THE HISTORY OF THE POPSICLE & THE CREAMSICLE
In 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson mixed together a fruit drink (believed to be orange-flavored) from powder and water and inadvertently left it on the porch. It was an unseasonably cold night in the San Francisco suburbs, and when Frank found his drink the next morning, it was frozen. He eased it out of the glass and, holding it by the stirrer, ate it.
While Frank may have enjoyed his frozen fruit drink over the years, the public story doesn’t continue until 1923. A 29-year-old husband and father working in the real estate industry, Frank made what he called Epsicles for a fireman’s ball. They were a sensation, and Frank obtained a patent for “a handled, frozen confection or ice lollipop.’” His kids called the treat a Popsicle, after their Pop. So Frank created Popsicle Corporation and collaborated with the Loew Movie Company for the nationwide marketing and sales of the product in movie theaters.
By 1928, Epperson had earned royalties on more than 60 million Popsicles.* But his happy days ended with the Great Depression. In 1929, flat broke, Frank had to liquidate his assets and sold the patent to, and his rights in, the Popsicle Corporation.
Following three more corporate sales over the years, Popsicle® and Creamsicle® are now part of Unilever’s Good Humor Division.
While the record isn’t clear, Frank may also have invented the twin Popsicle, with two sticks so it could be shared by two children. Over the years, the Popsicle Corporation continued to create frozen treats on a stick: the Fudgsicle (a chocolate-flavored pop with a texture somewhat similar to ice cream), the Creamsicle (vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet) and the Dreamsicle (a Creamsicle filled with ice milk instead of ice cream).
NATIONAL CREAMSICLE DAY
August 14th is National Creamsicle Day*. You don’t need to buy a Creamsicle to celebrate: Have a scoop of vanilla ice cream with one of orange sherbet.
You can also make vanilla cupcakes with orange frosting or top vanilla ice cream with orange liqueur.
Or, enjoy this recipe for Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake:
RECIPE: CREAMSICLE® ICE CREAM CAKE
1. SOFTEN the ice cream at room temperature until it is just spreadable.
2. SLICE the pound cake with a serrated bread, into three even layers. Press into a springform pan, trimming as necessary.
The Creamsicle: a vanilla ice cream pop coated with orange sherbet (photo courtesy Unilever).  Creamsicle ice cream cake with a layer of marmalade (photo courtesy Life Loves Sugar).  Creamsicle cake with ladyfingers instead of a cake layer (photo courtesy Cook’s Country).
3. COVER the cake layer with orange marmalade. Place in the freezer until the marmalade hardens slightly. Then cover it with vanilla ice cream, using a spatula. If not using the marmalade, simply top the cake with the ice cream.
4. Place the middle layer atop the bottom layer, then top the middle layer with the top layer.
5. Cover in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to slice and serve. Garnish sliced pieces with a sprinkle of fresh orange zest.
Thank you, Frank Epperson.
Using a graham cracker pie crust, you can make an ice cream pie instead of an ice cream cake.
There are other ways to celebrate: Creamsicle-flavored cakes, cookies, cupcakes, cocktails, fudge and martinis. Here are more Creamsicle-inspired recipes. (While the word “Creamsicle” has become generic, like Kleenex, the trademark is the property of Unilever.)