June 21, 2013

Kick off summer with a vintage ice cream sundae party!

At long, long last, the day we all dreamed about during the bleakness of January, the muck and slush of late February, and the rain drenched weeks of April, has finally arrived. Summer, glorious, gorgeous summer officially started again today and with it comes the season of ice cream treats.

Whether you indulge almost every day or, like me, tend to keep your sweet treats to a minimum, there are few amongst us who do not enjoy partaking in a scrumptious frozen treat every now and then. Even if ice cream isn't your cup of tea, chances are you may like popsicles, frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, Italian ice, or any one of a myriad of different summertime desserts that need to live in the freezer.

I love ice cream through and through! Whether homemade or store bought, so long as it complies with my medically dictated dietary requirements, I'm the first one to turn to ice cream as my dessert of choice on those special days during the summer when I decide I'm going to eat a bit of sugar (a topic I chatted about in this post devoted to Dairy Queen Ice Cream last year).

It struck me recently, that it had been a good long while since the last time I put together a sundae bar (aka, covered the dining room table with various ice creams, toppings and sweet sauces) and that it was high time I remedy that (so now I'm thinking I'll do one for the upcoming Canada Day long weekend). To put me even more in the mood, I went searching for vintage ice cream sundae inspiration and unearthed the charming page of 1950s recipes below.

1950s vintage ice cream sundae recipes, sauces
{It's hard not to start licking your lips and reaching for the nearest parfait glass as you read this page of tasty vintage ice cream sundae recipes! Image source.}

What instantly caught my attention was the recipe for candy-stick ice cream, as it's both gluten and egg-free, which means I can enjoy it (yay!) without having to modify the recipe (most of the sauces are a-ok with me as well). I knew the moment I found it, that this was a vintage recipe page that was both going to be printed out for my own use and shared here with all of you.

There's really is a limitless number toppings, sauces and ice cream flavours that you can include in a sundae bar or simply use when making a sundae or two at home (sans communal ice cream social).

The numbers of guests, your budget, and personal taste will determine which sundae ingredients you opt for, but as a good jumping off point when it comes to possible selections, here are some of my personal faves (on top of the ones featured in today's recipe page), as well as others that are big hits with the ice cream sundae fans in my life.


-Butterscotch sauce
-Cherry Sauce
-Chocolate sauce
-Dulce de leche
-Fruit coulis of any type
-Hot fudge sauce
-Liqueurs and/or hot buttered rum sauce (for the grown-ups!)
-Maple syrup
-Melted candy bars
-Nutella (lightly thinned and heated up)
-Olive oil
-Peach or apricot sauce
-Peanut butter (again, ensure that no one present has a peanut allergy)
-Raisin sauce
-Raspberry sauce
-Sodas (pops) in case guests want to make ice cream floats
-Strawberry Sauce
-Turtle sauce (chocolate-caramel sauce with pecan pieces)
-Warmed and slightly thinned fruit jams/jellies/preserves
-Whipped cream
-White chocolate sauce


-Animal crackers (K-Kritters are a great gluten and egg-free version that are available in both regular and chocolate varieties)
-Apple sauce
-Assorted gummy/penny candies
-Breakfast cereals
-Cooked, crumbled candied bacon
-Candy coated sunflower seeds
-Candied citrus peel
-Candied rose petals
-Canned fruit pie fillings (blueberry, cherry, peach, etc)
-Chocolate covered raisins
-Cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice
-Coconut/toasted coconut
-Coffee/espresso beans
-Crumbled brownie/cake/cupcakes/doughnut pieces
-Crumbled pie crust
-Crumbled toffee and/or brittle
-Crushed candy bars
-Crushed cookies (amaretti, chocolate chip, gingersnap, graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, oatmeal, Oreos, pecan sandies, shortbread, spice, etc)
-Crushed meringues
-Crushed potato chips and/or pretzels
-Crystallized ginger
-Cubes of Jell-o
-Fresh fruits (assorted berries, figs, mandarin orange segments, pineapple chunks, sliced bananas, etc)
-Fresh herbs (basil, mint, and rosemary wonderful choices)
-Gourmet sea salts (I could happily eat vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate sauce and sea salt until the end of time)
-Lemon curd
-Malted milk balls
-Malted milk powder
-Maraschino cherries
-Nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, etc)
-Peanuts (ensure that no one present has a peanut allergy)
-Peppercorns (black, pink, white, etc)
-Pieces of chocolate (milk, dark, extra dark, sea salt, white, etc)
-Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
-Sautéed fruits (apples, peaches, pears, etc)
-Sprinkles (jimmies)
-Sugars (turbinado, vanilla infused, etc)
-Waffle cone pieces

In terms of the ice cream (or vegan options, such as coconut, rice or almond milk ice cream) itself, it's always a good idea to start with classic or French vanilla at the very least. Beyond that, banana, cherry or black cherry, chocolate, cookie dough or cookies and cream, hazelnut, lemon, mint, peach, peanut butter, raspberry ripple, and strawberry are all really nice choices that tend to partner well with an array of different toppings.

