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Made with smooth and creamy no-churn ice cream studded with peanut butter cups and swirled through with a thick peanut butter ripple, this Reese’s Ice Cream Cake is the kind of frozen treat that dreams are made of. Rich dark chocolate ganache and fresh whipped cream add yet another layer of depth to the flavors in this decadent dessert.
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake
With smooth swirls of creamy peanut butter and chunks of classic Reese’s candy, this ice cream cake is bursting with flavor – and that’s just the first layer! A thick coating of semi-sweet ganache adds the smooth, rich taste of chocolate. To top it all off, a wonderfully airy whipped cream topping brings lightness to this decadent dessert.
This frozen treat is a flavorful way to celebrate any occasion. It makes an amazing birthday cake for the peanut butter lovers in your life. Plus, it’s the perfect thing to pull out on hot summer days to help you cool off in style. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t even last long enough to start melting!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s Homemade: Many Reese’s ice cream cake recipes tell you to start with a carton of ice cream, let it soften, then mix in some stuff and re-freeze it. But thawed and re-frozen ice cream just can’t match the creamy texture and airiness of ice cream made fresh.
- It’s No-Churn: You don’t need any fancy gadgets or appliances, and there’s no fussing with tempered eggs for a custard base. The no-churn ice cream starts with just two ingredients – heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk – but the flavor possibilities are endless. That’s why this recipe is packed with so much good stuff.
- It’s Loaded with Goodies: In this recipe, peanut butter is mixed with the sweetened condensed milk to give the ice cream itself some delightful peanut butter base notes. Then even more is swirled through it into ripples, and the Reese’s Cups ramp the nuttiness up even higher! Plus, the ganache adds a whole new layer of richness that complements the peanut butter flavor so well.
What You’ll Need
It’s hard to believe that just seven simple ingredients can lead to such a big explosion of flavor. You’ll find the amounts for all the ingredients when you scroll down to the recipe card.
- Heavy cream: This one actually pulls triple-duty in this recipe! One pint goes into the ice cream, a little finds its way into the chocolate ganache, and most of what’s left forms the whipped cream topping.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Vanilla Extract
- Peanut Butter: You’ll want the creamy kind since some of it goes toward flavoring the ice cream.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: Coarsely chopped.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: These are for the ganache.
- Powdered Sugar: This goes into the whipped topping.
How to Make Reese’s Ice Cream Cake
This Reese’s ice cream cake is simple enough to make you’ll wonder why you ever used store-bought. While it’s doing its thing in the freezer, you have plenty of time to kick back and relax.
Prep Your Materials: Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with plastic wrap. Place a large glass or metal bowl in the freezer.
Make the Ice Cream Base: Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks in the bowl from the freezer using a stand mixer or the whisk attachment on a hand mixer. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and peanut butter in another bowl until they smooth out.
Fold In the Fillings and Freeze: Fold the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream, then fold in dollops of peanut butter and the chopped Reese’s. Spread it into the prepared pan, leveling it with an offset spatula, and pop it in the freezer. Put the bowl you used for the whipped cream back in the freezer.
Make the Chocolate Ganache: Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave it for 1 minute. You could also heat the cream in a small saucepan on the stove and pour it over the chocolate chips. Either way, whisk the chocolate into the cream until the ganache is smooth and cool it to room temperature.
Add the Ganache: Spread the ganache over the top of the cake in a smooth layer using an offset spatula, then return it to the freezer.
Make the Whipped Cream: Whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to stiff peaks in the bowl from the freezer. Unmold the cake and take off the plastic wrap.
Add the Whipped Cream: Spread the whipped topping over the frozen cake evenly with an offset spatula, pipe on any designs you want, and decorate the top with more peanut butter cups. Freeze the finished cake for another couple of hours.
Serve: Once it’s completely set, slice up your ice cream cake and serve it.
