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!

Print
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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

258 Comments

  1. Krystin Samms says:

    This was a fun recipe. Against your recommendation I used homemade no churn vanilla ice cream, but with less sugar to make it a thicker consistency. It worked out beautifully.

  2. Loved it! I slightly reduced the amount of cocoa powder and sugar in the brownies so they weren’t too sweet.

  3. I was wanting to just make a personal size. Could you half the recipe and use 2 loaf pans?

    1. Hi Megan! Some have halved the recipe for two 9×5 inch loaf pans but I haven’t personally tried it yet.

  4. Super easy to make. The brownie is wonderfully soft (though I had a little trouble with crumbling when I put the top n). Made with vanilla salted caramel ice cream, and they’re absolutely delicious!

  5. Such a delicious brownie recipe! I only had 8” pans, so I did not use all the batter and baked a minute less. I added some sprinkles to the sides of the sandwiches, and everyone I shared them with loved them!

  6. I loved these so much! They were super yummy and fun to make. The brownies had a fudge-like consistency and they were amazing with strawberry ice cream. In the future, I would cut them into more slices and use slightly less brownie batter because they were pretty large and hard to eat. Overall, I would definitely recommend this recipe!

  7. This was yummy! I have to say I wasn’t so sure as I am a bit of a brownie snob but the end result was terrific! My 10 year old daughter was so excited to participate in Sally’s Baking Challenge for the first time! Thanks for the fun!

  8. I was looking for an excuse to break out my ice cream maker, and this did the trick! I made french vanilla ice cream for these, and I can’t wait to try them tonight. Something that worked great for me – I used my Wilton cake lifter to put the brownie layer on the top and I had no issues with breaking or crumbling.

  9. Ice cream sandwiches have always been one of my favorite summer treats. It was fun to try making my own. Thanks for this yummy recipe and the clear instructions!

  10. This was a challenging recipe for me, the hardest part being the 12-18 hour wait in the freezer Yum, I made them with death by chocolate ice cream and I only had 8 inch pans, so I didn’t use quite all of the brownie batter. So good! Another winning recipe!

  11. This was such a yummy treat to make! The brownies were so soft and chewy! I baked them a little less just as the recipe suggested so they were nice and soft! Will be making again! Might add a tad less sugar since store bought ice cream is sweet on its own! Overall wonderful recipe 🙂

  12. Holly McElroy says:

    This was my favorite baking challenge of the year!

    1. I’m so happy to read this, Holly!

  13. The directions were simple and this recipe is perfect for summer!

  14. Absolutely delish!

  15. This is a delicious recipe! Was tempted to try a flavor other than vanilla but with the richness of the brownie- the vanilla was perfect. Great video directions!

  16. I made a 1/3 batch of this recipe – I started with using a 9×5 inch loaf pan (to use twice over like how you used your 9inch pan) but when I divided my batter it looked too thin so I shifted my 7.5 x 5 inch foil pans baked for 10-11 minutes — and glad to report that it turned out great!

    I filled mine with farmshop Raspberry Ripple vanilla ice-cream and a layer of homemade hot fudge sauce.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful detailed helpful tips Sally! Best wishes to you and your family 🙂

  17. Delicious! I’ve made ice cream sandwiches before and struggled, but these came out perfectly and tasted amazing!

  18. So far, the ice cream crown or sandwich has been my husband’s favorite Challenge. Thank you!

  19. Megan Morgan says:

    This recipe is superb! The brownie is so rich and wonderful even frozen! Just make sure to follow directions and don’t over bake! Can be a little messy but what icecream sandwich isn’t haha!! Perfect for the hot days to come. I will be making this all summer long!

  20. These brownie sandwiches are amazing. I used raspberry ripple ice cream it tasted great. So simple to make too.

  21. Lonnie Wayne Harper JR says:

    Ice cream sandwiches are my fav and now this recipe lets me make my own. Love it chocolate cake brownie with vanilla ice cream wow! I’m going to make hot fudge and whipped cream for topping it. 5 stars more if needed. @sallysbakeblog #sallysbakingchallenge

  22. These turned out amazing!! I made the full recipe but before I spread the ice cream on top of the warm brownie layer, I put an aluminium foil divider in the middle. That way I could spread one flavor (coffee) on one half and another flavor (walnut) on the other half! I removed the divider before putting the first layer on top and the two flavors didn’t blend so that worked really well! I was definitely surprised by how soft the brownies still are after freezing. This really is the perfect summer treat.

  23. Ellen Pratt (Waxman) says:

    Wow! These brownie ice cream sandwiches are the best ever! I’ve shared with many family members and everyone loves them! Perfect cool treat on a hot summer day! I’ll be making these all summer long!
    Ellen

  24. These were so good and easy to make! Have you ever tried putting a layer of fudge or caramel over the ice cream before you put the top layer on? I think I may try that next time but was wondering if you had any tips on that. What do you use to wrap them in? I used parchment and let them freeze a little longer, then put the wrapped sandwiches in a ziploc. The parchment was sort of hard to handle. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Pam, I haven’t tried adding a layer to these but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! You can wrap them each in plastic wrap if parchment paper is too difficult.

  25. These are incredible. The brownie is perfect, fudgy, rich and soft. I did have to cook it a little longer (I know my oven) but still underbaked slightly as directed. I used store bought vanilla ice cream. I personally would not add more chocolate as ice cream flavor – but if you are a chocolate fanatic, you might love that. We will be eating these for a while – a perfect summer treat. I’ve never done one of the challenges the same month so was excited to do it finally! (Need to get a photo – tonight!) Thanks for another fantastic dessert. Your recipes are insanely good!

  26. These were really good! It was hard to wait for them to fully freeze in the freezer and not eat one right away.

  27. These were so good!! All 3 of my girls LOVED them. I used 8 in pans because that’s all I had. I cooked them an extra 10 mins and they came out perfect. We used cookies n cream ice cream since it’s what we all could agree on. My 13 yr old is already asking me to make them again. So many flavor possibilities. Perfect treat for these hot summer days!

  28. Victoria K. says:

    Holy YUM. This is the most incredibly easy to come together recipe ever! The brownie is so fudgy and delicious and with that ice cream in between….Good Lord, help us all. THANK YOU SALLY for yet another amazing and delicious summer treat recipe!!

  29. This recipe was delicious! The fudgy taste of the brownies went really well with the ice cream! It was a great recipe and only required basic ingredients. This was my first time participating in the challenge and I can’t wait to do more challenges!

  30. I’m sure this has been referenced before, but I had to bake these for like 25 minutes (my oven always takes far longer than the listed time on Sally’s recipes). I also used a metal bench scraper to cut them, which worked really well. Not sure how I would have navigated doing this with a regular knife. In all, it was a fun baking challenge.

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