Ice cream sundae parties are not about small portions or counting calories. They're special, wonderful, and - quite literally - sweet events that bring out one's inner child and always seem to be a huge hit with crowds of all ages. The more people and sundae ingredient options, the better! Though of course, there's nothing wrong with a small scale - or even solo - sundae fete either, and indeed making sundaes with your beloved can be such a charming way to celebrate an important summer event or simply turn any ol' day into something really memorable.

As we begin the warmest season of the year, the prospect of months of sizzling sun and mercury boiling temperatures ahead of us, I hope that you'll all be able to indulge in at least one or two awesome frozen in the weeks to come, and that, no matter what, you all have a summer that is every bit as sweet and fantastic as an ice cream sundae itself!


  1. Great post Jessica! Yay!! Summer is finally here! I love ice cream as well, my favorite treat ever! Caiden started his new job this year working at a seasonal ice cream stand, it has been really tough not to get something everytime I drop him off there. =) I love the old recipes and these sound great! Banana sundae sauce sounds yummy! I really need to scan some of my old recipe pamphlets to flickr and share with everyone.

  2. This is a wonderful idea! Although summer officially starts today ... very windy weather we have now, which makes gargante pain and runny nose for me .... snif ... however, I hope very soon enjoy delicious ice cream .. Love them! Thanks for the recipes so delicious ... I'll try some of them ..

  3. Hooray for summer at last! Those recipes all sound so good. :) Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh boy my mouth is watering now, ice cream is my very favorite treat, I'd take ice cream over chocolate any day of the year including the chilliest days! The sauces you listed here are far beyond what I ever imagined. The nutella, that would be so good. It would be fun to do this sundae bar for someone's birthday celebration. Maybe someone should do it for my birthday, lol :)

    1. I'd happily do it for your birthday if we lived nearby, dear Ronda. I adore ice cream, too soooo much! I really don't eat sweets often (lol, don't let the number of vintage dessert recipes I post here fool you), but when I do, ice cream is often one of my first choices, too - year round, just like you said. I've even been known to drown some vanilla ice cream in hot cocoa during the winter. :)

      ♥ Jessica

  5. Oh how I love ice cream. Can you believe the irony whilst pregnant with my second child I developed a severe lactose intolerant problem!! So horrible!

    1. Oh no, honey, I'm very sorry to hear that, I'm sure that must have been very frustrating and unpleasant. Do the stores in your area carry much in the way of dairy-free ice cream alternatives (rice, almond, soy, coconut, etc)? I have a few really good vegan ice cream recipe links that I've saved over the years. If you're ever interested, just let me know and I'd be happy to share them with you.

      ♥ Jessica

  6. YUM! I've been insanely busy planning a surprise 40th anniversary party for my parents; but I think I'm going to have to take an ice cream break today!
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn

  7. Its one of my daughters food groups-I kid you not heheh I love the spread and the inspiration to have an ice cream party! I hope you do get to do it-how lovely and yummy too!! Happy Friday sweet friend! xox

  8. On Tuesday night I actually had a dessert that's called forget-me-not.
    It's kind of like a sunday that is very popular and was originally offered in a diner that has been around since the 40's.
    The bottom of the sunday cup is filled with chocolate syrup followed by the most amazing cake. On top two ice cream scoops (your choice!) them more syrup or marshmallow or caramel (your choice again!) and them more cake with home made whipped cream sprinkled with nuts and a strawberry on top.

    1. Oh my word, that sounds jaw-droppingly incredible! What a perfect name for a dessert that really does sound impossible to forget. One day I might have to go all out, through caution (and thoughts of calories ;) ) to the wind and try replicating it at home myself. Yum-yum!!! :)

      ♥ Jessica

  9. I love ice cream and I particularly love anything vintagey with ice cream, Im particularly fond of ice cream sodas and old school sundaes. Your post has me drooling thanks


  10. Oh how yummy!!! Don't you just adore the colours used in these old recipes? They make everything look so glorious!!! :D

    1. I completely adore the colours used in old recipes and ads - they evoke such an instant sense of the era and make me yearn to hop in a time machine and live in the 40s/50s all the more! :)

      Thank you very much for both of your wonderful comments yesterday, sweet gal - I really hope you have a fabulous weekend!

