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Ice Cream Cake

This cake is perfect for summer birthdays! It's easy, delicious, and best of all, it's another plastic-free cake option! No plastic wrap or plastic decorating bags required!

I made this cake using a 6 inch cake pan but you could also do this in an 8 inch round or square pan (your layers will just be a bit thinner).

Note, this is a two day project. If you have two cake pans, you can complete step 1 and 2 simultaneously to save time on day 1, but both the cake and ice cream layers needs ample time in the freezer.

Serves: 8-10

Bake time: 22-24 minutes for a 6 inch pan; 15-17 minutes for an 8 inch pan (when baked at 5400 ft)

What you'll need:

  • One box of donut mix
  • One pint of your favorite ice cream
  • One 6 or 8 inch pan 
  • Oil, water, and your favorite butter, per the instructions in the mix box 
  • Parchment paper (recommended but not required)
  • Spray oil


STEP 1/DAY 1 - Bake the Cake

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. While the oven preheats, make the icing per the direction card in the box. Cover the icing and set aside.*

3. Spray the inside of the pan well with the spray oil. Set aside.

4. If using parchment paper, use the bottom of the pan to trace the necessary shape/size of the parchment paper. Cut and insert into the bottom of the sprayed pan. (Parchment helps the cake from sticking and keeps the bottom of the cake extra moist.)

5. Make the mix batter per the direction card in the box. 

6. Pour the batter into the pan and give the pan a little shimmy to level it.


7. If using a 6 inch pan, place the pan in the oven and set the timer for 22 minutes. At 22 minutes, test the cake with a wooden toothpick for crumbs. If the toothpick does not come out clean, set the timer for another two minutes and test again with a new toothpick.

If using an 8 inch pan, set the timer for 15 minutes. At 15 minutes, test the cake with a wooden toothpick for crumbs. If the toothpick does not come out clean, set the timer for another two minutes and test again with a new toothpick. I bake 8 inch cakes for 17 minutes here in Denver (5400 ft).

8. Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and let cool in pan on a cooling rack. 



9. Once the bottom of the pan is completely cool, turn the cake out onto the cooling rack, remove the parchment paper if used, and prepare to torte the cake (slice in half horizontally). With one hand gently placed on top of the cake, use a slow sawing motion with a serrated knife to bisect the cake. Make sure to keep the knife level.



10. Re-stack the layers and using foil, wrap tightly. You can wrap in a second layer of foil for extra freshness. Place the cake in freezer. 


STEP 2/DAY 1 - Create Ice Cream Layer

1. Remove the pint of ice cream and let sit on counter to soften.

2. Wash and dry the cake pan well. 

3. Using foil, line the inside of the cake pan, smoothing the foil against the side completely.



4. Using a spoon, scoop the slightly softened ice cream into the pan. Use the back of the spoon to push into the pan and smooth out. If the ice cream is still too hard to work with, just let it sit in the pan for a few minutes longer. You can also run your spoon under hot water and dry it and then use the hot spoon to smooth.



5. Use a second piece of foil to cover the pan, pressing the foil against the ice cream and sealing the foil around the sides. 



6. Place pan in the freezer for at least eight hours.


STEP 3/DAY 2 - Assemble the Cake

1. Remove the cake and ice cream layer from the freezer.

2. Unwrap the cake and place the bottom layer of the cake on a plate.

3. Remove the top layer of the foil from the ice cream. Using the sides of the bottom layer of foil, gently remove the layer of ice cream from the pan.

Carefully pull the foil away from the sides of the ice cream layer and turn the ice cream layer onto the cake. Remove the foil completely and top with the second layer of cake. Rinse all the foil pieces to remove crumbs and ice cream completely and recycle the foil.



4. Scoop the entire container of icing onto the top of the cake and using a butter knife, quickly spread the icing until it reaches the sides. You can push the icing over the sides if you like the drippy look. Immediately proceed with sprinkles while the icing is still wet.

Because the layers are frozen, the icing may set quickly (before you have time to add the sprinkles). If the icing sets too quickly, run your butter knife under hot water for a few seconds, dry it, and run the knife over the top of the icing again to return it to a liquid state then add the sprinkles.



5. Return the cake to the freezer (in an airtight container) for at least 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, remove at least 15 minutes before slicing. Once sliced, the cake needs to set out for about 10 minutes before the slices are soft enough to eat.


*You may need to add a little water to the icing if it was made the day before. Start with a 1/2 a teaspoon and stir. Add in 1/2 teaspoon increments until you reach your desired consistency.