Easy 5 Layer Ice Cream Cake

Cool off with a slice of no-bake ice cream cake! This easy summertime treat combines two of your favorite ice cream flavors, hot fudge, homemade whipped cream, and sprinkles– all on top of an Oreo cookie crust. Because this cake needs to freeze for at least 12 hours prior to serving, it’s a great make ahead dessert option for birthday parties, BBQs, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and more.

slice of ice cream cake on a white plate with a fork

We’re tackling a never before seen recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction today– ice cream cake! This easy and refreshing treat is made for summertime celebrations. With 5 layers to love, it keeps us smiling, satisfied, and cool all season long.

side view showing all of the layers of ice cream cake in a glass baking dish

Why You’ll Love This Ice Cream Cake

  • 5 layers of decadence
  • Easy no-bake recipe
  • Use your favorite ice cream flavors
  • Something for everyone to enjoy
  • Ribbons of fudge throughout
  • Topped with cheerful sprinkles
  • A wonderful make ahead dessert

carton of chocolate ice cream with ice cream scoop

5 Layers to Love

There are 5 layers in this ice cream beauty– let’s review each one:

  1. Oreo Cookie Crust: This cookie crust comes together with just 2 ingredients: Oreo cookies and melted butter. Be sure to use the entire cookie (the chocolate cookies and the cream filling) when pulsing the cookies into crumbs.
  2. Chocolate Ice Cream 
  3. Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
  4. Hot Fudge: Use a store bought variety or make your own! I used this homemade hot fudge sauce recipe from Brown Eyed Baker and it’s easily the best I’ve ever tasted. It yields a little more than we need for this cake, but I’m certainly not upset with leftover hot fudge.
  5. Whipped Cream & Sprinkles: We top with homemade whipped cream for the final layer. You’ll appreciate how quickly and easily it comes together! For a finishing touch, garnish with colorful sprinkles for the ultimate dessert.

You can use any flavors of ice cream you want. Chocolate and peanut butter is a favorite combination in my family, but you could also try: chocolate + cookies ‘n’ cream, vanilla + strawberry, chocolate + mint chip, chocolate + vanilla, or coffee + cookies ‘n’ cream. The options are endless!

Here are a few step photos of the process. It’s really not as much work as it seems, though you will take a few trips back and forth from the freezer. You’ll find a video tutorial and the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

Oreo cookie crumbs in a glass measuring cup

After you make the Oreo cookie crust and tightly pack it into the pan, freeze it for 15 minutes. During this time, get your first flavor of ice cream ready (below). Spread this ice cream onto the crust and freeze it.

2 images of softened chocolate ice cream in a glass bowl and spreading chocolate ice cream into glass baking dish

Get your second flavor of ice cream ready. Spread this ice cream onto the first layer of ice cream and freeze it (below).

spreading softened peanut butter cup ice cream onto chocolate ice cream layer in a glass baking dish

While the 2 ice cream layers are freezing, prepare your hot fudge. 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 hot fudge and the top layer of ice cream swirl together– this is to be expected. Place the cake back in the freezer for 15 minutes before spreading the whipped cream on top.

Make the whipped cream. Spread this on top of the hot fudge and add sprinkles (below). Freeze until ready to serve! As the cake freezes, the inside layers stay separate, but move around quite a bit creating beautiful layers.

spreading whipped cream layer of ice cream cake into glass baking dish

Ice Cream Cake Success Tips

  1. Soften the ice cream and stir it around in a bowl to smooth it out before layering. Stirring the ice cream creates a uniform texture which makes layering so much easier.
  2. Freeze the cake for 15-30 minutes in between adding each layer.
  3. Make sure you have at least an hour to prepare the cake. See #2.
  4. Follow the Oreo crust recipe below. More butter than written below (we use 1/2 cup today) made the frozen crust way too firm and cutting was quite difficult.
  5. If using store bought hot fudge, slightly heat it up. This makes it a little easier to spread on top of the ice cream. The hot fudge and the top layer of ice cream will sort of mesh together as you spread and that’s OK!
  6. At a minimum, let the cake freeze overnight (and up to a few days).
  7. For clean cuts, run a sharp knife under hot water before slicing.

