Instructables

Homemade Ice Cream Cake

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This recipe is a homemade version of the notoriously-delicious Carvel ice cream cake - chocolate crunchies and all. A summer birthday doesn't feel complete without an ice cream cake, and this one is incredibly easy to pull off. 

The key to making an ice cream cake is time. And a good freezer with plenty of space. You'll want to work with cold ingredients, and cold tools. I started this ice cream cake in the morning for an evening party. While it doesn't take a lot of time to assemble, you need to wait at least 2 hours between steps. Ideally, you want to start making the ice cream cake 24 hours before, to allow plenty of time for everything to set. 

 
 
 
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Step 1: Ingredients

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I went the simple route, and just bought ice cream besides making it myself. If you're using homemade ice cream (you ambitious chef, you) be sure to use the final product, and not the pre-churned batter.

Because I'm making a Carvel cake, I bought vanilla and chocolate ice cream, but you can use whatever flavors you like! The whipped cream frosting is a neutral enough flavor that it pairs well with everything. Cream + sugar = delicious.

For this recipe you will need:
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
  • 1 box chocolate wafers or Oreos (to de-creme) if you can't find wafers
  • 1 bottle chocolate magic shell
  • 1 Tbs gelatin
  • 1 c whipping cream
  • 3 Tbs powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • Decorations to top! I used cherries and colorful sprinkles, but I imagine just about anything that you'd find on a sundae would go well with this essentially re-formatted sundae. 
You will also need a springform pan, a mixing bowl, and a power-mixer. Be sure to place these tools in the freezer well before you use them, so everything you're working with is nice and cold. 
 
susan.lofurno made it!14 days ago

I made this for my husband's birthday....and it came out perfect. Thank you for such a terrific recipe. I will definitely be making it again and again! I put the chocolate cookie crunch on the bottom...and separated the two ice cream leayers with fudge sauce.

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uwarren5 months ago
Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! I want that so much, please!

Awesome! My husband wants an ice cream cake for his birthday, but I did not want to spend $50+ at Cold Stone! Haha. So, I read through some of the comments to see if you had already answered this question, but didn't read all of them, so, sorry if it's been asked, but do you think this method would work for making a layer of ice cream between two layers of cake? I have a springform pan, but I was thinking I could line it with parchment, or just give it a short warm-water bath to make the ice cream pop out so I can put it between two cake layers. Or has your experience told you that this would not work/would make the ice cream layer unmanageable? I'm thinking I would re-freeze the layer before trying to put it between the cake (and I'd probably freeze the cake, too).

sydneyhauss8 months ago
Totally making!! Yum
My mom used to make ice cream cakes. We didn't have a spring pan, so she would line a round cake pan with plastic wrap, and spread the ice cream on it. She would do both layers, in 2 pans to save time. Then when frozen, use the plastic wrap to lift it out of the pan. This would halve the cake making time.
She frosted with cool whip. Your frosting looks much better.
lamerc1 year ago
I've been making ice cream pies (a la Baskin Robbins, essentially the same idea but in a graham-cracker crust) for a month or two now and loving the results.

Just wondering if you have any tips on softening the ice cream without melting it completely. It's the only part I have consistent problems with. Left to itself to soften I end up with a chunk of hard ice cream in the center of a bath of melted ice cream. I've been trying various tricks to get a spreadable-but-not-all-liquid form for my ice cream and not succeeding too well. (Fortunately all the mistakes taste really good anyway. :)

Any ideas?
"Just wondering if you have any tips on softening the ice cream without melting it completely."

I find it is best to start with a fresh from the store, never been opened before, container of ice cream. For reasons I am not fully able to comprehend, the 'fresh' ice cream melts much slower and evenly than stuff that has been opened before--even just as recently as 24 hours prior. I believe this has something to do with the freezers at the stores, which store the food items at a much lower temp, and they do not cycle as much so the ice cream doesn't melt and refreeze... It also might be that it takes me about 20 minutes to get home and the ice cream melts a bit during that time... Like I said, I am not 100% sure on why it works--but all I do know is that I only make these things once, twice a year... So I go all out and make it the best I can.

Also I find that if I put it into my stand mixer with the paddle attachment (Not the dough hook, or the whisk) that I can whip a good bit more air into the mix, making the ice cream even easier to work with because of the extra air whipped into it. This does thin the flavor a bit, but not too much. I suggest getting a higher quality/heavier ice cream (No name brands, but higher quality ice creams weigh MUCH more than value brands!) so that you have more flavor to work with from the beginning. Only issue has been that carmel always ends up tasting funny once I do this.

My process is:

Put mixing bowl and paddle for stand mixer into freezer.

Go to store and buy fresh Ice Cream. (Better quality, rather than quantity.)

Come home, put bowl and paddle onto mixer, dump ice cream into mixer.

Begin slowly mixing the Ice Cream. SLOWLY! Lowest speed your mixer will go.

Increase speed SLOWLY until the ice cream is starting to really get fluid again.

Once your "ice" cream is liquid enough so that it looks like soft serve custard, turn your mixer to MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE!

When the tell-tale WHUP-WHUP-WHUP sounds get nice and deep, and your ice cream has 'fluffed' up to a nice amount, you can stop the beater, and begin to proceed as normal with the putting in a pan and putting in the freezer and whatnot.

I have found that using this method, I have great results. The texture is very smooth, and it is very easy to eat. I am a person who has to put his bowl of ice cream into the microwave for 15 seconds, and then make a 'soup' out of it... But I can eat this ice cream all day.

Oh, did I forget to mention there always seems to be some left over? Yeah... Bennies for the cook/chef.
lamerc Spokehedz12 months ago
Ah, no stand mixer here. :(

I'll try the fresh-from-the-store plan one of these days, I think you're right about the different styles of freezers. And freeze the implements first. Thanks!
kazmataz (author)  lamerc1 year ago
Just to highlight what Spokenhedz said - definitely be sure to work with cold tools. If you put your mixing bowl and spoon/whisk/mixer-attachment into the freezer for at least 10 mins beforehand, then everything is the same temperature when you start. And, of course, working quickly, so it doesn't have enough time to melt.
11Brenda12 months ago
Ditto PitstoP - Yum
I worked for Baskin Robbins. Their Ice Cream cakes are easy to make. Regular cake for top layer and any flavor of ice cream you want for the bottom. Once assembled freeze and be sure it is hard. You can use regular frosting if you work fast and then freeze again. This was simple and similar to your nice listing here.
I was just on one of those stores yesterday and while I waited I noticed that the cost of those cakes is outrageous. Upwards towards $49.00 and some even higher.. You saved a lot of money this is great.
ehovren1 year ago
may use oreo filling with food color for decoration?
kazmataz (author)  ehovren1 year ago
Ohhhh delicious idea!
WOW!!! I want!!! Looks so delicious!!
Mmmmmm...
AhhhhhHH! This looks so so so good. I would've hurt my stomach for this so it's probably good that I missed it. :D
PitStoP1 year ago
I only have five words to say... Yumm yum yumm yum yummmm.... =)
Ditto that.