Ice Cream Cake




Introduction: Ice Cream Cake

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

This is a copycat Dairy Queen ice cream cake. It's the one thing I always want for my birthday - the only gift I actually want, honestly. :D

Since we've moved to California, they've been hard to get. The nearest Dairy Queen is 3-4 hours away by bus, so I had to get a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake this year and was not impressed. It had actual cake in it (which just got hard and weird in the freezer) and no tasty crunchy layer! BLASPHEMERS!!

Penolopy Bulnick's birthday was the beginning of this month, and her husband and I decided she needed a real ice cream cake for it, so I set about making this one.

This ice cream cake comes very close to Dairy Queen - it has the yummy whipped topping/ice cream frosting and the crunchy fudge layer, too! It's fairly simple to put together - but you will need at least a day to assemble the ice cream cake since it involves so much freezer time.

This recipe makes a 10 inch ice cream cake - it should be able to serve 10+ people if you cut reasonable slices. ;)

Step 1: Ingredients + Tools


  • 3 quarts vanilla ice cream
  • 1 quart chocolate ice cream
  • 1/3 package of Oreos
  • 10-12 oz jar of hot fudge sauce
  • 8 oz tub of whipped topping (Cool Whip)


  • 10 inch springform pan (I have this set!)
  • parchment paper
  • spatula
  • glass or metal bowls

The ingredients listed here will make enough to fit a 10 inch springform pan and you'll have a little bit of vanilla ice cream left over. :)

Step 2: Prep Work + Tips

Because this cake takes a little time to assemble, I recommend making it the day before and letting it chill overnight. This cake took me two days to make since I had to assemble it when I had nice natural light, but I think you could easily do it within 6-8 hours.

Before you start the cake, make sure to line the bottom of your springform pan with parchment paper. Trim around the edges so there's just an inch or two hanging out. Then chill your springform pan for at least an hour in the freezer - this will make the outside layer of the cake set up faster. :)

I also recommend having a large plate or platter to turn the cake out on - this will allow you to serve it much easier and also add additional decorations if you want them.

Step 3: The Frosting Layer

We're going to create the "frosting" of the cake first. Not only does this give you a nice smooth outside to the cake, it also mimics the Dairy Queen-style ice cream cake icing. :)

For this layer you need one quart of vanilla ice cream and the tub of whipped topping. Let them sit out and get soft, and then mix them together in a large bowl. Once they're well combined, pop the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes to let the mixture firm up slightly.

Take out your chilled springform pan and begin to spread a thin layer of ice cream all along the inside sides of the spring form pan. Keep working until the ice cream begins to get soft and then put both the springform pan and your work bowl in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.

Keep repeating that process until the sides are about one inch thick, then add the rest of the ice cream to the bottom of the pan and smooth it out. Try to make everything as even as possible since this will be the top layer.

Chill it until it's firm. While it's chilling, let a second quart of ice cream sit out and thaw.

Step 4: Second Ice Cream Layer

Now you'll want to fill the spring form pan right around halfway up with vanilla ice cream. Spoon it in and smooth it out and then put it back in the freezer for a bit to set.

While that's setting, we'll make the crunchy fudge layer.

Step 5: The Crunchy Fudge Layer

This is my favorite bit!

Take a whole row of Oreos and scrape off the cream filling. Crush them so they're pretty fine - I put them in a ziploc bag and used a roling pin to crush them.

Microwave the hot fudge sauce just until it's runny and then combine the Oreos and hot fudge sauce in a bowl. Pull your chilled cake out of the freezer and smooth the fudge mix layer in and then put it back in the freezer - it's important to do this fast since the fudge sauce is a little warm. :)

Step 6: The Chocolate Layer

Once the fudge layer has chilled, spoon in enough chocolate ice cream to fill the spring form pan almost all the way. Leave just a 1/4 inch or so at the top free. It should end up being almost half of the pan.

Chill this layer until set.

Step 7: The Last Layer

Once the chocolate is set, you're going to add just a bit more vanilla ice cream to smooth out the bottom of the cake.

