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Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Plan to start making this the day before you want to serve it so it has time to freeze.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 521kcal


  • 1 gallon or two half gallons ice cream, sherbet, or frozen yogurt
  • 8 ounces whipped topping
  • Sprinkles, cookie crumbs, optional


  • Let the ice cream soften slightly at room temperature for 5-10 minutes so it's easy to work with.
  • Line two 6-inch round cake pans with one piece of plastic wrap, leaving 1-2 inches overhanging so the frozen layer is easy to pull out of the pan.
  • Scoop the ice cream into the prepared pans, pressing down firmly to pack the ice cream into the pan. (My pans are 4 inches deep and I fit a half gallon into each layer.) Level off the top as evenly as you can with a spatula or offset spatula. Cover completely with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Remove layers from the freezer and remove the outer plastic wrap. Run the bottom of the pan under hot water to loosen the edges, then use the plastic wrap to gently pull the layer out of the pan. Place the first layer onto a cake stand or plate.
  • Add a layer of sprinkles or cookie crumbs, if desired. Unmold the second layer and place gently on top. (It's okay if they start to melt a smidge since you want them to melt together a little.)
  • Coat the top and the sides of the cake with whipped topping. I find it's easiest to do this with an offset spatula, but any spatula will work. Add sprinkles to the sides of the cake if desired. (I sort of threw them at it, and then swept up any that wound up on the floor!) Freeze for at least an hour or until ready to serve.
  • Let the cake sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.



  • To freeze leftovers, slice and place on paper plates. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
  • Use any flavors you prefer. Know that if you use layers that have a slightly different consistency, such as the sherbet and vanilla ice cream shown here, one layer may be softer than the other. (It's fine, though one layer may be easier than the other to slice through.)
  • Use smaller or larger cake pans if desired.
  • Use an offset spatula to frost the cake, or a regular butter knife or spatula.
  • You should have plenty of time to assemble and frost the cake before it starts to melt, so don't stress. (But also don't do that step if you have a lot of other things going on since you will want to get it back into the freezer!) It may melt a little faster if it's very humid or very hot in your kitchen.
  • Freeze the cake in a deep freezer if you have the option as it will be a little firmer. (It works fine in a regular freezer too, just wanted to mention that in case it helps!)
  • If you want to make this with lower sugar, look for options in the ice cream section of your store. Or you could try it with my Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. (You'd likely want to double the recipe to make enough for two layers.)


Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 1007IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 313mg | Iron: 1mg