Ice Cream Cake Video Tutorial

Homemade Whipped Cream

Homemade whipped cream is so easy to make and the perfect topping for our ice cream cake. And, it’s nice to have a homemade element to this cake especially if you’re using store bought ice cream and hot fudge. You only need 3 simple ingredients to whip up a batch– it’s light, refreshing, and adds a wonderful texture to today’s frozen dessert.

Print
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slice of ice cream cake on a white plate with a fork

Easy 5 Layer Ice Cream Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 12+ hours or overnight
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


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

Instructions

  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 9×13 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 15-30 minutes. (Closer to 30 minutes is ideal.)
  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 15-30 minutes. (Closer to 30 minutes is ideal.)
  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 15-30 minutes. (Closer to 30 minutes is ideal.)
  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.

Notes

  1. Ice Cream: 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.

Keywords: ice cream cake, easy ice cream cake

71 Comments

  1. 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.

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

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

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

  3. Bonnie Robbins says:

    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!!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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

    1. Yes, that would be fine!

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

    1. Yes, definitely!

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

  10. 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.

  11. Thanks for this great recipe! I made this for my parents’ birthday party, and everyone raved about it. My switch was adding marshmallow cream in with the whipping cream, and it was so good! I think that the only trouble was that it wasn’t freezing soon enough, so I will add an hour between doing the next layers. I will definitely make this again and try a few different tweaks to see what we like best, but the original is fantastic! Thanks!

    1. I tried this again, and this time with caramel ice cream with candy cups, and the chocolate had fudge in it. It was amazing, but hard to cut and then to eat easily enough. Very good though! I still love adding the marshmallow whip into the whipping cream because it is tasty! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Hi Sally! Planning on making this this weekend, but am wondering if I could use crushed choc chip cookies instead of Oreos? Or do you suggest baking a layer of choc chip cookies at the bottom of the pan instead? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Madeline! Either way should work just fine. Might be easier to crush already baked (or store-bought) chocolate chip cookies though!

  13. varsha prash says:

    I made this using your recipe in a 10″diameter pan. I used vanilla ice cream in place of Peanut butter and added a layer of caramel sauce. It was a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Just made this today with gluten free Oreo cookies. The gluten free Oreo packet only came with 21 Oreo cookies. So I added some gluten free shortbread cookies to roughly make the 36 cookie count. Used only vanilla ice cream as my little girl with Celiac is only a vanilla ice cream fan. Put the home made fudge sauce layer (from the link) between two layers of vanilla ice cream to make it look more like a Canadian Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Two layers of vanilla ice cream separated by fudge sauce. Then the whipped cream with sprinkles on top. Heavenly. Next time I will make one and a half or even two times the whip cream layer. Excellent dessert.

  15. I made this for our Father’s Day celebration and everyone raved about it! I used chocolate chip ice cream in place of peanut butter cup ice cream as we have a peanut allergy in the family. The homemade fudge sauce is the only way to go! Absolutely amazing! My family said they never want to see a DQ cake again! Thank you for this delicious recipe, Sally!

  16. I made this for my son’s 17th birthday this weekend. It was a hit and looked fantastic. I used a springform pan and wanted to change the flavors to our family favorite – pistachio! I found pistachio oreo thins and used those ; but needed a package and a half to get a pressable texture with so much butter. Then I filled with pistachio ice cream, then vanilla, the fudge, and the whip cream before topping off with a sprinkle of roasted, ground pistachios (leftover from making Sally’s AMAZING pistachio cake a few weeks beforehand). I also used a springform pan and added a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin to my whip cream to ease spreadability and firm it up. I will certainly make this again – but I hope to bust out the ice cream maker when I do!

