Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

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This Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake has layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream around the iconic layer of chocolate crunchies and chocolate fudge. It is so easy to make and tastes just like the real thing!

ice cream cake collage

Easy Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

As a kid, I rarely had the same birthday cake twice. I like all kinds of cake too much to stick with one. Regular cake, cheesecake, ice cream cakes – you name it. The only one I didn’t need to have for my birthday was a cookie cake, because I knew I could depend on my dad for that one at his birthday. So naturally, I’ve tried quite a few cakes – including ice cream cakes.

So, these days I feel like I’m a bit of an ice cream cake connoisseur. There’s definitely something to love about all the different kinds available, but when it comes to a Dairy Queen ice cream cake, that middle layer of chocolate fudge along with the chocolate crunchies is pure heaven. Often, I’d just dig that right out from between the ice cream and eat it alone. So darn good!

When I started playing around with ice cream cakes several years ago, I did a fair amount of experimenting with that middle fudge layer and finally perfected it. I’ve shared it before, but never for this copycat cake so I’m excited to share it with you today.

slice of Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake with a bite takenadding ice cream to a cake pan

How to Make An Ice Cream Cake

First let’s talk about the cake pan. I used an 8 by 3 inch cake pan, because I prefer a taller cake. You could definitely use a 9 inch pan though, and a springform pan would certainly be convenient. All according to what you’re going for.

Once you’ve got your pan, you’ll want to line the inside of it with clear wrap. Now it’s time to make your cake!

  1. Chocolate Ice Cream: Add your chocolate ice cream and spread it evenly into the pan. Pop the pan and ice cream into the freezer for about 30 minutes so it firms up just a bit.
  2. Chocolate fudge layer: You’re actually going to make chocolate ganache – it’ll just be a little thinner than normal and have some corn syrup in it. The corn syrup is really essential here. It helps it stay softer even when frozen, giving it that fudgy consistency. It’s not too firm and not too soft and drippy. The fudge layer is added on top of the ice cream and then frozen for another 10 minutes or so.
  3. Chocolate crunchies: You’re going to use Oreo crumbs and some melted butter for this layer. Mix the crumbs and butter together, spread them evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes. As it cools, break it up into smaller pieces so you have the perfect little chocolate crunchies. They are seriously perfect! They aren’t big chunks of Oreos (yay!), but because they’ve been baked a bit they still keep their crispiness even when added to the ice cream cake. Perfection!

    Add the chocolate crunchy layer and then pop it back in the freezer for about two hours, so the cake can firm up and the layers stay even.

  4. Vanilla ice cream: Add the vanilla ice cream on top and freeze the cake until it’s firm. When it’s done, frost it with my homemade whipped cream. It uses some powdered sugar to keep it from wilting. It stays stable for days and days making it ideal for an ice cream cake. Decorate the ice cream cake as you like for your occasion and you’re ready to go!

This is seriously the BEST Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake! The middle fudge and crunchy layer is pure perfection. You will love it. And just like when I was a kid, you will want to eat the chocolate fudge and chocolate crunchy layer right out of the center!

overhead slice of Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cakefull Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake with a slice cut out

HOW TO STORE AN ICE CREAM CAKE

This ice cream cake is actually a great recipe to make ahead. You can layer everything together, cover it and leave it in the pan you built it in. It should be fine sitting in the pan for about a week ahead of time. Then you can frost it the of or the day before you need it so that the decorations looks nice and fresh.

After decorating, it’s ideal to store it in a container (such as a cake box or cake carrier) in the freezer. If you don’t have a container that size or space in your freezer, it’ll be fine for a few days in your freezer.

slice of Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

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Image of slice of Copycat DQ Ice Cream Cake
Recipe

Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake has layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream around the iconic layer of chocolate crunchies and chocolate fudge. It is so easy to make and tastes just like the real thing!


Scale

Ingredients

Chocolate Cookie Crunchies

  • 3/4 cup (100g) Oreo crumbs (about 9 Oreos)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted

Ice Cream Layers

  • 1.5 quart container vanilla ice cream
  • 1.5 quart container chocolate ice cream

Chocolate Fudge

  • 6 oz | 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream

Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 cup (115g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
2. Combine the Oreo crumbs and melted butter and stir until well combined. Spread the crumbs evenly onto the prepared cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then allow to cool. Use your fingers to break any big clumps into smaller ones. Set aside.
4. Line an 8×3 inch cake pan* with clear wrap that covers the bottom and goes above the sides of the cake pan. I used two pieces.
5. About 20 minutes before you need it, set the chocolate ice cream out to soften. Add the softened chocolate ice cream to the prepared cake pan and spread into an even layer. Freeze for 30 minutes.
6. To make the fudge layer, add the chocolate chips, corn syrup and vanilla extract to a medium sized bowl.
7. Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, the whisk until smooth.
8. Remove the cake pan with the chocolate ice cream from the freezer, then pour the chocolate fudge over the ice cream and spread into an even layer. Freeze for about 10 minutes.
9. Add the cookie crumbles to the top of the fudge layer, then freeze for about 2 hours, until mostly firm.
10. About 20 minutes before you need it, set the vanilla ice cream out to soften. Add the vanilla ice cream to the top of the cake, then freeze until firm, 2-3 hours.
11. Use the clear wrap to lift the frozen cake out of the pan, then place it on a cardboard cake circle or a serving plate. Set it back in the freezer.
12. To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
13. Frost the cake with the whipped cream and decorate as desired. I used Ateco tip 844 for piping the borders.
14. Freeze the cake until ready to serve. Cake is best when stored well covered and eaten within 4-5 days.


