Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake | #recipe

Each year, about a month before my Chief Culinary Consultant’s birthday, I ask what he would like for his cake/birthday dessert. In years past, the chocolate peanut butter torte has made repeat appearances and is a fan favorite around these parts, but this year he surprised me by asking for an ice cream cake. I had to ask for a lot of specific details because he and I have vastly different tastes when it comes to ice cream cakes. I prefer my ice cream cakes to be all ice cream, no cake, thankyouverymuch (a la Dairy Queen), while he prefers actual layers of cake with ice cream.

Not too long after we first began dating, he mentioned this type of ice cream cake to me, and I haphazardly made one for him. It consisted of a box cake mix, store-bought ice cream, and if memory serves, I layered it somehow in a loaf pan? Oof. Clearly, I had left myself significant room for improvement.

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake | #recipe

I have struggled for pretty much ever to find a yellow cake recipe that I love. Earlier in the month, I made my father-in-law a birthday cake trying out yet another recipe that everyone agreed was less than stellar. On to the next (Ghost Hunters, anyone?). For this ice cream cake, I shifted gears to the next yellow cake recipe on my list of ones to test, and I was extremely happy with the result. It was moist and flavorful, fluffy, not dense or dry. For this ice cream cake, it was perfect; I’ll still need to test it in an unfrozen state with regular frosting to see how it holds up 🙂

You can certainly use store-bought vanilla ice cream for this cake, but homemade really puts it over the top.

I can’t express enough how much I absolutely adore homemade ice cream.

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake | #recipe


Aside from the yellow cake/vanilla ice cream cake request, I asked my Chief Culinary Consultant if he wanted a frosting of any kind. He immediately mentioned the chocolate fudge topping from the frozen brownie sundae that I made last year, which was one of his favorite recipes of 2013.

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake | #recipe

A few notes about assembling this cake:

  • You’ll want to plan ahead, as the cake should be assembled the day before you plan to serve it.
  • If you are using homemade ice cream, you should make the custard base two days before you plan to serve it. Then, churn it the following day as you are assembling the cake, per the directions below.
  • Having a cake pan with 3-inch sides is incredibly helpful for the assembly, as this is a tall cake. I have Parrish Magic Line pans with removable bottoms in both 8×3-inch and 9×3-inch sizes. If all you have are pans with shorter sides, then be sure to assemble the parchment collar with extra-high sides.

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake | #recipe

Aside from being unique and delicious, this ice cream cake is truly the birthday gift that keeps on giving. We’ve been sneaking slices of leftover cake from the freezer for over two weeks now, and there’s still a tiny bit left.

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake | #recipe

That’s what birthdays are all about, right? Celebrating for as long as possible with something delicious!

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake | #recipe

One year ago: Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies and Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Three years ago: Malted Vanilla Milkshake
Four years ago: Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Five years ago: Triple Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Six years ago: French Bread

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Prep Time: 12 hours

Cook Time: 20 to 22 minutes

Total Time: 2 days

An ice cream cake with layers of fluffy yellow cake and homemade vanilla bean ice cream, topped with a chocolate fudge frosting.


For the Cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1¾ cups granulated sugar, divided
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
3 egg whites, at room temperature

For the Ice Cream:
1 quart of your favorite vanilla ice cream

For the Fudge Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, then dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1½ cups of the sugar. In a 4-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and egg yolks.

3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about 30 more seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

4. Add the flour mixture to the now-empty mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually pour in the butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour should remain), about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium-low speed until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 more seconds.

5. Using a rubber spatula, stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Then, add the remaining egg whites and gently fold them into the batter until no white streaks remain. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Lightly tape the pans against the counter 2 or 3 times to pop any air bubbles.

6. Bake until the cake layers begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then loosen the cakes from the sides of the pans with a small knife, then invert onto greased wire racks. Peel off the parchment, turn right-side-up and cool completely, about 1½ hours.

7. Assemble the Ice Cream Cake: Spray a 9x3-inch round cake pan (or springform/cheesecake pan) with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment. Then cut two strips of parchment that are 3 inches wide by 14 inches long. Line the sides of the pan with the parchment strips, overlapping them slightly. Spray a bit of nonstick spray where the ends overlap to help them adhere.

