Make A Carvel Style Ice Cream Cake at Home

When I was growing up, birthdays were always celebrated with ice cream cakes. Most of the time they came from Carvel but sometimes, my parents picked one up  at Dairy Queen. Our Dairy Queen used real cake in their ice cream cakes. I did not care for them as much as the Carvel cakes with the chocolate crunchy layer. I did like the fudge that was in the Dairy Queen cakes though.

With my own family, ice cream cakes are still highly requested for birthday cakes. I love to bake and make many different kinds of cakes, but had never attempted an ice cream cake. That changed a couple of weeks ago when I made my first ice cream cake. I choose to make one in the Carvel style, but enhanced the chocolate crunchy layer with a layer of fudge. 

I was surprised at how well the cake came out. I did have one issue, but it was easily solved.  I needed to stabilize my whipping cream, so that it could be piped onto the cake. It is very easy to do and I choose to do it by adding 2 teaspoons of Wilton Clear Piping Gel that I had on hand. It turned out fabulous. The next time I make it, I am going to use the stabilized whipped cream on the entire cake. There are also recipes for stabilized whipped cream using gelatin.

One of the reasons I like making my own ice cream cakes is because, I can customize them to our tastes using different flavors and non-GMO ice cream.  I am thinking a caramel layer may be a nice option as well. Even using a high quality ice cream, the cake we made cost much less than buying a  Carvel cake in the store. The prices of those cakes has increased dramatically over the years.

Making your own ice cream cake at home is not hard, but it does take time. You could make it in one day if you start early, but you are better off making it over 2 days. To start, freeze a 9″ springform pan.  There are some different ways you can use the pan. This first time, I used it with the bottom attached, but for my next cake I plan to use a 12″ lace doily cake circle. You can put the cake circle on a cookie sheet with the ring on top.

The trick is to not let your ice cream soften too much if you use this method. It works best if you keep the ice cream as firm as possible while still being spreadable. I have also seen people who make it directly on a silicone lined baking sheep with the ring.  I will update on how the cake circle method goes, and if I find it better than leaving the bottom attached.

I made a video tutorial of the process you can view below:

I picked up 2 containers of Breyer’s Non-GMO ice cream in chocolate and natural vanilla. I used chocolate on the bottom. After spreading it out in the pan, I let it freeze until firm.

Then I opened a package of regular OREO cookies and removed the cream from about 2 rows of cookies. I took the chocolate cookies and placed them in a zippered plastic bag and then crushed them coarsely with my rolling-pin.

I bought Hershey’s hot fudge topping and spread that on the frozen chocolate ice cream layer.

Then, I added the crumbled chocolate OREO cookies on top. I put the cake back in the freezer to freeze a bit while the vanilla ice cream was on the counter softening up. When the ice cream reached a spreadable consistency, I spread it out on the cake. It looked like there was not enough room to add all the vanilla ice cream.  I was surprised that I was able to add it all besides a tiny bit, I promised to save for my youngest son. With the vanilla ice cream spread evenly, I put the cake back in the freezer to set.

For the outer layer, I whipped up a quart of heavy whipping cream  with 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar. As I said above, I would use the stabilized whipping cream on the entire cake next time. To make that version, you whip the cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form, and then add in 2 teaspoons of Wilton clear piping gel, and beat until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat your cream.

It was not difficult to remove the ring from the cake. I used a hot cloth, and loosened the cake with a butter knife and the ring popped off.

I added the cream to the cake and sprinkled the top with rainbow-colored sprinkles. Then, back in the freezer for the cream to harden.

The last step was applying the stabilized whipping cream to the top and bottom using a open star tip and a disposable piping bag

With the piping of the cream finished, I put the cake back in the freezer until we were ready to celebrate. Everyone loved the ice cream cake and raved about how good the fudge and chocolate crumbled cookie layer was. I will definitely be making our own ice cream cakes from now on.

Let me know what you think, and if you have made an ice cream cake in the comments. I would also like to know if you try this recipe, and how it turns out for you.

8 Comments

Filed under Baking, Cooking, Home & Garden

8 Responses to Make A Carvel Style Ice Cream Cake at Home

  1. Leela

    I am making this in the next few weeks! I love ice cream cakes but they’re so expensive.

  2. Cynthia C

    It turned out very pretty. I’m sure it was delicious too!

  3. Dana Rodriguez

    That turned out amazing. I bet it was even better than a Carvel cake!

  4. Angela Ingles

    I’ll definitely try this for our next celebration. We love ice cream cakes!

  5. Janet W.

    That turned out looking delicious!! Great way to save money by making your own!

  6. Shakeia Rieux

    I haven’t tried Carvel ice cream cake. I like how yours turned out, it looks so good! I definitely have to try and make this! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Amy D

    You did a great job with this! I’ve been wanting to make my daughters an ice cream cake. They’ve never had one, and I know they would love it. I’ve been too intimidated. However, I really like your step-by-step directions and photos. I may give it a shot! 🙂

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