Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 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

94 comments

  1. Woah, this is exactly what the doctor ordered! Id love some tips for frizzy hair too!

  2. OMG I need a vegan version of this in my life right this second o.O

  3. Ice Cream Cake. Wow. I am going to try it. Although pics are greats and now I really want to eat it.

  4. It’s nearly my birthday. Can you experiment with ice cream cakes for me, too? I will eat them all. I promise.
    This first one is just lovely. The more PB, the better!

  5. Wow! Looks great, Sally! I rarely make ice cream cake, either, but I’m going to try this one! ;D

  6. Omg this looks and probably tastes waaaay better than the Dairy Queen ice cream cakes! Kevin is a lucky man. 😉 Hope you have the best weekend ever, Sally!! I wish I could help with the frizzy hair, but I’m dealing with that myself too! Lol

  7. Unfortunately I do not have tips to combat frizzy hair during the humidity. I have naturally curly hair which I often straighten, but during this time it’s just as well to let nature take its course. Why fight it, right 😀 ?
    That ice-cream cake looks fantastic. I could tell you one thing, my hair may not look the best in the hot Summer days, but I’d certainly be enjoying myself if I had a big slab of this in front of me 🙂
    Have a great weekend!!

  8. This looks delicious!! Never made an ice cream cake before but you just made it look so easy and not frightening at all!

    Love your photos, so bright and crisp and I seriously just want to eat this now!

  9. Ice cream cake is one of my ultimate weaknesses, though I’ve never tried to make it at home. It’s been on my “to-do” list for this summer, and I think you’ve inspired me to FINALLY give it a shot 🙂 Kevin is one lucky man, BTW. His party is going to be peanut butter dessert HEAVEN!

  10. This looks so good. I just learned the same trick about softening the ice cream and letting the layers rest in between, I recently made the one on the Food Network Mag cover with my stepdaughter. The outside didn’t look that pretty but the inside was beautiful, seeing each layer. This combo speaks to me though and I can definitely see myself making this! With homemade crunchies of course. Crushed Oreos and chocolate magic shell, SO good. My birthday is coming up and I might just have to change my mind on what I want. 🙂

    • I need to make homemade crunchies! I feel like the crunchies layer would be wonderful between the ice creams.

      • It is, and it doesn’t take a lot of time for it to harden between layers, and I have read so many times how much you love texture in your food, I didn’t do it for this last cake, but when I did it, it reminded me of all those carvel cakes I ate as a kid. I love the feeling of being able to do it in my own kitchen.

      • I’m going to try it!

  11. What a perfect summer treat.  I love that it has a make-it-yourself crust and whipped cream.  As for the flavors I’m thinking dark chocolate on the bottom and mint chocolate chip on top. Thanks for the recipe, I love it

  12. I promised to come back to you when I hade tested the bacon and strawberry-salad. My husband really liked it. I hade walnuts as pecan nuts are not in our store. The strawberries I used where not so sweet, so they went well with the bacon.
    Also I am pleased to read you have a real heatwawe. Here on the Swedish westcoast we have some rain everyday and + 20 degreas Celcius. Tank top and shorts hah. 🙂

  13. Hi Sally – TGIF….and as I sit in my office here at home I can hear the Cicadas Chirping outside, it means its going to be another hot day! But that’s okay, I love summer, heat, sunshine! All good stuff. So, you said you’ve always had a ‘fear’ of making Ice Cream Cakes? Looks like you’ve mastered it to me! I’m going to a family reunion this weekend and I think I may attempt this myself!!! Of course I can’t eat anything that contains calories for the following 2 days but that’s okay! It’s all about balance, right? My mouth is watering now. And as for the hair frizz? “ITS A 10” is by far the BEST product I’ve ever used….10 meaning ’10 hair issues”…frizz being one of them. It’s not a cheap product but worth it! You can pretty much find it anywhere now…Ulta, CVS, etc.
    Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks for the recommendation Sharon!! Have so much fun at the reunion this weekend 🙂

    • I second the “It’s a 10” products! I specifically use the spray with keratin in it. It’s pricey, but worth it; definitely the best product I’ve found for frizzy summer hair! CVS usually has travel sizes that you can buy instead of the full size (a little goes a long way), and if you have one of their store coupons for 20 or 30% off, it makes the hit to the wallet a little easier to take 🙂

      • I have a little wave to my hair and frizz is always an issue.  I found the product 3 Day Straight plus a smoothing shampoo/conditioner cuts down quite a bit on the frizz.  

      • Thanks everyone! Love all these suggestions. I can’t wait to test some out.

  14. I’ve NEVER made an ice cream cake, but I have made homemade ice cream quite a few times (don’t know if I could manage doing all that for this cake though!) We’re huge ice cream lovers over here, so this recipe is definitely a saver. I can never get enough of oreo cookie crusts and hot fudge sauces in store-bought cakes, but if you make the cake yourself, you can put in as much as you want, right? That’s how it works 😉 

  15. My recommendation for fixing frizzy hair is to move to LA! And please bring that ice cream cake with you! And Franklin and Jude!!!

