A New England holiday tradition, the Friendly’s Jubilee Roll combines two kinds of ice cream with fudge, nuts, and sprinkles into the ultimate take-home treat.
By Aimee Tucker
Dec 01 2021
Friendly’s Jubilee RollPhoto Credit : Aimee Tucker
Every November, I watch for it — the first official sign that the Christmas season has arrived. Well, at the grocery store, anyway. I’m talking, of course, about the Friendly’s Jubilee Roll, the ultimate festive ice cream treat.
Founded in 1935 by the Blake Brothers of Springfield, Massachusetts, Friendly’s is a New England-based family dining restaurant chain that’s mostly known for its ice cream. Whenever I meet someone that has never heard of Friendly’s, I describe it as being “like Howard Johnson’s was, only without the motels.” Casual dining (think burgers and melts) with an emphasis on friendly service, and always dessert. Today, there are nearly 400 Friendly’s locations throughout the eastern United States, most of them in the Northeast.
If you prefer to enjoy your ice cream at home, however, Friendly’s also offers take-home options, including cartons of ice cream, sundae cups, ice cream bars and cones, and novelty ice cream “rolls” like the Jubilee Roll. Popular and affordable (Friendly’s packaged ice creams are New England’s best-selling brand in grocery stores) they’re permanently linked to fond childhood memories for most former New England kids, including me.
This year, I saw my first batch of Jubilee Rolls in mid-November (move over, summertime Orange Creme Rolls), and snapped one up.
Out of the box, it looked as elegant as I remembered from nearly every Christmas (and sometimes Thanksgiving) dessert table of my 1980s childhood. A chocolate ice cream center surrounded by chocolate chip ice cream, topped with fudge, chopped almonds, red and green candy chips, and what Friendly’s refers to as “an ice cream ribbon.” I just call it “the pink part,” aka “the best part.” It tasted like ice cream and frosting had a party, but that might have just been my imagination working overtime.
Could there be a more attractive, delicious way to both celebrate the holiday season and indulge in a little local pride? I don’t think so.
Sliced, served, and maybe even topped with more hot fudge and a little whipped cream, it’s ice-cold Christmas on a plate.
Do you look forward to a Friendly’s Jubilee Roll each year? Share your memories with us in the comments!
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.