Ice Cream Sundaes: A Treat for Birthdays and Beyond

6 years ago

Today's my birthday, and as it approaches every year, I spend a surprising amount of time deciding how best to celebrate it. (OK, to be fair, those who have been my friends for years would not be surprised at the amount of time I spend...not in the least...) My celebrations always involve food, and since I became of age, most certainly involve drink, but because I am a summer birthday girl, they also often, somehow, involve ice cream. And when I was a kid celebrating my birthday, that ice cream arrived, most often, in the form of a sundae.

While I realize there are plenty of people who like ice cream cake, I am not ever going to be one of them. I like cake, and I like ice cream, and to me, the two of them together as a holistic item is, well, unholy. The cake gets hard and cold, the ice cream is inevitably also too hard and wierdly shaped like cake slices, and the icing on top...well, see that whole cold and hard bit again.

But ice cream sundaes? That maybe involve a cake-like product (see: brownies)? Those scream birthday to me. One of my little kid birthday traditions was a trip to Farrell’s, a chain that has long since disappeared from the East Coast, where, if you told the server it was your birthday, they delivered a free sundae at the end of the meal, served up as an ear-piercing siren wailed and a bell clanged in celebration. The noise? It KILLED and thrilled me all at the same time. My brain wanted it to stop immediately, but my inner birthday girl clamored for more.


A psychiatrist would probably have a field day with the previous sentence.

Anyway, once the noise went away and the sundae was delivered, I’d settle in with a big spoon and get to work. Though my Mom was unable to find the photo for me, there is, somewhere in my parents’ house, a photo of me holding my long-handled spoon and sitting behind one of those sundaes. I was wearing a paper birthday hat and sunglasses about three sizes too large for my face, because glamour, on a birthday, is important.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ll admit—it’s rare that I sit down to a sundae. But they remain a delicious symbol for me of decadence and celebration, whether it’s actually my birthday or not.


If you’re looking for some new sundae ideas to try, try one of these. They all caught my eye as I got into birthday mode:

  • I’m a huge fan of French cuisine, and this recipe for Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Ice Cream Sundae Profiteroles from French Revolution makes me say “Oui.”
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, but want to make a brownie sundae with homemade ice cream, this Brownie Ice Cream Sundae recipe from Fat Girl Trapped In A Skinny Body is here to ride to your rescue.
  • This Strawberry Coconut Sundae from Spoonful of Sugar Free can be made totally vegan and doesn’t require an ice cream maker for the strawberry-coconut ice cream base!
  • Here’s an adorable gluten-free Watermelon Sundae from Gluten Free Recipe Box.
  • Maple? Bacon? In a sundae? Yes, please. Check out this Maple Bacon Ice Cream Sundae from Fat Bottomed Friends.
  • Though it doesn’t include a recipe, I thought I’d end on the photo from Lisa Loves Holidays of the Ghirardelli Earthquake Sundae, which starts—STARTS—with eight scoops of ice cream. That’s definitely a celebration!

What's in your favorite sundae? Share your ideas (and links to recipes and blog posts, if you've got 'em!) in the comments below.

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She is also the Food Section Editor for BlogHer.

Image Credit for photo of kids at Farrell's: foqus on Flickr, used under a Creative commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

Image Credit for photo of sundae: stevendepolo on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.
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