How To - Tips and Tricks

How To Make Ice Cream Cake – 7 Simple Recipes And Expert Tips

How To Make Ice Cream Cake – 7 Simple Recipes And Expert Tips

There’s so much debate going on about how to make ice cream cake. Some people believe that if it’s not like Dairy Queens classic ice cream cake, then it’s not ice cream cake. Others posit that as long as it is a frozen dessert with cake and ice cream, it is ice cream cake. Another faction argue that all that’s required for a dessert to qualify as an ice cream cake is that it tastes like cake and ice cream and it is frozen.

 We would not join sides with any faction but would rather present you with as many options (recipes) as possible. Whatever rocks your boat on a hot summer day is alright; you’re ultimate enjoyment and satisfaction is really all that matters.

how to make ice cream cake
ice cream cake

Ingredients and Equipment

The following are the ingredients and equipment that would be needed in almost all of the recipes and methods we would share in this post. So if you don’t have any of them, you can check out the links in the post to go get them on Amazon.

Stand or hand mixer

Whisk

Mixing bowls

Springform pan(s)

Baking tray

Icing Spatula

Cake turntable

Icing smoother

Ice cream scoop

Cake board/serving platter

Piping bag and tip

Parchment paper

Ice cream

Cake mix or already baked cake

Sprinkles

Oroes

Chocolate chips

Icing sugar /butter icing

Whipping or whipped cream

Food coloring

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1st Method Dairy Queen Style Ice Cream Cake

This style of ice cream cake is not a dessert to make on the spur of the moment; you have to think it through and plan for it. Not that it is difficult to make but it is time consuming. You have to factor in all the freezing time to ensure that you don’t end up with a gooey mix of different flavors of ice cream, sauce, chips and sprinkles.

Remember that the more time you allow for freezing, the better result you’ll get. So now that you have created enough time for this yummy delight, here’s how it’s done…

Ingredients

8 Cups or 2 quarts or 4 pints vanilla ice cream

4 Cups or 1 quart or 2 pints chocolate ice cream

2 ½ Cups chocolate cookies (roughly crushed)

2 Cups or 1 pint or ½ quart chocolate fudge sauce

4 Cups or 2 pints or 32 fl.oz or 1 quart heavy whipping cream

2 Tablespoons icing sugar

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkles (to cover the sides and top of the cake or as desired)

Magic Shell sauce (optional)

Maraschino cherries (optional)

Instructions For preparation

  1. Place a sheet of wax or parchment paper on a baking tray. Remove the bottom of the springform pan, then place the pan on the parchment paper (ensure that your springform pan is cold). You can either use a 9-inch or 10 inch pan.

  2. Bring out your vanilla ice cream from the freezer and using either your hand or stand mixer whip it up until it gets fluffy. This might take about 2 minutes; but ensure that the ice cream is still frozen.

  3. Spread the ice cream that you have whipped up the sides of the springform pan; ensure that there’s a thick layer of vanilla ice cream all over the sides of the pan. Spread the remaining ice cream on the bottom of the pan and even it out.

  4. Spread the crushed cookies over the layer of vanilla ice cream and ensure that it is thick and evenly spread over the ice cream. Then press the cookies lightly into the ice cream layer.

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  1. Next warm the chocolate fudge sauce and pour over the layer of cookies. Please ensure that the fudge is not hot; it should just be warm enough for it to be poured easily and not melt the ice cream.

  2. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours; overnight would be best.

  3. Bring out the pan with the three layers the following day or 4 hours later. Then whip the chocolate ice cream as with the vanilla ice cream and spread it over the fudge layer. Smooth it out until it is at the same level with the top of the springform pan, then cover the pan with a sheet of parchment paper.

  4. Place this in the freezer until it is frozen solid or overnight.

  5. On the following day, or after 4 hours, remove the parchment paper from the top of the cake.

  6. Invert the pan unto a cake or serving platter and remove the parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. The bottom with the vanilla ice cream would be the top while the chocolate ice cream layer would be the bottom.

  7. Trim all the excess ice cream that’s not in the cake pan circle so that the cake is neat.

  8. Loosen the pan and gently juggle it around until the pan slides off the cake. The best pan to use for this cake is a silicone spring form pan because it easy to unwrap from the cake. Check out the picture below.

