Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’

In Season,Ingredient,Recipes,Summer
July 25, 2012

A Nashville ice cream social benefits an area community center and gets competitive juices flowing for amateur "crankers."

Miss Martha's Ice Cream Crankin'
Mark Boughton Photography

Eating goodies is all about doing good at this annual ice cream contest.

For nearly 30 summers, Nashvillians have gathered to eat imaginative ice cream flavors like Coffee Toffee Truffle, Nerdy Grape-licious, Strawberry Fudge, and Oh Nuts I Burnt the Sugar ice creams at the annual Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’.


The crankin’ draws thousands of ice cream lovers and dozens of ice cream makers to the lawn of a suburban church under century-old trees. Adults and children from area churches create their special flavors, some serious, some light-hearted, but all hoping to win the crowds’ hearts.

Miss Martha's Ice Cream Crankin 2

Prizes are awarded for vanilla-based, chocolate-based and “other,” which includes the weird, wild and wonderful. For the truly competitive, Best of Show is the goal, because the winning flavor becomes famous. A Nashville dairy produces the winning flavor and distributes it to groceries and supermarkets in the city.

Miss Martha's Ice Cream Cranking 3

The fete is named for and benefits the Martha O’Bryan Center, a full-service community center helping residents of a low-income neighborhood with childcare, food bank, education and much more. Sweet!

—By Nicki Pendleton Wood, a food writer in Nashville, Tenn.

Miss Martha's Ice Cream Crankin 4

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

Caramelized sugar is stirred into a custard base for this rich, creamy ice cream.

Ice Creams-Strawberry Fudge

Strawberry Fudge Ice Cream

Packaged fudge stands in for chocolate chips in this combo made with fresh strawberries.

Ice Cream-Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Ice cream impersonates key lime pie in this creamy, easy ice cream best made with fresh lime juice.


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