Notes

I like using the 8×3 inch cake pan and having a taller cake, but if you don’t have one of those pans on hand and don’t want to purchase it, you could also use a 9 inch pan (including a springform pan). The cake just won’t be as tall.

Keywords: dairy queen ice cream cake, ice cream cake recipe, homemade ice cream cake, how to make ice cream cake, best ice cream cake, chocolate ice cream cake, dairy queen ice cream cake recipe

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212 Comments
  1. Jason Cook

    Hey I was looking into making this. I was wondering why you need the clear wrap on the bottom and what purpose does it serve?

    1. Lindsay

      The clear wrap is what you use to lift the cake out of the cake pan when it’s done. Without it your ice cream will just stick to the pan.

      1. Renee Andres

        How do you get the clear wrap off the bottom of the cake before cutting??

      2. Lindsay

        When the cake is fully frozen, it’s rock hard and easy to hold and just pull the clear wrap off.

      1. April

        Just a note, when baking the oreo’s, using parchment paper is important. I’ve made this cake twice now and the 2nd time I used foil (I was out of parchment paper) and the oreos were burnt 5 mins into baking on 2 attempts. Otherwise we LOVE this cake!!

      2. Kelli Podraza

        Just made this for a birthday party and this is absolutely 5 stars. We mixed up the ice cream flavors but followed the rest of the recipe exactly. A no fail recipe and I’m pretty sure I saw people licking their plates! 

  2. Andie

    Oh my goodness, this looks so delicious! I love DQ oreo cakes. They will always be my favorite birthday treat. My husband loves the Strawberry Cheesequake blizzard cake. I would LOVE to see your take on that cake! Thanks for all of your awesome recipes!

    1. Lindsay

      Ohhh, a strawberry cheesecake blizzard cake sounds delicious! I haven’t had that one before but will have to try it!

  3. Lin

    My son would always request a Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake for his birthday (and everyone else’s birthday, too!) because he didn’t like cake. But then he would want extra fudge crumbs (which Dairy Queen would do) and a thicker chocolate ice cream layer (not a special request). I’m guessing it might be an illusion, but the chocolate layer always did look thinner, as does yours, even though the amount of ice cream is the same. Is it possible that because the warm fudge is poured on the chocolate ice cream that it melts some causing the layer to shrink? If so, though not the traditional presentation, I think that I would reverse the order, as he still won’t eat cake to this day! But now I can give him an even thicker fudge crumb layer! He will be so surprised that I made it! Thanks for making us heroes!

    1. Lindsay

      LOL. Anything is possible, but I did let the chocolate cool little before adding it, so I don’t think it would’ve melted so much that it makes the chocolate layer a lot smaller. I do think it’s a bit of an optical illusion. But you could totally add some extra chocolate ice cream to the cake.

  4. Betty

    Thank you, my son loves ice cream cakes. Could you please tell me which cake base is the easiest to cut after you freeze it? A Browne , cake or cookie base? Thank you

      1. Jennifer

        Hi Lindsay,
        Thank you for this recipe. It sounds delicious. Do you think dark corn syrup would work? I’m not a huge fan of molasses, but I’m out of light corn syrup and am debating another trip to the grocery store… TIA

      1. Nancy hussell

        I wanna try making this ice cream cake for my daughters birthday I was wondering if I could make the cake 4-5 days in advance???? If so would i need to icing it after making it or can I wait to the day i actually need it and then icing it 

      2. Lindsay

        Yes, you can make it that far ahead. I would probably frost it the day you need it so it looks fresh.

      1. D

        I have not actually tasted it yet,  but I just made it and we are really looking forward to eating it. I did taste each layer, and it was delicious so I have to believe this will be great! I did rush through a couple steps because I started making it so late in the day. I’m thinking it’s best to wait as directed for each layer to set as it seemed a little mushy when I was frosting it. It is very affordable to make compared to buying it so Im excited to try it!

  5. Erin

    Lindsay, thank you thank you thank you!!! I first had one of these Dairy Queen Ice Cream cakes for a friend’s birthday, and I have wanted to make a homemade version ever since! Yours looka delicious, and I am definitely going to try this one as soon as possible. And I also eat the crunchy/fudgy middle layer separate from the rest; it’s definitely the best part!:)

      1. Francene

        After making the layers and freezing them, can I also frost  the cake and freeze it the day before I need to serve it?  If so, When making it in a spring form pan, how do I do that so that all sides are frosted.  

      2. Lindsay

        Yes, you can frost it a day or so before you need it. You would need to remove it from the springform pan before you frost it.

      3. Joy

        I just made this for my 17 year old son’s birthday and wow was this great!!
        I used to 9 inch pie pans lined with plastic wrap.  I filled one with melty vanilla ice cream and one with melty chocolate.  I put them in the freezer over night.  The following day I took out the chocolate one (the plastic wrap made it super easy to do) I put it on a dish, covered it with unheated ready made hot fudge (Mrs RIchardson’s brand). It was easy to spread.  Then I topped it with the Oreo crunches (I used at least double the amount in the recipe). I topped it with the vanilla ice cream and then put it all back in the freezer.  Then I made the frosting (super easy).  When it was ready I removed the cake from the freezer and frosted it.  I did not have any problems with it being too watery or loose.  It set up perfectly and the cake went back in the freezer until the party.  I took it out of the freezer and let it sit for approx 30 minutes before serving.  EVERYONE loved it and thought it was so much better than store bought.  Thanks for sharing this and showing us how to make it!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12