This post may contain affiliate links. Please view my disclosure page for more information.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Make Your Own Ice Cream Cake

Ice cream crunch cake is full of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, but the fudgy crunch center ribbon is the real star of the show. It is a copycat version of DQ's cake with an endless variety of flavor combinations.

top of ice cream cake with chopped oreos, fudge drizzle, whipped cream etc.

    Cool off with a slice of perfectly fudgy and creamy ice cream cake. This sweet combination of cookies and cream features chocolate, vanilla and a plethora of cookie bits. Then there's the crunchy chocolate ribbon center. Now that's the stuff dreams are made of!

      Ice cream cakes have always been a sign of a good time in our family. The layers of cold creamy ice cream sandwiching a crunchy fudge center..  you know the kind!

     They can get a bit pricey to order, but you can make them easily at home. Plus that allows you to choose your favorite flavor combinations!

slice of ice cream cake with chocolate ice cream layer, fudge layer, white ice cream layer and cookie topping

    We have made several of these ice cream cakes over the years. It seems like we've used a different combination of ice cream flavors every time.

      Cookies and cream and chocolate is a fabulous combination. I can see a layer of coffee ice cream being absolutely amazing.

    It would be great with either vanilla or chocolate. Oooh, or even a cinnamon ice cream would be so good.

    I originally shared this recipe back in 2018.  With my sister moving to Wisconsin, we made sure to treat her extra well before she left. You know, so she would remember to visit!

     I made her the layered cookie "cake" for her official birthday/going away party. But knowing I had to make this ice cream cake soon, I figured it would be rude not to include her.

    So I served it up on her last day and had my parents and siblings over for one last hoorah for the baby of the family. Despite a big dinner, everyone had a slice and a few had two!

     The best part about the cake is of course how good it tastes, but the fact that it is so easy to make doesn't hurt.  You can make the ice cream part a few days ahead even.

wax paper lined springform pan next to quart of ice cream

     A springform pan makes getting the ice cream cake together really easy.  I like to line mine with parchment paper or wax paper to make getting it out super simple.

    Then put the layer you want to be on the top of the finished cake in first.  You are going to flip it over when you demold, so you assemble it upside down. So in this case, I did the cookies and cream ice cream first.

ice cream in pan with additional quart nearby along with pan of fudge sauce and bag of cookie crumbs

      Then put down a healthy layer of crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and drizzle them with fudge.  You can buy a jar of fudge at the store, but I really like my simple homemade hot fudge recipe so I would highly recommend using that!

     Finish it off with the next layer of ice cream and freeze it for a couple of hours to make sure it is firm.  Then just take the ring off the pan and invert your cake onto your serving dish.

    The wax paper should peel right off and you are ready to go.  I have made ice cream cakes with only a layer of wax paper on the bottom as well.

    The sides release easily enough and a plastic knife can help loosed on up if it is sticking in places.  The wax paper on the bottom will really help get the base off.

    So feel free to go either way. Just do whatever seems easiest for you.

ice cream cake in the process of being demolded

     Whip up a nice batch of whipped cream.  When you serve it frozen, the flavor is dulled a bit, so you want to use a bit more vanilla than normal.

   Then decorate your ice cream cake however you'd like. Simple is perfectly acceptable, the flavor will more than make up for it.

ice cream cake out of pan ready for whipped cream frosting

    I opted for a nice layer of whipped cream spread over the cake. Then using a large star tip I piped a border around the bottom and alternated little puffs of whipped cream and half cookies around the top of the cake.

    A nice pile of extra crushed cookies and a drizzle of fudge make for a really easy and delicious decoration in the middle of the cake.  If you are celebrating a birthday or something you could definitely write a message or something there instead!

     If you are a fan of all things cookies and cream like we are, you may also like my cookies and cream popcorn, cookies and cream blondies or homemade cookies and cream layer cake.  What are your favorite cookies and cream desserts?

     My husband was so disappointed when it was gone. Now every weekend he asks if an ice cream cake is on the menu. I guess it will have to be again soon!

     What flavors of ice cream would you use to make your ice cream cake?

cake with piped whipped cream borders and cookie garnish

How to soften ice cream

You need to have softened ice cream to be able to spread it easily. However you don't want it to be too melted.

For the best most consistent results, place the ice cream in the refrigerator for twenty to thirty minutes. It will make it spreadable but not too soft.

You can also soften it on the counter. Just place it out for ten to fifteen minutes.

The line between soft and melty goes a lot more quickly on the counter.  So just be careful and keep am eye on it.

Making the chocolate crunch center

That chocolaty crunch ribbon is super easy to make. You have some options to make it different with a few small tweaks.

For it to be the most like Dairy Queen's cake, make the cookie crumbs relatively fine. That helps to make it that texture we love.

However I also love them a little crunchier and in bigger pieces.  It gives you a little more of that cookie goodness.

You can also make a few adjustments based on the fudge you use. We love using hot fudge.

A good thick hot fudge doesn't freeze solid.  It is just chocolaty and holds it all together.

You can also use a magic shell. That will give you more of a solid and crunchy layer.

It does make it harder to cut a pretty piece, but you'll definitely know when you hit the center. No matter which combination you choose, it's going to be a winner!

first slice of ice cream dessert served

Storing your ice cream cake

One of the best parts about making an ice cream cake is that it can be made several days in advance.  You just need to have room to store it.

Ideally the cake would be stored in a cake box or cake saver. That will help keep the tastes and smells of the freezer from penetrating the dessert.

