Salt & Straw Launches Its First-Ever Ice Cream Cakes

Dwanta Claus is at it again. The jolly old alter ego of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is joining forces with Salt & Straw to debut yet another round of holiday-themed frozen treats, but this time the collaboration explores new territory with the introduction of two decadent (in a good way) ice cream cakes. Since 2018, Johnson (aka Dwanta Claus) has partnered with Salt & Straw to create limited-time holiday ice cream flavors inspired by some of his favorite foods. 

Previous combos — many of which have showcased Johnson's Teremana Tequila — include PB&J Coconut Banana Pancakes (spiced banana ice cream blended with bits of Johnson's favorite coconut banana pancakes, homemade peanut butter cups, marionberry jam, candied coconut flakes, and streusel crumble) and Naughty Nutty, Tipsy Toasty Teremana Pecan Pie (a pecan pie-inspired blend of tequila-spiked ice cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and roasted pecans).

Widely considered one of Hollywood's good guys, Johnson shared his life philosophy with Forbes in 2021: "I always say, 'It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.'" Salt & Straw's holiday-themed ice cream cakes – and first-ever ice cream cakes in general — are an apt reflection of that point of view. According to a press release, this season's collaboration, developed in partnership with Tyler Malek, Salt & Straw co-founder and pastry chef, includes two seven-layer ice cream cakes: One is "Naughty" and the other is "Nice."

Naughty? Or Nice?

Intrigued? Here's the scoop. The Naughty cake pays homage to the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter. It's a seven-layer stack of coffee-spiked cake, dark-burned caramel chocolate fudge, whiskey caramel ice cream, clusters of sea salt-flecked peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate-peanut butter puffs. A nod to Johnson's aforementioned favorite coconut banana pancakes, Nice is a vanilla-laced coconut cake layered with Oregon marionberry jam, rum-spiked Bananas Foster ice cream, and chunks of peanut butter chocolate ganache topped with vanilla-spiced candied coconut streusel.

It's not entirely clear when Johnson first introduced his Dwanta Claus alter ego, but the do-gooder elf has been making an annual holiday appearance since at least 2017. Clearly, he knows a thing or two about ice cream and its various incarnations. Salt & Straw's 2023 holiday ice cream cakes are currently available as of November 8, 2023, for nationwide shipping while supplies last. Priced at $89, each cake serves up to 20 people. The Salt & Straw website notes that you should order by midnight on November 8 to ensure that you receive your cake by Thanksgiving Day. As a bonus, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each cake benefits chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen worldwide crisis relief effort.