Thanksgiving Inspires a Major Ice Cream Chain Treat

But you’ll need to pre-order yours to get it in time for the holiday.

While the big turkey is perhaps the most classic of Thanksgiving traditions, each year someone comes up with a new way to enjoy it–from Tofurky in the 1990s to the Restaurant Brands International  (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report-owned Popeyes Cajun-Style fast food turkey that dates back to 2001.

Sweet takes on the dinner centerpiece have also been around for decades. Artisanal chocolatiers offer intricate chocolate turkey sculptures for a hefty sum while many generations remember making cupcakes and marshmallows that look like turkeys in elementary school.

Last year, donut chain Krispy Kreme  (DNUT) – Get Krispy Kreme Inc. Report launched a series of Thanksgiving donuts with flavors like pecan pie, cranberry and orange and Dutch apple pie. One of the donuts even featured a small turkey made of fondant.

McDonald’s  (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report, meanwhile, regularly teases fans by bringing back the elusive Thanksgiving hand-held pumpkin pie.

Now owned by the privately-held Inspire Brands, ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins has been selling its Turkey Cake since the 1970s–made to look like a whole dinner turkey, the cake is filled with ice cream in the middle and then covered with a sweet glaze.

The legs, or drumsticks, are really sugar ice cream cones.

The Turkey Cake Is A Beloved Tradition


While the Thanksgiving Turkey sometimes misses a year, it is back for 2022 with the ice cream chain’s flavor of the month: cookie butter. A combination of vanilla ice cream, cookie butter swirls and Speculoos cookies, the ice cream is Baskin-Robbins’ signature rotating flavor for November.

Inside the Turkey Cake, the ice cream is covered with a sweet caramel praline glaze although those who buy it can also pick a different flavor to go inside the “bird.”

The Turkey Cake is currently available for pre-order for anytime between Nov. 1 and Thanksgiving dinner at Baskin-Robbins stores.

“Pre-order the Turkey Cake online to customize it with your favorite ice cream flavor and get ready to be the talk of the Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) table,” Baskin-Robbins said in its announcement of the cake’s return.  

The Cookie Butter ice cream flavor, meanwhile, will be replaced with a new and likely holiday-themed flavor in December.

Marketing Those Thanksgiving Food Memories


The Turkey Cake comes with a lot of nostalgic significance for many–some remember eating it with their families while others made up for not having one earlier in adulthood.

“Since I was a little girl I’ve wanted a Baskin-Robbins Turkey cake and at the ripe age of 34, I finally got one,” PhD candidate Angelina Martínez wrote on Twitter  (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Report.

Nostalgia can be a powerful marketing tool for food companies and especially so during the holidays. Such products reach both those who remember the treat from past Thanksgivings and new generations who are interested in trying it for the first time.

Krispy Kreme has been particularly strong at this–within the last year, it’s partnered with beloved childhood cereal Cinnamon Toast Crunch and released three donuts inspired by Unilever  (UNLYF) ‘s Popsicle and Good Humor ice cream truck products–the Firecracker, the Vanilla King Cone and the Creamsicle.

While it far predates Meta  (META) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report‘s Instagram, the Turkey Cake taps into another popular food trend–content designed to look good on the internet. 

“These gimmicky offerings have taken off in recent years because they’re carefully crafted, not just for physical consumption, but for digital consumption as well,” Adam Chandler, author of “Drive-Thru Dreams,” told the BBC in 2019.

Related Posts