Seeing the title of this post, your first question might be: why is there a tutorial on how to make fake ice cream in a history blog?

Well, it may surprise you to know that there is, in fact, a connection between the two! Faux food, despite its more common prevalence in toy stores, is also often displayed in museums as part of exhibitions, to portray different lifestyles from the past. Museums spend a lot of time carefully setting up exhibits to give visitors a window to what life could have been like in historical times, and faux food items are almost always present; in a kitchen or dining exhibit, for example. Logically, real food cannot be used in these exhibitions for various reasons, so fake food is seen as a suitable alternative, given its potential to look incredibly realistic.

One example is the display in the Vandenburg Drug Company exhibit at the Jordan House Museum. Pharmacies & drug stores often sold delicious ice cream treats, including Sundaes. This exhibit explains why “sundaes” is spelled this way, and has two delicious looking, but not edible, ice cream treats in the display case!

The recipe below for fake ice cream is only one of many fake food items. We encourage you to experiment with creating your own recipes for a wide variety of foods, in order to understand the importance of preserving history, while also embracing your artistic side!

✲ RECIPE ✲two faux ice cream sundaes
Materials needed:
2 mixing bowls (or other containers)
2 cups of cornstarch
¾ cup of hair conditioner (maybe more, add as needed)
Food coloring
Disposable gloves for mixing, or another mixing tool

Take two cups of cornstarch and pour it into one of your bowls. Set aside.
In the second bowl, add ¾ of a cup of hair conditioner.
Add and mix in food coloring with the conditioner to add color to your ice cream.
Mix the colored conditioner into your cornstarch.
Mix the contents with your hands or a mixing tool.

Keep adding conditioner into the mixture until you have your desired ice cream consistency.

Finished! To make it look even more realistic, you can scoop your “ice cream” with an ice cream scooper into a bowl or onto a cone.

For a visual representation on how to make this recipe, the information for the video in which this recipe was made is below:
“How To Make Fake Ice Cream.” YouTube, uploaded by Kay Mayhew, 4 April 2018,