A version of this article first appeared in CTBites.
Over-sized, over-decadent milkshakes are becoming quite the "thing" lately. They're as much an activity as they are a treat. Cream & Sugar Café in Bethel, Connecticut is the latest to jump on this milkshake bandwagon and it seems as though they've brought the extreme to even new extremes!
Until a few weeks ago Cream & Sugar Café was relatively unknown. Located in the heart of Bethel, the café enjoyed a steady stream of local customers stopping in throughout the day for coffee, crepes and ice cream. Owner Alyce Kallman had been wanting to open a creperie, a nostalgic nod to her childhood in Morocco and after moving to Connecticut from California she set out to pursue this dream. She found the perfect spot that had been an ice cream parlor. One rainy day over winter break this would prove to be pure serendipity. The first Freakshake, The Rainy Day Remedy, was born and with thanks to social medial, word on these larger than life milkshakes started to spread like wildfire. Kids began pouring in, taking their own pictures, sharing them on Instagram, creating a high demand for these insanely large ice cream creations.
“We never expected them to be so popular. We have long lines out the door with wait times of up to an hour, sometimes even more. After school and weekends are the busiest,” said Kallman who has had hire additional staff to keep up with the demand. The restaurant will soon undergo a slight re-organization allowing for more counter space and the ability to form separate lines – one for ice cream, another for the shakes. She admits to being overwhelmed by all the business. “We weren’t prepared for all this and we are doing our best to accommodate everyone.”
These shakes are larger than life – they are the Super Bowl of Milkshakes – attracting customers like young Brooklyn hipsters from several hours away.
Shakes include Crazy for Coconut, Peanut Butter Crush Brownie Milkshake and S’mores, yet each is fully customizable. I was asked if I wanted to try one of these monstrous frozen desserts and then told that I wasn’t expected to finish it. (Finish it?!!) How could I turn down such an offer?
I followed Alyce behind the counter where I saw her add scoop after scoop after scoop after scoop, (for a total of nine!!!) some freshly brewed espresso and toss it all into the Vitamix. Noticing my expression at the sheer amount of ice cream, she said “Don’t worry, our scoops are small, they blend down to nothing!” I felt my hips rapidly expanding and wondered how this blonde Californian stayed so slim. Once the milkshake was ready she poured it into a glass mug that had been decorated with chocolate sauce. This was just the beginning. I learned that it takes roughly 10 minutes to construct one of these shakes. 10 minutes!
On top of the mug she placed a generous slice of a three-layer chocolate cake, to which she added whipped cream, a very generously-sized chocolate chip cookie, more whipped cream, a brownie, and even more whipped cream. This was held together by poky (thin chocolate covered cookies that resemble skewers) as well as a couple of paper straws (which added a pop of color) and a Hershey bar. I watched in awe as even more whipped cream was added. Along the base she placed several Oreo cookies on a bed of yet more whipped cream. (Surely she used the entire can!) But that wasn’t it - I watched as she added mini chocolate chips to the base and drizzled gobs of chocolate fudge and marshmallow sauce all over the top. Not until the edible glitter was sprinkled over the top was it complete.
I marveled at this creation presented to me and started shooting images as whipped cream tumbled from the top to the plate below like snow spilling from branches after a storm.
I unwrapped a long straw and stuck it into my shake where my mouth met coffee flavored deliciousness with just a touch of mint. My eyes may have rolled back in my head. Alyce then joined me and elaborated on how these treats came about “The ice cream shop was already here so we decided to keep it and I liked the fact that we could offer something for everyone. The shakes were never part of the original plan, but here I was on a slow, rainy day over winter break and I decided to play around. I wanted to make something different, something bigger and better that hadn’t been done before. I sent pictures to my daughter in college and she told me that I had to start selling them. I guess, as they say, the rest is history.”
With the warm weather forecasted this weekend, and Spring lurking around the corner you will want to plug their address for your car's navigation system. Be prepared to wait, as the long lines will no doubt get longer as the weather warms. Each Freakshake serves about 3 people and will run roughly $15.00.
Cream & Sugar is located at 7 PT Barnum Square, Bethel, CT
Hours Sunday – Friday, 12 – 10PM. They are currently closed on Mondays.