Copycat Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

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
  • 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!


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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 661
  • Sugar: 50 g
  • Sodium: 118.6 mg
  • Fat: 46.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55 g
  • Protein: 8.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 173.7 mg

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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Recipe rating

440 Comments
  1. Fionnuala Costello

    Hi,
    So can I decorate with whipped cream BEFORE I freeze the cake? Id like to make it a day ahead and not have to be busy with it when guests come.
    Thanks a million

    1. Lindsay

      You have to freeze the cake first so that the ice cream is firm. Once the ice cream is firm, you’re able to decorate it.

  2. Ashley

    I made this using sugar free, lactose free Chapman’s ice-cream. I made the ganache using agave syrup instead corn syrup and krisda chocolate chips with stevia. I used sugar free vanilla syrup in the whipping cream for flavor. I used regular oreos, but I think I’ll try coconut clusters–they have no added sugar.

    It was delicious and I will definitely make it again. Thank you!

  3. Phyllis

    Found your website and beautiful inspirational ice cream cake picture after deciding I had to make one for my husband’s birthday (he’s a big fan of ice cream cakes). Since
    his birthday fell on Passover this year we couldn’t eat the cookie crunch in a store bought. Found kosher for Passover sandwich cookies to use and it came out sooo great he couldn’t believe I made it! (left out fudge due to corn syrup) Thought 1 cup of powdered sugar (found kosher for Passover sugar without cornstarch) was way too much so used 1/2 cup. That was still too sweet for my taste so added more whip cream to it!!
    Was sooo delicious. Next time I’ll try making the fudge center!

  4. Laurie

    My family loves DQ cakes but over the years some of us have had to eliminate both dairy and gluten from our diets. My son asked for a DQ non-dairy mint chocolate chip ice cream cake for his birthday and so I knew I had to make it from scratch. I found this recipe and was geeked! I used Breyer’s non-dairy mint chocolate chip ice cream for both layers, Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips in the chocolate fudge, gluten free Oreos and Earth Balance butter for the cookie crumble part and Silk non-dairy heavy whipping cream. OMG!!! It was to die for!

  5. Alicia

    I have made this now twice in the last 6 months for my husband and now my daughter’s birthday. It’s very versatile in that you can choose chcolate peanut butter ice cream for the base etc and it still works. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Sonya Be

    This recipe was so good! And very close to DQ’s cake! I made the vanilla and chocolate ice creams from scratch with our Cuisinart ice cream maker. The ganache was a darker chocolate taste than DQ’s, have you ever experimented with a combination of semi-sweet chocolate and milk chocolate for it? Maybe the milk chocolate would be too sweet. And for the whipped cream, I could NOT get it to come together, even after chilling the bowl in the freezer and pouring the cream right out of the fridge. Maybe my kitchen was too warm? Any suggestions? It still tasted great without the whipped cream, so it really didn’t matter, I just wanted to decorate it. I usually remove the whipped cream from my slice of a DQ cake anyway. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t tried milk chocolate, but you could certainly try it. You would likely need to reduce some of the liquid because milk chocolate gives a thinner consistency. It’s hard for me to say about the whipped cream. I don’t ever have issues with it. It should just whip if you have the correct kind of cream, which would be heavy whipping cream. I’m not really sure why it would not whip. I would think the kitchen would have to be quite hot for that to be the issue.

  7. Sherry

    Everything was coming together till the whipped frosting. It was melting all over before I could finish. Slipped off the plate putting back in freezer. Cake didn’t look so good but tasted yummy.

  8. Marcy

    I’ve made this cake several times without fail! I used Biscoff cookies for the center (10 cookies) and it was delicious! The second time I made it I put the ice cream in a large bowl to break it up as it made it a lot easier to spread. This recipe is definitely one to save!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl 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