What is Carl’s Frozen Custard?

Image Source: https://visitfred.com/restaurant/carls-frozen-custard/

Image Source: https://visitfred.com/restaurant/carls-frozen-custard/

Kaitlynn Zacher, Junior Staff Writer

Spring time; warm weather. What special treat does that call for? ICE CREAM!

No one can ever be too old for something so rewarding and refreshing. Over this past weekend, February 21st through February 23rd, I went to downtown Fredericksburg and visited an ice cream place called Carl’s. It’s not just any old ice cream though, it’s frozen custard. It’s amazing how something so close to my dad’s house, and some place I have been a thousand times is actually like, really famous, and nationally is recognized for having the best frozen custard.

So, Carls’ is located in Fredericksburg VA, and it has been providing soft-serve custard since 1947. And, interestingly, it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The architecture of the building is that of a 40’s-50’s themed diner, nothing special, but the ice cream machines used on a daily basis are electro freeze machines used to produce ice cream from the 1940’s era.

The man that founded the place, Carl Sponseller, retired and handed the ice cream business to his brothers, and then it was passed to other family members, so the curbside ice cream stand can be kept within the Sponseller family, and therefore kept how Carl would’ve wanted it. 

Custard is different from ice cream, because it contains eggs, and it only comes in three flavors-the traditional ones; chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Using the egg base instead of a cream base/milk accounts for the thicker texture and consistency that custard has, as compared to orthodox ice cream.

Like most ice cream/frozen dessert places, Carl’s is seasonal, but when it opens, it is extremely busy, and the line tends to wrap around the building, especially in the summer when school is out, even when there is bad weather. People can’t wait to treat themselves to something so delicious!

Being a customer of this business for over 17 years, I would recommend it. Downtown Fredericksburg is not only a fun place to visit, it’s a historic place here in the United States, and it’s definitely worth a day trip down there with your family to see some pretty architecture, learn some about our country’s history in a natural context, and do some shopping, exploring, and time outside!