How to Make a Delicious Ice Cream Cake

a three-layer ice cream cake topped with fruit If you’re tired of normal cakes, you might want to try making an ice cream cake. During summer, baking can heat up the kitchen and require you to blast the air conditioning. On the other hand, you can make an ice cream cake in the freezer with no impact on the air conditioning you need to use.

If you have ever tasted a baked Alaska, you know how delicious an ice cream-based dessert can taste. Read on to learn how to make a basic ice cream cake and how to dress it up with extra ingredients.

What is Ice Cream Cake?

Despite its name, an ice cream cake doesn’t actually have to contain any cake. An ice cream cake if a dessert, typically shaped like a cake, where the main ingredient is ice cream. It can have other ingredients mixed in, like cookie crumbles, sprinkles, or other popular ice cream mix-ins, but they don’t have to. There are three main styles of ice cream cake: layered, molded, and no-bake.

Different Styles of Ice Cream Cake

As stated above, there are three main styles of ice cream cake. They’re all delicious, but you may be attracted to one more than the others.

Layered Ice Cream Cakes

a simple homemade ice cream cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate chips mixed in topped iwth shaved chocolate A layered ice cream cake is made up of multiple layers of ice cream, like a normal layer cake. There can be thin slices of cake, cookie crumbles, or sprinkles separating the layers, but there doesn’t have to be. The layers are typically made up of different flavors, but again, they don’t have to be. The choice is up to whoever is making this cake, and you can even choose to use an ice cream maker and use homemade ice cream. Using the three classic flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, to make up the layers of this type of ice cream cake is a popular choice.

Making a Layered Ice Cream Cake

When making a layered ice cream cake that uses cake, you can choose to bake your own cake or use a pre-made, store-bought cake. Both work well for this recipe, so don’t feel obligated to make a cake from scratch if you don’t want to. However, if you do bake your own cake, make sure to let it cool completely before using it.

First, choose the container you want to make your cake in. Higher containers, like loaf pans, work well because they help prevent overflowing. Line the container with a layer of plastic wrap so you’ll be able to remove the cake later.

Slice your cake into as many layers as you want layers of ice cream. If you want three ice cream layers, also have three cake layers. Take your ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften until it can be easily manipulated, but don’t let it turn into liquid.

Lay your first layer of cake in the bottom of your container, then use an ice cream scoop to layer ice cream on top. Work quickly, layering the remaining layers of cake and ice cream on top of each other. Once you’ve finished, cover the cake in plastic wrap and immediately return it to the freezer to firm up. Make sure you let it sit in the freezer for at least two hours before serving.

Molded Ice Cream Cakes

a rectangular ice cream cake with orange pieces in it topped with a chocolate drizzle and candied orange slices If you have any decorative Jell-o molds leftover from the 70s, you can put them to work making a molded ice cream cake. Molded ice cream cakes can contain layers, but they don’t need to. The great part about making ice cream cakes is how much freedom you have to do what you want with them! The only essential piece of equipment you need to make a molded ice cream cake is the mold. You can use a bundt cake tin, Jell-o mold, novelty cake pan, novelty ice cube molds (for tiny ice cream cakes), or whatever you have lying around the house. Just make sure whatever you use for your mold is made from a food-grade material to protect your health.

Using a Mold

Using a detailed mold can be more difficult than just using a plain round or rectangular tin to make your ice cream cake. When you’ve found the right mold, line it with plastic wrap. Use your fingers to press the plastic wrap against the details of the mold if it has any. Half the fun of a molded ice cream cake is seeing the fun designs and patterns that the mold leaves, so make sure there isn’t any air between the tin and the plastic wrap preventing it.

From here, the recipe is just like the layered ice cream cake. Let your ice cream soften, put it in the mold, flatten it with a spoon, and add whichever ingredients you want. Once the mold is full, cover the top with plastic wrap, return it to the freezer until it’s firm, and then you’re ready to take it out and serve.

