Ice Cream Cake

5 from 1 vote

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Ice Cream Cake is refreshing, delicious and so much easier than you think! You’d be hard pressed to find a better duo than cake and ice cream and this dessert is the ultimate treat.

3/4 of an ice cream cake, chocolate cake and white frosting looking into the center with the slices on white plates in front
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Even though this dessert is easy to construct, it will take a bit of planning ahead because of the freeze time. Try to allow for a full 12 hours for the layers to freeze completely. Also, make sure you check that you have room in your freezer BEFORE you make this ice cream cake!

The best part is, you can use whatever cake you want! You can use boxed cake mix, or try it with my funfetti cake, or german chocolate cake!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe:

  • Cost effective! A store bought ice cream cake can be upwards of $30!
  • Versatile- you can use whatever type of cake you want!
  • Delicious!
  • A real crowd pleaser!


3/4 of an ice cream cake, chocolate cake and white frosting looking into the center
  • Cake mix (and what you need to make it): for this recipe I used Devil’s food cake mix and make it according to the package directions so I needed oil, water, and eggs. You can use any boxed cake mix you like, the possibilities are endless.
  • Ice cream: you’ll need a full 1/2 gallon (about 64 ounces or 1.89L), if your carton is a little skimpy on the ice cream, get two, it’s always better to have a little more than a little less. I used cookies and cream ice cream for this recipe, feel free to use what you like or have on hand. My kids love to pick out new combos of cake and ice cream for this recipe each time we make it.
  • Sweetened whipped cream: this is optional but it makes it look like a cake! I just sweeten heavy cream with a little powdered sugar and use it like a simple cake frosting.

See recipe card below for full instructions on ingredients and quantities

How to make Ice Cream Cake:

  1. Make your cake mix and place it into 3, 8 inch pans and bake it according to package directions.
  2. Remove the cake from the pans when they come out of the oven and allow them to cool.
  3. Line 2 of the same pans (or at least the same size pans) with plastic wrap and then smash the softened ice cream into the pans. Freeze for 30 minutes or so while the cake is cooling.
  4. Assemble by placing the cake on a cake stand, add a layer of ice cream, and repeat with remaining layers.
  5. Frost with whipped cream.
  6. Freeze the cake the firm everything up for at least 4 hours before serving.
close up of a slice of ice cream cake with the whole cake in the background

Frequently Asked Questions

How much ice cream do I need for an ice cream cake?

For this recipe I used a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. This should be about 64 ounces of ice cream, so if your tub is smaller than the half gallon, get two! It’s better to have a little more than a little less.

Will ice cream cake melt in the fridge?

Yes! You will want to store the ice cream cake in the freezer because it will eventually melt if left out or in the refrigerator. Allow 20 minutes to thaw before cutting and serving.

How long will an ice cream cake last?

Ice cream cake will last about a week in the freezer. To enjoy the freshest cake possible I suggest wrapping the cake with plastic wrap or putting it in an air tight container to store.

top view of ice cream cake, with the slices taken out on white plates in front of it

More Cake Recipes to Consider:

3/4 of an ice cream cake, chocolate cake and white frosting looking into the center with the slices on white plates in front
5 from 1 vote

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake make with cake layered with ice cream and topped with sweetened whipped cream. You won’t believe how easy this is!
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 6 hours
Servings: 16


  • 1 package cake mix + the ingredients called for on the box, (about a 15 ounce cake mix), (I used Devil's food cake mix) or 1 recipe of my favorite easy chocolate cake recipe
  • 1/2 gallon ice cream, (I used cookies and cream ice cream, softened)
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or what the box of cake mix indicates) and grease 3 8-inch cake pans well.
  • Make the cake mix according to the package directions.
  • Divide the prepared batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans and bake according to package directions, it should be about 20-25 minutes.
  • While the cake is baking line 2 more 8-inch cake pans with plastic wrap, pushing it down into the bottom of the pan.
  • Divide the softened ice cream evenly between the two pans, using a spatula to press it into the bottom and corners well (this helps it look nice), smooth out the top and place it in the freezer to harden.
  • When the cakes come out of the oven allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then remove them carefully and allow them to fully cool.
  • When you are ready to assemble your cake, add your heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high speed until light and fluffy and soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
  • Place a layer of cooled cake on a serving plate or cake stand.
  • Remove one layer of ice cream from the freezer and use the edges of the plastic wrap to pull it from the pan. Flip the ice cream over and place it on top of the cake. Peel off the plastic wrap. Repeat with the next cake layer, the last ice cream layer, and the final cake layer.
  • Spread the whipped cream evenly over the cake and add sprinkles if you’d like.
  • Place the cake in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
  • To serve allow the cake to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • If you don’t have more than 3 cake pans you can just use the pans that you baked the cake in, once they are cooled, for the ice cream part. Just plan on more time to allow the pans to cool etc.
  • You don’t have to add the whipped cream icing but it looks pretty. Sometimes I don’t add it and I’ll just drizzle the top with chocolate sauce before serving. 
  • If you want to make this cake ahead of time, do the whole thing and get it into the freezer. After a few hours the outer whipped cream later will have frozen and gotten hard. Remove the cake from the freezer, wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap so it’s well covered, and keep in the freezer until you are ready to serve, up to 2 weeks. 


Serving: 1 of 16 servings, Calories: 508kcal, Carbohydrates: 67g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 383mg, Potassium: 254mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 734IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 155mg, Iron: 1mg
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