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

These are always so much fun to serve when the weather begins to warm up, especially for pool parties, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and every gathering in between!

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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 (82gunsweetened 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

225 Comments

  1. This is a perfect summer treat! Thanks for sharing the recipe Sally, so excited to make it for my family. Is it okay to swap granulated sugar for brown sugar, and all purpose for whole wheat?

    1. Hi Rachel! I haven’t tested this recipe with either substitution, but you certainly can. The brownie batter will be very heavy with both, so do your best to spread it. Let me know how they turn out.

  2. Sheila Calnan says:

    Morning. Have a silly question.
    Just took the brownies out of the oven. I was lucky and did have 2-9″ matching pans. Do you take the top parchment off when they come out or after they have cooled for the 15 mins? And with the “top” brownie, do you cool it also in the pan or take it out…..as you would using only one pan?
    Now, the wait begins! Thanks for another easy recipe, Ms. Sally.

    1. Hi Sheila, you can remove the top piece of parchment as the square sheets of brownies cool. I usually do. It doesn’t matter if the brownie layers cool in the pan or not, but they do cool faster outside of a warm pan. The cooler they are, the easier it is to spread the softened ice cream.

      1. Sheila A. Calnan says:

        Thanks ma’am. Had one other problem, when I put the top layer on it cracked. I pieced it back together. Not going to affect the taste, just the looks. Think next time, I’ll stick the top layer in the freezer for a few minutes. I did cool them for 15m. Bottom in the pan, top out of the pan.

  3. Quick question, if you make these and you have leftovers, will they “keep” in the freezer or will they get too hard to eat?

    1. We’ve been eating them for weeks and they do, of course, get a little harder over time but soften up if you let them sit out for a few minutes before enjoying.

  4. My granddaughter is gluten-free. Do you think I could use gluten free all purpose flour for brownie recipe?

    1. Hi Rosemary, I wish I could help but I haven’t tested it. Let me know if you do.

    2. Cup4Cup flour might work, Rosemary.

    3. Rosemary, I use gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour for making brownies for work as I have a GF colleague, and they usually turn out good and fudge.

  5. Hi Sally! I’m excited to try this baking challenge! I only have 1 square 9″ pan. Should I measure all the brownie mix and divide in half, or do you know how much mix you had for your pan?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Danica! See recipe instructions– there’s 4 cups of batter total. You can eyeball it or, to be more accurate, measure to divide in half. Have fun making these!

  6. Hi Sally, Paro here. These look so gorgeous. Always wanted to try this, now you have out me upto the challenge. Yay! Quick qn, can I use a no-churn ice cream I made instead of the store bought? Or will it be too hard? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Paro! Actually, it’s too soft– see my recipe note! Let me know how they turn out.

  7. Yummmmmm! These look so gooooooood! I can’t wait to give these a try 🙂 If I 1.5x the recipe, do you think I could use half the batter and bake in a 9×13″ pan, then repeat with the other half? I would of course have a lot more sandwiches, but that cannot be a bad thing… 😉 But do you think the thickness will be okay? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin, I really can’t say because I haven’t tested it. 3 cups of batter in a 9×13 inch pan would be quite thin so it may work but again, I can’t be certain. Let me know if you try it.

    2. Hi Christina! No, I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m hoping to make them today, if I find the time, and I’ll definitely leave a comment here if it works! 🙂

    3. So I made the 1.5x recipe and baked it in two 9×13 inch pans. I think the brownies were a perfect thickness. I had to bake them for a little longer than 15-16 minutes (more like 17-20); they were nice and fudgy after that, any less time left them too underbaked. And if anyone is wondering if it is possible to use no-churn ice cream (whipped cream + condensed milk)…I tried it. It didn’t really work. The ice cream is too soft and practically all of it melted out of the brownies, so cutting them into sandwiches was a no-go. I’ve resolved to just cutting a random portion whenever we want some. I also found that it was hard to assemble because the brownie layers themselves were quite flimsy, and broke easily–my top layer cracked terribly when I transferred it to the pan to top the ice cream layer, and it fell apart. So that was disappointing. Overall, this recipe tastes super good, and I suppose it might assemble better with store bought ice cream, though the brownies themselves were a bit of a problem. Oh well! I managed to get a few sandwiches cut out that weren’t completely falling apart, so I’m still gonna enter my picture in the baking challenge–I apologize beforehand for the mess XD

    4. Christina Kurtz says:

      Thank you for the info! I kinda figured that it might be difficult to handle the large piece of brownie. I actually made them last week in the 9” pan and didn’t have any trouble with them. The smaller pan ended up being enough for my family but I didn’t get to put any in the freezer for later. I may make them again in the 13×9 so I can have some leftovers.

  8. These look amazing, Sally! I’m so excited for summer, and one of the obvious reasons being that I can bake all my favourite summer desserts, and try some new ones 😉 I definitely want to make these, but do you think no-churn homemade ice cream would work? I’m worried that even with extra freezer time these might melt quicker than if I used store bought, so any tips would be helpful 🙂 Thanks for another simple, delicious recipe <3<3<3

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you! It won’t. See my recipe note. Can’t wait to hear if you give these a try.

