Buckwheat Apple Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Cake
Buckwheat Apple Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Cake

Disclosure: Thank you to Unilever for partnering with me to bring you this recipe on behalf of Breyers®.

Let’s make a cake. Let’s make a cake that uses buckwheat, real ingredients and is a cake you can keep in the freezer to pull out when you could go for a sweet treat. That’s the beauty of an ice cream-based freezer cake: you don’t have to finish it right after baking before it goes bad. It’s out of sight out of mind so you are fully enjoying it when you really want it. 

Before we jump into the recipe and my undying affection for ice cream, I want to pause and fill you guys in on my partnership with Unilever (the parent company of Breyers®). Last year, I was so honored to be one of Unilever’s inaugural Agents of Change – one of ten dietitians from across the country doing something different in the field in chefmanship, sustainability and nutrition. This year, we continued our partnership to bring you more of ‘something different’ with new ways to look at ingredients. For ice cream, we always see it as a scoop and a base for toppings like sprinkles. But why aren’t we using it as a spread and filling? Well, you will be after today.  



We are big ice cream fans in this family. My Dad always tells a story of his cook “CC (aka crooked cook named for some 5-finger-discount behavior)” in Malaysia when he made ice cream for the first time. The ice cream was served in nearly perfect, smooth, spherical form, which, if you’ve ever scooped ice cream, you know how hard that is. When curiosity got the best of Dad, he asked CC how he got the ice cream so round. CC mimed cupping his hands together. So. There’s that (good to know someone’s hands were ALL OVER the ice cream you ate). Flash forward to when I was in college, there was an ice cream shop right at the exit off the highway on the way home. And I would be lying if I said I never stopped twice in one day. And the same employee was still working and recognized me. 

The fact of the matter is, ice cream is my favorite dessert…but I’m particular about it. Quality and ingredients matter to get the right texture and taste. If Chris doesn’t have a few spare hours (Hilarious. We actually have zero free time but he is nice enough to make me ice cream when I ask), I buy our ice cream and look for a few things. I like a soft, not ice-y texture. I like a company that is conscious of the environment and ingredients, which is exactly why today’s recipe uses Breyers® Natural Vanilla. It uses high quality ingredients like milk and cream from American cows not treated with artificial growth hormones, sugar and real vanilla beans. The vanilla beans are 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and sustainably farmed in Madagascar. The sustainability initiatives that large companies make create a huge difference! 

Buckwheat Apple Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Cake
Buckwheat Apple Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Cake
Buckwheat Apple Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Cake

So what do you say? Should we play with ice cream? Don’t worry…hand scoop smoothing not required. This recipe is for an ice cream slab cake. The base is made from whole wheat and buckwheat cinnamon rolls (I KNOW!). The middle is Breyers® Natural Vanilla and it’s topped with fresh apples, salted peanuts and caramel. 


Buckwheat Apple Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Cake

Makes 12 servings

  • 3/4 of 1.5 quart container Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 large red delicious apples (or apple of choice) 
  • lemon juice

buckwheat cinnamon roll dough (Makes enough for 2 cakes) 

  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons whole wheat buckwheat flour 
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoonsmoked sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 egg

roll filling

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • additional smoked sea salt to taste

/// Directions ///

dough: In a stand mixer, mix all dough ingredients for five minutes until fully combined and smooth. Transfer the dough to a bowl and rise in a warm place for one hour or until the dough is doubled in size. I like to turn on my oven to the lowest setting and place the bowl in with a tea towel draped over top. When it pre-heats, I turn off the oven and keep the door closed. Once it is done rising, roll the dough into a rectangle so dough is roughly 1/4 inch thick. Note: this cake recipe will use half of the cinnamon rolls the roll recipe provides. Bake remaining rolls in a separate container and freeze for an easy breakfast treat!  

filling: Mix filling ingredients in a bowl. Line a 8x8 baking dish with 2 leaves of parchment paper with enough excess parchment so ‘tabs’ are created to allow for easy removal of entire ‘cake’ after baking. Press half of the filling mixture in the bottom of the baking sheet on top of the parchment paper. Smooth. Use the remaining half and spread it onto the rectangle dough. 

Roll the rectangle from long side to long side. Slice in half and continue slicing each portion in half until you have 24 thin rolls. Place the rolls into the baking dish and rise for 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 17-20 minutes total. For the first half of the bake time, add a separate pan of water under the cooking rolls on the rack below to steam them. REMOVE after half the banking time is completed. Once rolls are done, they'll be bubbling with filling and the dough will look almost dry and matte. Cool completely. 

Once buckwheat cinnamon rolls are completely cooled, scoop Breyers® Natural Vanilla ice cream on top and spread until smooth. Freeze several hours.

Slice apple thinly. To keep from browning, toss in a mix of lemon juice and water. Remove cake from freezer and arrange apples on top in two overlapping rows. Top with peanuts and caramel drizzle. Slice into 12 pieces and serve immediately. Store additional cake in freezer, wrapped with aluminum foil. 

Note: if you are keeping some in the freezer, I personally like the apples fresh every time. Feel free to only top the cake with apples you need upon service.

Buckwheat Apple Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Cake

1) Suppliers of other ingredients such as cookies, candies & sauces may not be able to make this claim. The FDA states that no significant difference has been shown between dairy derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.

Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.