Courtesy of Lou Aaron

How to Make Idaho’s Ice Cream Potato Dessert

Don’t worry — it’s not an actual potato
Courtesy of Lou Aaron

When you think of Idaho, you probably think about potatoes. And that’s a logical connection to make considering it’s the state’s official vegetable. But, while you may associate potatoes with iconic breakfast foods and easy weeknight dinners, the residents of Idaho are eating the vegetable for dessert … well, kind of.

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The state’s most iconic dessert is the ice cream potato, which originated in Boise, Idaho, at the Westside Drive-In, which is one of the drive-ins in America that you can still pull up to. The hot spot was bought by Lou Aaron in 1994 and is still standing. Diners from all over visit the colorful pink-and-blue location to purchase everything from an incredible chicken sandwich to the popular ice cream potato itself.

If you’re not from Idaho, you’re probably still wondering, “What is an ice cream potato?” Thankfully, the dessert doesn’t contain any veggies, but it is meant to look like one. The Idaho staple consists of vanilla ice cream, molded into the shape of a baked potato and covered in cocoa, whipped cream and chocolate shavings. The toppings are meant to mimic the potato skin and a dollop of sour cream.

And while the ice cream potato is probably one of the most unique regional desserts you’ve ever heard of, there are plenty of other iconic American desserts you need to try.

Westside Drive-In Idaho Ice Cream Potato


1 quart vanilla ice cream

1 cup cocoa powder, for dusting

1 cup chocolate Syrup

2 cups whipped cream

1/2 cup cookie crumbs and ½ cup diced nut topping mixed together


Place cocoa in a mixing bowl.

To form the “potato,” split ice cream into 4 equal rectangle logs. Mold, with your hands, into the shape of baked potato. Place the “potatoes” in the cocoa powder and coat evenly.

Place in the freezer until firm, about 1 hour.

To assemble the potato, spoon a 1/4 cup chocolate syrup on the bottom of a dessert plate.

Split frozen "potato" down the middle and place a dollop of the whipped cream in the center.

Sprinkle with the cookie crumbs and mixed nuts.


Recipe courtesy Lou Aaron of Westside Drive-In