Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

Total Time

Prep: 50 min. + freezing


12 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
For my kids' birthdays, I like to top this ice cream birthday cake with jimmies. —Becky Herges, Fargo, North Dakota
Vanilla Ice Cream Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 cups birthday cake-flavored ice cream or flavor of your choice, softened if necessary
  • 1 funfetti cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Sprinkles


  1. Line a 9-in. round pan with plastic wrap. Spread ice cream into pan. Freeze 2 hours or until firm.
  2. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions, using two 9-in. round baking pans. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes if domed. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Invert ice cream onto cake layer; remove plastic wrap. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread whipped topping over top and side of cake. Decorate with sprinkles as desired. Freeze 2 hours longer or until firm.
Vanilla Ice Cream Cake Tips

Can you make your own frozen whipped topping for vanilla ice cream cake?

You can make your own whipped topping to serve alongside any ice cream cake. However, frozen whipped topping is a different story. Make sure you know the difference between whipped cream and frozen whipped topping: Frozen whipped topping relies on a process of emulsifying water, hydrogenated vegetable oil and high-fructose corn syrup, which could be tough to replicate at home. So, we'd suggest sticking with store-bought frozen whipped topping for this recipe.

How long should you let the ice cream soften?

We recommend popping your ice cream in the fridge for about 20 minutes to soften. It will soften much more evenly than in the microwave or sitting at room temperature.

What's the best way to cut vanilla ice cream cake?

The secret to cutting an ice cream cake easily and cleanly is using a warm knife. Begin by removing the vanilla ice cream cake from the freezer and letting it sit on the counter at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. While the cake softens, place a large, sharp knife in a glass of hot, steaming water. When the cake has softened, remove the knife from the water and wipe it dry on a clean cloth. Slice the cake, starting from the center and cutting in a smooth downward motion toward the outer edge. Use a cake server to lift the first slice from the cake. Continue cutting the cake, cleaning the knife with a cloth between each slice and warming the knife in the hot water bath as needed.

What other flavor combinations can you use for this ice cream cake recipe?

There are countless flavor combinations you can use for this ice cream cake recipe. Swap in coffee ice cream and German chocolate cake, or consider a strawberry ice cream with white or yellow cake. Skip the sprinkles, or get creative with garnishes. If you've got extra time, whip up your favorite homemade ice cream recipe to use. For more ideas, check out other ice cream cake recipes perfect for sharing.

Will vanilla ice cream cake melt in the fridge?

Yes! Ice cream cake will melt in the fridge, so return leftovers to the freezer.

How long will a vanilla ice cream cake last?

Properly wrapped and stored, vanilla ice cream cake should last about 2 weeks in the freezer. However, once the cake is unwrapped and sliced for serving, it will be exposed to air, which will cause it to lose moisture. The lifespan of any leftover slices may extend to just a few days after that. If you liked this vanilla ice cream cake recipe, you'll probably like this homemade copycat DQ ice cream cake recipe, too!

Amy Glander, Taste of Home Book Editor, and Mark Hagen, Taste of Home Executive Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 374 calories, 19g fat (8g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 315mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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