Homemade Viennetta


Warning: Mass rambling about eighties up top of this post, ice cream below. Choose your poison :)

Oh children of the eighties! I’m actually more of a child of the seventies-eighties-and-nineties myself because all three of those decades were huge learning curves for me. Come to think of it, to be fair I might ought to add this next century or so to the mix. This post isn’t necessarily about being a child of the eighties so much as it is about being around in the eighties because it was such an amazing time with the lightning speed changes in technology. I mean seriously, has any generation seen so many technological advances come into play and then become obsolete in so short a time?

I grew up listening to records and 8 tracks, so I remember when the first walkman came out. What an amazing creation that was! No more carrying around a 50 pound boom box – well, unless you were just using it as a street fashion accessory, which was important at times of course.

I also remember recording music off of the radio to listen to on my cassette player and whenever I earned enough money to buy a cassette, I’d usually wear it out and end up having to save up to buy the same one again. You know nowadays if you gave a kid a cassette tape with the tape in tangles outside of it they’d immediately say it was broke. But give that same tape to someone who was around in the eighties and they’d get a gleam in their eye as they sat down to scrub in for cassette tape surgery – and you’d most likely be listening to Corey Hart or the like shortly thereafter. Perhaps a little warped, but still entirely listenable.

These poor kids are used to perfect digital music quality, they have no idea what it was like waiting on your mom to finish her errand so she’d drive back towards town and the radio station you liked would come in clear enough to recognize the songs again.

I remember when my brother got a cell phone. It was one of those bag phones that had a huge strap so you could carry it on your shoulder. It cost a fortune and he’d take it with him when he went out on the wildlife refuge by himself in case anything happened. I think he just said he was going out there as an excuse to have the phone but hey, it was a cool phone so I didn’t blame him. As a teenager VCR’s were regular things inside the home and we moved up from three channels to satellite. We had one of those massive satellite dishes in our back yard, and even then it was considered higher tech than some because, at around ten feet in diameter (guessing here), it was half the size of the “old one” my grandfather had.

We had beepers as a teenager and everyone quickly learned the art of using the alphabet on the keypad to send messages:

9428 8463 47 9687 287339

We had a home computer by the time I was twelve, but it didn’t do very much. It was a Commodore 64 and later we got a Commodore 128, but all of our software was still for a 64 so we had to put it in 64 mode in order to use it! I still remember the first time I began to understand the power of what computers could offer us. We had an encyclopedia disk and I fired it up late one night checking out various subjects for a good read. I found a video clip of John F Kennedy and clicked on it. Immediately, my screen filled up with a video of him giving his inauguration speech. I was stunned and sat there watching it. To be able to see such a thing out of the blue, whenever I wanted! Normally, you could only see such things if they happened to be on television but here I was, in the middle of the night in my own living room and I decided I’d like to watch a former President give his inaugural speech and bam, there it was.

Beepers became obsolete when cell phones became affordable and around the time email came into play. I remember having a friend explain email to me and my first thought was “That’s just silly. Why not just call?” Boy have I ever eaten those words!

We’ve achieved a lot of technological advances in an extremely short period of time. Our world has become much smaller. I’m not saying it’s all good but there can be good found in most of it, thankfully. It really depends on where you’re looking and what you’re choosing to glean from it. Today, amid a flower garden of information, ideas, and entertainment options, an awful lot of folks are shouting “WEEDS! look at all the awesome weeds I found! YEAH! Weeds! Booyah!”.

One of the things from the eighties that I remember though, is not so easy to find anymore and I can’t help but think about it come summer time. Breyer’s came out with this grand dessert called “Vienetta”. It was a loaf of delicately layered ice cream ruffles and a hard chocolate coating. This was back in the day when Breyer’s Homemade Vanilla tasted like..well like Breyer’s homemade vanilla used to taste. It was phenomenal – but we’ll talk more on that in a minute.

Apparently, Viennetta is still made and sold in some areas but I haven’t seen it around here in a several years and sometimes you really just want it! I think it’s sold all over in Europe so if you’re reading this and living there, head on out and pick some up.