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After the last step, some of the ice cream may have melted into the base; quickly mop it up and return the cake to the freezer.

Place the whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Whip it altogether until the cream forms soft peaks. Using your spatula, cover the cake with the whipped cream. You can decide to pipe some designs onto the cake and also add other decorations as you desire.

Although you can serve this cake at this point, it is best to return the cake back into the freezer to firm up before serving. If you can leave the cake in the freezer overnight before serving it would be nicely frozen and hold its shape for serving.

This cake can be stored for up to a month; all you need to do is cover the cake loosely with a plastic wrap before placing in the freezer.

Remember that you may have to place the cake in the freezer in between some steps where it is not indicated. If you notice that your ice cream is melting before you add the next layer, then place it in the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes to get it solid again.

This recipe was adapted from https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-an-ice-cream-cake-even-better-than-dairy-queen-222085

The video below gives you an idea of what to do:-

2nd Method Of Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake Imitation

Ingredients

To Make The Chocolate Cookie Crunchies, You Need The Following:-

¾ Cup or 100g Oreo crumbs (approximately 9 pieces of Oreos)

1 ½ Tablespoon of melted butter

To Make The Ice Cream Layers, You Need The Following:-

1 ½ quart, 6 cups or 3 pints vanilla ice cream

1 ½ quart, 6 cups or 3 pints chocolate ice cream

To Make The Chocolate Fudge, You Need The Following:-

1 cup or 6 oz chocolate chips (semi sweet)

3 Tablespoons corn syrup (light)

½ Teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup or 120ml heavy whipping cream

To Make The Whipped Cream You Need The Following:-

2 cups or 480ml heavy whipping cream(chilled)

1 cup icing sugar

1 ½ Teaspoon vanilla extract Sprinkles (as desired or enough to cover the cake)

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Instructions for Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Line a springform pan or an 8 x 3 inch pan with parchment or wax paper. For the 8 x 3 inch pan, ensure that the pan is overhanging on the sides; this would come in handy for pulling out the cake when it’s done. Set aside. (if you want to use a spring form pan, check out step 1 in the 1st method.

  2. Place a sheet of baking/wax paper on a baking tray and set aside.

  3. Place the Oreo crumbs in a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and mix both well until thoroughly combined. Then spread the crumbs evenly on the baking tray.

  4. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Leave to cool, and then use your fingers to break up any large clump. Set this aside.

  5. Using a stand or hand mixer, soften your chocolate ice cream and spread it evenly over the bottom of the cake pan that you had prepared in step 1. You can also bring out the ice cream ahead of time to soften a bit if you do not want to whip it up with a mixer.

  6. Place this ice cream layer in the freezer for 30 minutes.

  7. Get another mixing bowl and place the chocolate chips, corn syrup and vanilla extra in it. Pour the whipping cream into a saucepan and heat until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat immediately and pour over the chocolate chips and other ingredients that you have placed in a mixing bowl.  Leave for about 3 minutes then whisk it until smooth.

  8. Bring out chocolate ice cream layer that you kept in the freezer and pour the fudge that you just prepared over it. Spread it out to evenly cover the chocolate ice cream layer, then put the cake pan back into the freezer for 10 minutes.

  9. Bring out the cake pan after 10 minutes and spread the cookie crumbs on the chocolate fudge layer. Freeze for 2 hours until firm.

  10. After 2 hours, prepare the vanilla ice cream check out step 5. Spread the vanilla ice cream over the last layer in the cake pan and put it back into the freezer for another 3 hours.

  11. After 3 hours, bring out the cake; if you used a springform pan, wiggle it around a bit and lift it off the cake. For the other type of baking pan, use the excess parchment paper to lift out the cake from the pan and place on the cake board or platter. Put it back into the freezer

  12. Place the whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and whisk on high speed until it forms soft peaks.

  13. Bring out the cake from the freezer and spread the whipped cream all over to frost it. You can decorate the cake as you like.

  14. Store in the freezer until you are ready to serve it.

  15. This cake is best eaten within 5 days of preparation. And don’t forget to warp it well with a plastic wrap or cover properly with a cake container.