      ♥ Jessica

  11. I looooooove ice cream even in winter. Gives me an excuse to eat ice cream in bed! ;)

  12. yummie.

    thanks for your comment.
    the term 'vintage' seems to be used quite differently.
    'vintage' to me has the meaning coming from french: 'vingt ans'. pieces that are older than 20 years are called vintage. some years ago i also read an article in german vogue about the term 'vintage' and it said almost the same. sadly i can't find it anymore ...
    so my wedding dress is 'super vintage' being over 60 years old. :)

    1. Hi sweet gal, you're very welcome (thank you in turn for yours). I think that the word vintage has a slightly different definition of the time frame it encompasses with almost everyone. I personally wish it would be used squarely for things from 1920-1960 (maybe 1965 at the latest), but I know that this isn't going to happen anytime soon amongst the general public, as it becomes more and more common for pieces that are barely a few years old to be called vintage (by some people - clothing sellers very much included - these days), so the likelihood that it will ever apply just to mid-century pieces is pretty much gone at this point.

      I adore that your wedding dress is "super vintage", and am sure that you will look stunning beautiful in it on your special day.

      ♥ Jessica

  13. I love all these sundae recipes, especially the Chocolate-Velvet Sauce! I'm definitely stealing that one-yummy! Thanks for the desserty inspiration. xx Shauna

  14. I admire how you focus on the good things in life. That's harder than it sounds. Many people are so affected by our culture that they focus on either irrelevancies (like celebrities) or bad things (like whatever misery is in front of them). Being positive is a CHOICE and you make it. Kudos!

    1. Excellently, wisely said, Ally, thank you deeply. Life is not always sunshine and lollipops all the time by any means, but I believe firmly in trying to find (and create) the positive in each day, and it means the world to me that you've picked up on that through my posts.

      ♥ Jessica

  15. I love icecream - although I've been lactose intolerant for the last 3 years so I am limited to glacier lactose free/gluten free incecream in vanilla. I like to mix it up with sauce and sprinkles!

  16. Oh fun! Ice cream parties here we come! This is the great thing about ice cream there are some gluten free choices:) How fabulous to find a vintage recipe. I hope you show us a picture of your creation you make:)

  17. Ohmyword, yes, please!! All of these ice cream sunday's sound scrumptious!! I really love strawberry with a chocolate topping if I'm wanting to indulge. It reminds me of chocolate covered strawberries. YUM!!

  18. Just had vanilla ice cream with fresh boysenberries yesterday! Nothing hits the spot quite like ice cream when it comes to desserts, yum!

  19. OH you've just made me so hungry!!! YUM

  20. Now I must go search out some ice cream! I try not to keep it around because I become addicted to it. lol

  21. Mmmmm... now I want ice cream... and lots of it! And an ice cream party with all the trimmings sounds like a blast!!!

  22. Such a great post! Makes me want ice cream!

  23. Mmmmm, I'm getting so hungry just reading this.
    My boyfriend made something very similar to the candy stick ice cream for Christmas last year. (I'm from Australia, so it's hot enough for frozen treats in December). It was incredible.

  24. Dear Jessica, what lovely thought this conjures up for me! Lovely friends and flavors to share with fabulous ice cream and my favorite fruits and fruit flavors. You certainly know how to kick start the imagination and get us ready for summer fabulousness (is that a word?). Gentle hugs and wishes that you feeling well, Beverly

  25. Mmmmm ice cream! Can I come?

  26. That sounds yummy! What a fun summer party idea, I definitely wouldn't say no to that. I hope you had a fabulous weekend, dear Jessica! Happy Vintage Monday! :)

  27. Ice cream is a favorite - wrapped up with so many good memories of my father.

  28. Dear Jessica, I've never thought about an ice cream party before. But as you described it, it's something I want to be invited to as quick as possible. Especially the mention of the variety of sauces stimulated my appetite so that I looked for a recipe for butterscotch sauce which I never had before - it's uncommon here in Germany. Butterscotch sauce sounded to my ears like something very sweet and seductive from America or England. It turned out that it's easy to make and I had all the ingredients at home. So I started at once.
    And 10 minutes later: Tadaa! My complete kitchen smells as sweet as can be from this delicate sauce and I've been addicted to that great sauce from the very first moment I tried a spoonful. The better that you can store it in the fridge for some weeks. So thank you for the inspiration, Jessica. If I could I would send you a jar of this yummy treat. But maybe you have butterscotch sauce very often in Canada.

    1. My sweet friend, I'm very happy to know that I could help introduce you to a new delicious dessert topping/ingredient and that you loved your first batch (I'm sure if was super yummy!). Butterscotch has just as many uses as caramel, and goes so well with everything from brownies to baked apples to the ice cream mentioned here.

      Butterscotch is relatively common here, but I'd say that caramel is a bit more popular. I love both equally and make them each at least a few times a year.

      Big hugs - happy eating! :)
      ♥ Jessica

  29. Great minds think alike ;) Two years ago I gave a party for my daughter and her classmates to celebrate the end of the school year/start of the summer holidays, with just this theme. It was probably the most successful children's parties I have ever given!!

  30. As I read this it is damn cold and the rain is pouring down here in Denmark. Ough! :( But I LOVE ice cream and DH and I drive a tour in my vintage car and enjoy one now and then. :)