How to: Homemade Ice Cream Cake

My mom is pretty famous in our family for her ice cream cakes. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that without her cakes I wouldn’t see my friends & relatives as often as I do. As incredible as her ice cream cakes taste, the decorations are even more spectacular. Below, my mom has provided detailed instructions for how to make your own ice cream cake by going step-by-step through my brother’s birthday cake. (Happy 21st Jaron!)


My family loves “Moose Tracks” ice cream, but if you’d like to shrink the calories, my mom suggests using low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt instead. In this cake she uses Moose Tracks and Vanilla ice cream.

Step 1: First layer

Line a springform pan with handiwrap or tinfoil. Use a metal spatula to cut up one half-gallon tub of ice cream and place it in the bottom of the pan as the first layer. Press the ice cream into the pan evenly, smoothing over the top to make it level. Choosing a plain ice cream for the first layer (ie: no cookies or bumpy textures) will come in handy when it’s time to frost the cake with cool whip.

Step 2: Middle layer

The best part about making this cake is that it can be personalized by choosing favorite ingredients. Feel free to use caramel, butterscotch or chocolate syrup instead of hot fudge, and any kind of crushed up cookie will work.  Hot fudge and oreos have always been our favorite, but don’t limit yourself there.

Once the ice cream is level, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of hot fudge. Swirl the hot fudge over the ice cream, but don’t get too close to the edges of the pan or it will leak out. Add the crushed Oreos evenly on top of the fudge. Quickly cover the pan and get it back into the freezer for one hour.

Step 3: Top layer

After one hour remove the pan from the freezer. Add the second half-gallon tub of ice cream on top of the cookies & fudge and flatten evenly.

Finally, cover the pan and FREEZE FREEZE FREEZE. Allow one full day for the cake to completely freeze on the lowest temperature in your freezer. Be sure to keep the cake covered to prevent freezer-burn and frosticles.

Step 4: The Flip

After one full day of freezing, use a cardboard circle approximately 1.5″ bigger than the cake to assist in the flip. You can buy the cardboard circle from a craft store or make one at home and cover it with tin foil. Loosen the springform pan and place the cardboard circle on top of the cake before flipping it over. My mom bought one and you can see its scalloped edges in the picture below.

Step 5: Frost

Frost the inverted ice cream cake with one layer of Cool Whip, then put the cake back into the freezer for one hour before adding one more layer of Cool Whip.  Make sure to frost the entire cake all the way down the sides to seal in the ice cream, preventing it from leaking out of the bottom. The Cool Whip will freeze solid and contain the ice cream cake. Be careful to frost the cake completely and evenly with cool whip before putting it back into the freezer.  Let the cake freeze solid again before decorating.

Check out my next post for my mom’s detailed ice cream cake decorating tips. She really needs to write her own food blog, so shoot her a message on Facebook and tell her to do it! Sherrie Titus Bennett 🙂


About jennib85

Learning to give more and spend less, one day at a time
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3 Responses to How to: Homemade Ice Cream Cake

  1. Kaitlin says:

    Wonderful tips! I hope I get a chance to try this out this summer!

  2. Laura Bisel says:

    My daughter requested an ice cream cake for her 7th birthday so I went to DQ to order one….after recovering from the price shock I decided to check out pinterest. A HUGE thanks to your mom for her amazing cake! My family loved it and my daughter thinks I am the best mommy ever 🙂

  3. Molissa Allen says:

    I made this for my husband on his birthday. It was a huge hit except for the fact that I forgot the wax paper on the bottom to help it come out of the pan easier. Oops! Still fantastic and will do again.

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