Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Using extra rich homemade brownies and your favorite flavor ice cream, you can make brownie ice cream sandwiches at home. My #1 tip: Give the assembled brownies plenty of time to freeze so they slice into neat squares or rectangles.

brownie ice cream sandwiches

Complete with 8 ingredient homemade brownies, these brownie ice cream sandwiches are inspired by the store-bought version we all know and love. In addition to letting the assembled brownies freeze overnight, I recommend slightly under-baking the thin sheets of brownies so they aren’t rock solid after freezing. What a difference it makes!

I have a full list of success tips, as well as a video tutorial and step-by-step photos, so make sure you browse this post before getting started. I can’t wait for you to try these at home!


These Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches Are:

  • Fun to make
  • Inspired by the store-bought version
  • Made with extra rich homemade brownies
  • Awesome with vanilla ice cream, but you must try coffee or strawberry!
  • A wonderful make-ahead treat
  • Great in the freezer for up to 1 month

stack of homemade brownie ice cream sandwiches

Video Tutorial


**Though the full detailed instructions are written below, let me walk you through the process so you understand what you’re doing.

Overview: How to Make Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

I found this recipe idea on Tasty and was thrilled to try it with homemade brownies. The most difficult part of recipe testing was finding the perfect brownie recipe that would (1) be thin enough (2) be soft enough and (3) taste good enough. A hard code to crack, but I started with my seriously fudgy homemade brownies and built on that foundation.

  • Make homemade brownie batter. Using my homemade brownies as the base, I increased the butter, left out the melted chocolate, and added a bit of baking powder. I left out the chocolate so these brownies could be softer and, well, more convenient. (They’re made with only cocoa powder, so if you ever need a 9×13 inch pan of brownies that uses just cocoa powder, here’s your recipe– and you can use the same baking/cooling instructions as my homemade brownies. I don’t recommend a 9×13 inch baking pan for making these ice cream sandwiches, though. See next step.) I also added butter to make up for the loss of liquid chocolate and added baking powder to give the brownies a little lift and extra softness.
  • Bake in two 9-inch baking pans. Use 2 9-inch square baking pans for the correct thickness. I only have one 9-inch square baking pan, so I bake the batter in batches. I do not recommend one 9×13 inch pan for this recipe. Though the brownie batter will fit and you could cut the cooled sheet of brownies in half, the “sandwich” will still be too thick. An 8-inch pan is too small. You could try two 9-inch round pans of brownies, but you won’t have even ice cream sandwich squares. Before baking, place a piece of parchment directly on top of the batter– this helps the brownies stay flat and prevents the brownies from puffing up too much.
  • Under-bake. A quick 15-16 minutes per thin square sheet of brownies. As the brownies cool for a few minutes, remove your ice cream from the freezer so it slightly softens.
  • Scoop ice cream on top of one layer of brownies. Carefully spread into an even layer.
  • Place 2nd square sheet of brownies on top.
  • Freeze. Place the whole pan in the freezer for at least 12 hours. I find 12-18 hours is the perfect amount of time. Any less and the ice cream will still be pretty soft and squish out when you try to cut them. The longer after 18 hours, the harder the sandwiches are to cut.
  • Cut. Use a very sharp knife and some arm muscle!

homemade brownie batter in glass bowl

Step-by-Step Photos:

The brownie batter is thick, so do your best to spread it into your lined pan(s). Lining with parchment paper is imperative so you can easily lift the brownie square out of the pan as a whole. Bake with parchment paper directly on top, too. This prevents the brownies from puffing up too much.

brownie batter spread into square baking pan

You’ll have two square sheets of super thin and soft brownies.

large brownie squares on parchment paper

Soften ice cream, then spread it on top.

spreading ice cream on pan of brownies

Cover with 2nd square sheet of brownies.

the assembly of homemade brownie ice cream sandwiches

Freeze, then cut into squares or rectangles.

brownie ice cream sandwiches before cutting

Success Tips (Follow These Closely)

