This Impressive Ice Cream Cake Is Deceptively Simple
Ice cream cakes were the thing when I was growing up. Without fail, I requested one for all of my birthday parties (my favorite was an ice cream cake shaped like a book for my 8th birthday). I loved breaking through the different layers with my spoon until I reached the crunchy, crumbly cookie layer at the bottom.
For me, this no-bake ice cream sandwich cake recipe is pure nostalgia — but it’s alsothe easiest way to make an ice cream cake at home. Simply layer store-bought ice cream sandwiches with softened ice cream and a layer of crushed Oreos (and finish it all off with magic shell) and you’ll be serving up slices of this summer favorite in no time.
Choosing Your Ice Cream Flavors
Talenti’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup is one of my favorite flavors for this cake; the nuggets of peanut butter cups adds extra crunch (and extra peanut butter). Of course, you can’t go wrong with more traditional flavors like strawberry and chocolate, which pair well with the vanilla from the ice cream sandwiches. Or, get a little fancy with salted caramel and pistachio for a “grown-up” ice cream chocolate cake.
No matter what flavor you choose, remember to take the ice cream out and let it soften on the counter a bit before assembling the cake, which will make it much easier to spread.
The Magical Finishing Touch
There’s something incredibly satisfying about pouring magic shell onto ice cream and watching it harden, then cracking into it for that first bite. (It really does feel like magic.) You can either buy the store-bought version (just make sure it says magic shell on it rather than chocolate sauce), or make your own homemade magic shell with only two ingredients: chocolate and coconut oil. I suggest making the cake the night before you plan to serve it, then pouring on the magic shell a few minutes before serving.
Quick Tip: My Favorite Way to Crush Oreo Cookies
I crush Oreos the same way I crush nuts or peppercorns — wrapped in a clean kitchen towel, placed on the counter, and smashed with the bottom of a heavy skillet. I recommend keeping some larger chunks of Oreo cookies rather than crushing them all to a fine crumble.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
- 2 pints
ice cream, such as Talenti’s chocolate peanut butter or mint
rectangular ice cream sandwiches
Homemade or store-bought Magic Shell
Let the 2 pints of ice cream sit out a room temperature for a few minutes to soften. Meanwhile, line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil, pressing it against the sides and the bottom, and letting the ends drape over so that you can cover the top of the cake with the extra foil later on. Crush the 12 Oreo cookies into crumbs.
Unwrap and place 5 of the ice cream sandwiches in the pan in a single layer (you might have to squish them in a little to fit). Scoop 1 pint of the ice cream onto the ice cream sandwiches, then smooth it out to make an even layer. Repeat with the remaining 5 ice cream sandwiches and pint of ice cream. If there is space on the sides of the pan, use the top layer of ice cream to fill it in before smoothing out the top.
Sprinkle with the Oreos. Cover the top with the overhanging foil. Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
To serve, uncover and invert the ice cream cake onto a plate or serving platter (let it sit for a couple of minutes to soften or use the foil wings to help wiggle the cake out if it’s feeling stuck). Remove the foil. Pour on the magic shell and let it set before slicing.
Storage: The ice cream cake can be frozen for up to a week.
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