How Creamsicles Became A Popular Ice Cream Treat

As kids, many of us cooled our tongues after a hot pool day by slurping up refreshing orange Creamsicles. Or, maybe you enjoyed them after dinner when you rushed outside to meet the familiar tune of the neighborhood ice cream truck. Either way, it's only natural that this nostalgic treat was invented by a child in the first place — an 11-year-old, to be exact. While Frank Epperson may not have dreamed up the exact Creamsicle that we know today in 1905, he did create the "Epsicle," which was the precursor to these orange treats, popsicles, and Dreamsicles.

As the story goes, Epperson left a wooden stick in a cup of soda outside on a cold northern California day. The next morning, he discovered that the soda in his cup had frozen, but he plucked it out using the stick and ate it like a popsicle. At first, Epperson just shared his discovery with enthusiastic neighborhood kids, but he later sold them on the West Coast. In 1923, he filed a patent for his Episicles, and they became the mother treat from which Creamsicles were later born.

Popsicles turned into a dreamy, creamy treat

So, how did we get from Epsicles to Creamsicles? The former eventually turned into popsicles, inspired by Epperson's children calling his treats "Pop's 'sicles." Less than a decade after he procured his patent, Joe Lowe Co. bought his popsicle company and expanded it with the creation of the Creamsicle in 1937. Although the name of the dessert is often used today to describe any orange and vanilla-flavored frozen treat, it's technically still a brand under the parent company Unilever (along with Ben & Jerry's and Hellmann's). While Popsicle and Good Humor got tangled in a lawsuit back in the day for copyright infringement, today you can buy branded Creamsicle bars from Good Humor as well, proof that these two have put aside their differences to team up instead.

Creamsicles were first introduced as vanilla ice cream on a stick with an orange sherbet coating. Today, you can still find that classic flavor, although it typically comes in a multi-pack with raspberry and blueberry bars. While you can still slurp on one as-is for a trip down memory lane, you can also use multiple to whip up a variety of delicious orange and vanilla recipes, such as Creamsicle-inspired icebox cake and no-bake dessert bars — perhaps to celebrate National Creamsicle Day, which falls on August 14 in the U.S.