Oreo ice cream cake
FoodCan be made with any combination of cake and ice cream

Oreo ice cream cake

If you have basic cake-making skills, you can easily make this at home.

Oreo ice cream cake (Photo by Jessica Grann)
Oreo ice cream cake (Photo by Jessica Grann)

My youngest son just had his 16th birthday and requested his favorite: an Oreo ice cream cake from the ice cream store. Unfortunately, the store recently closed — and it was the only one in the city certified kosher. I felt a bit daunted at the thought of experimenting with something new for such a special day, but I realized that it couldn’t be that difficult.

I’m happy to say that if you have basic cake-making skills, you can easily make this at home.

I made homemade whipped cream for frosting, but I used a cake mix and bought both the cookies and the ice cream — and this was one of the best birthday cakes I’ve ever made.

My husband asked if I could make him a strawberry version with yellow cake for his upcoming birthday, so I think that I’ll be making a lot of these in the future. Once you get the basics down, you could make this with any combination of ice cream and cake.

I iced this simply and decorated it with a few whole cookies. If you have the skills to pipe the whipped cream to make the top more decorative, then you can go all out. You can also drizzle chocolate Magic Shell topping onto the finished product before freezing it again to harden the chocolate.


(Serves 12)

1 box of devil’s food cake mix, prepared in 2 9-inch pans according to instructions on the package
1½ gallon of cookies and cream ice cream (see note)
1 package of Oreo cookies

For the whipped cream topping:
1 pint (2 cups) of heavy whipping cream
2-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar

Bake the cake in 2 9-inch round cake pans according to the instructions on the box and let the layers cool completely before assembling. If your cake layers have a domed top after baking, take a large knife and gently slice off the rounded tops once cool.

Be sure to buy real ice cream. Unfortunately, a lot of what we assume is ice cream is now labeled as “dairy dessert.” Dairy dessert has a different composition and does not harden when frozen.

Set the ice cream container on the counter for 15-20 minutes until it’s soft enough to scoop. If the texture seems soupy, pop it back into the freezer to get it firmer. The ice cream must be soft enough to spread but not so soft that it starts running all over the place.

I used a springform pan to protect the cake in the freezer. I didn’t close the spring, so I don’t think you’ll have issues if you don’t have one of these pans.

Cut a piece of wax paper to size and place the first layer of cake on top.

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out about ⅓ of the ice cream onto the bottom layer, making sure that the scoops are uniform in size and set close together so that there are not any empty spaces between the ice cream scoops. Use a metal icing spatula to smooth the top of the ice cream layer.

I added an extra layer of cookie crumbles for texture: Take about 12 cookies and put them in a large plastic bag. Crush them well with a rolling pin, then sprinkle them over the first layer of ice cream. Work quickly to avoid the ice cream getting too soft. If the ice cream seems to be melting, stop your work and pop everything back into the freezer for a bit.

Add ⅓ more of the ice cream for the second layer, repeating the scooping technique you used with the first layer before placing the second layer of cake on top.

Reserve the last bit of ice cream to smooth out the sides between layers, then pop the remaining ice cream back into the freezer until the next step. Don’t worry about making the ice cream flush with the outside layer of cake at this point because you have enough left over to fix that later.

As soon as you place the top layer of cake, put it immediately into the freezer for about 2 hours. If using a springform pan, set it around the cake as added protection.

When you’re ready to fill in the sides of the layers with ice cream, take the rest of the ice cream out to soften a bit, then take the cake from the freezer and fill in the edges between the layers so that the sides are smooth and ready for the whipped cream icing.

Freeze the cake for another hour before adding the whipped cream layer. If you want to add the whipped cream layer the following day, gently cover it in plastic wrap so that the flavor is not affected by your freezer.

Homemade whipped cream is easy to make and holds up well in the freezer. It helps if you can place your mixing bowl and beaters into the freezer for about 15 minutes before whipping the cream, especially if it’s hot in the house.

Add the heavy whipping cream to the cold bowl, and use an electric mixer on the medium-low setting for 1-2 minutes before adding in the powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired sweetness. I use 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar because the cake and ice cream are sweet as they are.

After adding the sugar, turn the speed to medium-high and whip until stiff and spreadable, which usually takes 3-5 minutes. This recipe makes just enough whipped cream to frost the top and sides of this cake.

Oreo ice cream cake (Photo by Jessica Grann)
Take the cake from the freezer just before frosting. Scoop about half of the whipped cream onto the top of the cake and spread it with a long icing spatula until the top is smooth and covered, then add the rest to the sides, rotating the cake to the left as you spread the whipped cream to the right, smoothing it out as well as you can.

Decorate the top as desired with cookies and freeze it uncovered for another hour. The whipped cream will be solid enough so you can cover the cake gently with plastic wrap until it’s time to serve.

You can make this cake days in advance.

I can’t wait to get creative and see what other flavors I come up with now that I know that I can easily make these cakes at home.

Ice cream cake is a delicious dessert any time of year and certainly not just for birthdays.
Enjoy and bless your hands!

Note about the ice cream: It’s hard to find a true half-gallon thanks to shrinkflation. The package looks about the same but it contains less ice cream. To be safe, buy 2 packages of ice cream. Use half a package for each ice cream layer, and use the second package to fill in the sides. You’ll have at least half of the second container left for future use

Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh.

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