Tips for Success
Even though it’s packed with decadent layers, this cake is so easy to make! Follow these tips so it comes out just right every time.
- Warm the Knife: If you’re having any trouble making cuts because the cake is frozen solid, you can run your knife under hot water to make it easier to slice. Be sure to dry the knife with a paper towel before using it, though.
- Use Lots of Candy: Make sure you have plenty of Reese’s! This ice cream cake is meant to be loaded, so don’t be afraid to pack in the peanut butter cups.
- Line the Pan: You’ll probably want to slice this cake on a platter to make it easier on yourself. Lining the sides and bottom of the cake pan makes it easy to pull the cake out and place it on a serving plate.
- Chill a Bowl: I like to put the metal or glass bowl I plan to use in the freezer for a bit before whipping cream. Make sure the heavy cream itself is also very cold. You can even stick your whisk attachment or beaters in the freezer along with the bowl for even better results. Using cold ingredients and materials makes it easier to get those stiff peaks.
- Fold Gently: Whenever you fold the ingredients together, be sure to do it gently so you don’t deflate the cream. This will keep your ice cream cake light and creamy.
This ice cream cake is already loaded with good stuff, but who says you can’t add more? Try one of these ideas to help you tap into your kitchen creativity.
- Reese’s Pieces: Whether you’re adding them in or using them to replace the peanut butter cups altogether, adding these candy-coated dots of nutty goodness can only make things better. You can chop them up first or just throw them in whole. This is a great alternative if you don’t want to spend time chopping your add-ins. You can also add other goodies, like M&Ms or chunks of your favorite candy bars.
- Peanut Butter Ganache: You can use peanut butter chips to make the ganache instead of chocolate if you want even more nutty flavor. You can also go half-and-half with peanut butter and semi-sweet chips to make a Reese’s flavored ganache!
- Chocolate Ice Cream: Another way to ramp up the Reese’s theme is to make chocolate peanut butter ice cream. To do this, just add some cocoa to your first batch of whipped cream (or even your second, if you want a richer topping).
- Peanut Butter Topping: Go nuts by making your own homemade peanut butter sauce. Just mix 2 tablespoons of maple syrup with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, pop it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, and mix it together. In two quick steps, you’ve got a smooth and creamy peanut butter topping to drizzle over your ice cream cake.
For obvious reasons, any leftover ice cream cake has to stay in the freezer. It will keep in there for a week or two, as long as it’s wrapped well. Make sure the plastic wrap hugs the cake on all sides to stop freezer burn from setting in.
Things You’ll Need
Reese’s Ice Cream Cake
For the Ice Cream Cake
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 13.5 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
- 20 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, coarsely chopped (freezing them first to make them easier to chop), plus additional for decorating, if desired
For the Ganache
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Line a 9-inch springform pan with plastic wrap.
- Pour the heavy cream into a glass or metal bowl. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the cream to stiff peaks.
- In another bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and ¼ cup peanut butter until smooth.
- Gently fold the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream.
- Place small dollops of peanut butter on top of the cream mixture, add the peanut butter cups, and fold together gently.
- Spread the ice cream evenly in the prepared pan, and freeze for several hours, until firm.
- Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minute. If you do not have a microwave, heat the cream to a simmer on the stove and pour over the chips.
- Whisk until smooth, and cool to room temperature.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and quickly top with the cooled ganache, spreading evenly. Return to freezer to slightly firm up the ganache.
- Combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a glass or metal bowl.
- Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Keep chilled until ready to use.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and unmold from the springform pan, removing the plastic wrap and placing it on a serving plate. Spread the cake evenly with the whipped cream to cover all sides. Decorate with additional peanut butter cups, if desired.
- Slice and serve. If it is too hard to slice, let it soften at room temperature for a few minutes or run your knife under hot water before slicing. Return leftovers to the freezer.
- To Store: Keep in the freezer for 1-2 weeks, wrapped tightly in plastic to prevent freezer burn.