Even though Illinois can’t seem to figure out if it’s winter or spring, one thing is clear: It’s ice cream season. Though Champaign-Urbana has its fair share of cold dessert options, nothing feels quite like home as Jarling’s Custard Cup — and Jarling’s is more than just scoops. As you prepare for this glorious time of year, let’s move beyond the cone and sample some of their tastiest concoctions.
Lemon Chiffon Pie Snowstorm
Winter is for baked pie, but in the summer, it’s time to live a little and eat it in a new form. Honestly, with all of the options Jarling’s offer, this wouldn’t make it to the top of my list. But don’t think like me. Recommended by a friend, this sweet, fruity treat is delightful. The mix of lemon ice cream with marshmallow topping and vanilla wafer cookies is heavenly. The worst thing about the lemon chiffon pie is how light it is. Like a slice of your favorite holiday pie, this snowstorm seems to be gone in just a few bites.
If you want to impress your friends, and your stomach, this is the perfect order. So much vanilla custard, ribbons of hot fudge, and ooey-gooey caramel, a generous helping of peanuts, topped with a fun-sized Snickers bar. This is a dessert within a dessert! The rich flavors mixed with the salty protein make this a meal within itself. Come hungry if you’re going to order this one. It will not disappoint.
Step away from the boring milkshakes and malts (okay, milkshakes and malts are still a-mazing), and order an old-fashioned soda. The carbonation from the soda elevates your whole experience, and it elevates the flavor profile of whichever kind you select. Suddenly, your chocolate is more chocolaty, your strawberry more strawberry-y. The fizziness is just right, enough to remind you that you ordered the right thing, but not overwhelming or distracting. I do recommend drinking it slowly, otherwise it will be gone too quickly.
Oreo Snowstorm with Malt
I know, I know — oreo and ice cream is a classic. But we love our classic orders. They make us happy and excited to go back. In my past, I spent summers working at an ice cream shop. Something I discovered, and highly recommended, is adding malt to your favorite ice cream/custard blend. A simple addition, but a game-changer. The differences are subtle, but the malt adds a satisfying “oomph.”
Teddy Graham Sundae
This entry is for the dog-lovers and parents reading. If you’ve got a little one, this cute treat is the perfect size. You get a scoop of vanilla custard with six teddy grahams and a cherry on top. If you are letting your doggo enjoy a treat on a hot, summer day, an added bonus for you is the chocolate teddy grahams (do not let your dog eat chocolate!). Kids will like the ice cream and cookie aspect to this dish. This sundae has the nostalgia of teddy grahams and frosting, but in Jarling’s wonderful way.
Jarling’s Custard Cup
309 W Kirby Ave
Su-Th noon to 10 p.m.
F + Sa noon to 11 p.m.
Photos by Jordan Goebig