I’m so tempted to pull out the standard juvenile European/American joke here but I’ll refrain because I’m trying to teach my kids to ease up on the potty humor and I must set an example….~sits on hands a minute to keep from typing~

ANYWHO here is my version of this classic treat from back in the day that you can make at home. It won’t be quite the same but it’s close enough to satisfy a craving and it’s awfully good in it’s own right!

You’ll need: Some good quality vanilla ice cream*, magic Shell (one or two flavors, up to you), waxed paper, and a brand new-reserved for kitchen use only- hair pick.

*Back to the Ice Cream. Do y’all remember how Breyer’s tasted when it first got really popular back in the day? They took ice cream to a whole new level. Nowadays though, it just doesn’t taste remotely like it used to – to me at least. Maybe I don’t remember it right though. It could be that my childhood tastebuds glorified it a bit:). Either way, Breyers is still good and all, but I want you to go get the absolute best quality vanilla ice cream you can find. I suggest Blue Bunny (this is the best I have tasted in a while) or something from Bluebell if you have that where you are. Edy’s also makes some very good ice cream and a lot of people swear by Purity, but I haven’t had a chance to taste any of theirs yet so I’m just sticking to the ones I know as reccomendations. Just go for the absolute best in your mind.

Line a loaf pan with waxed paper. This will help you get your loaf out.

Spread 1/3 of your ice cream into the bottom of the loaf pan.

Run the pick along it to form deep grooves. These will fill in with our yummy magic shell.

You can make homemade magic shell if you want…but you can also buy it for about a dollar. No sense in making extra work for yourself…

Pour a layer of magic shell over and allow to harden a minute.

Add another 1/3 of your ice cream and dig grooves into it with your pick again.

Pour magic shell over that as well. I’m using butterscotch this time.


Now add the rest of our ice cream and dig grooves into it as well.

Top this final layer with a drizzle of chocolate magic shell and immediately cover with aluminum foil and place in the freezer until firm.


When ready to serve, allow to sit out for about five minutes and then remove from the pan using the waxed paper. Remove the waxed paper and place on a platter to slice and serve.

Homemade Viennetta
  • 1.5 - 1.75 quarts good quality vanilla ice cream (your favorite)
  • 1 bottle chocolate magic shell
  • 1 bottle butterscotch magic shell*
  • 1 hair pick, brand new, labeled for kitchen use only
  • Waxed paper
  • Loaf Pan
  1. Soften ice cream slightly by allowing to sit out for 5-10 minutes but no longer.
  2. Line loaf pan with waxed paper pieces that are long enough to hang over the sides.
  3. Spread ⅓ of ice cream in bottom of loaf pan. Make grooves in it with the pick. Squirt chocolate magic shell over top, just enough to cover. Allow to sit for one minute to harden.
  4. Repeat process using butterscotch magic shell as topping on second layer and then repeat once more, ending with just a drizzling of chocolate magic shell on top.
  5. Immediately cover with aluminum foil and place in freezer until frozen solid.
  6. To serve, remove loaf pan and allow to sit for five minutes. Grab both sides of waxed paper and pull loaf out of pan. Discard waxed paper and place loaf on platter. Carefully cut and then serve.
*The original Viennetta did not have butterscotch so go with 2 bottles of chocolate if you want to be more in line with that.

“A happy person is not a person in a
certain set of circumstances, but rather
a person with a certain set of attitudes.”

~Hugh Downs

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  1. Mrs Berry says

    This looks wonderful! I remember drooling after Viennetta and being so jealous that my friend’s mom not only bought it BUT also let the kids eat it! In our house, the ice cream was my Dad’s, (but I would sneak some into a plastic baggie, chew off the corner, and suck it out while waiting for the bus!).
    And I agree, Breyers vanilla was the best, but doesn’t taste anything like it used to – very disappointed the last time I bought it.
    ANYWAY – thanks for recipe, can’t wait to make some and experiment with flavors!

  2. Kat says

    Hi Christy
    I am on the brink of turning 40 tomorrow so I can completely relate to all the eighties stuff. I live in Australia and I think we can still buy vienetta here. Do you have any American/Australian potty humour???
    Cheers. Have a great day and thanks for posting your great recipes and humour.

  3. Wendy says

    This looks awesome! Not to mention totally righteous :).