8. If the cooled cake has a domed top, trim off the domed portion with a long serrated knife to achieve a level surface. Place one of the cake layers in the bottom of the prepared cake pan for the base of your ice cream cake. (There will likely be some space between the sides of the pan and the cake, so try centering the cake as best you can.)

9. If you are using homemade ice cream, churn the ice cream base according to your machine's instructions and transfer it directly from the machine into the cake pan. If your ice cream has been stored in the freezer (or if you're using store-bought), allow it to soften in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes, until it's slightly softened and spreadable. Use an offset spatula to nudge the ice cream all the way to the sides of the pan, filling any gaps or holes, including any space between the cake and the pan. Rap the filled cake pan sharply on the counter a few times to encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface and smooth the top.

10. Place the second cake layer over the ice cream, centering it on top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put the assembled cake in the freezer and freeze overnight.

11. Make the Fudge Frosting: Combine the powdered sugar, evaporated milk, chocolate chips and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

12. When ready, pour the chocolate topping evenly over the top cake layer, spreading with an offset spatula if necessary. Return to the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until firm.

13. To Serve: At least 1 hour (and no more than 12 hours) before serving, unmold the cake. To release the cake from the pan, invert the cake onto a plate or cardboard round the same size and wrap a hot kitchen towel around the cake pan, keeping it there for 30 seconds, or until the cake loosens, and slide the pan off. Remove the parchment (and bottom of pan if using a springform). Top with a serving plate and turn the cake right side up. Return to the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

14. Remove the cake from the freezer 5 minutes before serving to soften it slightly. A hot, dry knife will yield the cleanest cuts. Dip your knife in a glass of hot water, wipe it clean with a towel, and cut a slice. Repeat between every slice.

(Cake recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated)


41 Responses to “Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake”

  1. Johanna Thompson on February 25, 2014 at 2:10 am

    The cake looks delicious. I like the combination of the ice cream and cake too.


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on February 25, 2014 at 4:02 am

    Happy bday to your husband! And that is great that you found a solid yellow cake recipe. I admit that it is REALLY hard to find one that measures up to boxed yellow cake. I’ve tried so many and am kind of over trying – til now you say the CI recipe is a good one. Okay I will try it next! Awesome cake, Michelle! pinned


  3. Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Baker on February 25, 2014 at 4:13 am

    This cake kind of reminds me of a boston cream pie cake. Your vanilla ice cream looked super delicious with all the flecks of vanilla in there.


  4. Diane White on February 25, 2014 at 7:52 am

    I thought the same thing…Boston Creme Pie.


  5. Laura Dembowski on February 25, 2014 at 8:45 am

    This takes me back to all the Baskin Robbins ice cream cakes of my youth. There was something about those that was delicious. This is even better, I’m sure!


  6. Vickie on February 25, 2014 at 9:41 am

    The photos of this cake are gorgeous! Your food photography is a real talent. Makes you want to reach right in and cut a slice! Just looking at the photos makes you imagine how awesome this cake really is. I will be dreaming of this cake all day…and making it this weekend!


  7. Rebecca @ Sweet & Simple Life Blog on February 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Oooooohhhh my goodness. This looks amazing.


  8. Crystal on February 25, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I didn’t get my email from you today. Wonder if it’s just me or if anyone else is missing their BEB email?


    • Crystal on February 25th, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Btw, your cake looks delicious. I remembered you were posting it today, and when it wasn’t in my email, I came looking for it. Can’t wait to try it.


    • Emma on February 25th, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Same with me! I was worried there was something wrong with my email, but maybe not 🙂 That cake looks awesome!!


    • Michelle on February 25th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Crystal, The email didn’t go out for some reason today, as well as on Saturday. I am actually working to switch email services this week, so hiccups shouldn’t be an issue anymore!


      • Crystal on February 25th, 2014 at 9:14 pm

        Thanks for the update. It’s not like I don’t know how to get here. Lol! Your email is the first one I look for in the morning.


  9. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on February 25, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Your cake looks perfect!!! That is like a slice of perfection right there. YUM! I’m so sad that I don’t have an ice cream maker – I think I might need to get one this summer!


  10. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on February 25, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Love this cake, especially the homemade vanilla bean ice cream and fudge frosting!


  11. Molly @doughvelopment on February 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I love cake and ice cream together, so I am sure I would love this! Too bad my birthday is in another ten months…hmmm whose birthday is next that I shall force this ice cream cake upon!


