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 15-30 minutes in between adding each layer.
  3. Make sure you have at least an hour to prepare the cake. See #2.
  4. I used a little less butter in the Oreo crust and the recipe below reflects that. 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!!

Print

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

 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

92 Comments

  1. I made this over the weekend for my son’s birthday. He loves ice cream cake, but personally, I don’t like it too much. I’d rather have birthday cake, and ice cream on the side. If anyone has ever bought an ice cream cake, they are pretty expensive (especially one this size). I bought the ice cream, oreos, and whipping cream for under $10. What a huge hit! Everyone loved it, and I don’t think I will ever buy one again. I did use an aluminum foil half pan, and that’s a little smaller than 13×9. So I was overflowing. I also added some of the crushed oreos to the last layer of ice cream before the fudge. I used the whipped cream and hot fudge recipes, and they were perfect. The only problem was, I ran out of corn syrup. I saw online you can substitute water and white sugar, and that worked fine. Next time, I might add some milk chocolate with bittersweet so the chocolate isn’t so intense, but it didn’t matter with oreos mixed in too. Highly recommend this recipe to anyone out there. It’s easy to do, but you need the time to put it together the day before, and the room in your freezer. Thank you!

  2. Hi Sally. Did any of those frizz taimers work last summer? And I see in your photos you have a glass pan. I really want to use my glass pan, it has a great lid. But everything I’ve read is saying glass is no goodbye in the freezer. Should I just go with my gut? Thanks, I ask here, cause I’ve never had a fail with your recipes! 

    1. Go with whatever you are comfortable with! 🙂 I have had no issues with my glass pan in the freezer.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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!!

  6. 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

  7. Do I have to cover it with aluminum foil or can I just use the cover that comes with my Pyrex dish?

    1. Any cover works! So, yes, the cover that comes with your pan works just fine.

  8. I made a semi-modified version of this and I LOVED it! I used chocolate graham crackers for the crust, a layer of Ben & Jerry’s Truffle Kerfuffle, a layer of crumbled chocolate chip cookies, a layer of chocolate ice cream, a layer of hot fudge, and then the homemade whipped cream! It was so good, and I don’t even like ice cream cake that much. Your blog has become a go-to for me – I’ve made three of your recipes now and they’re some of the best desserts I’ve ever had.

    xo, brooke
    www.livethepreplife.com

    1. Oh my goodness – this sounds amazing!

  9. I made a different variation of this for my boyfriends birthday, I wanted a non-chocolate option so instead I made a “strawberry shortcake style” version using golden Oreos for the crust, strawberry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, and strawberry and marshmallow cream “ice cream topping sauces” in place of the got fudge! Turned out Devine and went over very popularly with everyone!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

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

    1. Yes, that would be fine!

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

    1. Yes, definitely!

  14. Joanne @ No Plate Like Home says:

    This looks delicious and I’m a sucker for ice cream in the summer. Who can say no? It looks so easy-to-make too. This is one of my favorite blogs!

  15. I have some kids who aren’t whipped cream fans. Thinking it would still be delicious if I leave that layer off…any thoughts?

    1. You can definitely leave off the whipped cream layer if you don’t like whipped cream. 🙂

  16. Bonnie Robbins says:

    Making this again, (by request) but this time I’m making in a silicone Bundt pan, in reverse, so I can peel the pan back if necessary & drizzle fudge sauce over top and sides, maybe fill the center hole with the sauce. What do you think?

    1. Hi Bonnie! I haven’t tried this ice cream cake in a silicone bundt pan, so I can’t say for sure if it will work or release from the pan seamlessly. Let me know if you try it.

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

  18. 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.

    1. Bonnie Arabasz says:

      I agree that you need more than 15 minutes between layers. More like an hour.

  19. Can you comment on how the process went when removing the ice-cream cake from the pan? I don’t have a springform pan. I’ve read that putting cling wrap or parchment on the bottom of the pan to remove as well.

    1. I use a 9×13 glass pan. There is no need to grease the pan prior to making as the butter in the crust ensures that it won’t stick!

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

      1. Narwhal Sempler says:

        Sally I sound like such a happy person and your so kind to others in these comments that really makes me feel happy. This cake sounds yummy too, I’m going to make it because I know if someone as nice as u made it, it will be delicious

  22. Do you know if can make this gluten free by using a package of gluten free cookies? I am bring a dessert to a dinner with a gluten free family member but don’t have any experience with gluten free recipes.

    1. I can’t see why not! I would make sure each ingredients is certified gluten free though. Here are naturally GF recipes if you are searching for other options: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/gluten-free/

    2. Jodi Dennis says:

      Cheerios have many flavors that are gluten free, crush them like cookies and proceed! The chocolate cheerios would be good in this and the honey nut make a great cheesecake crust!

  23. Thanks for the recipe. I am planning to make it for my son’s birthday using Spring Form Pan. Will 9″diameter pan work for this?

    1. The quantities listed here are going to be 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!

  24. 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.

    1. Narwhal Sempler says:

      Mmm that sounds delicous Sally should make that and post a picture I’m going to try to make both bc they sound delicous

  25. I love ice cream cake, and this recipe looks like the perfect one! It’s exactly what I’m looking for, as my brother does not like ice cream and cake together, so I was searching for something that had a cookie layer instead. This ice cream cake looks so yummy! I can’t wait to make it. And I love that I can play around with the ice cream flavors; neapolitan, mint chocolate chip, caramel, rocky road…yum!

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

    1. So happy this was a Father’s Day hit, Maryellen! Thank you for your positive feedback 🙂

  28. 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!

    1. I would love to include a picture of my cake but am not sure how.

    2. I would LOVE to see the cake! You can email me at [email protected] 🙂 It sounds so so so good!

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

    1. Absolutely!

  30. How would I be able to use brownies as the crust instead of Oreos? Or would that not work?

    1. A thin brownie “crust” should work, but whatever you use, slightly under-bake it so it’s not too hard once frozen.

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