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Ice Cream Cake With Cake And Ice Cream

This method of making ice cream cake is what some other people know as ice cream cake. In this method, you actually combine ice cream with cake. You can either use homemade ice cream and cake or store-bought ice cream and cake mix.

If you need a good recipe for any flavor and type of ice cream, check out this article on 197 recipes. To also find out how to make great homemade ice cream, check out this post.

So no matter the flavour of ice cream or cake that you want to use, the steps are pretty straightforward.

  1. Prepare the cake, and then cut it into layers. If it is a tall cake you might cut it into 3 or 4 layers. For a short cake, you cut into 2 layers.

  2. Soften the ice cream either with a mixer or by bringing it out of the freezer, 20 minutes before you are ready to use it.

  3. Place one layer of the cake at the bottom of the cake pan (it is best to use a springform pan). spread a thick layer of ice cream on it and continue the process until you top off with a cake layer. The accompanying video would show you how it’s done.

  4. Place in the freezer and allow to firm up before you start decorating. Note that you might have to place the cake in the freezer if you notice that its melting in between layers.

  5. Bring out the cake from the oven after it has firmed up and decorate as desired.

There’s a lot that you can do with this method of ice cream cake. You can add some chocolate chips or other add-on ingredients between layers of cake and ice cream.  The limitation to what you do is only your imagination; once you know the basics, you are good to go.

Baking Ice Cream Cake With Cake Mix and Ice Cream

This is the most controversial method of making ice cream cake. Majority of folks vehemently disagree that this is an ice cream cake; their stance being that ice cream should not be baked. But what if you tried it and it was a hit with your friends and family or your guests at a get together?

As a cake decorator and caterer, I have learnt never to shoot an idea or method down until I have tried it out for myself. I have even noticed that some things that may not be an immediate hit with me might get raves from my friends, family or clients.

So here’s how it’s done:-

Choose the cake mix and ice cream of your choice, follow the direction on the box and prepare the batter, then soften the ice cream and if you have any add- on ingredients, add it. Bake for the required time.

 Check out this video for inspiration:-

Other Variants Of Pastry And Ice Cream

In the course of our research for this post, we came across hundreds of interesting recipes in addition to those we have already shared. These recipes can indeed be overwhelming so we have helped you to narrow them down to the following:-

Mega Size Ice Cream Sandwich

This recipe came about as a result of trying to solve the problem of small ice cream sandwich. Try this out to save time and space as well as making a mouth-watering dessert for a few persons.  Although this cannot be said to be an ice cream cake but it is a dessert that incorporates ice cream.

Ingredients

2 -16 ½ oz. packages chocolate chip cookie dough refrigerated

½ gallon or 4 pints or 2 quarts vanilla ice cream

1 cup chocolate chips (mini)

Instructions For Baking And Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.  Line 2 9-inch baking pans with baking paper.

  2. Place one package of cookie dough in each baking pan and press into the bottom. Ensure that it is even.

  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until it is golden brown.

  4. Leave to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and freeze for half an hour.

  5. Bring out the cookie from the freezer and turn it onto a serving platter (the flat side should face up) scoop the vanilla ice cream on the cookie and smooth it out with a spatula.

  6. Place the other layer of frozen cookie on top of the ice cream layer (remember that you have to turn the flat side down).

  7. Push in the excess ice cream with your spatula while smoothing ice cream over the cookie.

  8. Place in the freezer to firm up for about 2 hours. When you are ready to serve it , bring it out of the freezer about 10 minutes to serving time.

  9. Slice and serve as desired.

I could not resist showing you one more video for inspiration:-

Baked Alaska

We can only guess at why this scrumptious dessert was named baked Alaska. And the guess we hazard is that this name came about because of the broiling or blow torch application that’s employed at the end of the preparation.

But whatever the reason, this is a simple to make treat that appears way more fussy and classy than it really is.

Note that as with all the recipes we have shared in this post. You can always tweak this recipe to suit your taste.

