How to Make an Ice Cream Cake

Plus, how to cut an ice cream cake neatly so it doesn't melt everywhere.

Related To:

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Ice Cream Cake How To Beauty Shot

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

With just a few store-bought ingredients (or homemade ingredients, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious), you can make a showstopping centerpiece for your next birthday party or special occasion, stacked with ice-cold layers of cake, ice cream and all kinds of goodies.

To construct your ice cream cake, you'll be alternating layers of ice cream with cake, or with crumbled cookies, or even with dessert sauces like chocolate or butterscotch. When making an ice cream cake, it's essential to work quickly, so that the ice cream doesn't melt. Otherwise, ice crystals could form when you freeze the finished cake. Here's our step-by-step guide to how to make a delicious ice cream cake.

What You Need to Make an Ice Cream Cake

Make sure all of your ingredients and supplies are gathered in advance, because you’ll have to work quickly once you start building the ice cream cake.

  • 2 cake layers

  • 3 cups of ice cream, at room temperature for 15 minutes

  • Crunchy filling (such as crushed cookie bits, crushed brownies or chocolate chips)

  • Topping for decorating the top of the cake (such as fudge sauce, meringue or whipped cream)

  • Sheet pan, lined with plastic wrap, frozen for 15 minutes

  • Large spoon

  • Offset spatula

How to Make an Ice Cream Cake

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Ice Cream Cake How To

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

1. Place a cake layer on the sheet tray and top with ice cream. Carefully transfer your first cake layer to the plastic wrap-lined and chilled sheet tray. Spoon 1.5 cups of softened ice cream all over the top of the cake layer.

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Ice Cream Cake How To

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

2. Smooth out the ice cream. Using a knife or offset spatula, smooth the ice cream so it covers the entire cake layer. You should have a thick, solid layer of ice cream.

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Ice Cream Cake How To

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

3. Top the ice cream with crunchy filling. Top the ice cream with a layer of crushed cookies, brownie bits or chocolate chips.

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Ice Cream Cake How To

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

4. Top the crunchy bits with more ice cream. Spoon the remaining 1.5 cups of softened ice cream all over the toppings.

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Ice Cream Cake How To

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

5. Spread out the second layer of ice cream. Smooth the ice cream so it covers the crushed cookies or the crunchy layer of your choosing.

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Ice Cream Cake How To

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

6. Add the second cake layer and freeze. Top the ice cream with the second cake layer. Then place the cake in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours or until the cake and ice cream is completely frozen (it should be hard to the touch).

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Ice Cream Cake How To

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

7. Remove cake from freezer and add topping. You want to make sure your finished creation doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, so pull up the plastic wrap "handles" and very gently pull the cake from the pan. Spread topping, such as fudge sauce, meringue or whipped cream, over the cake and place it back in the freezer for an hour, or until it sets.

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.

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

How Long Will an Ice Cream Cake Last In the Freezer?

An ice cream cake will last for up to a week in the freezer – after that, large ice crystals will form. Store your ice cream cake whole and uncovered in the freezer, or any leftover slices in an airtight container to stave off freezer burn.

Ice Cream Cake Recipes

FN1023121_JULY_CAKE.tif

FN1023121_JULY_CAKE.tif

Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom

Photo by: Levi Brown

Levi Brown

Berry Ice Cream Cake

A simple garnish for your ice cream cake? In season fruit.

cake_180588.tiff

cake_180588.tiff

Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Steve Giralt

Steve Giralt

Ice Cream Crunch Cake

This ice cream cake is actually built in a springform pan for extra neat sides.

20120910_FoodNetwork_Shot07_0153.tif

20120910_FoodNetwork_Shot07_0153.tif

Food Stylist: Christine Albano Prop Stylist: Christina Lane ,Food Stylist: Christine Albano Prop Stylist: Christina Lane

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

Vanilla Malted Ice Cream Cake

Angel food cake is drizzled with malted whipped cream before it’s spread with vanilla ice cream.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

Mint and Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Calling all mint chip lovers. This is the cake for you.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

Orange Sherbet Ice Cream Cake with Sugar Cookies and Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting

Meet the dessert that's like an orange creamsicle in cake for. It has a sugar cookie crust and lemony whipped cream frosting.

Related Links:

Next Up

How to Make a Cake Without an Egg

We tested all the popular egg substitutes and found the three best subs for cake, hands down, no contest.

What Is Aioli?

The magic of an emulsification coming together is awe-inspiring. Aioli is no exception. It’s not mayo but it comes into being with the same steps and principles.

How to Reheat Fried Chicken

We found two top methods to make it nice and crisp.

We Found the Best Way to Reheat Leftover Pizza

Whatever you do, skip the microwave.

How to Make Leftover Fries Crispy

Nobody will know they didn't just come out of the deep fryer.

What Is Ratatouille?

This easy summer dish might have had humble beginnings, but it's inspired countless iterations. Its simple flavors meld beautifully into a hearty main dish or side.

What Is Pesto?

We read once that pesto was trending. Pesto has been trending for thousands of years: not news. What is new is that you can make pesto with more than just basil. Cilantro and sesame, anyone?

At What Temperature Do You Cook Meatloaf?

Here's what to set your oven to — and what the internal temperature of the meatloaf should be when it's done.

What Is Risotto?

And how to make risotto.

How to Make Doughnuts

The only question you'll have is: Should you eat them all today or save some for tomorrow?
More from:

Cooking School

Latest Stories

Related Pages