    Having been born in the late 1960’s (not saying exactly when :P) I, too, am a child of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. I like to tell my kids about how this is the 6th decade I’ve lived in. They think it’s really funny (as does my husband, who was born in 1970, so missed out on being able to say this).

    I remember Vienetta. I think I got to taste it once. At someone else’s house. Not because the ice cream was my father’s, but because it wasn’t healthy enough to have in our house.

    My mother is a wonderful cook, and can make healthy taste good, but when Dad cooked we got things like canned soy burgers in tomato sauce. Ewww- I shudder just thinking about them!

    Anyway, your blog is amazing, and my kids and I can’t wait to try the Brunswick Stew and cornbread. We’re homeschooling and working on the Southern States, and this is our project today. Yum!

    Oh, and Breyer’s tastes different because they realized they can add all sorts of junk to the ice cream and still call it “All Natural” because…well, because the FDA is messed up. If any of it, at any point, came from nature, it can be called natural. End of rant. :)

  4. Anita says

    Purity Ice Cream is YUM! I moved away from their jurisdiction though, so I will have to use Blue Bell or Blue Bunny. But this looks like the perfect dessert to serve at my next family get together. Thanks!

  5. Amanda says

    I love Vienetta! They have it in Europe still, so I get my fix every year or so. They have some cool flavors too like strawberry or tiramisu. The classic chocolate and vanilla is still my favorite though. When I describe it to people who haven’t had it, I say it’s like a little ice cream lasagna. It’s even all ribbon-ey like lasagna.

  6. Vicky Williamson says

    Must try this. Sounds so easy, cool, and delicious. Thank you Christy for your great post. I enjoy it very much. Have a great day and may God bless you and your family.

  7. Beverly Caldwell says

    This looks delicious. I am constantly amazed at your wonderful recipes.

    However, I must admit I generally go to your site because of your wonderful “down home attitude”, your love of God, family and country, plus your willingness to share the dark moments in your life and give us encouragement on how to pull ourselves up out of the mire we often find ourselves in (usually because we have not listened to that still small voice of the Holy Spirits directing).

    Thank you for being you and allowing us to learn from you.

    Our families also love that we visit your site because they profit by great food on the table.

  8. Andrea Norberg says

    I’m sure you’ve probably answered this, but I really want to know what the numbers say up there. LOL I don’t have time to run through all the comments to see if anyone asked!

  9. Morgan Kwapich says

    The true secret to completing this delicacy is actually… layers of whipped cream added and not your “Cool Whip”, either. If you could make your own that would be best… Otherwise, Redi-Whip would be fine. To make your own whipped cream, you will need to purchase a whipped cream canister kit, from Williams-Sonoma®. Start by getting some vanilla flavoring syrup, such as that available at Starbucks®, used as a coffee syrup. It takes 8 pumps of that…then, about 16oz. of heavy whipping cream, available at your local super market. Then place the lid onto the canister. With the CO2 cartridges compatible with the Issi® system ($14.99/10 pack at Williams-Sonoma®), charge the whipped cream by shaking the canister 8 times upright. Leave the canister lie on its side, for about 2-3 minutes. Then shake the canister, again upside down and test, to confirm proper consistency, by squeezing the trigger. By that time, you’ll be able to add rich, creamy layers of frozen whipped cream to the Viennetta™, which it’s the proper recipe, for the amazing ice cream treat. I can’t disclose the reason, I know this, but I assure you, it will complete your recipe…giving you the end result, you’ve been longing for. There is not any word of Viennetta returning to the global market, but Unilever®, is consistently, working on innovations, to better serve their customers.

  10. Mary says

    I can’t wait to surprise my family with this. I use to get this for holidays and my children were so disappointed when they stopped making it. Never would have thought of making it.

  11. Eva says

    Ok, magic shell is probably not heard of by any store in my area, but I take it that its a thin chocolate or other flavoured syrupy fluid, like the chocolate for dipping cones in, that freezes into a crisp shell. So will attempt this with what I think will work ok. I can see the whipped cream layers working, this would be deluxe with crispy outside layers, or even served with what my mother called ice cream wafers, thin crisp wafers filled with strawberry,chocolate, and vanilla cream. I think I will have to try it as soon as it warms yo enough.

