Ice cream is better between bread: Try this new 3-ingredient dessert recipe inspired by Ali Slagle

Ice cream sandwich sliders are exactly as delicious as they are effortless

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published May 19, 2022 6:36PM (EDT)

Ice Cream Bun Sandwich (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Ice Cream Bun Sandwich (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

In "Quick & Dirty," Salon Food's Mary Elizabeth Williams serves up simplified recipes and shortcuts for exhausted cooks just like you — because quick and dirty should still be delicious.

There's a gelato place in New York City that makes an amazing version of the ice cream sandwich by filling toasty brioche rolls with its frozen treats. I started going to L'Arte del Gelato a decade ago, yet I never in all my days had the lightbulb moment that I could make exactly the same thing at home until I interviewed cookbook author Ali Slagle.

Slagle's exceptional, accessible debut "I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To): Low-Effort, High-Reward Recipes" brims with incredible ideas for main courses but boldly omits a single dessert recipe. When I asked her about it, she said she's more of a store-bought dessert person. But then she cracked open my world.

"Something you see in Italy a lot is often a brioche bun with chocolate ice cream inside," she told me during an appearance on "Salon Talks." "But you could just use a buttered potato burger bun with a scoop of ice cream."

Mind. Blown. I couldn't have rushed home to eat this dessert faster if I tried. The results were expectedly fantastic — like the most luxurious version of supermarket freezer Turkey Hill imaginable.

RELATED: Cookbook author Ali Slagle takes the stress out of cooking because "it's only dinner"

When I recently mentioned the concept to a colleague, she immediately offered this perfect riff — King's Hawaiian rolls stuffed with Kona coffee ice cream. Voilà, you've got a Sicilian treat that takes a detour to the 50th state. 

Much like my beloved grilled chocolate and waffled donut sandwiches, this is a dish that's exactly as delicious as it is effortless. To paraphrase Joey Tribbiani, hamburger bun, good. Ice cream, gooooood. So very, very good.


Recipe: Ice Cream Sandwich Sliders
Inspired by Ali Slagle

8 servings
Prep Time
 5 minutes
Cook Time
 0 minutes




  1. Split the slider buns and lightly butter them. If you're feeling very motivated, you could run them under the broiler for a minute — but don't feel obligated.
  2. Scoop a dollop of ice cream on one side of each bun, then gently squeeze closed. They're best when made to order and eaten immediately, but you could pop them back in the freezer to hold until you're ready to enjoy.

Cook's Notes

You can, of course, use any rolls you like here, as well as any ice cream that pleases you. I think pretzel rolls with strawberry ice cream would be a phenomenal spin on the Jell-O classic.

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By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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Ali Slagle Dessert Food Ice Cream Quick & Dirty Recipe