Ingredients

To Make The Ice Cream, You Need The Following:-

2 Cups or ½ quart or 1 pint chocolate ice cream

6 Cups or 1 ½ quart or 3 pints vanilla ice cream

6 Cups or 1 ½ quart or 3 pints strawberry ice cream

To Make The Brownie Layer, You Need

1 box brownie mix

All the ingredients that are listed on the box

To Make The Meringue You Need The Following:-

8 Egg whites

1 Cup sugar

¼ Teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions For Preparation

  1.  Spray a large mixing bowl(at least 3-quart capacity) with cooking spray and then line it with a plastic wrap.

  2. Scoop the ice creams (which you would soften; check the method 1 of Dairy Queen ice cream) in layers into the bowl.

  3. Cover it lightly with a plastic wrap and freeze for about 4 hours or until it is completely frozen.

  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  5. Spray  an 8 inch round baking pan  with cooking spray and also line with baking or wax paper.

  6. Follow the instruction on the box of brownie mix to make the batter and bake as instructed. Or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean; this would take between 25 -27 minutes.

  7. Allow the brownie to cool totally, then bring out the ice cream that you’ve been freezing and place the brownie on top of it.

  8. Cover again with a plastic wrap and put it back into the freezer. Leave it there for about an hour or until you are ready to serve it.

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Make The Meringue

Place your egg white and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium high for about 2 minutes.


Next increase the speed of the mixer to high and continue to beat as you add the sugar in gradually but steadily. Continue to beat until your mixture forms shiny peaks. This would take about 12 minutes.


Turn out the frozen ice cream and brownie unto a serving platter ( the chocolate brownie would now be the bottom layer). Then cover it completely with the meringue; use the back of a spoon to swirl the meringue into different peaks.


Place in the oven and broil for about 2 minutes or until it gets golden brown. You can also use a kitchen torch.


Slice and serve it immediately.

Recipe Notes

To broil your baked Alaska, set your oven on broiler and preheat. Then place your platter of baked Alaska on your baking tray and put the baking tray on the upper shelf of the oven.

If you are using a kitchen torch, make sure that you move the torch in a circular motion around the baked Alaska. Do not leave the torch on a particular spot for too long or else it would burn.

This recipe was adapted from https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a54800/best-baked-alaska-recipe/

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Rainbow Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients

3 Cups or 720ml  heavy whipping cream

1 14-oz. can or 1 and ¾ Cups condensed milk (sweetened)

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Store bought flan cake (vanilla or any other flavour that you prefer)

Sprinkles

Food coloring(red, yellow, orange, blue, green, and purple)

Instructions For Preparation

  1. Place the whipping cream in a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to whip it up until it forms medium peaks.

  2.  Fold in the condensed milk and vanilla incorporating them thoroughly.

  3. Divide the mixture equally into 6 smaller bowls.

  4. Add the 6 colors (one to each bowl) and mix them well.  

  5. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line it with a plastic wrap. Leave some part of the plastic wrap overhanging from the loaf pan. This would serve as the handle that you would use to lift off the ice cream cake when it’s done.

  6. Scoop the ice cream into the prepared loaf pan in layers of the different colors are you desire.

  7. The cut out the flan cake to the shape and size of the loaf pan and place on the last layer of the ice cream. You can brush the cake layer with some orange flavored liqueur or some jam to soften it up.

  8. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours or overnight.

  9. When you are ready to serve it, bring out the ice cream cake and turn it out onto a serving platter. The cake at the top becomes the bottom layer. Cover the top layer with sprinkles.

  10. Clean out the sides of the cake, slice and serve.

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Ice Cream Cake Bomb

This dessert got its name from the shape which is mostly oval or half-moon.  So basically all you need are 3 mixing bowls in graduating sizes,  three types and colors of ice cream and cookie crumbs( most commonly used is oreos cookies) and about 2 or 3 tablespoons of melted butter.

Instructions For Preparation

  1. Chill the largest mixing bowl ahead of time. When you are ready to start, scoop the first ice cream into the chilled bowl and spread it all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. Ensure that the ice cream covers the bowl all the way up with a cavity in the middle.

  2. Turn over the mixing bowl that is next in size and place plastic wrap on the bottom and place that into the cavity of the first bowl with the first layer of ice cream.