  1. Use parchment paper: You need parchment paper to line the square baking pan(s) with enough overhang on the sides so you can lift the warm brownies out as a whole for assembly. You also need parchment paper placed directly on top of the brownie batter to keep them flat. I swear by these pre-cut sheets of parchment.
  2. Use 9-inch square pans: Best thickness for these ice cream sandwiches. See recipe notes below!
  3. Under-bake the square sheets of brownies: To prevent the brownies from turning break-your-teeth hard in the freezer, slightly under-bake them. Pay very close attention to this bake time. They will be very soft coming out of the oven.
  4. Freeze for 12-18 hours: As mentioned above, any shorter than this and your ice cream will squeeze out of the sandwich as you cut. Any longer and they’ll be delicious, just very hard to cut.
  5. Use your sharpest knife to cut: A super sharp knife and arm muscle works. At 8 months pregnant, this was a workout!

two pictures of brownie ice cream sandwiches

Print
two homemade brownie ice cream sandwiches

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 sandwiches
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Using extra rich homemade brownies and your favorite flavor ice cream, you can make brownie ice cream sandwiches at home. My #1 tip: Give the assembled brownies plenty of time to freeze so they slice into neat squares or rectangles.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (400ggranulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (85gunsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder*
  • 1 cup (125gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 quart container (1/2 gallonvanilla ice cream (slightly softened– you can use any flavor and you’ll have a little leftover)

Instructions

  1. Preliminary note: For best success, I recommend reviewing the recipe notes and video tutorial above before beginning.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides to lift the warm brownies out. Set aside. (If you have 2 identical 9-inch square baking pans, you can line both and bake the batches of brownie batter at the same time.) I don’t recommend other size baking pans. See my recipe note.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl or a saucepan on the stove, melt the butter. After melting, whisk in the sugar until completely combined, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. The batter will be a little dull looking.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold it all together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. It will come together, I promise! Batter will be very thick. You will have about 4 cups of batter.
  5. Spoon and spread half of the batter (about 2 cups) into prepared pan. (Lightly cover remaining batter and keep at room temperature.) The batter is thick and heavy, so do your best to spread it evenly in the lined baking pan. I find the back of a spoon is most helpful. Place a small sheet of parchment paper directly on top of the brownie batter, smoothing it down as pictured in the photos and video tutorial above. The top parchment paper helps the brownies stay flat and prevents the brownies from puffing up too much.
  6. Bake for 15-16 minutes. I find any longer over-cooks the brownies, making the ice cream sandwiches difficult to cut and eat. Remove brownies from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Carefully, using the overhanging parchment paper on the sides, lift the warm and soft square sheet of brownies out of the pan as a whole. Remove top piece of parchment. (You can reuse it for the top of the 2nd sheet of brownies in the next step, if desired.) Set aside.
  7. Line the warm pan with another sheet of parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides to lift the warm brownies out. Give the remaining brownie batter a stir. It will be very thick at this point. Add a teaspoon of water to thin out if necessary. (No more.) Spoon and spread the remaining brownie batter in the pan. Place a small sheet of parchment paper directly on top of the brownie batter, just as you did before.
  8. Bake for 15-16 minutes. Remove brownies from the oven and cool for 15 minutes in the pan. During this cooling time, I remove the ice cream from the freezer so it has a chance to soften.
  9. Scoop the softened ice cream onto the warm brownie layer in the pan. You’ll use almost all of the 1/2 gallon of ice cream. Using the back of a spoon or your ice cream scoop, gently spread it into an even and thick layer.
  10. Carefully pick up the 1st square sheet of brownies and place on top of the ice cream layer. Gently press it down into the ice cream to help it stick. Cover the entire pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze for at least 12 hours and up to 1 week. I find 12-18 hours is the perfect amount of time. Any less and the ice cream will still be pretty soft. The longer after 18 hours, the harder the sandwiches are to cut.
  11. Remove the pan of ice cream brownies from the freezer. Carefully lift them out as a whole using the parchment paper overhang on the sides. Using a very sharp knife and some arm muscle, cut into 8-12 squares or rectangles. Enjoy immediately.
  12. Wrap each leftover sandwich individually and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. They get a little harder the longer they sit in the freezer– if they’re super solid, let them sit out for a few minutes before enjoying.

