Recipe: DIY Ice Cream Cake

Happy Birthday To Me! (Yup, today is my actual birthday – what’s more appropriate than celebrating with an ice cream cake made from scratch?)

Having a mid-October birthday is awesome because it always falls in the same week as Columbus Day which usually means vacation! This year we are taking a mini road trip to Lake George and Lake Placid, which I’m really excited about. More on that when we return!

Last year I was obsessed with celebrating with a Carvel Ice Cream Cake. I don’t know what possessed me, but something did! Reflecting on last year I felt a similar craving but wanted to try making my own ice cream cake (especially with my new favorite ice cream recipe). I wasn’t really sure how to make chocolate ice cream but gave this my best shot. I also had to search high and low for a recipe to recreate the interior chocolate cookie crumb layer in an ice cream cake (I eventually settled on Smitten Kitchen’s recipe). I think overall this cake came out pretty good! Not 100% like the original but kind of a cool spin on it that was really satisfying!

Domestocrat’s DIY Ice Cream Cake (requires 2 days to make)
For the Vanilla Ice Cream:
1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or 2 eggs)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
For the Chocolate Ice Cream:
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or 2 eggs)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
For the Cookie Crumb Layer: (Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, makes 12 cookies)
1. 25 cups AP flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg

To start, make the chocolate cookies that will later become the cookie crumb layer inside the cake. It’s super easy, just follow the standard muffin method: mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl, mix the wet ingredients in another bowl, and then slowly incorporate the two together (in a stand mixer is my preference).



Scoop out the dough on to two parchment paper lined baking sheets (the cookies will spread out a lot so it’s best to give them room!). Bake on 375 for 8-9 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.


While the cookies are baking, start the prep for the chocolate ice cream. Over a double boiler melt the butter first then add in the chocolate chips. Stir to combine. When the chips are fully melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder. Set aside to cool completely.


The next step is to make the chocolate ice cream. Measure out the sweet cream base ingredients and let them come to room temperature. Once at room temp start by beating the Egg Beaters with a hand mixer until they are light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar a little at a time until it is fully incorporated into the Egg Beaters. Next, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. The last step is to mix in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add a scoop at a time until it is fully incorporated. Mine separated a little bit but the flavor was totally there so I didn’t mind. When the “batter” is ready, add to your ice cream maker/machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make ice cream (for my KitchenAid attachment bowl, this takes anywhere from 15-25 minutes).


While the chocolate ice cream is churning in the ice cream maker, prep the dish you’ll make your ice cream cake in. I chose my deepest loaf pan (totally Shutterbean’s genius idea) and lined with plastic wrap. When the chocolate ice cream is done (the consistency of soft serve) add about 2/3 of the batch to the loaf pan, ensuring that it’s settled into an even layer and smooth on top (shaking the pan and tapping on the counter helps!). Stash in the freezer overnight, resume the following steps on the next day.


Up next is making the vanilla ice cream. Repeat the same steps with the sweet cream base – beat the Egg Beaters with a hand mixer until they are light and fluffy, mix in the sugar until it’s fully incorporated, add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Add the “batter” to your ice cream machine and let it rip.



While the vanilla ice cream is churning away, crush 3-4 of the cookies in a food processor to get about 1/3 cup of cookie crumbs. You can totally store the rest of the cookies in the fridge and eat at will. Or make ice cream sandwiches with them and the remaining ice cream from this recipe. Just saying. No big deal.


When the vanilla ice cream is done, set up an assembly line to finish the ice cream cake – the vanilla ice cream, cookie crumbs, and chocolate layer already frozen in the pan.


Cover the chocolate ice cream layer with about 1/4 inch of cookie crumbs and press down firmly. Scoop the vanilla ice cream on top (about 2/3 of the batch or however much it takes to fill the pan right to the top), press down and ensure the vanilla layer is even. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours.


When the ice cream cake has fully hardened, it is ready to eat! To serve, simply pull the plastic wrap up and out of the pan and the whole cake will come with it.


Slice the ice cream cake as big as you like and garnish with your favorite ice cream toppings – I chose chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry!


The combo of the two ice creams is super decadent and the cookie crumb layer is chewy and rich. Definitely a labor of love but it’s my birthday so it’s worth it!


Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

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