:

    YUM! I can’t wait to try it! I have never heard of such a thing, but anything pineapple works for me! I’ll make one for your birthday too. 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  15. Meghan says:

    I’ve never heard of it either! It looks so refreshing and delicious!

  16. Leslie says:

    nope…I have never heard of a pineapple float either! looks delish!

  17. RMCarter says:

    You need to go to the Dole Pineapple Hut in Disneyland, right outside the Tiki Room. They have the most delicious pineapple sorbet and they float it in 100% fresh pineapple juice. It’s like heaven!

    I think I may try this!

  18. Siggy Spice says:

    I have never heard of them either! Looks completely scrumptious! Costco has been selling canned Dole Golden Pineapple chunks in 100% juice and it is FABULOUS…better in fact than the last couoke fresh pineapples I have bought. Do you think you could use that instead of fresh? Thanks for sharing!!

  19. Kelly says:

    OH yummy!!! This sounds so good. I hope you have some birthday cake to go along with it. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

  20. jaesi says:

    Sounds interestingly yummy.
    I too only know of snow and ice.
    And Im sick of it.

  21. SnoWhite {Finding Joy in My Kitchen} says:

    that looks yummy and overly tropical… just what a girl desires here in the snowy mid-west!

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