  17. Could I do this in a springform pan?!

    1. Absolutely!

  18. Theresa Doerfler says:

    This recipe was a big hit with my family! I made it for our Memorial Day spread and not even two weeks later, I was making it again! I tried a new (to me) hot fudge sauce that was on sale and we all thought it made that layer so yummy! Went back to get it again and had to splurge on it as it was no longer on sale! But, worth every penny! From the Oreo crust to the homemade whipped topping, this dessert is scrumptious! It has now gone in the file of family favorites! Thanks Sally!

  19. Can I omit the hot fudge? I’m wondering if it provides some layering between the 2 different ice cream flavors? My son does not like hot fudge. Crazy, right? LOL Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey Laura! It really just separates the two layers of ice cream, but you could definitely skip it. 🙂

      1. Meghan Alson says:

        In the recipe steps you say to put the fudge on top of the second layer of ice cream….is it supposed to be between the two ice cream layers?

      2. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Meghan, Spread the hot fudge on top of the second layer of 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. Enjoy!

    2. My brother hates chocolate (oh the horror, right?!) so we will do the following:
      Biscoff cookie crust, vanilla ice cream, maple ice cream, homemade bourbon caramel sauce, whipped cream and top with crushed praline. #heyfall

      You could make a salted caramel sauce, white chocolate sauce or peanut butter sauce. All would be super easy subs.

  20. How far ahead of time can this be made?

    1. You can make this up to a few days in advance!

  21. I’m sorry to say the layering didn’t work out for me. 🙁 Maybe my idea of slightly softened is different or my freezer is just not that cold but I waited a lot longer than 15 minutes, more like 45 and when I put my vanilla layer on top of the chocolate it just sank right through. I’m sure it will still be very tasty, but not layered. I think I will try the recipe again when I have a lot of free time and don’t need to rush through the steps.

  22. I do not know how I have not seen this recipe before! It looks so good. I have a small family so 12 servings might be too much. Will it work if I half this recipe?

    1. Yes! This recipe can be adapted so many ways – cutting it in half isn’t a problem. Enjoy!

  23. Debbie Nielsen says:

    This was simply delicious! I used Edy’s Double Fudge Brownie for the second quart of ice cream. I took the easy route all the way through the recipe (!) and used Smucker’s hot fudge sauce–only about 2 oz. total. For the whipped cream, I used Cool Whip with Oreo Mix-Ins (OMG–this is an event in itself and has “binge emotional eating” all over it!). The end product was a raving success! Thanks so much for this wonderful treat!

  24. I typically really like Sally’s recipes, but this one was not so great. Obviously it tasted good because who doesn’t like ice cream? But the Oreo crust stuck to the bottom of my pan and no one got to eat it, and it was the one part that had actually been made by me. It was definitely a waste of Oreos. Check out other recipes from Sally, they’re usually awesome!

  25. This was my first time making an ice cream cake. It was easy and turned out great. Everyone loved it! I used less oreos (27) and it was enough for the 9X13. I used Dutch Chocolate ice cream, Cookies & Cream ice cream, and for the hot fudge layer I used a store bought ‘Epic coffee chocolate sauce’. I didn’t realize it said coffee when I bought it but it was fantastic and tasted perfect in the cake.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I will definitely make it again.

  26. Would your no-churn ice cream recipe work in this recipe?

    1. Yes, but you may want to freeze the layers and full cake for a little longer since it’s a softer ice cream.

  27. Hi Sally!

    We made this cake this weekend with golden Oreos on the bottom and it was delicious!! The only problem was when we went to get the cake out of the pan all the Oreo layer was completely stuck, do you have any suggestions for this?

    Thanks so much 🙂

    1. Hi Caroline, You can try lining the bottom of your pan with parchment paper. That usually does the trick!

  28. This was amazing! I made it for Father’s Day last weekend. Everyone LOVED it. Used mint chocolate and double chocolate ice creams. Making again and again this summer. Thanks Sally!

  29. Thank you for the recipe Sally! Would this work with a graham cracker crust or other cookies subbed in for oreos?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, it sure would!

  30. Would you recommend making this in Springform cake pan?

    1. Hi Alan, the quantities listed here are a little too much for a 9 inch springform pan. But this recipe is very forgiving so you can use your best judgement how thick to make each layer.

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