It will be ok in the freezer for a few days without being wrapped. Just be aware that eventually it will get some freezer burn or may pick up some freezer flavor.

Otherwise your ice cream cake will be best in the first few days, but can be stores for up to three months of well wrapped. I can't see how you could let it go that long without eating it though!

Watch us make it on YouTube

thumbnail for ice cream cake youtube video

As always: If you make this recipe–or any CWC recipes–let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram or Pinterest too—tag @carleecooks so I can see!  For more recipes and fun, like us on Facebook and follow along on Pinterest

dairy queen copycat, ice cream desserts, no cook dessert, no bake cake
How to Make Your Own Ice Cream Crunch Cake of ice cream with a fudge and cookie ribbon down the center. This ice cream cake is a lot like Dairy Queen's, but you can customize the flavors however you'd like! Plus it is fun and easy to make. So start making your own DQ treats at home!
Yield: 20 Servings
Author: Cooking With Carlee
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

Cool off with a slice of perfectly cold and creamy ice cream cake. This perfect combination of cookies and cream features chocolate, vanilla and a plethora of cookie bits. Then there's the crunchy fudge ribbon center. Now that's the stuff dreams are made of!
Prep time: 4 hourCook time: Total time: 4 H


  • 1.5 quarts cookies and cream ice cream
  • 24 chocolate sandwich cookies (+ more for garnish)
  • 1 recipe hot fudge sauce (or a jar of your favorite)
  • 1.5 quarts chocolate ice cream (I used a chocolate truffle, but your favorite will be great!)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar


  1. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment or wax paper.
  2. Soften the cookies and cream ice cream a bit and then spread on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to firm it back up a bit.
  3. Soften the chocolate ice cream. Crunch 24 sandwich cookies into bits. Sprinkle over ice cream and drizzle with warm fudge (reserve a quarter cup of fudge for garnish if desired.) Spread chocolate ice cream over fudge and cookie layer.
  4. Freeze at least an hour or two to firm up.
  5. Remove the ring from the springform pan and invert cake onto serving plate. Remove all of the parchment or wax paper and place in freezer until ready to frost.
  6. To decorate, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until it forms stiff peaks. Spread over the outside of the cake and pipe on a border if desired. Decorate with any remaining sandwich cookies and fudge.
  7. Freeze until ready to serve. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
Fat (grams)
Sat. Fat (grams)
Carbs (grams)
Fiber (grams)
Net carbs
Sugar (grams)
Protein (grams)
Sodium (milligrams)
Cholesterol (grams)
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @carleecooks on instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithcarlee
Created using The Recipes Generator

Make your own tasty chocolate crunch ice cream cake. It's an easy, fun and super delicious dessert!


  1. What a "cool" treat!! This looks like a professional created it and about 100 x's better than DQ!!! YUMMO!!

    1. It really is sooooo good and easy to make too. The perfect treat for a summer party!

  2. Loving this cake....I think it would be perfect for welcoming my brother and his family home this month.

  3. Carleeeee now I need to come to your house and partake in a delicious slice of this incredible ice cream cake. Not only does it sound absolutely amazing but it is beautiful to boot!

    1. Come on over any time! We are always looking for an excuse to make another ice cream cake!

  4. WOW!!! Does that look amazing?! This is a gorgeous ice cream cake. I bet it TASTES just as amazing!

  5. I think I'd make a chocolate and coffee ice cream combo, with some caramel in the middle!

    1. That sounds absolutely amazing! Now I want to make that too!

  6. Jake is going to flip for this, it will be perfect for his birthday!

  7. Looks perfect for a birthday party, I definitely agree the fudge sauce would be the star for me too!

  8. My son saw this and now wants this for his birthday cake later this month. He loves cookies and cream!

  9. I may not be a cake fan...but I am certainly of fan of this cake! It's perfect!!!

    1. It's the perfect cake for non cake lovers! <3

  10. This cake was on my radar. Now I see it I know it's a keeper!

    1. It really is! Put it on your must make list!

  11. Yum yum yum!! This is on my list for next time I get to visit the grandbabies!!

    1. Hooray! I am just sure they will love it!

  12. OMG. I would love to dive into a huge slice of this beauty!

    1. I would make another just to share a slice with you!

  13. We do love ice cream cake and it is definitely the time of year to enjoy one! And it is definitely less expensive to make one than to buy one. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Hi Carlee, I was thinking of creating a layered sponge and ice cream cake formy Mums birthday get together. I know she's not a fan of cookies, but I also know she is a fan of fudge, so now I'm thinking a layer of fudge would go down a treat!


    1. Oh my goodness, I am sure she is going to be delighted. A layer of fudge would be so good in there. Please post whatever you decide to make. I would love to see it!

  15. Your cake is so pretty... I only hope that when I make it, my cake looks as good as yours!

  16. Pinned this for later! What a gorgeous dessert!

    1. Thank you so much, I hope you give it a try!

  17. A perfect treat for a hot summer day! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  18. Carlee, thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous cake at the Whimsical Wednesdays Link Party!!!

  19. I can just imagine my husband also asking if this was on the menu again! This really looks outstanding Carlee!

    1. I am already thinking about ice cream flavor combos for his birthday cake! Thank you <3

  20. This is such a great idea and looks so delicious! I said it before but way better than dairy queen!

    1. It really is because you can make it however you want. Thanks, Andrea!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!