It's one of the most sweltering days of summer, which means that National Ice Cream Day couldn't have come at a better time than now. At a time when the war on ice cream is being waged in our very own freezer aisles, today is about banding together and celebrating the frozen treat that can be enjoyed in any weather. In honor of today, we put together some over-the-top sundaes that you'll have a hard time believing are even real. Whether they inspire you to walk to the fridge and finish off that pint or hop in the car and drive hundreds of miles to get the real thing, take a look at these sumptuous, indulgent, bring-you-to-your-knees frozen masterpieces.
Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity 3 in NYC
Is it gauche to start an ice cream list with the most expensive one you can find? This $1,000 dessert holds a Guinness World Record for most expensive sundae. Only available by special order, Golden Opulence boasts an ingredient list of stuff you've never heard of like Tahitian vanilla ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla beans, Amedei Porcelana and Chuao chocolate, French candied fruit, caviar injected with Armagnac and passion fruit, and edible gold. Made from almost as much gold as actual food, digging your spoon into this indulgent treat is like taking a bite out of a French rococo parlor.
Fat Elvis Sundae at Churn in Phoenix
This hunk a hunk of frozen love from Arizona-based creamery Churn is an homage to the King of Rock 'n' Roll's favorite snack during his portly years: the godly fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. With peanut butter ice cream, salted caramel, bananas, whipped cream, and chocolate rocks, this sundae will have your shirt fitting tighter than one of Elvis's Vegas jumpsuits.
Kitchen Sink Sundae at Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor in Dania Beach, FL
When you order this sundae at Florida favorite Jaxson's, a siren goes off, not as a public shaming device, but a celebratory alarm, as well as a warning to clear the way for heavy plumbing equipment coming through. On the menu since at least 1962 with toppings like chocolate syrup, strawberries, whipped marshmallow, bananas, nuts, cherries and whipped cream, this sundae is actually pretty classic -- except that it's a gigantic treat only available to parties of four or more and comes out in a massive stainless steel sink-shaped dish.
IK Puff at Industry Kitchen in NYC
Since the dawn of time, one question has plagued a certain type of thinker: puff or ice cream? The visionaries at Industry Kitchen in NYC's South Street Seaport turned the question on its head with their IK Puff. This 2-pound French profiterole-inspired concoction artfully combines burnt sugar ice cream, toasted almonds, whipped cream and a drizzle of hot chocolate sauce on top of a delicious, flaky puff pastry.
Chilled Loop Churro Sundae at The Loop in Orange County, CA
Try saying this one five times fast. But please, don't try eating it five times fast. This churro sensation puts a curvaceous twist on the Mexican fritter, and sticks it in vanilla ice cream that you can top with the kind of stuff mom never let you put on your after-dinner scoop of vanilla, like Fruity Pebbles, cookie butter, Oreos and more.
The Vermonster at Ben & Jerry's in Waterbury, VT
Even as time-tested champions, Ben & Jerry's has a serious home game advantage with The Vermonster, their 20 scoop sundae that comes with up to 4 or 5 flavors in a giant bucket. No, that's not it. The thing is layered with bananas, cookies, a brownie, hot fudge, caramel, walnuts, whipped cream, and a couple spoonfuls of your four favorite toppings.
The King Kong at The Sugar Factory in Las Vegas, NV
If you're going to Sin City you shouldn't have to pick one vice over another. That's why The Sugar Factory offers all of them in this ornately engineered 24 scoop creation topped with caramel, hot fudge, strawberry sauce, sliced bananas, cookies, toasted marshmallows, crushed waffle cones, toasted walnuts, whipped cream, and a whole lot of assorted candy. The giant lollipops and popping sparklers sticking out are a flashy flourish worthy of Vegas.