Ice Cream Cake – Preppy Kitchen

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Video Vanilla ice cream cake

There is nothing more delightful than enjoying a big slice of ice cream cake on a hot summer day. It’s the ultimate summer dessert, combining the best of both worlds: cake and ice cream! It’s definitely one of those desserts with next to no leftovers as the kids always gobble up every last crumb.

Making a homemade ice cream cake may seem daunting at first, but it is surprisingly simple. Just keep in mind that freezing takes time, and you will need to make sure you have freezer space for the cake. There’s nothing worse than doing all the leg-work of starting the cake only to realize there isn’t enough room in the freezer!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

Ingredients needed to make an ice cream cake.

Ice cream — I recommend using real dairy ice cream. Sometimes you’ll see ice cream labeled as “frozen dessert,“ which might seem confusing. Ice cream is made from milk fats, while a frozen dessert uses vegetable oil fats instead. I find that “frozen dessert” does not soften as evenly and doesn’t refreeze as nicely.

Chocolate cake — you can use my favorite chocolate cake recipe and freeze the two extra layers in the recipe or a box mix. It’s up to you!

Hot fudge — again, feel free to use my hot fudge recipe or buy it from the store. The hot fudge sauce is not just to decorate the cake with but to help the Oreos stick to the cake layer. Using a substitute like chocolate syrup won’t work as it won’t firm up the same.

HOW TO MAKE AN ICE CREAM CAKE

Set of two photos showing ice cream pressed into a lined cake pan and fudge sauce spread onto a chocolate cake.

1. Line an 8-inch cake pan with plastic wrap. Transfer all the ice cream to your lined cake pan and then cover with another layer of plastic. Press down into a flat layer and freeze.

2. Prepare and cool an 8-inch chocolate cake and cover the top with the chocolate fudge sauce using an offset spatula.

Set of two photos showing Oreo crumbs added to the fudge on the cake and then the ice cream layer placed on top.

3. Sprinkle chopped cookies on top of the hot fudge.

4. Remove the ice cream layer from the freezer, unwrap it, and place it on top of the fudge. Cover the whole thing in plastic and place in the freezer while you make the whipped cream.

Set of two photos showing whipped cream being whipped in a mixer and then pipped onto the ice cream cake.

5. Combine cold whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and mix starting on low. Gradually increase speed to high and mix until very soft peaks form. Finish off by whisking the whipped cream by hand until the peaks firm up. See my Whipped Cream Recipe for more instructions.

6. Cover the cake with the whipped cream and transfer the rest to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star (846) tip.

Set of two photos showing hot fudge being drizzled onto the edge of the cake and then topped with whipped cream.

7. Pipe a drip of chocolate onto the edge of the entire cake.

8. Pipe a scalloped pattern onto the top edge of the cake with the reserved whipped cream. Press crumbled cookies onto the bottom edge, and the cake is ready to serve.

An ice cream cake on a cake stand with a slice being lifted up with a cake serving spatula.

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE

  • It’s best to slightly soften the ice cream before adding it to the cake pan so you can create a uniform layer, making it much easier to layer on top of the cake.
  • Be sure to press out any air pockets in the ice cream when adding it to the cake pan.
  • When lining the cake pan for the ice cream, be sure to leave some extra plastic wrap on the sides to make it easier to lift.
  • Try to have your kitchen as cold as possible to make sure the ice cream cake doesn’t melt as you work with it. If your kitchen is on the warmer side, you’ll have to put your cake back into the freezer often in between steps.
  • To make cutting the cake easier, you can run your knife under hot water before slicing.

A pink cake stand with an ice cream cake with a slice cut out and another cut but still on the cake stand.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are some other flavor combinations?

Some different combinations you can try (but not limited to!) are:

  • vanilla ice cream with funfetti cake and funfetti cookie crumbs
  • chocolate ice cream with chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies crumbs
  • rocky road ice cream with chocolate cake and peanut butter cookies
  • mint chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate cake and thin mints cookies

How do I store this cake?

Keep the ice cream cake in the freezer until 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, then transfer the cake to the fridge or the counter. You need to keep the cake in the freezer as it’ll melt if stored long-term in the refrigerator. Transferring the cake to the fridge or the counter for 30 minutes will allow the ice cream layer to soften up just enough that there isn’t a ton of resistance when cutting through but still firm enough to enjoy.

Can I use regular frosting?

I recommend using the whipped cream for frosting as it freezes wonderfully without cracking or changing consistency. This whipped cream frosting is also ideal as it melts at the same speed and has a similar consistency as the ice cream layer, so it all blends together nicely.

If you’ve tried this Ice Cream Cake Recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

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