Recipe Review

These TikTok-Famous Dinner Rolls Have a Shocking Secret Ingredient

updated Apr 1, 2021
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Credit: Sara Tane

Have you seen these rolls making the rounds on TikTok? Once you start watching, it’s sort of impossible to look away: Frozen dinner rolls are covered with a melted ice cream mixture and baked until golden. At first, the concept of cooking with ice cream seemed completely absurd to me, but when I thought about it, ice cream is a custard made up mostly of eggs and cream — common ingredients in baking and cooking. Ice cream bread exists, after all!


Secret Rolls Recipe! DISCLAIMER: it’s never been a family secret! #secretrecipe #delicious #dinnerrolls #dessert #foodtok #baking #recipe

♬ Send Me on My Way – Guy Meets Girl

I personally had never tried anything like this, so I was curious to know how it would taste. Would my favorite frozen treat become my new secret ingredient for baking? There was only one way to find out.

Get the recipe: Secret Rolls Recipe

Credit: Sara Tane

How to Make the TikTok-Famous Ice Cream Rolls

These rolls are made up of four basic ingredients and the method itself is super simple. To start, you’ll butter a baking dish and arrange 8 frozen yeasted dinner rolls in the pan. Then, in a medium saucepan, melt down 1 cup of your favorite ice cream (I used vanilla, since that’s what’s used in the video), 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 stick margarine or butter (the video calls for the former; I used the latter). The video warns that you can easily burn this mixture if you’re not stirring it constantly, so make sure to diligently stand over the pan and keep stirring it with a rubber spatula until it’s golden-brown and bubbling. From there, take the piping-hot caramel-like mixture and pour it over the rolls.

Next, cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise in the fridge overnight. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350°F and bake until golden-brown and fluffy. Easy peasy!

Credit: Sara Tane

My Honest Review of Ice Cream Rolls

I really wanted to like these rolls more than I actually did. Maybe this kind of thing just isn’t for me, but I found myself a little underwhelmed with the final product. As far as cooking with ice cream, I fully support it and understand it — the butter, sugar, and ice cream mixture was delicious. (I mean, how could it not be?) It’s easy to forget just how much salt goes into ice cream, so I was pleasantly surprised at how perfectly salted the ice cream mixture was, given that the only other two ingredients were sugar and unsalted butter.

Credit: Sara Tane

Despite my approval for cooking with ice cream, these rolls just didn’t do it for me. I’m sad, too. They didn’t taste bad, but after trying one, I don’t necessarily feel compelled to make them again. They were super sweet and very buttery — big Auntie Anne’s vibes. My rolls didn’t seem to fluff up as nicely as hers did in the video, and I’m not sure why this happened because I used the same brand of frozen rolls as her. My main issue with these rolls is that I can’t quite understand who these rolls are for and when you would eat them. I’m not a person who just has a tub of ice cream “on hand,” and if I do, it’s probably a pint of Jeni’s and you have me all wrong if you think I’m about to melt down $10 worth of absolute perfection to pour over some dinner rolls. 

I also don’t keep frozen yeasted dinner rolls on hand. So, even though this recipe was easy, it’s not like a chocolate chip cookie situation where there’s a good chance you have all the ingredients stocked. Plus, you still have to let the rolls rise overnight, so if you’re trying to make yourself something indulgent for an emergency sweet craving, this isn’t it either. I’m still not sure if these are intended to be a morning pastry or an after-dinner dessert thing. 

Basically, I have a lot of questions about who is eating these and why they’re eating them, and frankly, if I’m going to bake something with an overnight rise, I kind of want to make a project out of it and feel like I accomplished something (cinnamon rolls, I’m looking at you). So, would I cook with ice cream again? One hundred percent. Would I make these rolls again? Well, probably not.

Credit: Sara Tane

If You Want to Try These Ice Cream Rolls, a Few Tips

Hey, don’t take my word for it — give these rolls a try for yourself and maybe you’ll enjoy them more than I did. Play around with the flavors by swapping out the vanilla ice cream for something a little more fun. Or maybe try making the dinner rolls from scratch so the whole thing feels more homemade. Or, hey, just try a different recipe that uses ice cream, like this bread. I haven’t given up on baking with ice cream, but I think it’s fair to admit that I’ve given up on these rolls.

Have you tried this TikTok-famous dinner rolls yet? Let us know in the comments.