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

442 Comments
  1. Mariam

    I have made the cake it’s in the freezer and I am going to take it out tomorrow just wondering how do I remove the clear wrap from the bottom of the cake? Any tips? I am scared i am going to reck it when removing the clear wrap.

    1. Lindsay

      It should be fairly easy, since the ice cream should be firm and frozen. Just do it quickly so that you aren’t holding the ice cream in your hands for too long.

      1. Logan Smith

        What happens if you don’t freeze layers for recommend time before going to the next step?

  2. Sandy

    Great recipe and easy to follow instructions. I made the cake as a surprise for my daughter’s 20th since we are all at home during this pandemic. Her favorite ice cream is Oreo and Cookie Dough, so that is what I used. She was so surprised and it looked great. She thought it was store bought.

  3. Mackenzie

    Making this tomorrow for my sister’s birthday and I have a couple questions.
    1// If I don’t have cling wrap, will wax paper work and be able to be peeled off okay? Or should I use saran wrap?
    2// Can I make these in cupcake tins for small, individual sized ice cream cakes?

    1. Lindsay

      I would think that was paper would be fine. And you should be able to make them in little cupcake liners, I’d think.

  4. Tara

    I made this cake for my fiance’s birthday and it was AWESOME! It didnt turn out the prettiest, but it definitely wasnt hideous. I had a little bit of trouble with the whipped icing, but that’s probably because I used a blender since I didnt have a mixer. My boys both said they wanted one for their birthday too and my fiance said I out did myself and that I have started something by making him this cake! Thank you so much for this recipe. Everyone was impressed.. even myself 🙂

  5. Leesa

    I’m so excited about making this! Thank you for sharing! I don’t have a springform pan but I do have two 9-inch cake pans. Since the first layer of ice cream takes up the entire height of the pan, how do you add the additional layer of ice cream? Do you think I can freeze both layers in two separate pans and then put one on top of the other after the fudge layer? Thank you!

  6. Carla c

    Lindsay, with our current crisis that we are all going through are dairy queens are closed and my daughter’s sweet 16th is today and so after finding a recipe I am attempting to try it I will follow up with the results and the satisfaction of the taste testers …(although ice cream Oreos and chocolate I think even if you put it in a trough and said there aren’t any spoons use your face everyone would be satisfied I’m sure this will turn out I just can’t guarantee that I would decorate it as good as you) I i I hope that you are staying well and be safe.

  7. Lauren

    How imperative is the chocolate ganache filling? My son doesn’t like chocolate and wants a full vanilla cake, agreeing to use the lemon Oreos for the middle. Is there another ganache substitute you could recommend?

    1. Lindsay

      The corn syrup is going to be best, but you could try honey. I just don’t know if you’ll really be able to taste it or not.

  8. Tara

    Hi. I’m just wondering did you use the whipped cream icing to make the piping or did you use a different kind of icing and if you did use the whipped cream to make the piping was there enough left over after frosting the cake or will I need to make extra? Sorry, this will be my first time making a cake so I’m kind of clueless. Lol

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, I used the same whipped cream and there should be enough left to do the piping. I hope you enjoy the cake!

    1. Lindsay

      As long as you’re using a stable whipped cream, it should be fine. What kind of issues do you normally have?

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