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DIY Ice Cream Cake Tips

DIY Ice Cream Cake Tips

Learn how to make this marvelous dessert at home!

Never buy a store bought ice cream cake again.

Everything is better homemade. There is no major secret revelation there. But sometimes, homemade products seem impossible, and ice cream cake can definitely fall into that category. But believe it or not, you can make this sweet summer treat at home in a snap, all you need is a little time and a lot of ice cream.

Check Out These Fool-Proof Tips:

1. Make Room

Make sure your freezer has enough space. You need this cake to rest flat and with nothing on top of it so it freezes properly.

2. Make Time

This is not a last minute dessert idea. You need two hours between steps and a lot of freezing time.

3. Use Cold Materials

Freeze all the ingredients and the tools you’re using for best results (that means cold cake tin, mixing bowls and scoops).

To make your own, check out our recipes for Watermelon Ice Cream Cake.

How to Make the World&rsquos Easiest Ice Cream Cake

You will need: Whipped cream, 10 ice cream sandwiches, and 2 pints of ice cream in the flavor(s) of your choice. These are going to be your cake&rsquos layers, so you can go any direction you want&mdashSour cherry! Salted caramel! Pistachio honey! Peanut butter! Or maybe you&rsquore a bit more traditional. Grab one pint of chocolate and one pint of strawberry to do a riff on the classic Neapolitan. Or try espresso ice cream (as we did in this photo) and aim for a decidedly adult, mocha version.

Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a couple of inches hanging over each of the long sides. These pieces will act like handles, making it easier to remove the cake from the pan once frozen.

(You want the ice cream to be spreadable but not liquid.) In the bottom of the loaf pan, place 5 ice cream sandwiches in a single flat layer, chocolate &ldquocookie&rdquo side down, trimming them to fit as needed. Cover the sandwiches with 1½ cups of ice cream (this will be about ¾ of a pint), smoothing it out to form an even layer about ¾- to 1-inch thick. Cover that with another layer of sandwiches, and then another layer of ice cream, spreading it so that it is even. Make sure the ice cream is smooth and packed tightly, then cover the entire loaf pan neatly with plastic wrap.

The secret to DIY ice cream cake

But homemade ice cream cakes do not have to be that complicated. In this case, it&aposs about boxed cake mix, jarred ice cream toppings, canned frosting, and the world&aposs easiest no-churn ice cream recipe.

Once you have these down, you can make pretty much any flavor combination you like, from old-school chocolate cake with mint chip ice cream and chocolate frosting, to more mature indulgences, like lemon cake with blueberry ice cream and toasted marshmallow frosting. The sky is the limit on flavors, and the process is super manageable.

Easy DIY Ice Cream Cake

10 + 2/3 standard-sized ice cream sandwiches
3 cups ice cream
1 to 1 1/2 cups something crunchy (coconut, sprinkles, crushed cookies, nuts, etc.)
3/4 cup hot fudge or caramel sauce
1/2 pound high quality semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup refined coconut oil (if you use virgin/unrefined, you will get a more coconutty flavor)
6 tablespoons light corn syrup

1. Line an 8″ x 8″ dish with parchment paper. Place 5 + 1/3 ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of the dish, making sure that they are pressed together, though there will be space around the outside edges.

2. Add the 3 cups of ice cream on top of the sandwiches, spreading it into an even layer and pushing to the edges of the ice cream sandwiches. Tip: If you beat the ice cream in a stand mixer for about 10 seconds, it makes the ice cream really easy to spread.

3. Add your crunchy topping of choice in an even layer, pressing down into the ice cream.

4. Heat the hot fudge (or caramel) sauce in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, until it’s spreadable but barely warm, and spread sauce over the crunchy layer.

5. Layer remaining 5 + 1/3 ice cream sandwiches on top, rotating the placement from the first layer. Push them as close together as you can, but don’t stress if they won’t stay put for now.

6. Place the dish in the freezer. After a couple of hours, remove it and, using your hands, press on the parchment paper from all sides to push the cake back into shape. Return to the freezer overnight.

7. At some point while the cake is freezing, make the chocolate shell coating: Add chopped chocolate, coconut oil, and light corn syrup to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50% power in 30 second increments, whisking well between each interval, until smooth. This sauce can be stored in a container with a lid at room temperature until the cake is ready.

8. Once the cake is frozen solid, remove it from freezer, lift it out of the dish using the parchment paper overhang and invert onto a cutting board. Remove paper and, using a large knife, cut sides of cake to square off the edges.

