According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the origin of the term sundae is obscure, however, it is generally accepted that the spelling "sundae" derives from the word Sunday or, according to one source, from the German name Sonntag, which means Sunday.
Among the many stories about the invention of the sundae, a frequent theme is that the dish arose in contravention to so-called blue laws against Sunday consumption of either ice cream or ice cream soda (the latter invented by Robert M. Green in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1874. The religious laws are said to have led druggists to produce a substitute for these popular treats for consumption on Sunday. According to this theory of the name's origin, the spelling was changed to sundae to avoid offending religious conventions.
In support of this idea, Peter Bird wrote in The First Food Empire: A History of J. Lyons and Co. (2000) that the name 'sundae' was adopted as a result of
Other origin stories for the sundae focus on the novelty or inventiveness of the treat or the name of the originator, and make no mention of legal pressures.
Classic ice cream sundae
The original sundae consists of vanilla ice cream topped with a flavored sauce or syrup, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry. Classic sundaes are typically named after the flavored syrup employed in the recipe: cherry sundae, chocolate sundae, strawberry sundae, raspberry sundae, etc. The classic sundae is traditionally served in a tulip-shaped, footed glass vase. Due to the long association between the shape of the glass and the dessert, this style of serving dish is generally now known as a sundae glass.
The classic hot fudge sundae is a variation on the classic and is often a creation of vanilla ice cream, sprinkles, hot chocolate sauce (hence the "hot fudge"), whipped cream, nuts, and a single bright-red maraschino cherry on top. A hot fudge sundae can be made with any flavor of ice cream.
The double fudge sundae is like a regular hot fudge sundae, except that it is two times bigger and served in a glass banana split dish or boat. It is made from the same ingredients a regular hot fudge sundae, including whipped cream, optional nuts or sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry on top.
This is a variation of the hot fudge sundae in which heated caramel sauce replaces the heated chocolate sauce. The other ingredients remain unchanged.
The popular combination of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and hot caramel sauces, and toasted pecans is known as a turtle sundae. The name derives from a popular candy called a turtle, which consists of pecans covered with caramel and then dipped in chocolate.
Occasionally other stiff-textured sweet sauces replace the hot chocolate sauce of the classic hot fudge sundae. These novelty sundaes include the peanut butter sundae, the Nutella sundae, the hotmaple syrup sundae, and so forth.
This sundae features a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a scoop of chocolate ice cream with creamy white marshmallow topping.
This is a rich sundae made with brownies, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, peanuts, hot fudge, and whipped cream, often topped with maraschino cherry. If a blondie replaces the brownie, then caramel sauce is used as a topping instead of chocolate sauce.
Main article: Banana split
This dessert consists of three sundaes in one, side by side between two halves of a banana, sliced lengthwise. The classic banana split consists of strawberry ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream topped with crushed pineapple, and vanilla ice cream topped with strawberry syrup. Each scoop is individually garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. (Wiki)