An easy Neapolitan ice cream cake with creamy layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream and fudgy crushed Oreos! It'll remind you of Dairy Queen or Carvel ice cream cakes. Try my strawberry s'mores icebox cake for another no bake treat.
I've had “make an ice cream cake” on my recipe to-do list for, oh, I don't know… five years. Literally five years.
Every year I would mean to do it. And then by the time I got around to it, it was winter. Who's looking to make an ice cream cake in the dead of winter? Unless you live in Australia and our winter is your summer, then probably no one.
Now I'm curious, do Australians like ice cream cakes? Is that a thing there? If you're from Australia, please tell me because now I need to know. I did a little googling and it looks like it is, but I would like real life human confirmation.
Picking the flavors
So anyway, I finally got around to making an ice cream cake, and I opted for a Neapolitan ice cream cake with a layer of fudge and crushed Oreos. Yay, right? Yes, yay! Except for one little thing that I didn't take into account…
Keep the weather in mind!
I chose to make said ice cream cake on the hottest and most humid weekend of the entire year in Massachusetts. The kind of hot where your central air conditioning merely takes the edge off, and the humidity is still awkwardly hanging around like an unwelcome guest.
It helped with the process of softening the ice cream to make the layers, but good grief did I have to work fast. And then to take the pictures? I don't think I've ever moved so quickly during a photo shoot in my life.
Sprinkles were flying everything, melted ice cream dripping off the edge of the props, strawberries rolling onto the floor. You can clearly see the progression of time in these pictures, and I'm kind of entertained by it.
Quick question: are you an upright slice or slice-on-its-side kind of person? Generally speaking, I like my slices upright. But when it comes down to the last quarter of a slice, I always end up knocking it onto its side anyway.
Especially with ice cream cake.
There's something about the possibility of being able to eat the bottom layer first that's uncomfortable to me.
Or that I could start on the thickest part and work my way to the thinnest.
That's all just… pure chaos.
Don't obsess over making the layers even
As I'm sure you've noticed, my layers aren't even or symmetrical. You know why? Because who cares.
It would stress me out too much to worry about how perfect the layers are, so I just… don't. The point of baking for me is to de-stress, not to stress even more.
If you want to spend the time and energy into making each of your layers perfect, go nuts and share pictures with me so I can marvel at your patience and talent.
All I care about is:
- whether or not it tastes good
- whether or not I can get a decent amount of fudgy crunch in each bite
- whether or not it has a sufficient amount of sprinkles
And guess what?
I can check every box because this does taste good, there is a decent amount of fudgy crunch in each bite, and there is a sufficient amount of sprinkles.
Therefore, I consider it a success.
Which layer are you the most excited about?
Originally, I was the most excited about the fudgy crunchy layer, but once I was done and eating a slice, I found myself digging around to get as much strawberry ice cream as I could in each bite.
Never would have guessed that.
A few tips for making your ice cream cake:
- Line your spring form pan with parchment paper. You could also line it with plastic wrap, but either way it's a little bit messy as you spread each ice cream layer. Just hold on to the side of the pan and edge of your liner as you spread the ice cream around to keep it from slipping as much as possible.
- And before you think to yourself, “Forget that, I'll just skip the liner”, just know that you're asking for an absolute melted ice cream disaster as it spills out of every crevice in the pan onto your counter… not that it's happened to me or anything.
- Let your ice cream sit out on the counter for at least 15 minutes to soften. If you try to spread still frozen ice cream, it's going to be all sorts of frustrating. Take them all out at the same time, and just know that by the time you get to the last one it'll be the softest and easiest to spread.
- Put your layers in whatever order you want! There was no strategy behind how I layered mine, it's just what happened to be the next closest quart of ice cream as I was making it.
- So if you want to go chocolate, fudgy crunch, strawberry, vanilla like me – great. If you want to mix it up, go for it – it'll be delicious no matter what you do.
- Let the ice cream layers set before you attempt to add your Cool Whip frosting. You need to do this is because by the time you're done layering all the ice cream, things are going to be getting soft and melty, and it needs to firm back up before you can frost the outside.
I added the piped border and a crapload of sprinkles as soon as I was done frosting the cake, and then added the sliced strawberries as a bonus garnish right before serving. They won't freeze well, so don't plan to store the cake with fresh sliced strawberries on top.
But with that said, adding sliced strawberries to the inside of the cake as part of the strawberry layer is delicious.
Tip for serving
Run your knife until hot water before you make each slice, wiping with a wet cloth between each slice. This will make cutting the cake much easier.
On an ice cream cake kick and want more?
- Mini Ice Cream Cakes from Whitney Bond
- Fruit and Cream Ice Cream Cake from Tara Teaspoon
- Triple Layer Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream Cake from Half Baked Harvest
- Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake from The Recipe Rebel
- Cookie and Cream Ice Cream Cake from The Little Epicurean
- Line a spring form pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap, with the edges hanging over the edge of the pan, and place in freezer until ready to use.
- Take all ice cream out of the freezer and let thaw on the counter for at least 15 minutes.1 quart chocolate ice cream1 quart vanilla ice cream1 quart strawberry ice cream
- In a medium bowl, combine crushed Oreos and hot fudge and stir to combine.14.2 ounces Oreo cookies12.8 ounces hot fudge topping
- Remove your prepared pan from the freezer and begin adding your layers with a spatula. You can start with whichever flavor you want, but the order will be:– Ice cream #1– Fudgy Oreo mixture– Ice cream #2– Ice cream #31 quart chocolate ice cream1 quart vanilla ice cream1 quart strawberry ice cream
- Place back in the freezer and let set an firm back up for at least 1 hour.
- Remove from freezer and remove from springform pan. Move the cake onto whatever serving platter you'd like to use, and then “frost” with your thawed Cool Whip. Optionally, you can place some of the Cool Whip into a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip and add a decorate border to the top and/or bottom of your cake.16 ounces Cool Whip
- Garnish with sprinkles, then place back into the freezer until ready to slice and serve. Enjoy!Assorted sprinkles and sliced strawberries
Tip for ServingRun your knife until hot water before you make each slice, wiping with a wet cloth between each slice. This will make cutting the cake much easier.
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