National Sundae Day

National Sundae Day - Monday, November 11, 2024

Food & Beverage Food

What is National Sundae Day?

National Sundae Day falls on November 11. Sweet! Desserts don’t get much more decadent than marshmallow, chocolate, or strawberry sundaes so let’s enjoy every minute of this day. You can visit a fun local ice cream shop or simply whip one up at home. It’s a treat either way. Of course anything ice cream-related seems to brighten things up, but this one’s especially enjoyable.

History of National Sundae Day

Just who invented the ice cream sundae? Good question. Many claim credit. Here’s a quick glance at a trio of theories ranked from earliest to most recent.:
1. Sundaes first appeared around 1881 in the town of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, when a man named George Hallauer asked his friend Edward C. Berner, the owner of a soda fountain, topped a dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce modeled after ice cream sodas. The magnificent creation only cost a nickel and skyrocketed in popularity, but was sold only on Sundays. 
2. A Plainfield, Illinois, druggist named Mr. Sonntag created the dish in 1890 after customers requested something different. He named it the “sonntag” after himself, and since Sonntag means Sunday in German, the name was translated to Sunday, and later was spelled sundae. 
3. John M. Scott, a minister, and Chester Platt, co-owner of a pharmacy, created the first sundae on April 3, 1892 (a Sunday), in Ithaca, New York,  Platt covered dishes of ice cream with cherry syrup and candied cherries. The men named the dish “Cherry Sunday.”. Historians found a newspaper ad for a “Cherry Sunday” placed in the Ithaca Daily Journal three days later. By May 1892, the Platt & Colt soda fountain also served “Strawberry Sundays,” and later, “Chocolate Sundays”.
Either way, 130 years later, they’re quite a treat!

National Sundae Day timeline



Move over “31 flavors.” Here comes “24 scoops.” New York City’s Sugar Factory restaurant, in honor of National Dessert Day, creates a massive sundae known as the Candy Kong. The sundae includes two dozen scoops of ice cream, party sparklers, and a whole glazed donut.


Tale of two (sundae) cities

How’s this for a heated battle over ice cream? The Two Rivers City Council enacts the “Resolution Formally Challenging the City of Ithaca, New York’s Claim to be “Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae.” Among other things, this resolution (humorously) states that “the city of Ithaca is hereby directed to cease and desist from its continued claims of being ‘Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae,’ lest the City of Two Rivers be forced to take further action to set the historical record straight.” Cute.


“Tin Roof” sundae

This version features a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a scoop of chocolate ice cream with marshmallow sauce, topped with peanuts. Harold Dean “Pinky” Thayer, the son of a pharmacist, creates this delicacy at the Potter Drug Co. in Potter, Nebraska. Not surprisingly, competing theories exist as to how the name “tin roof” came along.


That’s hot!

Clarence Clifton Brown, owner of C.C. Brown’s Ice Cream Shop in Los Angeles, tops his sundae with hot chocolate sauce. Hence, the hot fudge sundae. Clifton made his own fudge in copper kettles that were originally brought to the city by covered wagon. His family kept the fudge recipe a closely guarded secret.  

National Sundae Day FAQs

Is today National Sundae Day?

Why, yes it is. See above on ways to make the most of one of the calendar’s sweetest days.

Does Dairy Queen have hot fudge sundaes?

Yes, DQ has you covered. Try the Midnight Fudge Sundae — topped with rich cocoa fudge — for extra decadence. 

Is there a National Son Day?

Yes. And it’s the perfect day to treat your son to a sundae. National Sons Day takes place on September 28.

National Sundae Day Activities

  1. Host your own sundae bar

    Sundaes are a dessert party in a bowl, so what better way to celebrate this sweet holiday than to host your own sundae bar with some friends? Time for an ice cream social hour.

  2. Make your own hot fudge sauce

    Making homemade hot fudge sauce is so simple, so good, and so chocolatey that you will never want to go back to the store-bought squirt-out-of-the-bottle kind again. Search online for a recipe — most use fairly simple ingredients like heavy cream, cocoa powder, vanilla, chocolate, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Store it in your fridge and you can drizzle this chocolate concoction for months on end.

  3. Make it boozy

    Time to make an adult version of this childhood favorite. For a simple but very grown-up dessert, pour a tablespoon of coffee-flavored liqueur over a coffee ice cream sundae, or some crème de menthe over a mint chocolate chip sundae. You'll be drunk in love with sundaes all over again.

Why We Love National Sundae Day

  1. They're easy to make

    For sundaes, it's the building and layering, not the cooking, that counts. These sweet treats require minimal effort with delectable reward: you just need your favorite ice cream, your favorite toppings, a bowl, and an ice cream scooper.

  2. It's all about toppings

    When it comes to mixing and matching toppings for these ice cream concoctions, the sky's the limit. Try crumbled cookies, candy bar chunks, nuts, granola, and shredded coconut.

  3. They're great for any occasion

    Sundaes are the perfect dessert to dress up a date night, sweeten an outdoor barbecue, or liven up a birthday. Dress up your next occasion by dressing in your "sundae" best.

Also on Mon Nov 11, 2024...

Singles Day
Nov 11
Pocky Day
Nov 11
Sundae Day
Nov 11
Origami Day
Nov 11
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