Ice Cream Cake

ice cream cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Chill Time: 48 hrs
Total: 49 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 16 servings

The secret to creating perfect layers in this sky-high ice cream cake? Freezing all the layers individually before assembling. The cake takes a bit of patience as you wait for the ice cream to set in the freezer, but when it is time to stack, it all comes together in a snap! Just be sure to use the same pans for baking the cakes as well as for freezing the ice cream layers. This will ensure perfectly consistent layers.

This recipe is a great make-ahead cake that will wow at a party. Feel free to personalize the recipe by using any combination of ice cream flavors to create the layers.


  • For the White Cake Layers:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the Ice Cream Layers:
  • 1 quart pistachio ice cream
  • 1 quart chocolate ice cream
  • 1 quart strawberry ice cream
  • For the Topping:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Multicolored sprinkles
  • Maraschino cherries

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. (You can use baking spray with flour.)

    Ice Cream Cake Ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. 

    beat the butter and sugar
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

    Add eggs
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake flour and baking powder. 

    stir together the cake flour and baking powder
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

    Gradually add the flour mixture
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Pour the batter into prepared pans, smoothing the tops if necessary. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. 

    Pour the batter into prepared pans
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

    Let cool
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Split each cake to create 4 equal layers. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze the layers.

    Split each cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Using the same cake pans, make the ice cream layers. Cover a clean and dry cake pan with plastic wrap. Soften the pistachio ice cream so it is easy to spread, but not melted. Spread in the cake pan, cover with plastic wrap and flatten. Freeze solid. 

    make the ice cream layers
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  10. Repeat with the chocolate and strawberry ice cream. All three layers of ice cream, as well as the split cake layers, should be frozen solid. 

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  11. To assemble the cake, unwrap one of the cake layers and place it on the bottom of the serving plate. Unwrap the pistachio ice cream layer and place it on top. Place another cake layer on top of the pistachio layer, followed by the chocolate ice cream layer. Place the third cake layer on top of the chocolate ice cream layer. Place the strawberry ice cream layer on top. Finish with the final cake layer. Press gently and wrap with plastic wrap to freeze all the layers together. 

    assemble the cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  12. In the large mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Remove the assembled ice cream cake from the freezer. Frost with whipped cream. Freeze solid until ready to serve. 

    whip the heavy cream
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  13. When ready to serve, top with sprinkles and garnish with maraschino cherries.

    top with sprinkles
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  14. Slice and serve directly from the freezer. 

    Ice Cream Cake Recipe
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni