Easy 5 Layer Ice Cream Cake

Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust! Cool off and celebrate with this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This weekend means tank tops, barefeet, sunscreen, air conditioning, and all things the dog days of summer embody. This weekend also means a balmy 65% humidity, hair frizz reaching astronomical heights, did I mention AC? and back-to-school commercials haunting our TV screens. Turning on our ovens sounds like evil torture and ice-cold coffee is our bestie.

The spirit of summer is strong as ever right now and a 5 layer ice cream cake saves the day. It keeps us all smiling, satisfied, and COOL.

I do not have a solution for the frightening frizzy hair. But please send me your tips.

Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust! Cool off and celebrate with this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I guess right now would be the time to admit that I rarely make ice cream cake. In the past, we’ve always picked it up from the store. And I’m somewhat attached to my oven. One may even call it a baking addiction, but whatever.

Truth is, I’m always so nervous to make ice cream cakes because I have an irrational fear the layers will either separate or just melt together and the whole thing will look like a sprinkled chocolate blob. I care what my desserts look like too much (hi, have we met?) to waste my efforts on a blob risk!!

But I quieted my fears this past week because I’m testing dessert recipe #2 for Kevin’s upcoming birthday bash. Here’s dessert recipe #1! We’re having kids and adults over and I figured an ice cream cake would be the perfect large batch dessert to serve everyone. Not to mention, Kevin LOVES ice cream.

Chocolate ice cream for 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So let me break down these layers for you.

There are 5 layers in this ice cream beauty:

  1. Oreo cookie crust
  2. Chocolate ice cream
  3. Peanut butter cup ice cream
  4. Hot fudge
  5. Whipped cream + sprinkles on top

You can use any flavors of ice cream you want. Chocolate and peanut butter is a must in this household, but I feel like chocolate and cookies ‘n’ cream would be outrageously good. Or even vanilla and strawberry for a neapolitan vibe.

Oreo cookie crust for 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Chocolate ice cream for 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here's how to make a simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And, because we all love lists, let me tell you what I learned from my recipe testing.

Ice Cream Cake Tips

  1. Soften the ice cream and stir it around in a bowl to smooth it out before layering in. Stirring the ice cream to create a smooth uniform texture makes layering so much easier!
  2. Freeze the cake for 15 minutes in between adding each layer. This prevents the blob.
  3. Make sure you have at least an hour to prepare the cake. See #2.
  4. Use a little less butter in the Oreo crust. More butter made the frozen crust way too firm and cutting was quite difficult.
  5. Let the cake sit in the freezer for a lifetime. Or at least overnight.
  6. Run a sharp knife under hot water when slicing; this helps create a clean cut.

The final two layers, the hot fudge and the whipped cream, are both homemade. I encourage from-scratch! (And if you make the ice cream layers from scratch, you are SUPER human. I actually have a peanut butter cup ice cream recipe in Sally’s Candy Addiction if you’re tempted…)

Anyway, I understand if you just want to pick up a jar of hot fudge, but the hot fudge sauce I made is easily the best I’ve ever tasted. Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe yields a little more than we need for this cake, but I’m certainly not upset with leftover hot fudge. Homemade whipped cream is quite simple. There’s 1 step: whip it. If you have a mixer, you can make homemade whipped cream. It’s so soft!

Here's how to make a simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll let the hot fudge sauce cool down after making it, but it will never be as cold as the ice cream layer underneath it. Because of the difference in temperature, the two will sort of mesh together (but not in an ugly blob way) as you spread and that’s OK! Make sure you place it all in the freezer for 15 minutes before spreading the whipped cream on top.

As the cake freezes, the inside layers stay separate, but move around quite a bit. I loved the ribbons of hot fudge throughout and, of course, the sprinkles on top. ♥

Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust! Cool off and celebrate with this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s really not as much work as it seems, though you will take a few trips back and forth from the freezer. DQ and Carvel, you’ve met your homemade match. Can’t wait to make this again next weekend!!

Easy 5 Layer Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 36 Oreos (1 standard package)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 1 quart your choice flavor ice cream, softened (I used peanut butter cup)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (420g) hot fudge (store-bought or yummy homemade)

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Make the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole Oreos into a fine crumb. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together, then press into a 9x13 pan. (No need to grease the pan prior.) Make sure it is very tightly packed-- I use the back of a spatula to firmly press it in. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. During that time, place the softened chocolate ice cream in a bowl and give it a good stir to rid any frozen lumps. You want a nice smooth, soft ice cream. Spread it on top of the frozen crust. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. During that time, place the 2nd ice cream flavor into a bowl and stir it until it is smooth and very soft. Carefully spread on top of the chocolate ice cream. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Make sure the hot fudge is spreadable consistency. You may have to slightly heat it if using store-bought. Spread it on top of the ice cream as best you can. Because it is not as cold as the ice cream layer, the two will slightly mesh together as you spread. That's ok. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Spread on top of hot fudge layer, then top with sprinkles. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 12 hours before serving (and up to a few days!).
  6. Use a very sharp knife to cut, making sure you are cutting into the crust. Keep leftovers in the freezer.

Recipe Notes:

1 quart of ice cream is 2/3 of a standard 1.5 quart container. So you'll use a little more than half of the container for each ice cream layer.

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 More frozen treats right this way and no-bake everything is over here.

Simple and divine 5 layer ice cream cake sitting on top of an Oreo crust! Cool off and celebrate with this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

110 Comments

Comments

  1. Jenny on August 10, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Hi sally! I am so making an ice cream cake this weekend! Just because :). 
    I have a love for the Mr Richardson hot fudge  (I think that’s what it’s called anyways lol) I was wanting to have it between ice-cream layers tho..could I do a layer of ice cream..then that fudge..then ice cream…and just still freeze in between layers…would that work the same?! I want to put crushed up oreos in my fudge also for in the middle. If I did that. Would I still use an oreo crust? Or just start with ice cream? And I have seen people make it in a springform pan before too… 
    Thanks!

    • Sally on August 10, 2016 at 8:20 am

      You can absolutely spread the hot fudge between the ice cream layers! No problem there at all. Crushed Oreos on top of the hot fudge layer would work too. Still do the Oreo crust though! So, you’ll need more than 1 package of Oreos. And a springform pan works just as well.

      • Jenny on August 10, 2016 at 11:20 am

        Ok thanks! I am going to try this weekend! I found a tutorial that uses a springform pan..and u put crust..then a layer of ice cream…they went up the sides with the first layer of ice cream, is that needed? Or can I just layer like normal?!



      • Sally on August 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

        I’d just layer like normal.



      • Bonnie Robbins on July 5, 2017 at 11:37 pm

        I made for Memorial Day party . I used the full container ( half gallon or whatever they are now) of each of the ice creams, used jar sauce. This was gone in a shot!! Now I thought I’d get smart & put an additional layer of Oreos between chocolate & peanut butter layer, I mean after all, how could you possibly go wrong? When we cut into it the chocolate layer became a piece of ” cake” with Oreo crust top & bottom & the rest was another piece by itself. I won’t do that again! This time I also made the hot fudge sauce from scratch & it was fantastic easy to pour the layer instead of fighting with jar sauce ( and it tasted better!) I will definitely do this again!!



    • Julie on June 2, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      I made this ice cream cake for my sons birthday back in April. It was so yummy that my daughter said she wanted it for her birthday cake as well. Just made it again this week for her and it was a huge crowd pleaser! I’ve had a lot of ice cream cakes from Cold Stone and Dairy Queen. This one is definitely hard to beat! As long as you use a good quality ice cream and make the homemade fudge suggested in the recipe, it’s killer!!! Thanks for another amazing recipe Sally!

  2. Jenny on August 12, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Hi again! Is this really thin in a 9by13? Would it fit in a smaller pan, and be thicker? 
    Thanks!

    • Sally on August 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Jenny! It is not a thin cake. It’s so tall and wouldn’t fit in any smaller pans.

  3. Becky on August 21, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I made this for my daughter’s birthday party today and it was amazing! I went the extra mile and used homemade ice cream. So, so good! It was worth making the hot fudge, too! It took a lot less time than I thought it would!

    • Sally on August 21, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Worth the extra time and effort to make homemade ice cream. Mom of the year!

  4. Emily on August 31, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Oh baby! I made this yesterday for my hubby’s birthday and it was out of this world tasty! I made the homemade hot fudge (SO worth it!) And I used chocolate ice cream with m&ms and birthday cake ice cream for my layers. Just insanely yummy. Hubby loves ice cream cake and was blown away by this one. He says he dreamt about coming home to leftovers all day today while he was at work.

    • Sally on September 1, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Your version sounds outrageously good! Especially with the M&Ms.

  5. Lydia on October 1, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    This looks delicious! My daughter requested an ice cream cake for her birthday; however, she likes the idea of brownies on the bottom and a layer of cookies in between the ice cream layers. I have not made an ice cream cake before so I’m wondering whether you think this combo would work. I know it would taste good but do you think I can avoid the blob?
    Thanks for any advice!

    • Sally on October 4, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Hi Lydia! The brownie layer on the bottom would absolutely work. But I feel like it would be tricky getting the chocolate chip cookie layer in there. You’d have to bake it in a separate (size size) pan and lay it on top once it’s cooled. Then top with another layer of ice cream. This would be a very tall cake (but very good at that!!). Your daughter has a great idea though. Let me know if you try anything out.