      • Eva says

        I was struck dumb to find it in one of the three grocery stores in town, but no butterscotch just the chocolate, so grabbed a bottle before it could disappear in front of my eyes.
        Haven’t gotten to make the vienetta yet, but will give it a try, I think that I will go with a good strawberry ice cream, the chocolate, and will buy myself one of those cans of real whipped cream under pressure to put into the dish. That would be a fun treat for next weekend, which is a Holiday in Canada. I am sure that’s close to your Memorial Day, and most of the kids now don’t remember what either Victoria Day or Memorial day is about, its just a holiday. But my daughter loves strawberries, so figure can’t go wrong with it.

  12. Stephanie says

    I’m a child of the 80’s so I love this post! Vienetta looks delicious and refreshing for the upcoming hot Alabama summer. Since Blue Bell has been recalled, I recommend Publix Premium ice cream…love it when they have it buy 1, get 1 free! Have a lovely Day :-)

  13. Lori says

    I can not believe a southern girl like you didn’t put some chopped pecans in there!

    Since this is all going into the freezer before serving, I don’t think that you would have to buy Magic Shell products. I think you could use regular chocolate syrup (chocolate fudge for this girl) or even caramel ice cream topping. And I will be adding some chopped pecans to the caramel layer.

    Ummm, what about using some lemon curd & raspberries??? Lemon & blueberries ??? Crushed oreos ???

    I do think you are pretty clever for buying a hair pick, just for the kitchen. I would have been dragging a serving fork through it.

  14. Samantha Chivers says

    Christy Jordan, you are the best!! I was lamenting this forgotten treat just the other day!! I remember eating it with a fork at my grandparents’s house thinking I was one sophisticated kiddo. I also remember feeling less sophisticated when I got home from my summer visit with them and none of my school clothes my mama had bought fit!!! Boy, did she grouch! Well, this big girl buys her own clothes, so I am gonna make this today and share it with my seven year old..and maybe the husband. Thanks so much!!

  15. Cheryl says

    Couple of points…
    You are not “a small part of your life”! You bring me joy,humor, faith lifting comments, great recipes, and so much more!

    My mom was the hit of the church ladies luncheons, when she was the first to bring viennetta torte. Than she told them how easy it was. She had a way of finding recipes that looked and tasted “fancy” but were easy. I try to follow her example.

    Ok I was born in the fifties! I got my first (and still using) cell phone in 2007. My great nephew had to teach me to text.
    While our daughter was in high school my husband bought a $50 car with an 8 track, and a soda bottle back up light. She was so embarrassed, but bought a grease tape and kind of liked it. That car ran for months until she had an accident!

  16. ChronicMasterBaker says

    I remember Viennetta, I wanted to try it so bad from seeing the commercials as a kid, but was pretty much banned from it whenever it was brought home because it was a “grown-up” dessert. So, for the most part, I had to be content with that vile Neapolitan econo-tub crap. I hated it then and I hate it now. Pudding pops were good, but they’re no Viennetta. During the entire time it was available, I was lucky enough to try it ONCE AND ONLY ONCE. It was just as good as the commercials made it out to be, and I don’t know why it went away…

    Personally, I remember more to them than your recipe. Either that or it’s that natural tendency to over-romanticize every positive childhood experience lol. I remember there being a chocolate wafer cookie layer…you know, the kind commonly used for making icebox cakes? And if they never included a layer of my favorite cookie, the love letter tuiles, AKA cigarette cookies, they SHOULD. These cookies can be found at the supermarket sold in a round tin labelled as “pirouettes”. Those two additions would make this dessert just blast off into outer space, imo. Peace out :.P

  17. Kristin R says

    Oh wow. I’m excited about this recipe. I apparently pinned it about a year ago and forgot about it. I never did get to try Viennetta. My grandma bought it for me once, but I wasn’t able to open it that same day for some reason. The next time I went over to her house, my *blakety-blank* cousin and her husband had eaten it all! I was so mad! It never got replaced. *sigh* Oh well. I guess I will have to make it for Christmas dessert. :) Thanks!


  1. […] Earl Grey. She served the tea in white porcelain teacups with a bit of cherry jam and a slice of Viennetta ice cream cake on the side. My aunt passed away several years ago, but this memory of a few moments with her over […]

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