  9. Hi Sally!! This is a fantastic baking challenge and I’m super pumped to try it – ice cream sandwiches are my all-time favourite summer treat! A quick question for you; I don’t own a 9×9 pan; could I use a 7×11? Would that require adjusting the cook time at all?

    1. Hi Kate, you can certainly try dividing the batter in half and baking both batches in the 11×7 inch pan. I’m unsure of the best bake time, though. It will likely be the same since both pans hold the same amount of batter.

  10. Hi Sally, two questions – can you tell me approximately how thick the brownie layers are, and how thick the ice cream layers are? Just curious. Also, do you think I could cut the sugar amount a bit, say to 1 1/2 cups? I don’t like anything overly sweet. I would use mint chip ice cream! Thanks!

    1. Hi Janet, you can try cutting the sugar down but you’ll have slightly less batter. The bake time should remain the same, but the brownies could be a little thinner. As written, the brownie layers are about 1/2 inch thick. The ice cream layer is similar, maybe a little thicker. (But that depends how much you sandwich between the two!)

      1. Thank you, Sally! I will give this recipe a try as soon as we go grocery shopping again for ice cream. My state is still one of the last ones in lockdown, so grocery shopping is a real pain in the butt and we go as infrequently as possible!

  11. Sheila Calnan says:

    These things are amazing. Will be making again. Thanks, Ms. Sally.

  12. CAROLYN WALDEN says:

    Hi Sally, thoughts on cutting the recipe in half….using 1 9×9 pan and cutting and stacking the brownies in half and stacking?

    1. You can definitely try that! Or maybe even using two 9×5 inch loaf pans (or baking in batches in the loaf pan)? Though I’m unsure of that exact bake time.

  13. I made them last night and they taste amazing! I would advise people to pay extra attention when spreading the ice cream because I didn’t and it was very uneven . But apart from that it’s super easy to make 🙂

  14. Do you think it would be advantageous to freeze the brownie layers before adding the ice cream layer? It seems the firmer layers may be easier to spread the ice cream and handle the top layer.

    1. Hi Dan, you can try it, but I fear the ice cream wouldn’t stick to the frozen brownie layers. You can certainly let them cool completely first, but I wouldn’t freeze them. I find it’s actually easier to spread the ice cream on a warm brownie layer.

  15. These are absolutely delicious, thanks Sally! Made them with mint chocolate chip ice cream, and just finished slicing and wrapping them. I struggled with spreading the batter in the corners, and my ice cream layer is twice the size of the brownie layers (I’ll push down harder next time), but they are perfect to me.

  16. My top layer broke in pieces when I flipped it onto the ice cream. I fear it was the under-bake that left it too soft.

  17. Brownie recipe was delicious! Very fudgey, whole family enjoyed!!

  18. Love this! The recipe is so easy! Perfect summertime treat.

  19. Can I make it in a 9 by 13 pan and cut it in half horizontally?

    1. Hi Megan, 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.

    2. Loves this recipe. I will repeat it over and over again. The browies were perfect, thick and rich and oh so yummy!! Perfect with ice cream! Thank you for another winning recipe!!

  20. Wow, these are good. I only baked 1/3 the recipe in an 8 inch pan with a pint of ice per suggestion of another baker, which worked well. They are fudgey and soft, even after freezing!

  21. Fantastic recipe and instructions. Thank you and perfect for someone getting ready to birth with all that chocolate. Good luck Sally. God Bless you entire family.
    Cheryl

  22. I am speechless- words cannot describe how EASY and DELICIOUS these homemade brownie ice cream sandwiches are! Perfect texture, yummy brownie paired with my favorite vanilla ice cream- perfect for this 90 degree weather we are having in my area today! Thank you Sally (once again!!:-) for reliably delicious recipes !

  23. Rebekah Hoilett Duncan says:

    Much easier to make than it looks, thank you for the step by step instructions and video !
    Tastes awesome and perfect for this summer heat. The family loved it !

  24. Hi Sally, I just made this to my family, really yummy and easy to made, I will keep try other recipes here, thank you!

  25. What a yummy recipe. It was super easy to make. My top brownie broke but i was easily able to smoosh (technical baking term) it together and it didn’t matter when it was frozen. 🙂 very fudgy. I wonder if I need to bake it a little longer next time.

  26. Abby Dalton says:

    Perfect summer treat!!

  27. My whole family loves these, they are delicious. Mine do not look perfect but they are yummy! Thank you for another great recipe.

  28. Another winning recipe from Sally! I am a huge brownie lover so this was a big hit with me! My husband thought the brownie layer overpowered our ice cream flavors (We did four different types – plain vanilla, chocolate chip, chocolate covered strawberries and double peanut butter chip from McConnells, one of the best local shops in Santa Barbara). He said he would prefer if the brownie was even thinner and I do agree that is a very strong rich brownie but I loved the thickness! *We did a different flavor in each quadrant and I loved having multiple flavor combos! Next time I plan to try mint chocolate chip ice cream. Thanks for posting this as your June challenge! It was my first time participating and I’m already excited to see what’s in store for us next month!

  29. Super easy and delicious! Thank you Sally for another great recipe! We have so much fun baking with you 🙂

  30. Nandisha Gupta says:

    Fudgy awesome brownies. Delicious brownie ice cream sandwich. Another reason to participate in the much awaited Sally’s baking challenge.

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