      • Lydia on October 10, 2016 at 12:15 am

        THank you for the advice! I did a brownie layer on the bottom, followed by an ice cream layer, then a layer of crumbled sandwich cookies, a second ice cream layer, and a whipped cream and sprinkles topping. It was delicious, loved by all. I’m glad I found your recipe!



      • Sally on October 11, 2016 at 9:40 am

        I’m so glad it worked!!



  6. Jessica on December 1, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    How long can you keep it in the freezer? I was hoping to make it 2 weeks before my dad’s birthday, would the quality be affected?

    • Sally on December 2, 2016 at 8:11 am

      2 weeks might be pushing it, but I’d say a week would be just fine!

  7. Deb on February 1, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I made this over the weekend for my son’s birthday. He loves ice cream cake, but personally, I don’t like it too much. I’d rather have birthday cake, and ice cream on the side. If anyone has ever bought an ice cream cake, they are pretty expensive (especially one this size). I bought the ice cream, oreos, and whipping cream for under $10. What a huge hit! Everyone loved it, and I don’t think I will ever buy one again. I did use an aluminum foil half pan, and that’s a little smaller than 13×9. So I was overflowing. I also added some of the crushed oreos to the last layer of ice cream before the fudge. I used the whipped cream and hot fudge recipes, and they were perfect. The only problem was, I ran out of corn syrup. I saw online you can substitute water and white sugar, and that worked fine. Next time, I might add some milk chocolate with bittersweet so the chocolate isn’t so intense, but it didn’t matter with oreos mixed in too. Highly recommend this recipe to anyone out there. It’s easy to do, but you need the time to put it together the day before, and the room in your freezer. Thank you!

  8. Christina on February 4, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Just made this using Halo Top ice cream 🙂 I’ll let you know how it comes out!

  9. Myra on March 2, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Hi in your tips you state to use less butter, what would you recommend ?

  10. Annie on March 9, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Do you have an alternative crust that’s gluten free? We have some children attending my daughter’s party who cannot have wheat so the Oreo crust would not work. Thanks!!!

    • Elaine V on May 28, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Hi, I’m making this cake right now using Glutino gluten free “oreo” style cookies. Works out fine!

  11. Heather on June 2, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Instead of Oreos could I use chocolate chip cookies? Hubs doesn’t like Oreos but loves ice cream cakes. 

  12. Shelly Rios on June 12, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to attempt the homemade I RC team for layering. We live on the coast of south Texas and have our AC running 11 months out of the year. We pray for 65% humidity to give us a breather!! Lol! We obviously live on cool foods down here. 

    • Shelly Rios on June 12, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      *icecream. Sorry. Fat fingers. 🙂

  13. Maria on June 16, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Hi Sally. Did any of those frizz taimers work last summer? And I see in your photos you have a glass pan. I really want to use my glass pan, it has a great lid. But everything I’ve read is saying glass is no goodbye in the freezer. Should I just go with my gut? Thanks, I ask here, cause I’ve never had a fail with your recipes! 

    • Sally on June 16, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Go with whatever you are comfortable with! 🙂 I have had no issues with my glass pan in the freezer.

  14. Becky on June 19, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I’ve seen some other recipes that claim that regular whipped cream gets weird in the freezer. They say you need to use gelatin as a stabilizer. Do you think it’s necessary? I’d rather make a normal whipped cream and whip some of the Oreo cream into it.

    • Sally on June 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      I’ve never had an issue with freezing whipped cream that has not been stabilized. And I’ve done it a lot!

  15. Christy on June 24, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Do you think 8 hours is sufficient in the freezer? Why 12? I didn’t give myself enough time!

    • Sally on June 24, 2017 at 9:42 am

      I find 12 hours sets the cake up just right– you could get away with 8

  16. Gwen on July 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    This was amazing! I made it for my sister and her family last week. Everyone LOVED it. Thank you 🙂

  17. Karlie on August 15, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you so much for all the tips and great starting point for such a yummy ice cream cake! I followed your recipe, but added in a layer of caramel sauce, swapped the peanut butter ice cream for vanilla, and added chopped twix to the top of the whipped cream layer. Needless to say, my boyfriend loved his birthday cake!! (And so did the rest of my family). Thank you again! Can’t wait til I can try another of your recipes

    • Sally on August 16, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Karlie OH MY GOSH your version sounds incredible!!!! I need to recreate it!

  18. Jessica on October 16, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Do I have to cover it with aluminum foil or can I just use the cover that comes with my Pyrex dish?

