Sundaes are one of the most popular ice cream treats in America. The decadent dessert is served in a bowl with sauce or syrup and topped with candy, fruit, nuts, and whipped cream. Popular varieties include chocolate fudge, caramel, butterscotch, and strawberry with a cherry on top. Here’s how ice cream sundaes became a part of America’s sweet treat culture.
Origins of Ice Cream Sundaes
There are a handful of theories about the origins of the ice cream sundae. Some historians believe it resulted from the “Blue Laws” which prohibited the sale of soda water on Sundays. So, local soda fountains responded by making the treat using only syrup and ice cream. The name was changed to ice cream sundae.
Two Rivers, Wisconsin and Ithaca, New York have had an ongoing “Sundae War” that has lasted for decades. Both cities lay claim to the origin of the ice cream sundae. The town of Evanston, Illinois declares the name is from there. By the early 1900’s, the sundae was a regular weekend treat at soda fountains.
The largest ice cream sundae was made in Canada in 1988, weighing close to 55,000 pounds.
Best Ice Cream Sundaes in America
Here are some tried-and-true sundaes that continue to be a hit in America.
Hot Fudge Brownie. In this fan favorite, a warm brownie is topped with hot fudge, ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry.
Turtle Sundae. Vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, salted caramel sauce, and pecan pieces are highlighted in this recipe. Put a cherry on top.
Banana Split. This sundae is a classic favorite featuring vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream on top of a banana. The treat is topped off with chocolate syrup, crushed pineapple, strawberry sauce, peanuts or walnuts, and a cherry.
Caramel. Turn one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream into a decadent dessert by adding rich caramel sauce on top. Add chopped nuts, sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry, and eat up!
Chocolate. Chocolate ice cream topped with hot fudge sauce can satisfy a sweet tooth. For more fun, add whipped cream, chopped nuts, and chocolate wafers.
Unique Ice Cream Sundaes
Make an ice cream sundae with a twist by trying one of these recipes.
Caramel Bowl Sundae. Melt some caramel in a pan for 3-5 minutes. Pour it into a greased bowl and refrigerate for one hour. Remove the hard caramel shell and fill it with ice cream, crushed nuts, and caramel sauce.
Cinnamon Roll. Shape store-bought cinnamon roll dough over the bottom of a muffin tin. Cook the dough and fill each cinnamon roll bowl with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles.
Strawberry Shortcake. This sundae features vanilla or chocolate ice cream with fresh strawberries on top. Finish by adding pieces of spongy shortcake.
The Ice Cream Industry
There’s no doubt ice cream is going to be around for a very long time. According to the IDFA (International Dairy Foods Association), U.S. ice cream makers churned out nearly 1.4 billion gallons of ice cream in 2022. The average American eats around four gallons of ice cream annually.
Craving Something Sweet?
If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, or need help with your party planning needs, Norwood ice cream can help. We are a small ice cream shop located in Eldersburg, Maryland. Each unique ice cream flavor is handcrafted in small batches right in our store. We cater weddings, parties, special celebrations, corporate events, and more. Drop by for a visit or call us at 410-875-7238 for more information.