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Ice Cream Sandwiches (Cake Pan Version)

DIY ice cream sandwiches?! If you've never made them, you'll be surprised by just how similar they are to the store-bought version. The best part is being able to pick your own cake/ice cream flavor combination!

I made these with a box of Chocolate Sprinkle mix and a pint of Ben and Jerry's Non-Dairy Cherry Garcia (probably my favorite ice cream ever!) but I’ve got a running list of future combos including a chocolate with coffee ice cream and a vanilla cake with lemon icing and pistachio ice cream, if I can get my hands on some non-dairy pistachio ice cream that is.

The nice thing about this cake pan version is that it doesn't require a donut pan and it yields eight to nine servings but it does require more kitchen prowess than the donut version, mainly when it comes time to torte the cake pieces.

This project involves a number of steps but they can all be done over the course of one day then just let the ice cream sandwiches freeze overnight. Most of the time is spent waiting for the various parts to freeze. 

For this project I used a 9 inch square pan because I wanted a thinner cake layer (more like a traditional ice cream sandwich) but an 8 inch square pan works too.

Note, this is a two day project. 


Serves: 8-9

Bake time: 15-17 minutes for a 9 inch pan; 17-19 minutes for an 8 inch pan (when baked at 5400 ft)

What you'll need:

  • One package of donut mix
  • One pint of your favorite ice cream
  • One 9 or 8 inch square pan 
  • Oil, water, and your favorite butter, per the instructions in the mix box 
  • Parchment paper (required for this project)
  • Foil 
  • 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. Using the bottom of the pan, trace the necessary shape/size of the parchment paper. Do this twice to yield two squares. Cut and insert one of squares into the bottom of the sprayed pan. Set the second square aside for now.

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 9 inch pan, place the pan in the oven and 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.

If using an 8 inch pan, set the timer for 17 minutes. At 17 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. 

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

9. While the cake is cooling, grab the foil and unroll a piece two and a half times the length of your pan. 

10. Once the bottom of the pan is completely cool, you will carefully turn your cake out, using your non-dominate hand to brace the top of the cake as you invert the pan, and gently place the cake right side up in the middle of the foil strip with the parchment paper still on the cake bottom. Place the second parchment paper square on top of the cake and wrap the cake up tightly in the foil, being sure to crimp the edges well. You can wrap in a second layer of foil for extra freshness. Place the foil wrapped cake in the freezer for at least four hours.


STEP 2/DAY 1 - Create Ice Cream Layers

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 4 hours.


STEP 3/DAY 1 - Assemble the Ice Cream Sandwiches

1. Remove the cake layer from the freezer. 

2. Unwrap the cake layer, remove the piece of parchment paper from the top, and using a ruler, score the cake in accordance with whatever size squares you want. In a 9 inch pan, I made each sandwich 3 inches squared. Use a sharp knife or bench knife/pastry scraper to cut the squares.



3. Working one square at a time, gently torte the squares with a serrated knife (slice in half horizontally). Make sure to keep the knife level. This is the most difficult part of the project and can be especially tricky with the thinner cake layers from a 9 inch pan. An 8 inch pan will give you more depth to work with. Once you torted all the squares, set aside.

4. Now take out the ice cream layer. Remove the top layer of the foil from the ice cream and 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.

5. Just as you did with the cake, score and cut the ice cream layer to match the size of the cake pieces.

6. Lay out the cake squares cut side up and gently place a square of ice cream onto one layer and top with the second layer to assemble the sandwich.



7. Return sandwiches to foil, return the parchment piece to the top (this will prevent the cake from sticking to the foil), and wrap tightly. Place back into freezer.

STEP 4/DAY 1 - Trim and Decorate

1. Remove the sandwiches from the freezer, unwrap, and place on a cooling rack with a baking mat beneath it or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Using a pairing knife, slice off any ice cream that is hanging over to form clean lines. 

2. Grab your icing and give it a stir. You may need to add a 1/2 teaspoon of water and stir again if the icing thickened too much overnight. 

3. Working one square at a time, drizzle the icing on top and follow with the topping. Finish decorating the remaining squares.



4. If serving soon, you can move the baking sheet (uncovered) into the freezer for 30 minutes to allow the icing to freeze.

If not serving immediately, move the treats to an air tight container and return to the freezer.




***Be sure to give all your foil a rinse before crumbling up and putting in the recycling bin!***