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.

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

320 Comments
  1. Sarah

    I am so excited to make this for my boyfriends birthday tomorrow, however, I have what is probably a stupid question!! Do you use the entire 1.5qt carton of icecream for each layer or just enough to cover it?

  2. Teresa

    Turned out perfect! Just like DQ’s ice cream cake but for probably half the price! Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. MW

    How could I modify the fudge sauce to include peanut butter (I worry adding PB might change the fudge consistency once frozen)?

    1. Lindsay

      I wouldn’t be able to say without testing it. It would change the consistency. You could try using peanut butter ice cream.

  4. Erica

    I used this recipe for my son’s birthday party and it turned out amazing! The fudge sauce was perfect. I used a spring form pan so it would be easy to take out and it worked amazing.
    One of my son’s friends has Celiac’s and it was super easy to make Gluten Free, by getting GF Oreos and ice cream. Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely be using the recipe again. I took pictures but don’t know how to upload them to my review.

  5. Lauren

    I spent hours working on this just for the icing in the end to be shit and ruin the whole thing. So much time and money wasted.. followed the directions exactly. Will just go to Dairy Queen next time before thinking some stupid recipe online would work

    1. Lindsay

      I’m very sorry that you had trouble with the whipped cream. An overwhelming number of people have had success though, so I don’t think it’s the recipe. I’m happy to help you troubleshoot the whipped cream if you’d like.

  6. Joan Mitchell

    I’m going to make this for my DIL’s birthday. Could I make the fudge sauce a few days in advance? Thanks in advance.

  7. Kellie Kopischke

    I am making this for my daughter’s 14th birthday tomorrow. The only deviation is that she asked for birthday cake oreos for the crumble and they are pretty sweet, so I’m adding about a 1/4 tsp salt to them. I think that will help cut the sweetness a little. She requested lavender frosting, so I’ll tint the whipping cream a little, and I found gold star sprinkles for the top. I’m excited to see how it will turn out!

  8. Tina

    I tried this recipe today for my daughter’s birthday. She requested strawberry ice cream, so made with vanilla and strawberry with white chocolate ganache and golden Oreos instead of chocolate. The only part that didn’t really work out was the ganache. It never solidified enough,so when I was icing the cake (after a whole night in the freezer) it was oozing out from between the layers. I’m guessing this is maybe because I used white chocolate. Maybe I’d leave out the corn syrup if I did it again.

    1. Lindsay

      You are right, it was the white chocolate. White chocolate is very different than regular chocolate. When I make ganache for cakes or something, I use about half the amount of liquid.

  9. Ruth

    I make ice cream cakes for my family, made to order. I will be making one for my grandson’s birthday. He asked for fudge in the middle. I am trying your fudge recipe for my cake. I am curious how it does when the cake freezes. Is it hard to eat? Like, is it chewy? Just curious.

  10. BS

    My daughter has made this! We left off the frosting because we didn’t want it to be too sweet, and made it in a bread pan but it’s delicious!

  11. CKP

    Hi. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I am scaling it up to a 9 x13. I was wondering if it would be better to flip the pan once all layers have been added in reverse (with plastic wrap) instead of pulling it out. I’m worried about breaking it if I don’t.

  12. David

    I didn’t make this yet but was thinking about it. Do you melt down the ice cream into like a shake then pour it in the container and then freeze it back to turn it back into ice cream? Do you ad anything to the ice cream to make it fluffy like pudding or cake mix? Thanks!

  13. Jm

    Question.. my grocery store sells Oreo crumbs which I think is just the dry black part of the cookie or I could buy whole Oreos and crumble them and include the filling. Which would be better? Which is the traditional dairy Queen way of doing it? I’ve seen you answer some of the questions saying either was just fine but I’m wondering what the proper way is. Is there a difference in taste or texture? I’m obsessed with that dairy Queen fudgy layer and I want mine to be exactly the same. Thank you so much for this recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Lindsay

      I can’t say what Dairy Queen does, because I honestly have no idea, LOL. I used the full Oreo, but I really do think either would be fine.

      1. Lindsay

        I updated the previous comment to have the same name as this one (Jm) so that the full name isn’t showing. If you’d like me to remove it completely, just let me know. Thanks!

  14. JenB

    This cake turned out incredible ! I made it for my grandson’s 13th birthday. He is still talking about it. I used his favorite two ice creams, mint chocolate chip and cookie dough. I followed the recipe except his ice cream choice. Thank you for great instructions. I will use this same recipe and try different combinations of ice cream. I also wanted to comment on just how smooth your whipped topping was! Mine was pretty smooth but not as professional as yours. How did you get it so smooth ?

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!

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