  16. Oh I can just imagine the fun combinations with this!

  17. Since you JUST moved (and who wants to do THAT again) my frizzy hair recommendation is to get  a Keratin treatment at the beginning of every humid summer. Also known as a Brazilian. They are all the rage here and we don’t really have humidity. Your hair just looks perfect for 3 months. Also I think I am going to make your ice cream cake today but sort of do it along the lines of your AMAZING blueberry muffin cake. Graham crust, layers of cinnamon and vanilla bean ice cream, a layer of blueberries? and even the (to die for) crumb and glaze. I woke up this morning craving the muffin cake but an ice cream version sounds divine! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • The blueberry version sounds like it would be so good! I’ve heard a lot about the Keratin treatments, but don’t know much about them. I’ve read they work like a charm though! Thanks for the tip!

  18. LOVE YOUR RECIPES!!!!! EASY AND DELICIOUS. THANK YOU !!!

  19. Is it acceptable to risk making my first ice cream cake ever when I have 35 people coming to my house? It just might be! I’ll let you know if I do.

  20. THIS IS EVERYTHING! I love ice cream and this is so easy to make. I can’t wait to make this at home. Thank you Sally!

  21. Hi Sally! It’s my grandma’s birthday this weekend and I want to make her this ice cream cake but mix up the flavors a little bit. I’m going to use golden Oreos, vanilla and peach ice creams. Instead of the fudge, do you think melted white chocolate (like a Ghirardelli baking bar) would work in place of the hot fudge if melted down in a double boiler and cooled? I can’t decide if I think the texture and flavors would work out so I wanted to get your opinion! Thanks!!

    • Hi Paula! Sorry for my delay responding, I was on vacation this weekend. I do not recommend pure melted chocolate as it will harden quite a bit. What about melting it down into a ganache with some heavy cream? I’d say 6 ounces chocolate and 3/4 cup heavy cream. Heat the cream, pour over chopped chocolate and stir until melted.

  22. Hi Sally. Your summer sounds great. I’m currently watching the kardashians with a hoodie on and a snuggle blanket.  Scottish summers are not the best

  23. Looks so delicious. Love oreos and ice cream together so this is definitely on my “give it a go” list. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Ok…I am a freak for baking and visit your website daily (a bit much, I know!)…however, I would really like to comment on the frizzy hair thing! I (in anticipation of the humid day forcasted for the Philly area) have a bit of organic coconut oil in my hair even as I type…works like a charm!

  25. Made this today I can’t wait to eat it tomorrow!!! I topped mine with peanut butter cups since my husband isn’t a fan of sprinkles!!! I used peanut butter ice cream and chocolate ice cream like you but I have so many other flavored ice cream i can’t wait to use!!!! I’m also thinking you could put this in a spring form pan and pipe the whipped cream on and make this for birthdays!!! Thank you Sally for another amazing recipe!!! 

    • I just wanted to come back and let you know that this is amazing!!! Oh my word there are no words!!! I used brown eyed bakers homemade hot fudge sauce but used milk chocolate instead of bittersweet. My family and I love everything that is milk chocolate! This is a home run recipe for sure!!! Hope you are having a great weekend at your friends wedding!!! I am so excited for your new site design and the announcement of what your next cookbook is going to be all about!!! 

      • Thanks so much Lindsay and I love your enthusiasm about this cake and the upcoming announcement/design update!! I’m really glad that you used the homemade hot fudge. It is divine, isn’t it? 🙂

  26. This cake has to be much better than DQ, just sayin’! I love that I can make this using my family’s favorite ice cream. A must try recipe, for sure.

  27. look and sounds great. Can this cake be made in a spring form pan?
    Thanks

  28. I have wavy/curly/whatever hair (it kind of does whatever it feels like from strand to strand) and I live in Subburbadelphia, so I have searched far and wide for the best products to tame frizz. My absolute favorite is difficult to find. It’s Citre Shine’s Miracle Anti-Frizz serum. Seriously. It’s worth its weight in gold. Barring that, I like Frizz Ease’s Extra Strength Anti-Frizz serum, TRESemme’s Climate Control mousse, and CurlySexyHair’s spray gel/mousse/whatever it actually is. I use some combination of those before I leave the house. To carry around with me, I use Frizz Ease’s Secret Weapon. Easily the best damage control product I’ve come across. I usually have at least three of them scattered in my purses.

    In other news, this cake sounds amazing. I’ve made ice cream pies before, but never an ice cream cake, so I’ll have to give this a go!

    • THANK YOU for all the suggestions! I’m going to look up the citre shine one. Sounds miraculous. As the name suggests! lol

  29. oh my gooooodnessssssss. This is the ultimate ice cream cake!

  30. I love ice cream pies/cakes! I make them all the time! One thing I always do is make sure my fudge sauce (store bought or homemade) is very cold. It seems to spread easier and not make a mess of the ice cream. I have also found not putting any butter in the Oreo crust works, because I don’t like that hard cookie crust. I just crush them and press them well in the pan and freeze it before filling w/ ice cream. (It doesn’t stay together quite as well as with the butter, but no one has ever complained!) At Christmas, I use Blue Bell Peppermint ice cream, then the fudge sauce, then chopped mint red & green M&M’s! Oh, it is wonderful!!! Another variation for after a Mexican dinner : make it in a springform pan, use coffee ice cream & vanilla ice cream (with a tablespoon of cinnamon mixed in the vanilla), then press toasted pecans around the edges after taking out of the pan. Pipe with whipped cream. Such a simple dessert, but people are always really impressed with it!

    • Oh Lisa, you are an ice cream cake pro. All of your variations sound incredible and I love your tips about the hot fudge and crust! Thank you so much for sharing your cake knowledge 😉

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