Notes

  1. Two 9-inch square pans of extra thin brownies is best. I only have one 9-inch square baking pan, so I bake the batter in batches. I do not recommend one 9×13 inch pan for this recipe. Though the brownie batter will fit and you could cut the cooled sheet of brownies in half, the “sandwich” will still be too thick. An 8-inch pan is too small. You could try two 9-inch round pans of brownies, but– obviously– you won’t have even ice cream sandwich squares. For success, I recommend following the recipe.
  2. Cocoa Powder: You can use either natural or dutch-process cocoa powder.
  3. Best Ice Cream to Use: Homemade ice cream works wonderfully, but avoid homemade no churn ice cream (made with heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk) because it’s too soft. I usually use store-bought such as Breyers vanilla (or any flavor) or Dreyers/Edys classic or slow churned varieties.

Inspired by Tasty

Keywords: ice cream, ice cream sandwich, brownies

 

two homemade brownie ice cream sandwiches

245 Comments

  1. Cathi Schmidt says:

    Brownies are one of my favorite desserts! This was easy and delicious and will definitely be my new go to brownie recipe!
    Love all your recipes Sally!

  2. These were an instant hit! Taste similar to the classic ice cream sandwich, only better! And they weren’t too difficult to make. The only hard part was trying to flip the second brownie over on top of the ice cream.. mine fell apart slightly, but turned out okay in the end.

  3. This recipe was easy and great for summer months! Our brownies came out a bit thin but tasted delicious!

  4. These brownie ice cream sandwiches were easy to make and really tasty! Took them to a social distance bbq and they were a hit!

  5. Albertina Geller says:

    This was so easy and delicious! My family loved it. I will be making it often!

  6. These were so easy to make an assembly, which was great because I’ve always been intimidated by homemade brownies. My kids have already asked me to make them again, so I’ll definitely be making them again soon!

  7. Maria Janowiak says:

    These were very fun to make!

  8. Do you think it will affect the integrity of the brownie if chocolate/butterscotch, etc morsels were added? I’m super extra and like my desserts a little over the top.

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nichole, not at all! When you slice them/bite into the assembled sandwiches, those chips or morsels will be pretty frozen though.

  9. Clare Coupe Scott says:

    I thought the flavor of these were outstanding, but putting the top brownie layer on did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. I’ve made ice cream sandwiches before and they followed a different process, which I found easier and the end product was nicer looking. I am still on the fence about trying again (which is not something I usually say about a Sally recipe!).

  10. Mary Beth Stevenson says:

    This was a great recipe! The whole thing was a snap to make, and made a refreshing 4th of July treat. I used my biggest, sharpest knife to cut the frozen bars and did not find it too difficult after 12 hours in the freezer. I will be making these again!

  11. Great recipe! The tips, video and instructions make baking up these brownies and assembling the sandwiches about 99% fool proof. I enjoyed this fun and delicious challenge. Already planning on making another batch next week! This time with Coffee ice cream. Thanks Sally!

  12. I’ve made these twice already and they are a huge hit. HUGE. My question though… Am I doing something wrong that my parchment is SO frozen to the bottom layer that it’s almost impossible to peel off? Is anyone else experiencing this?

  13. I really wasn’t sure about the consistency of these “baked” brownies…they are VERY soft and seemed half baked when the timer rang, but they are perfect after they cool – resist putting them back in the oven for longer than 16 mins. Super rich, soft, creamy ice cream sandwiches!!! I couldn’t wait the 12 hours for my first piece, but I wish I had. The ice cream was still soupy after 2 hours, so wait….as tough as that is!

  14. Hi Sally!

    I am going glamping soon and am working on preparing a bunch of treats that will travel well for my pals. I was just wondering – do you think it would be okay to prepare the brownies in advance so as to not be travelling with a bunch of different ingredients, and then add the ice cream once we get to the campsite (still leaving them in the freezer for 12 hours before serving, of course)? So excited to receive your feedback – I have been keeping busy with your recipes for almost all of the quarantine!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      How fun, Megan! Yes that should work just fine. Have fun 🙂

  15. Sheila Calnan says:

    I have made these twice, once with mint chocolate chip and with a cherry cordial. My question is, would store bought, frozen yogurt work?
    Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      I don’t see why not, Sheila. Enjoy!

  16. This was a perfect dessert for my family. Easy to make, store, and serve. I used vanilla ice cream and peanuts in the middle and it was delicious!

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