Viennetta Recipe

Tiramisu Viennetta is the only treat you need in life

Tiramisu Viennetta on a white platter

The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Freeze Time: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 8 to 10
Yield: 1 loaf pan
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
531 Calories
40g Fat
40g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 531
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 25g 127%
Cholesterol 131mg 44%
Sodium 186mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 36g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 166mg 13%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 297mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One slice is never enough—no truer words have ever been said of Viennetta. Invented by British brand Unilever and introduced to the world by British ice cream company Wall’s in 1982, this ice cream dream quickly became an iconic dessert by the 1990s. The rectangular ice cream cake with alternating layers of vanilla ice cream and crisp shards of chocolate, topped with its signature creamy ruffles and dusted with cocoa powder was considered to be the fanciest of the prepared frozen treats; and with its recent revival under American brand, Good Humor, Viennetta is coming back with a vengeance.

Growing up, I actually never knew it was popular in the States, since the only time I ever enjoyed Viennetta was during the summers when my family and I traveled to Hong Kong to visit my grandparents. My grandmother always bought one as a special occasion treat for me and my sister. Presumably due to the British influence in Hong Kong, Viennetta ice cream cakes were a prized possession there to be consumed with family. Now looking back I’m pretty sure my parents intentionally kept it a secret that it was also sold in American markets, but I’m happy they did because I will forever associate this magical frozen treat with memories of my grandmother.

As to not compete with an OG, I’ve created an amped-up version which I’m calling a Tiramisu Viennetta that uses store-bought vanilla and coffee ice creams laminated with ribbons of magic shell and finished with ruffles of mascarpone cream, and, of course, dusted with cocoa powder. You will need a one-pound loaf pan (approximately 4-x 8-x 3-inches), a disposable pastry bag (or plastic freezer bag), and a ribbon piping tip (I suggest Ateco 150).

"This is an impressive coffee-flavored version of a classic dessert. Freezing each of the layers does take time, so be sure to start assembly at least a day before you plan to serve it. I had some leftover magic shell and mascarpone, both great to use with other recipes." —Julia Hartbeck

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Magic Shell:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 pinch kosher salt

For Assembly:

  • 2 (14-ounce) pints coffee ice cream, divided

  • 1 (14-ounce) pint vanilla ice cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

For the Mascarpone Cream:

  • 1/2 cup mascarpone

  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cups heavy cream

Steps to Make It

Make the Magic Shell

  1. Gather the magic shell ingredients.

    ingredients to make magic shell

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Place about 2 inches of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Place the chocolate chunks in a medium-sized bowl, then place it on top of the pot with boiling water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water, the bowl should be able to rest on the rim of the pot. Turn the heat down to low and let the chocolate melt completely.

    magic shell sauce in a double boiler on a hot plate

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the pot and turn off the heat. Add the coconut oil and salt. Whisk until combined. Set aside.

    magic shell sauce in a glass bowl with a whisk

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Start the Assembly

  1. Gather the ingredients. Set out one 14-ounce container of coffee ice cream to soften slightly, 5 to 8 minutes.

    ice cream and instant coffee

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Double line the inside of a 1-pound loaf pan with either plastic wrap, parchment paper, or wax paper. Make sure all the sides are fully covered, and to leave some overhanging the sides. If using plastic wrap, make the lining as smooth as possible. If using parchment or wax paper, tape the overhang to the outside of the container.

    loaf pan lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Once the coffee ice cream is slightly softened, scoop the entire container of ice cream into the pan to make a one-inch layer. Use the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula to smooth it out evenly. Return the remaining ice cream to the freezer until ready to use. Place the loaf pan in the freezer and let it freeze for at least 2 hours.

    ice cream in a parchment lined loaf pan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Remove the vanilla ice cream from the freezer and let it soften for 5 to 8 minutes until softened.

    vanilla ice cream container

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. Take the pan out of the freezer and lightly drizzle some magic shell over top of the coffee ice cream. Use the back of a spoon or small offset spatula to spread it into a paper-thin layer. It should set up almost immediately.

    chocolate dribbled onto of ice cream in a loaf pan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  6. Add the pint of vanilla ice cream over top of the magic shell and smooth it out into an even layer. Place it back into the freezer to set for at least 2 hours.

    ice cream in parchment line loaf pan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  7. Remove the remaining coffee ice cream from the freezer and let it soften for 5 to 8 minutes, or until just soft enough to scoop out the ice cream.

    a pint of coffee ice cream

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  8. Take the pan out of the freezer and lightly drizzle the magic shell over top of the vanilla ice cream. Smooth it out into an even, paper-thin layer.

    magic shell sauce on ice cream in a parchment lined loaf pan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  9. Add the remaining container of coffee ice cream over the magic shell layer. Smooth it out into an even, flat layer. Place it back in the freezer to completely set up for at least 2 hours.

    loaf pan with ice cream in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

For the Mascarpone Cream

  1. Gather the mascarpone ingredients once the ice cream in the loaf pan is completely frozen and set.

    ingredients to make mascarpone cream

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the mascarpone, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until smooth and well combined.

    beaten mascarpone in a stand mixutre.

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to whisk on medium-low speed while slowly pour in the heavy cream. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.

    mascarpone mixture in a stand mixer

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Prepare a pastry bag with the ribbon tip. Fill the pastry bag with the mascarpone cream and set it aside.

    filled piping bag with ribbon tip

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck


  1. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer. Select a platter slightly larger than the pan.

    white platter with un-molded Viennetta loaf

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Unmold the Viennetta by placing the serving platter over top of the loaf pan and, while holding it all together, flip it upside down. Remove the pan and peel off the plastic wrap from the frozen ice cream block.

    un-molded viennetta loaf on a white platter

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Pipe ribbons of the mascarpone cream back and forth horizontally to the shorter side of the cake.

    viennetta loaf with mascarpone cream ribbons

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top with cocoa powder. Place the ice cream in the freezer until ready to serve, at least 2 more hours or up to overnight.

    Viennetta cake topped with cocoa powder

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. Slightly heat a knife under hot water to make clean slices.

    Viennetta cake on a platter

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck


  • Feel free to use whatever ice cream flavors you like.
  • You can incorporate mix-ins between layers, such as cookies, sprinkles, and even caramel.


  • The best way to store this is in an air-tight container, but if you don’t have one you can wait until the Viennetta is completely frozen then wrap it loosely with plastic.
  • If you have leftover magic shell you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks and reheat in the microwave in 20 second spurts, stirring after each time.
  • If you have leftover mascarpone cream, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. It can be rewhipped as necessary. Try using it on pancakes, waffles or French toast.

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