Hot Fudge Sundae

(Today’s post is part of the BlogHer August challenge to write a post a day for the month using the prompt of “hot”.)

While I might find this hard to believe, there are some who claim that the ice cream sundae was originated in Evanston, IL.

I don’t know if you know it or not, but Evanston, IL, is the home to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. This is the group that pushed for prohibition and was concerned about the effects of alcohol on the family and society. The organization still exists today.  Frances Willard was the second president of the WCTU and was a Methodist lady who lived in Evanston. It has only been in the past 25 years that liquor sales have been allowed in Evanston and still today there are no bars or bowling alleys in town. (There are bars in restaurants but no standalone bars.)


Selection of toppings at my local grocery store. (I didn’t know if they let you take pictures of the shelves so I tried to do this very inconspicuously. )

And how does this bring us to the ice cream sundae? Well, as the story goes, the city of Evanston had a strong Methodist leaning. The Methodists in town convinced the town leaders that selling ice cream sodas on Sunday was a bad influence on the townsfolk.  So a law was passed banning the sale of ice cream sodas on Sunday.

People are people and those that owned soda fountains were there to serve people and make money. People like ice cream no matter what day it is and business people like to make money no matter what day it is so the forces joined and they found a way around the law. (Simply amazing, huh?) To keep the letter of the law, they could not use soda in the ice cream confection. So they put a little flavoring in the bottom of  a glass, added some ice cream, then put the flavoring over the top along with some whipped cream and a cherry and called it a Sunday soda. People liked it and started ordering it on days other than Sunday.

Amazingly, the church minded people did not like that the new item was named after the Sabbath. So, going back to the fact that people will do what people will do, they renamed it the ice cream sundae.

And that boys and girls is how the ice cream sundae was born.

As far as flavors, what could be better than hot fudge? Okay, maybe strawberry but not that runny, thin plain chocolate.


Step one is gather the ingredients. Okay, I knew that my friend would not eat whipped cream on her sundae so I didn’t buy any. There should be whipped cream also. (Some people aren’t much fun…)


Put a little of the hot fudge in the bottom of the bowl and then add ice cream, more hot fudge, and then some sprinkles. (So, my friend who doesn’t like whipped cream also doesn’t like sprinkles. No so sure about her…)


And there she is enjoying her hot fudge sundae. She did inform me afterwords that the only hot fudge worth eating is some kind from Detroit. (No whipped cream, no sprinkles, and hot fudge from Detroit? How does this friendship work?)


So, then we tried the Magic Shell Chocolate Fudge topping. (Your shake it well, pour it on and it hardens – like a dip cone) The vote was split. Miss Detroit Hot Fudge voted for Magic Shell over the regular hot fudge sundae. I voted that my stomach started to hurt.

Oh and just an odd fact for you about hot fudge.  There was a PBS TV show in Detroit by the name of Hot Fudge (1976-1980).  (My friend had not heard of it. It must not have been as good as the Detroit hot fudge.)

Thanks for reading!

About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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6 Responses to Hot Fudge Sundae

  1. Karen Heaton-Walsh says:

    That looks like an awesome job to have!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. I never knew the history behind the hot fudge sundae–thanks! Don’t forget the nuts and maraschino cherry on mine!

  3. Joan says:

    Thank you Evanston for the ice cream sundae. But we must give credit where credit is due. Thanks to the WTCU and their work with politicians who also favored prohibition, the 19th Amendment was ratified granting women the right to vote, the anniversry of which is today, August 26! Ice cream sundaes and voting rights. What more could a woman ask for?

  4. Veronica Roth says:

    Gosh, it’s been simply ages since I had a sundae of any kind! These summer days it’s usually frozen yogourt for me. 🙂 Although, there is a chocolate store in Vancouver called Purdys and they make the most delicious real vanilla ice cream cones dipped in hot chocolate and nuts…mmm

  5. Let’s not forget that Evanston is the birthplace of The Dude. I’m sure there will be a plaque at the corner of Hinman and Main someday. And I can say, as a Detroit girl, Sanders is THE best hot fudge. My Mom gives me a bunch to take home every time I visit.

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