How to Make Ice Cream Cake

Make a delicious ice cream cake that's perfect for birthdays or any other festive celebration! With fun decorations and a great taste, everyone will love this sweet treat.

Need a birthday cake idea or a fun way to change up a cake recipe? See how to make an ice cream cake better than any store-bought version.

Rather than serving cake and ice cream separately at your next party, get the best of both worlds with an ice cream cake! This technique involves freezing three baked 9-inch cakes, then layering them with ice cream. You'll get the perfect cake-to-ice cream ratio with every bite. Prepare for kids and adults alike to cheer when you bring out this dessert.

No party is complete without a delicious drink. Pair your sweet creation with one of these crowd-pleasing punches.

How to Make a Triple-Decker Ice Cream Cake

  1. Bake three 9-inch round cakes and freeze them. 
  2. Place one cake in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. 
  3. Spread on 2 cups softened ice cream. 
  4. Top with second cake layer, then add second ice cream layer. 
  5. Add third cake layer and cover with plastic wrap. 
  6. Let freeze 3 to 4 hours. 
  7. Release from pan and trim sides of cake.
  8. Frost cake and decorate as desired.

Tip: To soften ice cream, simply transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Start with a Homemade Cake Recipe

Even experienced cooks face challenges when it comes to baking. It's a science! So here are seven secrets to success when baking a moist and rich homemade cake (that won't end up sticking to the pan).

Choose the perfect pan. Seek out shiny, light-colored aluminum pans. If yours is dark or dull, adjust the cooking temperature to be 25 degrees F lower than the original recipe suggests, and check for doneness about 3 minutes early. 

Remember room temperature. Eggs and butter blend best and provide the most volume to the finished product when added to the batter at room temperature. Pull them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to start.

Prep to avoid sticking. Whether you line your pan with parchment paper or grease and flour, this is an essential step for most homemade cakes. For vanilla-based batters, use butter and flour. For chocolate-based cakes, try butter and cocoa powder.

Cream the butter and sugar. Incorporate these two ingredients evenly and you'll be well on your way to a tender and airy cake. Beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar in small batches and beat until combined before adding more. Beat an additional 30 seconds or until fluffy before moving on to the next step.

Don't overmix. This is especially important to keep in mind when you're adding the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. If you beat for too long, you might find irregular bubbles or holes in your finished cake.

Check for doneness. Open the oven door at the minimum baking time listed on your recipe and poke the center of the cake with a wooden toothpick. The cake is done if it comes out clean (with no wet batter stuck to it).

Cool completely. You've made it this far—now don't tear the cake! Allow it to cool to room temperature to firm up and avoid melting the ice cream and/or frosting too much as you decorate.

Our Favorite Cake and Ice Cream Combos

More Ice Cream Cake Inspiration

This dessert mash-up is too delicious to stop at one. Try more of our favorite freezer-friendly cake recipes for your next celebration (or to enjoy after dinner tonight!):


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