Best Homemade Ice Cream Cake
Homemade Ice Cream Cake is sure to make kids of all ages happy on a hot summer day. This easy ice cream cake recipe has thick chocolate fudge between layers of vanilla and chocolate no-churn ice cream and is covered with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles!
Plus, unlike the classic Dairy Queen or Carvel ice cream cake that typically has a layer of crunchies in the middle, this is a gluten free dessert everyone can eat and enjoy.
Originally published on Jun 14, 2018
What is it with my kids and their fickle little minds?
For months the little guy wanted a firefighter birthday party. The kids don’t get birthday parties every year, but this is his last year at his preschool. So I wanted him to celebrate with his friends.
We booked the place, told them the theme so they could plan games, made invitations, and ordered plates and favors. I even had a friend make him a custom birthday shirt with a firetruck on it.
It was very clear that a fireman birthday party was in the works. He was involved in every step of the way. What do you think he said to me five days before his party?
“Mommy, I wanted a Ninjago birthday party.” Umm, that would be a hard no. And he and his friends had a blast, even sans Ninjago.
The big guy didn’t get a party this year. Since his birthday is on May 4th and he loves Star Wars, I wanted to have my friend make him a May the Fourth Be With You shirt with his name on it.
He was into it. He told me he wanted a blue lightsaber on it. We looked at design ideas on Etsy, and he showed me what he liked best. What did he say just before his birthday?
“A Super Mario birthday shirt would be really cool.” Negative on that! And everyone loved his shirt.
Besides, who cares about shirts and plate when you have ice cream cake?!
No-Churn Ice Cream Cake
No-churn ice cream is so rich and creamy, and it’s perfect for making a homemade ice cream cake. It’s just as easy as using softened cartons of ice cream. But there is no worry about a melty mess because you can pour it into the cake pan before you even freeze it. Additionally, it’s way less work than using traditional scratch-made ice cream made in a machine.
I’ll be honest, from start to finish, this ice cream cake recipe takes some time to make. But most of that is waiting for the layers to freeze.
Each of the steps is super easy, and the actual time you are working on it is minimal. So go ahead and give it a shot. Trust me, it’s totally worth it.
There are actually only seven ingredients (well, eight if you count the sprinkles)!
- Heavy cream
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Vanilla extract
- Cocoa powder
- Corn syrup or brown rice syrup
- Chocolate chips
- Powdered sugar
How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Cake
You know the basics of no-churn ice cream, right? Basically, you fold sweetened condensed milk into heavy cream that you’ve whipped into peaks. In this case, the ingredients are divided in half, making one-half chocolate and one-half vanilla.
- First, make the chocolate ice cream mixture and layer in a springform pan. Freeze.
- While it is in the freezer, prepare Easy Hot Fudge Sauce and let it cool. Then spread on top of the chocolate ice cream layer.
- Next, make the vanilla ice cream mixture and layer in a springform pan. Freeze.
- During this time, whip heavy cream with powder sugar. Spread on the outside of the cake, and decorate as desired.
- Rainbow sprinkles are technically optional, but are sprinkles ever really optional?!
- Keep in the freezer until you are ready to serve.
- Before you start, wrap the bottom and sides of your springform pan with plastic wrap so you can easily get it out to transfer to a serving plate.
- I recommend making each flavor of ice cream separately versus making a whole batch, then dividing and flavoring each half separately.
- If you stir the cocoa powder into the sweetened condensed milk, the cocoa will be distributed better and you won’t deflate the ice cream.
- When you divide the can of sweetened condensed milk, it’s ok to eyeball it. It doesn’t have to be exact.
- You can make both batches of ice cream at the same time and keep the vanilla mixture in the fridge until you freeze the bottom layer.
- To have defined layers, you will need to freeze the cake for a couple of hours before adding the next layer and then frosting. It doesn’t have to be totally frozen solid, but firm enough to support the next layer.
- After you frost it, freeze it for several hours or overnight to make sure it’s frozen all the way through.
- I prefer to use my super fast homemade fudge, but you can just use your favorite jarred fudge. Or use a layer of crushed Oreos or another chocolate cookie if you just can’t have ice cream cake without a layer of crunchies. You can also use caramel, Nutella, or peanut butter.