  3. Place the ice cream with the bowl in it into the freezer and leave it there for one hour.

  4. Bring out the ice cream after an hour, remove the bowl and scoop the second ice cream on top of the first layer. Following the same procedure, cover the bottom of the third bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the cavity of the second layer. Put in the freezer for another hour.

  5. As you wait for the second layer to freeze, crush the Oreos into crumbs and place in a mixing bowl. Then add the butter (if using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt). Mix together and form a crust.

  6. When the 1 hour is up, bring out the ice cream and add the final layer of ice cream. This would cover the last cavity in the bowl.

  7. Then spread the Oreos crust over the last layer and gently press it evenly into the ice cream.

  8. Cover lightly with a plastic wrap and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours or until well frozen.

  9. To serve, dip the bowl quickly into a large bowl of warm water. Ensure that the bowl is inserted as far as its rim but be careful not to get water into the bowl.

  10. Turn it over onto a serving platter and remove the bowl.  Slice and serve at once.

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Expert Tips For Ice Cream Cake Bomb

You can also use two other methods to unmold the ice cream cake bomb.

Method 1

Turn over the bowl of ice cream layers onto a serving platter and use a kitchen torch to go gently over the bowl for a few seconds. It would loosen up and you can remove the bowl. Then place the ice cream cake bake into the freezer for a little while before serving.

Method 2


When you turn over the bowl onto a serving platter, dip a kitchen towel into hot water and using another towel, place the hot towel over the ice cream bowl for a few seconds. It would have the same effect as the torch. Then also place the ice cream into the freezer for a while before serving.

Using Specialty Pans

To make more complicated shapes and designs, you can use a Bundt pan or fluted cake pan. But with these specialty pans, you’ll need more time and patience. Here’s how to use a Bundt or fluted cake pan for an ice cream cake bomb.

Scoop the first layer of ice cream into the pan. Ensure you fill all the sides up to the top of the pan (cavities of the pan to fill out the design). Place in the freezer for about an hour.

Bring it out after an hour and repeat the process. Do this for the third layer of ice cream also.

When you bring out the ice cream after the 3rd layer of ice cream has frozen, invert it onto a serving platter. Then use the hot towel or warm water method to remove the pan. Using the kitchen torch is not recommended because we don’t know the make of the specialty pan that you may want to use.


When you have removed the pan, there might be a cavity in the center, depending on the design of the pan you used. If there is a cavity, you can decide to fill it with sprinkles or another type of ice cream flavor or anything that catches your fancy.

Put back the platter into the freezer and leave it to freeze until you are ready to serve.

Although using specialty pans is more painstaking then the graduated mixing bowls, the end product is usually very lovely. That is what makes the time and energy spent well worth it.

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Conclusion

There’s so much you can do with a cake and some ice cream; you can also add twists to recipes with different add-on ingredients.

One thing that you must never forget is that ice cream cake requires that you freeze constantly so that it wouldn’t melt. It is a temperature sensitive dessert.

If you are making any variation of ice cream cake for a customer or to present at a potluck or any such gathering, ensure that you have a chilled van, vessel or means of conveying it from your house to the venue.  If you just rely on the AC of your car, you may be highly disappointed to discover a messy glob of cream when you get to your venue.

For those who live in hot climate, do not attempt any type of ice cream cake if you don’t have proper air-conditioning wherever, you are making and decorating the cake. Your decorating room has to be chilled or you’ll ensure to always put the cake back and forth the freezer between layers or steps in the process.

That said ice cream cakes are the bomb any day any time so it’s worth whatever precaution you have to take to make and serve it.

Are ice cream cakes going to be a constant summer or warm day dessert in your home? Then you best invest in an ice cream maker so that you can go wild with different ice cream flavors.  Check out the one below:-

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Chisom

Chisom was raised in a home where something was always cooking or baking in the kitchen. She developed her love for baking and the culinary arts from an early age. Through the years she has undergone several formal and informal training on cake decoration. She obtained two certificates from The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Arts. Her wealth of experience spans over 30 years of hands on training and experimentation. She is proud to say that whatever tips and advice she passes on are tested and proven. She has also inspired many to great entrepreneurial heights in the world of cake decoration and culinary arts.

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