    • Sally on October 17, 2017 at 8:03 am

      Any cover works! So, yes, the cover that comes with your pan works just fine.

  19. Brooke Butler on November 12, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I made a semi-modified version of this and I LOVED it! I used chocolate graham crackers for the crust, a layer of Ben & Jerry’s Truffle Kerfuffle, a layer of crumbled chocolate chip cookies, a layer of chocolate ice cream, a layer of hot fudge, and then the homemade whipped cream! It was so good, and I don’t even like ice cream cake that much. Your blog has become a go-to for me – I’ve made three of your recipes now and they’re some of the best desserts I’ve ever had.

    xo, brooke
    http://www.livethepreplife.com

    • Sally on November 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Oh my goodness – this sounds amazing!

  20. Cori on December 15, 2017 at 1:49 am

    I made a different variation of this for my boyfriends birthday, I wanted a non-chocolate option so instead I made a “strawberry shortcake style” version using golden Oreos for the crust, strawberry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, and strawberry and marshmallow cream “ice cream topping sauces” in place of the got fudge! Turned out Devine and went over very popularly with everyone!

  21. Kelcie on May 22, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    This was delicious and easy to make! Everyone enjoyed it at my daughter’s birthday party. I used ice cream from our local dairy store (homemade flavor without the work). I went with the classic vanilla and chocolate combo and put the hot fudge between the ice cream layers along with some mini chocolate chips. The only problem I had was getting the Oreo crust out of the pan! I found that letting it sit out for 10-15 minutes before cutting helps.

  22. Melissa on June 13, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Could you use Cool-whip instead of making the homemade whipped cream?

    • Sally on June 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Yes, that would be fine!

  23. Cassie on June 24, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Would this work by cutting it in half and using an 8 x 8 pan?

    • Sally on June 25, 2018 at 9:35 am

      Yes, definitely!

  24. Joanne @ No Plate Like Home on June 24, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    This looks delicious and I’m a sucker for ice cream in the summer. Who can say no? It looks so easy-to-make too. This is one of my favorite blogs!

  25. Siobhan on June 28, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    I have some kids who aren’t whipped cream fans. Thinking it would still be delicious if I leave that layer off…any thoughts?

    • Sally on June 29, 2018 at 11:45 am

      You can definitely leave off the whipped cream layer if you don’t like whipped cream. 🙂

  26. Bonnie Robbins on June 29, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Making this again, (by request) but this time I’m making in a silicone Bundt pan, in reverse, so I can peel the pan back if necessary & drizzle fudge sauce over top and sides, maybe fill the center hole with the sauce. What do you think?

    • Sally on July 1, 2018 at 11:02 am

      Hi Bonnie! I haven’t tried this ice cream cake in a silicone bundt pan, so I can’t say for sure if it will work or release from the pan seamlessly. Let me know if you try it.

  27. Elizabeth on August 11, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    I made this tonight and was so pleased with the results!! Great recipe, Sally!!

  28. Karl on September 18, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I made this over the weekend. It is very good. The hot fudge is amazing. The only thing I’d say is the that the ice cream layers need more than 15 minutes to firm up. I waited 30 minutes and it still wasn’t enough.

  29. LaSonia on September 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Can you comment on how the process went when removing the ice-cream cake from the pan? I don’t have a springform pan. I’ve read that putting cling wrap or parchment on the bottom of the pan to remove as well.

    • Sally on September 18, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      I use a 9×13 glass pan. There is no need to grease the pan prior to making as the butter in the crust ensures that it won’t stick!

Reviews

  1. Karl on September 18, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I made this over the weekend. It is very good. The hot fudge is amazing. The only thing I’d say is the that the ice cream layers need more than 15 minutes to firm up. I waited 30 minutes and it still wasn’t enough.

Questions

  1. Melissa on June 13, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Could you use Cool-whip instead of making the homemade whipped cream?

    • Sally on June 13, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Yes, that would be fine!

  2. Cassie on June 24, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Would this work by cutting it in half and using an 8 x 8 pan?

    • Sally on June 25, 2018 at 9:35 am

      Yes, definitely!

  3. Siobhan on June 28, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    I have some kids who aren’t whipped cream fans. Thinking it would still be delicious if I leave that layer off…any thoughts?

    • Sally on June 29, 2018 at 11:45 am

      You can definitely leave off the whipped cream layer if you don’t like whipped cream. 🙂

  4. LaSonia on September 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Can you comment on how the process went when removing the ice-cream cake from the pan? I don’t have a springform pan. I’ve read that putting cling wrap or parchment on the bottom of the pan to remove as well.

    • Sally on September 18, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      I use a 9×13 glass pan. There is no need to grease the pan prior to making as the butter in the crust ensures that it won’t stick!

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