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With both chocolate and vanilla ice cream, that crunchy fudge layer, and tons frozen whipped cream, this easy Ice Cream Cake tastes JUST like Dairy Queen!
I once used a Dairy Queen cake as a tool in courtship.
I had been dating my husband for a month or so, and he indicated an interest in making things “exclusive.” I rebuffed his advances. It had only been a month! SLOW DOWN.
Exactly one month later, I had reconsidered. I needed a cute and clever way to let him know, so I ordered a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.
I had it personalized with: “Will you be my boyfriend?” And then a “Yes” and a “No” piece.
I presented the cake, and I told Jim to eat his answer.
4 houses, 2 states, and 2 kids later, I set out to make my own Dairy Queen Cake from scratch.
Our anniversary isn’t until next June, but I wanted to get it right. The cake turned out to be EASY and I’m way ahead of schedule.
I know Jim never reads the blog, so I’m not worried about spoiling the surprise in advance, either. He’ll never know what I’m up to!
In lieu of courtship phrases or OREO cookies (pictured above), you can substitute sprinkles and maraschino cherries, nuts, crushed candy of any kind, or fudge and caramel sauce.
There are no wrong ways to decorate an ice cream cake! Just add love.
Easy Ice Cream Cake (DQ Copycat)
For the cake:
- 2 quarts vanilla ice cream
- 1 package OREO cookies coarsely crushed (3 cups)
- 2 cups chocolate fudge sauce
- 1 quart chocolate ice cream
For the frosting:
- 1 quart heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sprinkles for decorating, optional
- Maraschino cherries for decorating, optional
To make the cake:
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Set a cold spring form (9-inch or 10-inch) pan ring (no bottom) on top.
- In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat vanilla ice cream until fluffy but still frozen, about 2 minutes. Spread thickly around the sides of the springform pan, then use the rest to cover bottom of pan.
- Top evenly with crushed cookies, pressingly the crumbs lightly in to the vanilla ice cream.
- Carefully heat the fudge sauce just enough for it to pourable. Pour evenly over the cookie crumbs. Freeze at least 8 hours or overnight.
- In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat chocolate ice cream until fluffy but still frozen, about 2 minutes. Spread on top of the fudge-cookie layer, smoothing the top (should be even with top of springform pan).
- Cover with parchment paper or wax paper. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.
To unmold the cake:
- Peel the top layer of parchment away. Place a large plate or serving platter on top of the cake. Gently flip the cake and plate over so the cake is right-side up on the plate (chocolate layer should be on the bottom, vanilla on the top). Peel the second piece of paper away.
- Gently loosen the springform pan and wiggle it until it slides smoothly off the cake. Freeze while preparing the whipped cream.
To decorate the cake:
- In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, whip together cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Frost the cake completely.
- Use a piping bag with extra whipped cream to add flowers or other designs if desired. Or, top with sprinkles and maraschino cherries.
- The cake can be eaten immediately, but for best results freeze at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. Cover and freeze up to 1 month in advance (or keep it in the freezer and continue eating it for up to 1 month).
- One package OREOs has 36 cookies and yields about 3 cups crumbs.
- Adapted from The Kitchn’s How to Make an Ice Cream Cake.
Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.
I made this last year for my son’s birthday. He requested it again this year. It was great! Thank you!
Thank you Amanda! -Meggan
Thank you for sharing your recipe. Was too late in ordering a Heath Bar DQ cake for my husband’s birthday so I used your recipe and made it myself.
Wish I read the in the reviews about magic shell before I started. I will definitely use it next time.
Thank you Teresa! Hope that variation goes well next time! -Meggan
Can ready made whip cream be used?
Hi Alice, yes! -Meggan
The frosting was bland. It needed way more powdered sugar than this recipe calls for. Other than that a good recipe.
If you have the time MAKE THIS CAKE its so good
Hi! I’m looking into making this recipe for my husbands birthday. However, I do not own a standing mixer. Is that a requirement or is there any other ideas for substitutes?? Thank you!
Working on the cake now, and so far mostly good :)
I am facing one trouble though. As I was icing it, melted ice cream started seeping out from one of the sides of the cake, and I don’t know if my chilled whipped icing will hold :/ I’m guessing I had it out a bit too long.
I got it in the fridge to chill the next 24 hours. Do you think freezing will help make the ice cream more structurally sound, or do I need to take more drastic measures? IE more icing or something to hold the sides in.
Hi Meagan, hopefully I am getting back to you quickly enough. YES, this cake definitely needs to be moved into the freezer! It needs to stay in the freezer until it is ready to be eaten. You can freeze this cake for up to a month once it is assembled. Good luck!
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