Epic Ice Cream Sandwich Cake {RECIPE} | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

August 14, 2013

Epic Ice Cream Sandwich Cake {RECIPE}

Every year, for as long as I can remember, I have celebrated my birthday with an ice cream cake. Technically, a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. I think they are just divine: the creamy ice cream, the sweet frosting, the sneaky layer of pudding and strata of chocolate cookie crumbs.

What's even more interesting?

My birthday is in December.

Is there ever not a good time for an ice cream cake?

I think not.

I was recently planning Chica's 5th birthday party. Let it be known, planning intricate themed kids parties? So not my forte. It's not even in the arena of my abilities. Can I invite a bunch of people over and serve yummy food? Heck yes. And our parties are fantastic. But when you go onto Pinterest and search for "Kids Birthday Party Themes," I am made to feel like an inadequate human.

Since Chica has an August birthday (and she is not yet old enough to have a bajillion friends I have to contend with), my plan was to have  simple birthday party at home with a slip 'n slide and blow up pool. 

And food, of course. Always good food.

A few days before the party (probably sensing my inability to pull together a reasonably satisfactory kids party), my mom is all:

"So what are you doing for Chica's cake?"

And I'm all:


I knew I had been forgetting something.

I told her I'd probably just whip up a box of vanilla cake and frosting. Maybe cupcakes or something. It was a small handful of Chica's friends plus family and adult friends. An elaborate cake was not necessary.

So then my mom was all: 

"You should make one out of ice cream sandwiches. My friend says she just layers ice cream sandwiches with Cool Whip and it's good."

This got my gears churning. I like a good culinary challenge. And although my love of ice cream cakes rivals my love of, say, breathing, I was not content with this simple concoction of ice cream sandwiches and Cool Whip. I'm not the biggest fan of Cool Whip. 

Sorry, Cool Whip.

But ice cream sandwiches were a start. In that moment, I decided I would not just make an Ice Cream Sandwich Birthday Cake for Chica. Nay. This would not be epic enough. I would make the most EPIC Ice Cream Sandwich Birthday Cake EVER.

So I did.

And I'm pretty proud of myself.

I took all of my favorite cake things and made them fall in love: Ice Cream, Nutella, Chocolate Cookies and frosting. HECK YES.

Enough of my talking. On to the recipe.

** See notes at the end of recipe for important tips

  • 32 Ice Cream Sandwiches, unwrapped
  • 1/4 gallon of Chocolate Ice Cream, softened
  • 1 small jar of Nutella spread
  • 1 box of Chocolate Cookies (such as Chocolate Teddy Grams or Oreos), crushed into crumbs
  • 2 tubs of Vanilla Frosting (or your flavor of choice)

1) On a cookie sheet, line up 2 rows of 8 ice cream sandwiches, for a total of 16. Spread chocolate ice cream over the first layer of ice cream sandwiches. Place in freezer to set for 5 minutes.

2) Take cake out of freezer and spread jar of Nutella over the chocolate ice cream layer. Sprinkle chocolate cookie crumbs over Nutella. Place in freezer to set for 5 mintues.

3) Over the chocolate cookie layer, make 2 more rows of 8 ice cream sandwiches. Working quickly, spread frosting over the entire cake.  Place in freezer to set thoroughly (at least 2 hours. Ideally, overnight).  Take out 5 minutes before serving to soften.


For the visual learners in the group:


Unwrapping the sandwiches is the most tedious part.

Layer 1: 2 rows of 8 sandwiches each.

Spreading the softened ice cream.

Layer 2: Chocolate Ice Cream.

Layer 3: Nutella

Crushing up the Chocolate Teddy Grahams

Layer 4: Chocolate Cookie Crumbs

Layer 5: 2 more rows of 8 ice cream sandwiches

Layer 6: Frosting

The finished product
(apologies, decoration is not my forte either)

Some notes:

- Make sure whatever base you are building your cake on (cookie sheet, 9x13-inch baking dish, etc) will FIT IN YOUR FREEZER. If it doesn't, you'll have a mess on your hands!  Clear room for the cake BEFORE you start making it!

- This was a LARGE cake. You could easily make this on a smaller scale by using 1/3 to 1/2 less the ingredients. This is a cake you can build from whatever size base you want. I went with a base of 2x8 (total 16) ice cream sandwiches. Instead, go with a base of 2x6 (total 12) or 2x4 (total 8) and build up from there!

Party On, Wayne!
- I happen to score these Limited Edition Party Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Seeing as they were the generic brand to my grocery store and limited edition, you most likely won't find them. Just make the cake with all regular ice cream sandwiches.

- If you find things are getting melty, take a break and put the cake in the freezer to set. I found putting the cake in the freezer between each layer helped. If you work more quickly than I do, you may be able to get a few layers in before needed to freeze. DEFINITELY freeze after Step #1, though - as the chocolate ice cream will need to set before building any more layers on top of it.

- 2 tubs of frosting covered the top and most of the sides - but not completely. If you want a completely frosted cake of this size, go with 3 tubs.


I will never work for DQ, but this cake was as close to a tasty Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake as anything. I love that you can build it into whatever shape you'd like, and you can adjust flavors as your palate desires!

If you make this, PLEASE let me know how it turns out for you! I'd love to hear of any adjustments you made or additions you threw in!  Stop back by and leave a comment!

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