Make Your Own Buster Bars

Shares 128

Buster Bar copy cat recipe

When I was little, my Dad sometimes would drive down to the Dairy Queen on 9th street and come back with a bag of Buster Bars and Dilly Bars for us to eat on the front porch.  There still isn’t a better way to enjoy a summer evening.

I haven’t been to Dairy Queen in years (something that needs to change soon, I think).  The other day I was telling my kids about eating those Buster Bars on the front porch.  Mid-story, I gasped.  My eyes lit up as an idea popped into my mind.  My youngest son said, “I love it when she gets that look.  It means she’s about to make something really good!”  He knows me well.

The first thing I needed to figure out was how to do the chocolate dipping.  I thought about using Magic Shell, but there isn’t much in one of those bottles.  Finally, I landed on Bakerella’s Hi Hat Cupcakes.  She dips the tops of these beautiful cupcakes into chocolate and has a great tutorial for doing it.

I wondered if I could pull this off with ice cream.  Yes and no.  Her technique did work.  But I’m no Bakerella.  Mine were not nearly as pretty as her cupcakes.  The other thing I discovered is that if you want to dip them so that the chocolate is smooth, you’ll need to use at least twice as much chocolate.  Each time you dip, the chocolate level drops.  Eventually, there won’t be enough chocolate to cover the ice cream bar.

I didn’t want to use that much chocolate.  I dipped the first one.  Made a mess of the second one.  Then just spooned and spread chocolate on the rest, which worked fine.  It just didn’t look as pretty.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Buster Bars:

  • 8 plastic cups
  • 8 popsicle sticks
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 jar hot fudge topping
  • nut topping (1/4 cup?) or whole Spanish peanuts like a real Buster Bar has
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil

Line up the plastic cups.  Dip 1″ or 1 1/2″ of ice cream into the bottom of each cup.  Tamp it down smooth with the end of the ice cream scoop.  Add a dollop of hot fudge on top of the ice cream.  Sprinkle with nut topping or peanuts.  Scoop more ice cream over the fudge and peanuts, tamping it smooth with the ice cream scoop.  Poke a stick in the center of each.  Freeze for several hours.

Pour chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds.  Stir and give it another 30 seconds.  Continue till melted.  Allow it to cool a few minutes.

To remove the ice cream bars from the cups, give them a gentle squeeze.  If they don’t release easily, run them under cool water for a few seconds.  This should release them from the cups easily.

Dip the bars (a large yogurt container works well for this) or spread chocolate onto the ice cream bars.  Place finished bars on waxed paper covered cookie sheet and put them back in the freezer.

Here’s a photo of the assembly process.  *Important note: The cups will not be full.  You will use the whole container of ice cream, but cups will only be about 1/2 full.*

I don’t have a picture of the chocolate dipping process.  Below you can see all the bars lined up on a pan.  The smooth one in the middle is the one that I dipped.

Buster Bar copy cat recipe

While I was making these, I wondered if they would just taste like ice cream in a bowl with hot fudge and peanuts.  But something happens when you put it all together on a stick and cover it with chocolate.  The taste is much more than the sum of its parts.

I’m showing these off at Tidy Mom’s I’m Lovin It party.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Marcy S says:

    I love buster bars!! I used to work at a DQ that made buster bars from scratch all the time instead of getting the boxed kind that every DQ around me now sells… OMG the homemade ones are so much better than the boxed kind!

    • Pam Steinacher says:

      The ones when I was a kid had two layers of hot fudge in them. Now they just have one little dollop. I like the old ones better.

  2. Those sound and look so good!

  3. When I was in high school I worked at a Dairy Queen. It was in a resort community and summers were very busy at the Dairy Queen. I made lots and lots and lots of dilly bars, but I don’t remember making buster bars. I wonder where those names came from? The chocolate they used was a very thin consistency and was kept in a warmer. It was the same stuff that they dip cones in. Today all those treats come from a factory somewhere.

  4. Oh, how I loive Dairy Queen! And I am loving this idea. How fun to do with my kids this summer. Thanks for sharing the idea and all the tips.


  5. What a great idea! I haven’t had DQ in ages either — with a nut allergy they are off limits. I love the ability to make this recipe at home. Now, I just need a special occasion to do so 🙂

    • If you have nut allergies don’t use nuts for you. Skip the nuts or try M&Ms as a substitute. Good Luck! I’m thinking I will make a few so my mom could have her favorite dessert. Also so I can try it!

  6. I also worked at DQ in high school & college. We used small paper dixie cups to freeze them in. Also we put peanuts in the bottom of the cup so they didn’t stick to the sheet pan when you took them out of the cup and re-froze prior to dipping. As Sandy said, the chocolate coating is pretty thin – it actually contains parafin wax. If this coating is too thickn, could try adding a small amount (available in the canning section of the store).

  7. Great idea and thanks for sharing!!!! Love your blog!

  8. Wow Tiffany, those look really good! Great job! And oh, ummmmm, I guess I’m gonna have to get you back to this town where there’s a Dairy Queen right down the street….too much temptation that lurks there 🙂

  9. I just drooled over my keyboard! These look FANTASTIC!!! And thanks for the sweet comment on my blog about the Popsicle List! 🙂 Have a great week!


  10. YUUUUMMMM!! Wow, I haven’t had a buster bar in years. I think my family would love these for 4th of July treats. Thanks!

  11. What a great knock off! I’ve featured this post on Copy Cat Crafts today, you can view it here

    We’d love it if you’d like to display a featured button! You can grab your button on the right hand side of your post. Thanks!

  12. These look wonderful and I’m considering letting my nephew help me make these. Do you think that coating the inside of the cup with the chocolate first and letting it harden and then adding the ice cream and stuff would have much effect on the end result?

    • I wondered about doing that, but I don’t think the chocolate would “bond” with the ice cream. It might not come out together on the stick.

  13. Okay so it’s been a really long and cold winter here in Michigan….and it’s only January 1st. At seven months pregnant I’m going crazy for a buster bar! The dq’s here are only open seasonally. I’m so happy I found your website … Next step is making it to the grocery store. Thanksso much

  14. Anonymous says:

    Could you use magic shell (store bought or homemade)?

  15. My mom told me she worked at dairy queen too.

  16. Anonymous says:

    They look yummy, but the DQ ones have almost 500 calories! Yikes!

Speak Your Mind