- It’s also super fun to have an Ice Cream Cake Sundae Party!
Does ice cream cake have cake in it?
Most traditional ice cream cakes from places like Baskin Robbins, Carvel, and Dairy Queen are made with just layers of ice cream. Usually, they have layers of chocolate crunchies in the middle, but they can be filled with other ice cream toppings.
However, more and more some places are adding a cake layer to their ice cream cakes. The advantage of this recipe is that it does not have cake, so it’s gluten free!
Does ice cream cake have eggs?
Many ice cream recipes or ice cream you buy in stores is made with a custard base that contains eggs. Since this is no-churn ice cream made with just heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk, it is egg-free. It’s a perfect birthday cake alternative for kids with egg allergies.
What do you need to make this easy ice cream cake?
- I use an 8-inch springform pan. You can use a larger one, but the cake will be a little flatter. I like to see the nice thick layers.
- Don’t forget the plastic wrap I mentioned earlier.
- Big spatulas help with the folding and smoothing of the layers.
- A large star tip and coupler and a plastic bag is an easy way to make a makeshift pastry bag or decorator to pipe a few simple decorations.
- Sprinkles, because duh!
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Here are more frozen desserts…
- Vanilla Bean Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream is so simple and so delicious.
- Cannoli Ice Cream Cones combine two favorites in one fun treat.
- Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt Pops are a healthier way to indulge your frozen sweet craving.
- Flourless Almond Joy Ice Cream Sandwiches are a frozen dessert inspired by a candy bar.
- Sprinkle Ice Cream Pie with Rice Krispie Crust from Rachel Cooks is another fun frozen treat for a celebration.
Want more Easy Ice Cream Cakes?
- Reese’s Ice Cream Cake
- Gluten Free Funfetti Cake Batter Ice Cream Cake
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake
- Banana Split Ice Cream Cake Loaf
- 12 Totally Indulgent Ice Cream Cakes is an amazing collection if you want to find another ice cream cake recipe.
Homemade Ice Cream Cake Recipe
Treat the sweetest people in your life to an easy ice cream cake to celebrate any special occasion. Layers of no-churn ice cream and rich fudge make an easy frozen dessert that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. And if you need to avoid those crunchies in the store-bought versions, then this gluten free ice cream cake is for you!
If you make and love it, I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating. Share a photo on this pin on Pinterest!
Easy Homemade Ice Cream Cake Recipe
For the ice cream cake:
For the fudge filling (or use 1 cup of your favorite jarred fudge sauce):
For the whipped cream frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Optional sprinkles
For the ice cream cake:
- Line an 8-inch springform pan with plastic wrap.
- Divide the sweetened condensed milk between two small bowls.
- Stir 1 teaspoon vanilla extract into one half of the sweetened condensed milk until evenly distributed.
- Stir 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and cocoa powder into the other half of the sweetened condensed milk until evenly distributed and smooth.
- In a large bowl, using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip 1 cup heavy cream to stiff peaks (see Note).
- Gently fold the chocolate sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream.
- Spread the ice cream evenly in the prepared pan, and freeze for several hours, until firm. During this time, prepare the fudge filling.
- After the bottom layer has firmed up some, in a large bowl, using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip 1 cup heavy cream to stiff peaks (see Note).
- Gently fold the vanilla sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream.
- Remove springform pan from the freezer and quickly top with the cooled fudge, spreading evenly. Then top with the vanilla ice cream mixture and spread evenlty.
- Return to the freezer for at least another hour or two.
- Just before you are ready to frost the cake, prepare the whipped cream.
- Remove the ice cream cake form the freezer, and, working quickly, cover the ice cream cake with the whipped cream, decorating using as pastry bag and sprinkles, as desired.
- Return to the freezer until frozen completely, at least several hours or overnight..
For the fudge filling:
- Whisk together the heavy cream, cocoa powder, and brown rice or corn syrup in a small pot until smooth.
- Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3-5 minutes, until thickened slightly.
- Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth.
- Cool to room temperature.
For the whipped cream frosting:
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl.
- Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the cream to stiff peaks (see Note).