The Case Against Putting Actual Cake In Your Ice Cream Cake

With ice cream cakes, there are two different schools of thought. Some purists like their cakes made with ice cream alone, while others, when confronted with layers of ice cream on top of ice cream, will disappointedly denounce the cake as a lie. While ice cream cake purveyor Baskin-Robbins opts to take the middle ground, appeasing both types of customers by offering both caked and cakeless options, Dairy Queen goes with a cake-free approach. Carvel, home of the famous Fudgie the Whale, is also cakeless.

Cake fans, we understand your desire for a two-in-one dessert, but perhaps an easier way to have your cake and eat ice cream, too would be simply to eat a slice a la mode. An ice cream cake is much easier to make if you leave out the actual cake because you get to skip over all of the baking and just go straight to scooping the ice cream. What's more, ice cream cakes must, of necessity, be stored in the freezer, but this tends to suck all of the moisture out of the cake layer and leave it hard and dry. An all-ice cream cake, though, is but a single consistency and will keep in the freezer the same way that non-cake-shaped ice cream does.

Ice cream cookie cakes make for a sweet compromise

Even if you make your ice cream cake without cake, that doesn't mean that it needs to be completely mono-textural. There's going to be some kind of frosting on top contrasting with the ice cream layers, and you could always opt for a middle layer of fudge or caramel sauce or even sliced bananas or strawberries (both of these fruits freeze quite nicely). Our favorite option, however, is a crunchy cookie layer, which is favored by both DQ and Carvel. The latter even has a special name for its ice cream cake add-ins, calling them Crunchies. They are made from cookie pieces with a candy coating and come in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors.

The easiest way to make a homemade ice cream and cookie cake, though, is to use ice cream sandwiches since you've already got the ice cream part and the cookie part right there. Layer them in a pan, frost them with whipped cream or a non-dairy topping like Cool Whip, and you're all done. Of course, you can still add some extra cookie crumbles, crushed candies, chopped nuts, and/or ice cream sauces for extra layers of texture if you wish. While it may not entirely appease those who want real cake in anything that's actually called cake, still, you'll have a tasty frozen dessert that takes minutes to make and need not cost much more than a box or two of budget-priced ice cream novelties.