Ice cream crunch cake is full of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, but the fudgy crunch center ribbon is the real star of the show. It is a copycat version of DQ’s cake with an endless variety of flavor combinations.
Cool off with a slice of perfectly fudgy and creamy ice cream cake. This sweet combination of cookies and cream features chocolate, vanilla and a plethora of cookie bits. Then there’s the crunchy chocolate ribbon center. Now that’s the stuff dreams are made of!
Ice cream cakes have always been a sign of a good time in our family. The layers of cold creamy ice cream sandwiching a crunchy fudge center.. you know the kind!
They can get a bit pricey to order, but you can make them easily at home. Plus that allows you to choose your favorite flavor combinations!
We have made several of these ice cream cakes over the years. It seems like we’ve used a different combination of ice cream flavors every time.
Cookies and cream and chocolate is a fabulous combination. I can see a layer of coffee ice cream being absolutely amazing.
It would be great with either vanilla or chocolate. Oooh, or even a cinnamon ice cream would be so good.
I originally shared this recipe back in 2018. With my sister moving to Wisconsin, we made sure to treat her extra well before she left. You know, so she would remember to visit!
I made her the layered cookie “cake” for her official birthday/going away party. But knowing I had to make this ice cream cake soon, I figured it would be rude not to include her.
So I served it up on her last day and had my parents and siblings over for one last hoorah for the baby of the family. Despite a big dinner, everyone had a slice and a few had two!
The best part about the cake is of course how good it tastes, but the fact that it is so easy to make doesn’t hurt. You can make the ice cream part a few days ahead even.
A springform pan makes getting the ice cream cake together really easy. I like to line mine with parchment paper or wax paper to make getting it out super simple.
Then put the layer you want to be on the top of the finished cake in first. You are going to flip it over when you demold, so you assemble it upside down. So in this case, I did the cookies and cream ice cream first.
Then put down a healthy layer of crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and drizzle them with fudge. You can buy a jar of fudge at the store, but I really like my simple homemade hot fudge recipe so I would highly recommend using that!
Finish it off with the next layer of ice cream and freeze it for a couple of hours to make sure it is firm. Then just take the ring off the pan and invert your cake onto your serving dish.
The wax paper should peel right off and you are ready to go. I have made ice cream cakes with only a layer of wax paper on the bottom as well.
The sides release easily enough and a plastic knife can help loosed on up if it is sticking in places. The wax paper on the bottom will really help get the base off.
So feel free to go either way. Just do whatever seems easiest for you.
Whip up a nice batch of whipped cream. When you serve it frozen, the flavor is dulled a bit, so you want to use a bit more vanilla than normal.
Then decorate your ice cream cake however you’d like. Simple is perfectly acceptable, the flavor will more than make up for it.
I opted for a nice layer of whipped cream spread over the cake. Then using a large star tip I piped a border around the bottom and alternated little puffs of whipped cream and half cookies around the top of the cake.
A nice pile of extra crushed cookies and a drizzle of fudge make for a really easy and delicious decoration in the middle of the cake. If you are celebrating a birthday or something you could definitely write a message or something there instead!
If you are a fan of all things cookies and cream like we are, you may also like my cookies and cream popcorn, cookies and cream blondies or homemade cookies and cream layer cake. What are your favorite cookies and cream desserts?
My husband was so disappointed when it was gone. Now every weekend he asks if an ice cream cake is on the menu. I guess it will have to be again soon!
What flavors of ice cream would you use to make your ice cream cake?
How to soften ice cream
You need to have softened ice cream to be able to spread it easily. However you don’t want it to be too melted.
For the best most consistent results, place the ice cream in the refrigerator for twenty to thirty minutes. It will make it spreadable but not too soft.
You can also soften it on the counter. Just place it out for ten to fifteen minutes.
The line between soft and melty goes a lot more quickly on the counter. So just be careful and keep am eye on it.
Making the chocolate crunch center
That chocolaty crunch ribbon is super easy to make. You have some options to make it different with a few small tweaks.
For it to be the most like Dairy Queen’s cake, make the cookie crumbs relatively fine. That helps to make it that texture we love.
However I also love them a little crunchier and in bigger pieces. It gives you a little more of that cookie goodness.
You can also make a few adjustments based on the fudge you use. We love using hot fudge.
A good thick hot fudge doesn’t freeze solid. It is just chocolaty and holds it all together.
You can also use a magic shell. That will give you more of a solid and crunchy layer.
It does make it harder to cut a pretty piece, but you’ll definitely know when you hit the center. No matter which combination you choose, it’s going to be a winner!
Storing your ice cream cake
One of the best parts about making an ice cream cake is that it can be made several days in advance. You just need to have room to store it.
Ideally the cake would be stored in a cake box or cake saver. That will help keep the tastes and smells of the freezer from penetrating the dessert.
It will be ok in the freezer for a few days without being wrapped. Just be aware that eventually it will get some freezer burn or may pick up some freezer flavor.
Otherwise your ice cream cake will be best in the first few days, but can be stores for up to three months of well wrapped. I can’t see how you could let it go that long without eating it though!
Watch us make it on YouTube
As always: If you make this recipe–or any CWC recipes–let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram or Pinterest too—tag @carleecooks so I can see! For more recipes and fun, like us on Facebook and follow along on Pinterest
- 1.5 quarts cookies and cream ice cream
- 24 chocolate sandwich cookies (+ more for garnish)
- 1 recipe hot fudge sauce (or a jar of your favorite)
- 1.5 quarts chocolate ice cream (I used a chocolate truffle, but your favorite will be great!)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment or wax paper.
- Soften the cookies and cream ice cream a bit and then spread on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to firm it back up a bit.
- Soften the chocolate ice cream. Crunch 24 sandwich cookies into bits. Sprinkle over ice cream and drizzle with warm fudge (reserve a quarter cup of fudge for garnish if desired.) Spread chocolate ice cream over fudge and cookie layer.
- Freeze at least an hour or two to firm up.
- Remove the ring from the springform pan and invert cake onto serving plate. Remove all of the parchment or wax paper and place in freezer until ready to frost.
- To decorate, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until it forms stiff peaks. Spread over the outside of the cake and pipe on a border if desired. Decorate with any remaining sandwich cookies and fudge.
- Freeze until ready to serve. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 5g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.