No-Bake Ice Cream Cakes

While this may sound like a no-brainer, a lot of ice cream cakes use baked components. Ice cream cakes can incorporate layers of cake, cookie, brownie, or even cheesecake. Having baked ingredients in an ice cream cake makes it more time-consuming, so you may want to avoid it altogether. There are two types of no-bake ice cream cakes.

No Cake Base

This is exactly what it sounds like: an ice cream cake that doesn’t use a cake base, or any cake at all for that matter. This is an ice cream cake that is purely comprised of ice cream and mix-ins, but only if you want them.

Crumble Base

a round chocolate ice cream cake topped with hazelnuts, truffles, chocolates, and oreos If you still want a base to your ice cream cake but don’t want to use cake, a crumble base can be a good option. Put your favorite cookie in a large zip-lock bag and crush them with a rolling pin (or something similar) until all that’s left is crumbs. You put the cookie crumbs in the bottom of your cake base and pile on the ice cream like normal. Using a crumble base gives the ice cream a nice crunch on the very bottom.

You might not realize just how many flavor combinations exist. You can add any flavor to an ice cream cake mint to coconut to mango, and then you can customize it even more with mix-ins. Whether you love chocolate chips or caramel bits, or any other flavor, you can add it to the ice cream cake. Any item you could add to another cake, you can add to an ice cream cake. Simply soften the ice cream, stir in the mix-in ingredients,& and set the ice cream cake in the freezer. Here are five of the most common recipe mix-ins:

  • Mint Chocolate Chip: Use mint chocolate chip ice cream and mix in cut up or crushed your favorite mint candies
  • Butter Pecan:& Use butter pecan ice cream as the base for this, but also include& chopped pecans and a butterscotch sauce drizzle
  • Chocolate Brownie: Bake brownies, cut them into small chunks, and mix them into your ice cream for added chewiness
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate: Use a chocolate ice cream base and mix in peanut butter (crunchy or smooth) to taste
  • Oreo Chocolate Vanilla: Start with a chocolate ice cream base and stir in crushed Oreos and a splash of vanilla

A Delicious Basic Ice Cream Cake Recipe

Ice cream cake is easy to make–even in its more complicated forms. Here’s a great recipe that will please anyone with a sweet tooth.

Ingredients

  • One box of devil’s food cake, prepared in two 8" round cake tins
  • Your favorite Cookies & Cream& ice cream
  • 1/2 cup hot fudge at room temperature
  • 16 Oreo cookies: 6 cut into halves and 10 finely chopped
  • 8 oz container of whipped topping

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the devil’s food cake. Let cool completely, remove from the pans, wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer.
  2. Line another 8" round pan with plastic wrap. Spread softened ice cream on top. Top with plastic wrap and freeze until hard.
  3. Combine finely chopped Oreos and hot fudge in a bowl. Reserve one tbsp of fudge for later.
  4. Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand. Add Oreo-fudge mixture and spread carefully. Place frozen ice cream on top. Frost cake with whipped topping.
  5. Place Oreo halves around the bottom of the cake for decoration. Use reserved hot fudge to decorate the top.
  6. Return cake to freezer to set. Serve when ready.

The Best Toppings for Ice Cream Cake

a round ice cream cake with chocolate and graham crackers mixed into chocolate ice cream topped with marshmallows, graham cracker chunks, and chcolate drizzle As you may have noticed in the recipe above, you can top your ice cream cake with things like Cool Whip, hot fudge, cookies, or homemade whipped cream from a whipped cream dispenser. Your ice cream cake doesn’t have to be bare unless you want it to be. You can even do things like surrounding the cake in KitKat bars to give it a fun candy border. You can also try using jam or fresh fruit as a topping. The choice is up to you, so get as creative as you want!

Conclusion

Ice cream cakes can be as fancy or as simple as you want to make them–all that matters is that you like the taste. We hope that this guide to ice cream cakes has given you the inspiration to try something new!