9. Place trimmed cake onto a rack that’s been placed on top of a lined baking sheet. Pour chocolate sauce over the cake to coat top and sides completely, keeping in mind that it will harden within 30 seconds of hitting the cold cake. Use a spoon to spread the coating evenly over the top and sides. Store in freezer until time to serve.

Written by

Jane Maynard is known for sharing smart, simple menu planning ideas for families on her website and podcast, This Week for Dinner. She's also a freelance food writer for pubs like Parade and Cosmo. While she lives in San Diego, she has a thing for east coast bagels. Also chocolate chip cookies. Possibly too many of them. (As if that were possible.)

How to Cut an Ice Cream Cake

Once you’ve built a gorgeous ice cream cake, learn how to slice it into beautifully, crisp pieces. Here’s a biggie tip: if you’re serving your cake to guests, slice the cake ahead of time, leave it on the plate, and put it back into the freezer.

Remove it from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. You want the ice cream cake to soften every so slightly to make your job easier – but not melt!

Dip the blade of a large metal chef’s knife in a tall glass of warm water. You know how people dip ice cream scoops in warm water to help them glide through a pint of ice cream? Dipping a chef’s knife will help it slice through your layer cake neatly. Just make sure to dry off the blade completely with paper towels.

Place the tip of the knife into the center of the cake first. Then press the back of the blade downwards to make an even slice.

Dip the blade in water and dry it. After every cut (yes, every one!) you’ll want to re-dip the blade in water and dry it off. Otherwise, you risk messy results.

Many ice cream recipes call for making a cooked custard out of eggs, sugar, and milk. After you've made the custard, it's important to chill it in the refrigerator until it's as cold as possible before putting it into your ice cream maker. Some experts even recommend "aging" the mixture overnight in the refrigerator, which will enable the mixture to be aerated as much as possible in the maker, yielding the creamiest, smoothest ice cream.

Speaking of freezing, if you're using the type of ice cream maker that comes with a freezer bowl, make sure to freeze this bowl for at least 24 hours before making ice cream. If the bowl is not cold enough, chances are your ice cream will never freeze.

Ice Cream Cakes Recipes

Of all the frozen desserts, the ones that combine ice cream and cake are among our faves! These ice cream cake recipes are scrumptious and easy to make. You may not even need to know how to bake a cake for some ice cream cake recipes because the “cake” part can be packaged cookies or ice cream sandwiches. (Or graham crackers, as in this how to make a S'mores Ice Cream Cake video.) Ice cream cake recipes are perfect for birthdays, cookouts and more. Time to get no-baking ice cream cake recipes!

Of all the frozen desserts, the ones that combine ice cream and cake are among our faves! These ice cream cake recipes are scrumptious and easy to make. You may not even need to know how to bake a cake for some ice cream cake recipes because the “cake” part can be packaged cookies or ice cream sandwiches. (Or graham crackers, as in this how to make a S'mores Ice Cream Cake video.) Ice cream cake recipes are perfect for birthdays, cookouts and more. Time to get no-baking ice cream cake recipes!

3-Layer DIY Ice Cream Cake

I really like to bake. Maybe you already know this about me. Something you may not know is how much I dislike this Southern heat. It was 112 degrees here yesterday. 112!! So no baking for me! This challenged me to come up with a new cake idea that didn’t make the house any hotter than it already was. Now I think I just might like this cake in favor of baking every time! It’s a 3-Layer DIY Ice Cream Cake filled with vanilla ice cream and fudge layers, topped with whipped cream, mini cones, chocolate sauce and wrapped in ice cream sandwiches. Here’s how to make it…

Blue Bunny has these amazing ice creams and novelties like mini swirl cones and ice cream sandwiches. So as I walked down the ice cream section at Walmart I was thinking to myself, how many of these delicious things can I incorporate into this cake? All of them? Maybe.

Supplies Needed:

  • Springform Pan
  • Waxed paper
  • 2 quarts Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 2 boxes of Blue Bunny ice cream sandwhiches
  • Hot Fudge Sauce ice cream topping
  • 8 oz container Whipped Topping, thawed
  • Chocolate Sauce (for drizzingling)
  • 1 box Blue Bunny Mini Swirls cones
  • Sprinkles (optional)

You’ll probably be amazed at just how easy this is. In fact, when I made it for Father’s Day my husband just assumed I’d bought it. He said, I knew it wasn’t your style [to buy a cake] but it just looked so good! I NEVER buy our cakes. Like, ever. I guess it just looked that good to him. That’s good for us though right? It’s easy but it doesn’t look it!

