A Michigander’s Kryptonite: Superman Ice Cream

By: Michael Fossbakk | July 15, 2020

Two scoops of Superman ice cream in a waffle cone at Clark's Ice Cream & Yogurt in Berkley. Photo courtesy of Clark's Ice Cream & Yogurt.

Superman ice cream. If you grew up in Michigan, you probably know this sweet treat all too well. But, do you really? Depending on who you ask and where they grew up, this colorful yet mysterious concoction came from several different parts of the Midwest. We’re inclined to agree with the theory that Superman ice cream came from Stroh’s, a business native to Detroit.

What exactly is Superman ice cream? People seem to agree on two things: the fact that it’s ice cream and the three colors it derives its namesake from (red, blue, and yellow — the primary colors of Superman’s costume). However, when asked to describe the flavor of Superman ice cream, that’s where things get a little murky. Some say it’s a combination of any of the following flavors: cherry, banana, vanilla, Blue Moon (another flavor of the Midwest and unrelated to the popular beer), raspberry, strawberry, cotton candy, and more.

Whatever it tastes like, people of all ages find it delicious. For kids, it’s the ultimate summer treat. For adults, it’s a scoop (or two) of colorful nostalgia in a cone.

As we find ourselves in the middle of a particularly hot summer in Metro Detroit, you might feel a craving for this frozen, tie-dye beauty. If you’ve been looking for a reason to bust out the mixing bowl, here’s a recipe for no-churn Superman ice cream you can follow. But, if you want a quick taste of the defacto superhero ice cream, you don’t need to look up, up, and away. Just look around Metro Detroit.

Clark’s Ice Cream & Yogurt

Located in Berkley, Clark’s Ice Cream features more than 40 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and sherbet. That includes the popular red, blue, and yellow treat. What’s great about Clark’s, though, is that you can take any flavor and make it a shake, malt, cooler, or float. Superman float, anyone?

Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlor of Bloomfield Hills

Bearing the name of the Detroit-native ice cream brand, Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlor of Bloomfield Hills also bears the dedication to quality ice cream for all of its guests. In order to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, they are currently limiting the amount of customers inside the parlor to a maximum of five, and everyone is required to wear a mask. Don’t let that stop you from leaping tall buildings in a single bound to get there!

Ray’s Ice Cream

This Royal Oak favorite was founded in 1958 by Raymond, Bernice, and Dale Stevens as an ice cream parlor and soda fountain. The business has remained in the Stevens family, now run by third generation Tom Stevens. They have more than 50 flavors, including “Michigan classic” Superman. If you can’t make it to the Royal Oak location, you can also find Ray’s Ice Cream in some local retail stores.

Guernsey Farms Dairy

With 80 years of experience and enough flavors to make your head spin with possibilities, Guernsey Farms Dairy knows a thing or two about ice cream. Their Superman ice cream is described as “mixed fruit ice cream with marshmallow ribbons and strawberries.” You can find it in stores in three-gallon rounds or by the scoop at the Guernsey store and restaurant in Northville.