Ice Cream Cake for a Special Occasion

What’s a more classic dessert than cake and ice cream on a special occasion? For Father’s Day, I tried a variation — combining the two desserts into an Ice Cream Cake. This is a surprisingly easy make-it-ahead dessert; if you plan ahead. My experiment turned out well — it tasted great, looked festive and my family liked it.Ice Cream Cake for July Fourth - IMG_3744_1

Ice Cream Cake Experiment

This dessert was an experiment and  surprisingly easy to make. It requires that you plan ahead; but when finished it is easy to serve. Just remove from the freezer and slice. To make the dessert, bake a cake from a mix in a large 10″ spring-form pan. Then freeze the cake for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Soften ice cream and spread over the cake in the spring-form pan. Refreeze. Decorate with whipped topping and decorations of choice. Refreeze or serve immediately.

Slice of Ice Cream Cake - IMG_3752_1

The dessert is very adaptable; many flavors of ice cream and cake mix can be selected to suit the tastes of guests and friends. I used a white cake mix and vanilla ice cream and swirled in blueberry sauce and raspberry balsamic vinegar sauce. I think that chocolate cake and ice cream with butterscotch swirl would taste scrumptious, too. The list of combinations is endless.

My original idea was to make an Ice Cream Cake for the Fourth of July. So I experimented with using blueberries (blue) and raspberries (red) in filling of the cake and for decorations along with whipped topping (white). Perhaps I’ll try this again using candy flags and stars, etc.for decorations. Strawberries could be substituted for the raspberries.

Make-Ahead Dessert

Here are the ingredients for my Ice Cream Cake. Select any cake mix that suits the occasion. I like Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White cake mix. The flavor has a hint of almond which goes well with the fruit used in the filling.

Ice Cream Cake Ingredients - IMG_3729

I baked the cake in one layer in a 10″ spring-form cake pan for 30 minutes. If you want a smaller cake; use two 8″ spring-form pans and save one layer for something else. Reduce baking time. Use two pints of ice cream, not a half-gallon. For the cake, I used the mix, three whole eggs, oil and water.

Cake Mix in Spring-form Pan - IMG_3733

After baking, let the cake cool to room temperature. Then freeze it for at least four hours or overnight (preferably). Remove the sides of the spring-form pan and level off the cake. Since the cake is frozen, it’s easy to manipulate and cut. (I didn’t do a very good job here, as you can see from the finished photos). Put the sides of the spring-form pan back on.

Soften a half-gallon of ice cream. To do this, I warmed it in the microwave oven for several minutes. (Test a few minutes at a time.) Take spoonfuls and cover the cake.

Ice Cream added to Spring-Form Pan - IMG_3735Then I attempted to pour in spoonfuls of blueberry sauce and fresh blueberries and a homemade raspberry balsamic vinegar sauce and swirl them into the ice cream. The fruity flavor tasted great although it didn’t really swirl. Level off the ice cream and refreeze for several more hours. When ready to serve, remove the sides of the spring-form pan and let soften a bit. The scoops ice cream settled down the sides of the pan; so all you can see is the ice cream.

Ice Cream Cake removed from Springform Pan - IMG_3743

At this point, you could probably serve the cake. Your guests would be pleased. However, I further decorated the cake–attempting a Fourth of July theme. I covered the cake with Cool Whip topping and added blueberries and raspberries for decoration. Originally I was going to add slivered almonds and pine nuts; but forgot them. If I was going to repeat this on July Fourth, I’d try to arrange the fruit in some sort of stripes; perhaps adding candy stars and flags.

Ice Cream Cake for July Fourth - IMG_3745_1I wanted to swirl in blueberry sauce and fresh blueberries and raspberry sauce. This didn’t work well; perhaps next time I’d layer the blueberry sauce and blueberries over the cake prior to adding the ice cream and then add the raspberry sauce on top of the ice cream. Or perhaps I’d soften the ice cream a little further to easier swirl in the sauces.

Ice Cream Cake - cut - IMG_3756

Homemade Blueberry Sauce and Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

To give the dessert a fruity flavor and a little “punch”, I added homemade blueberry sauce and raspberry balsamic vinegar sauce to the ice cream layer. Here’s my homemade blueberry sauce from the last post.

Blueberry Sauce - IMG_3554

And the Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar Sauce is tasted great with the ice cream cake, too. Surprised? Try it. To make the sauce, combine 1 cup cold water, 1 cup fresh raspberries, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp cornstarch in small sauce pan. Combine well. Then place on stove on heat on medium high and cook until bubbly and thickened. Stir constantly. The sauce will clear and raspberries will fall apart as you stir the sauce.

Rasberry Balsalmic Vinegar Sauce - IMG_3760_1


Here’s my recipe.

Ice Cream Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


    • 1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White Cake Mix
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (such as canola oil)
    • 3 whole large eggs
    • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
    • 2 cups blueberry sauce
    • 1 cup fresh blueberries (plus blueberries for decoration)
    • 1 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar sauce
    • 1 – 8 oz carton Cool Whip whipped topping, defrosted
    • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries for decoration
    • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries for decoration

Method and Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil bottom and sides of 10″ spring-form baking pan.
  2. In large bowl of electric mixer, combine cake mix, water, oil and eggs, mix until moistened.
  3. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into spring-form pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and top springs back.
  5. Remove from oven and let set on counter until room temperature (about 30 minutes).
  6. Place in freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Remove cake from freezer. Remove sides of spring-form pan. With long knife, such as a bread knife, level off the top of the cake so that cake is level and even. (Use the scraps for sampling!) Since the cake is frozen, it should be easy to cut. Replace sides of spring-form pan back around the cake.
  8. Soften vanilla ice cream in microwave oven for 2 minutes at a time. Transfer softened ice cream to top of cake by spoonfuls.
  9. Take spoonfuls of blueberry sauce and place dollops around in a ring around the outer edge of the cake. Add the fresh blueberries around the ice cream. Take the raspberry sauce and place dollops in an inner ring. With a table knife, swirl the blueberry sauce; then the raspberry sauce. Don’t combine the two.
  10. Level off the top of the ice cream. Replace back in the freezer for several more hours.
  11. When ready to serve, remove ice cream cake from freezer and remove sides of spring-form pan.
  12. Spread the Cool Whip whipped topping on top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh blueberries and raspberries.

No one minded that the blueberries and raspberries didn’t swirl. My son drove in from New Orleans for Father’s Day for lunch totally surprising his dad. Dad was pleased. Sometimes simple is better. Here’s the ice cream cake serve with extra raspberry sauce.

Slice of Ice Cream Cake with Raspberry Sauce - IMG_3780_1

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