Put this back into the freezer until set.

Step 8: Turning the Cake Out

This part is a little finicky, so it's best to do it an hour or so before you serve.

I put down a piece of parchment on a tray and flipped the pan over on it. Rub your hands around the outside edges to help warm it up and allow the ice cream to release from the sides. Open the clasp and remove the sides of the pan nice and slow. Then you'll be able to remove the bottom and the parchment paper.

At this point I ran a spatula under hot water and smoothed out the sides and top.

Once you've got it nice and smooth, feel free to decorate it further or just put it in the freezer until it's time to eat!

Step 9: Serving

Because this cake doesn't include any stabilizers, the "frosting" layer melts fairly easily. I just let it sit at room temp for a few minutes before serving.

To cut it, run a sharp knife under very hot water and rinse it with hot water frequently. It'll allow you to cut while it's still nice and firm.



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24 Discussions

Awesome Instructable!
An FYI I learned along the way: If you add a corresponding flavor of jello pudding mix to the Cool Whip/ice cream mix & a pack of mix to the other ice cream added, it will act as a stabilizer. It will freeze harder & last WAY longer at room temperature. Makes it so much more creamy too!

I was tasked with getting an ice cream cake for a birthday just days after we were allowed to re enter our city of Fort McMurray following a one month evacuation of the city for a wild fire. Not only was Dairy Queen still closed for restoration so were most of the grocery stores. Luckily one grocery opened and actually had some ice cream! I followed your directions and used mint choc chip ice cream instead of chocolate. What a hit! I was only able to make it the day of the birthday so not frozen as hard as it should have been but no one complained! Now they are requesting it everytime we do a family dinner! Yum.

diary queen ice cream cake is the ONLY reason I ever look forward to my birthday :) although i pick off the frosting part. thanks for the DIY info.

I think I will try this with golden Oreo's and a coffee ice cream (my Mom and I have chocolate allergies and a love of ice cream Anything) or even my second favorite birthday cake ice cream...

I'm in Australia and I'm not sure if we have whipped topping. Please tell me what is says on the tub/packaging ingredients list so I can find something similar.

3 replies

Can't find what I want. It's a description of the Whipped Topping that I need please. Maybe your link didn't load ?

Just curious, why not incorporate the Oreo filling into the recipe? Maybe blend it with the ice cream for the very bottom layer.

1 reply

The filling for Oreos is super oily, so I was worried it would create some problems when it settled and froze.

I did smush the filling in a bowl and eat it with strawberries, though. Pretty yummy :D

In the northeast we can buy ice cream cakes at the grocery store. Is that not a thing out west, or are DQ ice cream cakes just that awesome?

1 reply

Having ran a DQ for years in the past, I can answer your question like this... Does a bakery cake taste better than a store bought cake? Yes! It is much fresher. A DQ Ice Cream Cake only has about a 3 week shelf life. Originally they were made from scratch in store. In the last few years, DQ (in order to have consistency through all stores) started selling the ice cream blanks to the stores. This cut down on the fantastic creamy, fresh taste that these cakes originally had with the fresh made soft-serv bases - but they are still great. Store bought Ice Cream cakes are not as fresh and many ice cream cakes in the freezer section of a grocery store are not true Ice Cream cakes, they are ice cream and cake combined. So yes DQ are that awesome and if you find a DQ that can still make them from scratch, you'd never ask that question again.

Instead of having to scrape all the frosting off of Oreos, you might want to see if your grocery store carries "Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers" which are pretty much Oreos with no frosting. Will save you a bit of work.


Made this for my daughters 17th birthday today. A real hit! Wasn't able to get all ingredients the same as we are in Australia, but we did our best. Absolutely delicious. We'll be making this again, for future family events.

Oh no, this looks too good to be true. I must make this!! Thank youuu


Had vaguely decided I was going to make an icecream cake for my daughter's 17th birthday. Wanted a break from baking several cakes every weekend during April. Thank you for the inspiration & recipe.

You are the best thing that I have ever seen! I love you! Sorry, I was talking to the cake. ;D