  12. Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes on February 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Ice cream cake seriously is the gift that keeps giving! My boyfriend wanted one for his birthday that he could have all for himself (aka not share with everyone that came over to celebrate his bday…only a little selfish haha). I sliced the whole cake after serving and froze each piece separately and it made for perfect desserts for a couple weeks after…actually I kinda miss having ice cream cake in the fridge now, maybe it’s time to make another!


  13. lilac & love on February 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    can’t wait to try this! <3


  14. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on February 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Dang, I love ice cream cake! Love these!


  15. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on February 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    The chocolate fudge topping looks fantastic! I love this!!


  16. Tracy | Pale Yellow on February 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Perfection! You can’t go wrong with a thick layer of hot fudge on an ice cream cake. Your CCC is a lucky man!


  17. Chris on February 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I began making homemade ice cream quite often this past summer after I purchased the cookbook Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. I bought the book after visiting one of her ice cream shops in Columbus, OH. Her base ice cream uses no eggs but is still the creamiest most decadent ice cream you will ever eat. The base instead uses corn starch, corn syrup, and a little bit of cream cheese. I cannot express how amazing the results are. Without buying the book, her recipe for basic vanilla ice cream can be found at It is easy to make and so delicious to eat! My favorite recipe from the book so far? Tres Leches Ice Cream!


  18. Dana on March 1, 2014 at 8:04 am

    That cake is just beautiful and I’m sure it tastes fabulous. I bet the homemade ice cream does make a huge difference. I also prefer the mix of cake and ice cream, but I’m afraid if I tried making an ice cream cake it would be a horrible mess! You did an amazing job. Happy birthday to your hubby!


  19. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on March 10, 2014 at 2:17 am

    This reminds me of a Boston Cream Pie. It looks amazing!


  20. Louann on March 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Have made this twice -once as cupcakes, once as a layer cake – and is delicious in its unfrozen state 🙂


  21. taylormark on April 1, 2014 at 5:28 am

    You are just amazing. I really loved your all the recipes. But this is a cake recipe attracts me most because it is Easy to make and its taste is super delicious. Yesterday I had made this gorgeous cake by my own and Everyone who eats this cake really liked it.


  22. Regina on May 12, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Do you think chocolate ice cream would go well?


  23. Kyle on May 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I just made this cake but can’t get it out of the pan! The towel isn’t working. Any suggestions??


    • Michelle on May 18th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Kyle, I would try it again, make sure the towel is nice and warm. If that doesn’t work, wrap it really well in plastic wrap and submerge in hot water, but it really should slide off after using a hot towel a couple of times.


  24. Anna on May 31, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Hi there, first I’d like to sey how much I LOVE your recipes! Thanks to you I got into baking 🙂
    I have a question about this amazing cake recipe, in the cake ingredients you said 2 and a half cups of cake flour, can I use regular flour or safe raising flour?


    • Michelle on June 3rd, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Anna, I would not recommend self-rising flour. You can use all-purpose flour and cornstarch to mimic cake flour, see the substitution here:


      • Anna on June 3rd, 2014 at 2:47 pm

        Thank you! It is really helpful 🙂 can’t wait to try the recipe


  25. efeti on July 8, 2014 at 9:18 am

    hmmm I’m about making mine, can’t wait!!


  26. meenakshi on October 11, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Hi , i have a question that wont cake be also frozen ,means what is the texture of cake in the layers of icecream- soft , semi hard or hard?


    • Michelle on October 13th, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Yes, the cake will be frozen, as well. It is a firm texture, but not hard.


  27. Bonnie C. on January 19, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Have finished making the cake and am working on the frosting. The instructions say to bring to a boil over med – high heat and then cook for 8 min…Should the frosting be cooked on medium – high heat the entire 8 minutes? Thanks for your help.


    • Michelle on January 25th, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Bonnie, Yes, medium-high the entire 8 minutes.


  28. Kristen M. on December 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Hey! This looks amazing! I was just wondering if the fudge frosting is firm enough to use on the sides of the cake or would it just slide off?


    • Michelle on December 18th, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Kristen, I do think the fudge frosting would slip down the sides of the cake.


      • Kristen M. on December 19th, 2015 at 11:55 am

        Thanks for letting me know!


  29. joyce on September 12, 2016 at 2:23 am

    yummy!!..the cake looks delicious,cant wait to bake mine…


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