Step 1 Line a Springform Pan or cheesecake pan (the ones with the side release) with wax paper overlapping the sides by an inch or two. I used the large 10″ pan but the size you use is up to you.

I played around with the amount of ice cream sandwiches I’d need before I got started. That way I don’t have melting ice cream while I’m trying to figure things out. I used 14 ice cream sandwiches.

Then I quickly unwrapped each one.

These are not dinky little sandwiches. They are thick and delicious all on their own. I chose to use Neapolitan but you could use the original vanilla, too.

Step 2 Quickly line the outside of your pan with ice cream sandwiches.

You’ll squeeze them in but not too much. It’s okay if they get a little soft or wonky while you’re trying to stand them up. We’ll take care of that later.

Pop it in the freezer to chill for 10-15 mins. Set out your vanilla ice cream to soften while you wait.

Give it a good stir to determine if it’s softened up enough. You don’t want it melted, just softened.

Step 3 Once your ice cream has reach a just spreadable consistency it’s ready to drop in. I used about 3/4 of a quart for each layer.

Press the ice cream as far over to the ice cream sandwiches as it will go. This will help keep your sandwiches pressed firmly against the sides and help them to stand up. Smooth it down and pop back into the freezer for 10-15 mins to harden.

Step 4 Now it’s time for the hot fudge sauce! You’ll use it straight out of the jar, no need to heat. Spread contents of the jar along the top layer and pop back into the freezer again for 10-15 mins.

Who loves hot fudge? WE do!

Step 5 Add another layer (again, approx 3/4 of a quart) onto your fudge layer.

Smooth it down and put back into the freezer. I left mine overnight but you could totally use the same day. I would suggest doing this part earlier in the day and taking it out after several hours and topping just before serving.

Once your cake has had enough time refreeze any softened layers it is time to remove it from the pan and add your toppings.

This is where your springform pan comes in handy. Simply unlatch the side and remove it.

Pull the wax paper down from the sides. Lift it up using the sides of the wax paper as handles and place onto your serving plate.

Use a spatula or your hand to lift the cake from underneath to remove the wax paper. Looks pretty good already, huh?

Add your container of whipped topping and spread along the top of your cake.

Why not make the decorations MORE ICE CREAM?! These Mini Swirls cones are birthday cake flavor but you could choose any flavor you like. How about caramel!

Drizzle with some chocolate sauce…

Add some sprinkles for even more fun!

So if you’re having a summer shindig or even if it’s a particularly warm winter day there in Australia, you should totally try making this different kind of cake. It is so easy and so delicious.

It’s easy to serve and refreeze. Just take it out of the freezer a few minutes before you’re ready to serve and it slices like a dream! Thanks to all of that REAL ice cream.

What’s your favorite Blue Bunny flavor? Can’t decide? Blue Bunny will be teaming up with Chips Ahoy for a delicious 4th of July demo at Walmart. Is your store on the list? Want to make a simple sundae or an elaborate dessert? Click here for more amazing dessert ideas with Blue Bunny ice cream.

A special thank you to Blue Bunny for sponsoring this post and to all of my sponsors for allowing me to share with you delicious ideas and fab DIYs all free of charge to you. And, as always, it is my pleasure to bring to you the products and services that work best for me and my family. Opinions and ideas are 100% my own. Thank you.

Ice Cream Cake

One hour before starting your cake, turn the freezer to its highest setting.

Heat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil, along with the amount of water called for by the package directions. Beat until well combined. Divide the batter between the pans. Place the pans in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pans. Let the layers cool completely before assembling the cake.

Place one of the layers on an 8-inch cardboard cake round or a freezer-proof cake plate. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread 1 quart of the softened ice cream over the top of the plated layer. Place the remaining cake layer on top of the ice cream. Put the cake in the freezer to harden, about 1 hour.

Transfer the remaining softened ice cream to a mixing bowl. Cream by hand with a rubber spatula until it reaches the consistency of frosting. Frost the top and the sides of the cake with the ice cream.

Homemade Ice Cream Cake


For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder , I prefer the extra dark variety
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar , + an extra tablespoon
  • 3/4 cup milk , can sub water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter , melted (plus extra for greasing, can sub melted coconut oil)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Ice Cream


Dark chocolate shavings (use a carrot peeler) and/or dye-free sprinkles, fresh sliced strawberries and/or raspberries.

Recipe Notes

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

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About Lisa Leake

Lisa is a wife, mother, foodie, blogger, and New York Times Best-selling author who is on a mission to cut out processed food.