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. Shery Sullivan

    After cutting a few pieces the others stayed together very well. But I might try your tip next time. My neighbor called and said it was the best ice cream cake he’s ever had. It sounded like he loved it more than any dessert he’s had.

  2. Shery

    My husband and I both loved this cake. My only problem was when I put the piece on the plate the 2 layers separate. I followed directions exactly. The fudge filling is what’s separating it. Your pictures look perfect. Any suggestions for next time?

    1. Lindsay

      So it sounds like the cookie crumbles and fudge didn’t hold together well, is that correct? I would just say to be sure not to wait too long after adding the fudge layer to add the cookie crumbles. The directions say about 10 minutes, but it’s possible your freezer is colder than mine. You want the crumbles to be able sit down in the fudge just a bit so that they stick/hold together. I hope that helps!

  3. Jenn Benbrook

    Hello- is it possible to use jarred fudge for this? Unfortunately we cannot get chocolate chips or corn syrup right now. Would premade fudge work? Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      You can certainly try it. But not knowing anything about that fudge sauce, it’s hard for me to say what the texture will be like.

  4. Melissa

    Hi Lindsay. I ended up using actual Oreo crumbs….😞I feel  that o should have used full Oreos. We haven’t delved into yet, but I think the middles a bit more crumby than it should be …fingers crossed

  5. Adriel

    Hello! I was wondering if you think vanilla candy chips would melt and set properly instead of chocolate? My son does not like chocolate (I know, crazy) and I was going to do a middle layer with vanilla oreos and vanilla ganache maybe. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Lindsay

      Sadly, no. I have recently experimented with a white chocolate layer myself and white chocolate is just a lot more finicky than regular chocolate.

  6. Gabriel

    Five out of five. Tastes EXACTLY like the DQ cake for a fraction of the price. I made the mistake of not wrapping the ice cream pans (leave it to me to rush through recipes and miss something), so I had to leave them in warm water for 30 seconds, but they laid down well after that. The whipped cream was great and the chocolate filling was SPOT ON! Wholeheartedly recommend. 

  7. Atreyu

    I made the cake and I loved it. I had never had a dairy Queen cake. I loved it. Thank you for coming up with the idea for a copy recipe.

  8. Jody E

    Hands down, this is the consummate ice cream cake recipe. Worth the extra step of making your own fudge sauce. Only thing I do differently is place cookie layer before the fudge sauce so the warm layer doesn’t melt the ice cream layer. No one notices the difference.

  9. Angela

    Ok, at the risk of sounding like a freak, I’m going to admit I don’t like DQ ice cream cake. And my husband loves them. His birthday is today and when I asked him last week what kind of cake he wanted, he didn’t even have to think. “Ice cream cake!” Yeah, but… But, yay, internet and curbside groceries! 

    We had ice cream cake for breakfast (as one does on his birthday, even well into his 50s), and it was soooo delicious! It’s like DQ but so much better! Somehow you managed to eliminate the waxy aftertaste. And it was really easy to make! I’m glad I read the reviews and knew to expect slightly runny whipped cream frosting. The grocery store didn’t have chocolate ice cream, so they substituted with chocolate salted caramel, which didn’t suck. 

    My husband and I both thank you for this recipe!

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