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Ice Cream Cake Recipe

A refreshing and delicious summer ice cream cake that’s perfect for birthdays, graduations, and more. Made with only 5 ingredients and so simple to whip up!

A slice of ice cream cake on a white plate.
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Homemade Ice Cream Cake Recipe

What can be better than a dessert with both ice cream AND cake?! They are two of my favorites and when combined, make a truly incredible treat. This easy recipe has the best of both worlds and tastes amazing! It’s refreshing, has great flavor, and is simple to make. You can’t beat it!

There’s nothing better than ice cream cake to celebrate a hot summer birthday. It’s super refreshing and is always loved by all. This recipe is a spin-off from my famous Oreo ice cream cake. However instead of being an ice cream sandwich cake recipe…I went the more traditional route and used chocolate cake and ice cream. And the end result was fabulous!

The best part about this recipe is that you need only 5 ingredients. It’s super easy to make and ends up looking like you bought it from your local ice cream shop. I love to add some colored sprinkles on top, as well as pipe some extra dollops of whipped cream around the edges. It gives it the perfect festive touch for birthdays, graduations, or any type of celebration. So simple and delicious!

Ingredients

Make your celebration extra special with this delicious and easy-to-make ice cream cake recipe! Take your cake layers with vanilla ice cream and create an easy birthday cake for those you love. It is filled with layers of deliciousness!

Ingredients for ice cream cake.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Prepared cake round: You’ll need a 9-inch cake round that’s already been cooked and cooled. You can buy premade cake rounds from your local bakery at most grocery stores.
  • Ice cream: I used vanilla, but feel free to use other flavors like chocolate ice cream or strawberry ice cream. Pick your favorite ice cream flavors or flavor combinations for the special celebration!
  • Hot fudge sauce:  I love to make a homemade version, but store-bought is great too. Chocolate fudge sauce is thick and creamy for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Cookies: I used Oreo cookies, but chocolate chip cookies would taste delicious too. Crushed cookies give this the perfect crunch in each bite.
  • Whipped cream: Can use a cool whip if preferred.

How to Make a Homemade Ice Cream Cake

This cake can be cut into smaller slices since it has double the layers. It is an easy ice cream cake that comes together with simple ingredients and instructions. Follow the step-by-step instructions to make the best ice cream cake right at home!

The steps to making ice cream cake.
  1. Prepare cake. Prepare one 9″ cake round according to package directions. Let cool, wrap in plastic wrap, and then place in the freezer until ready to use.
  2. Assemble and freeze. Butter a 9″ springform pan and spread 1/2 of the ice cream into the pan. Place spoonfuls of hot fudge sauce on top of the ice cream layer and then sprinkle cookies on top. Swirl the top with a knife, then tap on the counter to smooth out the top. Then spread the rest of the ice cream on top. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
  3. Assemble the cake, then spread it with whipped cream. Place the prepared (and cooled) 9″ cake pan onto a cake plate. When the ice cream is firm, release from the springform on top of the cake round. Then immediately spread it with the whipped cream.
  4. Freeze and then serve. Place back in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then decorate as desired. Serve immediately.
An ice cream cake on a white serving plate.

Decorations

I like to keep it simple and decorate with colored sprinkles. I also piped on some whipped cream dollops around the edges. Feel free to decorate how you prefer. You could add more chopped cookies on top and drizzle with hot fudge. Or even add a fun cake topper. So many options!

Tips for Making the Best Ice Cream Cake

These helpful tips will make this frozen ice cream cake even better! Learn how to layer the cake, freeze it, and crumble your Oreos. Follow these ideas to make this homemade cake even better!

  • Food processor. It is easier to use a food processor or a blender to mix together the cookies into cookie crumbs.
  • Cake pan. Use an 8-inch cake pan or a square pan if needed. Change the size of the baked cake to the size of the pan you would like to use.
  • Flavors of ice cream. We love to use vanilla because it is classic but be sure to try it with your favorite ice cream. Mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate chip cookie dough, strawberry, and chocolate are all traditional flavors. Sherbet does not do well with this type of cake.
  • Layers. If you have a peanut butter lover, you can melt peanut butter and pour it on top of the Oreo or chocolate chip layer. This will give it extra flavor and the peanut butter will freeze properly.
  • Smooth cake. To make a smooth top or layers use an offset spatula to help make the cream on the outside look better.

Recipe FAQs

When was ice cream cake popular?

Ice cream cakes became popular in the 1980s. Baskin Robbins, Friendly’s, and Carvel all made ice cream cakes even more popular with advertisements and made them easier and more affordable during that time.

How do you cut an ice cream cake?

When cutting the ice cream cake, dip a sharp knife blade into hot water and let sit for a few seconds. Remove the knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel or towel then cut the cake. Continue to do this until the cake is complete.

Who came up with ice cream cake?

It is not known who invented or came up with the original ice cream cake. There have been thoughts that it has been around since the sixteenth century. We are just grateful to have such a delicious dessert!

A slice of ice cream cake with sprinkles on top.

5 star review

“It was a hit. Very easy to make. Definitely will make it again.”

-Amy

Storage Tips

This ice cream cake can be refrozen…simply store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container or bag. Just make sure to refreeze quickly after serving. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. No need to thaw before enjoying it again, although feel free to let it sit out for a couple of minutes before enjoying it if you like it on the softer side.

More chilled dessert we love include this dirt cake, mud pie recipe, chocolate lasagna, and fudgsicles!

Other Favorite Chilled Treats

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ice cream cake

Ice Cream Cake

5 from 30 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
A refreshing and delicious summer ice cream cake that's perfect for birthdays, graduations and more. Made with only 5 ingredients and so simple to whip up!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16

Video

Ingredients 

  • 1 9-inch cake round , prepared and cooled
  • 1.75 quart ice cream , slightly softened
  • 1 cup hot fudge sauce
  • 12 OREO or chocolate chip cookies , finely chopped
  • 2 cups whipped cream , or cool whip

Optional: Sprinkles

    Instructions

    • Prepare one 9″ cake round according to package directions. Allow to cool and then place in the freezer until ready to use. 
    • Butter a 9″ Spring form pan. Then spread 1/2 of the ice cream into the pan. Place spoonfuls of the hot fudge sauce on top of the ice cream. Then sprinkle the cookies on top. Swirl the top with a knife. Then tap on the counter to smooth out the top. Then spread the rest of the ice cream on top. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
    • Place the prepared (and cooled) 9″ cake round onto a cake plate. When the ice cream is firm, release from the spring form on top of the cake round. Then immediately spread with the whipped cream. 
    • Place back in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then decorate as desired. Serve immediately. 

    Notes

    Ice cream: Make sure to use higher quality ice cream. If you use a cheaper store brand it will melt faster as they are more light and airy.  I prefer Tillamook or Dreyers if I can’t find Tillamook. 
    Tips:
    • Run your knife under hot water and then dry it before cutting for a smooth cut.
    • Short on time for baking? You can buy pre-made cake rounds from your local bakery at most grocery stores. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 415mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1.7mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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