Ice cream cakes combine two favorites – cake and ice cream – and they are guaranteed to wow a crowd. They’re not only delicious and easy to prepare, but you can customize them however you’d like.
Perfect for holiday parties, birthdays, family gatherings, or “just because”, ice cream cakes are a great way to cool off. But let’s be honest – ice cream cake is the right choice no matter what the season!
Sure, you could buy one at the store, but there’s nothing like homemade. If you’ve never made an ice cream cake before, these 20 easy ice cream cake recipes are made for beginners.
9 Tips to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Cake
- Read your labels – Take a moment to read your ice cream carton before starting your recipe. Look out for the words “frozen dessert”. What this means is that the ice cream contains vegetable oil, and it will not soften up or refreeze well. Instead, make sure to use real dairy ice cream made with milk fats.
- Keep your kitchen cool – A warm kitchen means your ice cream will melt fast. Try to keep your kitchen as cool as possible when you’re preparing your ice cream cake.
- Let it soften – Before you start scooping ice cream to layer in your pan, allow it to soften. Once it’s nice and soft, place it in a bowl and stir until it’s smooth. Then, you’ll be able to spread it evenly from edge to edge, pressing down to remove any air bubbles. And don’t forget to smush it into the corners!
- Allow for freezing – Make sure to thoroughly freeze your cake between each layer, at least 15-30 minutes. And because an ice cream cake takes at least 12 hours total to fully freeze, make sure to allow enough time and plan ahead. If possible, freeze it overnight.
- Make it your own – If the recipe you want to try includes an ice cream flavor you don’t like, don’t be afraid to swap it out for one of your favorites. The same goes for any fillings or toppings.
- Try homemade – While you can find plenty of ice cream toppings in your local store, it’s more fun (and delicious!) to make your own at home. Try making your own homemade hot fudge or whipped cream. Trust us, it’s worth it!
- Find some room – Nothing is worse than whipping up a delicious ice cream cake only to discover that you have no room to store it in your freezer! So, take some time before you get started to clear room in your freezer that will fit your pan or serving tray.
- Store it right – Keep your ice cream cake fully frozen until about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it to allow it to slightly soften. You can thaw it in the fridge or on your kitchen counter. If you need to transfer your cake from one place to another, place it inside an insulated ice chest with ice packs, to avoid extra moisture and only open the chest when you’re ready to serve it.
- Make clean slices – To keep those layers looking beautiful and make slicing easier, run a sharp knife under hot water before and between each slice.
6 Ice Cream Cake Essentials to Invest In
- Plastic wrap – You’ll want to use plastic wrap to line your loaf or cake pan before you add the layers. This makes it easy to lift the entire cake from the pan once it’s frozen solid.
- Colorful sprinkles – Stock up on some colorful sprinkles to mix in with your ice cream or add to the top of your ice cream cake.
- Offset spatula – This angled spatula makes spreading your ice cream and toppings easy and creates nice smooth layers. You can find offset spatulas in a range of sizes to fit your pan.
- A fun serving platter – After you pop your ice cream cake out of the pan, place it on top of a cake stand.
- The right pan – Some recipes call for a loaf pan, while others may use a round cake pan. While you can use whatever pan you may like, make sure the pan you’re using is safe to freeze. Metal pans are highly recommended as they freeze quite well.
- Piping bags and tips – Filling a piping bag with whipped cream or hot fudge allows you to create fun and beautiful designs on your ice cream cake.
20 Ice Cream Cake Recipes for Beginners
- Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake | Delish
- Berries and Cherries Ice Cream Cake | Martha Stewart
- Peach and Butter Pecan Ice Cream Cake | Epicurious
- Easy 5 Layer Ice Cream Cake | Sally’s Baking Addiction
- Oreo Ice Cream Cake | Lil Luna
- Chocolate Ice Cream Cake | Allrecipes
- Ice Cream Crunch Cake | Lauren’s Latest
- Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake | Life, Love, and Sugar
- Peppermint Ice Cream Candyland Cake | Epicurious
- Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake | Delish
- Strawberry Ice Cream Cake | Cooking Classy
- Easy Ice Cream Cake | An Italian in My Kitchen
- Ice Cream Sandwich Cake | Crazy for Crust
- Snickers Ice Cream Cake | Delish
- Banana Split Ice Cream Cake | Martha Stewart
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake | Josie and Nina
- Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream Cake | Sugar Spun Rum
- 5-Ingredient Ice Cream Sandwich Cake | The Seasoned Mom
- Giant Chipwich Cake | Delish
- Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream Cake | Epicurious
No matter which recipe (or recipes) you choose, this refreshing treat is sure to leave you smiling.
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