Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

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This Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake is a tasty combination of chocolate cake and strawberry & vanilla ice cream. It’s reminiscent of the neapolitan ice cream sandwiches I ate as a kid, and I didn’t want to stop eating it!

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake slice on a plate
Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake with a slice removed

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an ice cream cake. I figured it was time to fix that. After making my Neapolitan Millionaire Cake and being reminded of how tasty the flavor combination is, it seemed like the perfect new version to make.

So on Friday night, a totally awful thing happened. My phone died. I dropped it and it cracked and it wouldn’t turn on again. It was lost forever and along with all my info and ability to connect with the world.

Ok, so that might be extreme, but I felt naked and disconnected.

I’m so used to having everything right at my fingertips, it was kind of awful to not have it. And the hubs wasn’t home, so I wanted to call him and freak out but I couldn’t. We don’t have a landline. So I brilliantly Facebook messaged him from my laptop since I knew it’d notify him on his phone. He assured me it’d be fine and I relaxed. Good thing I have him. 🙂

Despite the issues celebs have been having with their iCloud account photos being hacked, I have to say I was thankful for those auto backups at that moment. I have some great photos from recent outings like our trip to the beach that I would have been super sad to lose forever.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake on a plate
Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake slice on a plate with a bite on a fork

Fortunately I have a super handy hubs. I know I’ve bragged about him before, but he never fails to impress me. That night he managed to get my phone number switched over to his old phone, so I was somewhat back in business. I was able to set most things back up the next day.

I still feel a little naked since my contacts haven’t been updated. I have no phone numbers except the ones from those who have called or texted me over the weekend. Hopefully Verizon can get my phone numbers off my old one, I just haven’t gone by to try yet.

Fortunately I still had one more piece of this ice cream cake tucked away in the freezer to help me feel better. It’s super tasty and makes all the problems in the world fall away. The strawberry layer is my fave and always has been in any neapolitan dessert.

The ice cream layers are made without an ice cream machine, making it a simple ice cream cake to make. The ice cream is also nice and thick before being frozen. Once the chocolate cake is made and cooled, the ice creams can be layered without having to freeze one and then layer the other and freeze again, which is a great time saver.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake slice on a plate
Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake slice on a plate

You really can’t beat a combination of ice cream and cake. And rather than make a cake and serve it with a scoop of ice cream, why not combine them into one fabulous cake? Don’t mind if I do.

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No Bake Neapolitan Cheesecake Pie
Banana Split Ice Cream Cake Loaf
Neapolitan Millionaire Cake
Hot Fudge Swirl Ice Cream Cake
Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake Roll

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Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake slice on white plate
Recipe

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake is a tasty combination of chocolate cake and strawberry & vanilla ice cream. It’s reminiscent of the neapolitan ice cream sandwiches I ate as a kid, and I didn’t want to stop eating it!


Scale

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (43g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) boiling water

STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 4 tsp strawberry extract
  • 8 oz Cool Whip, thawed (or homemade whipped cream)
  • about 20 drops red food coloring

VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz Cool Whip, thawed (or homemade whipped cream)

WHIPPED CREAM ICING 

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

NOTE: 8-inch springform pans are best for this recipe so that you can easily remove the cake once it’s been assembled. If you do not have a springform pan, line your pan with clear wrap before adding your parchment paper and cake board. You can use the clear warp to lift your cake out of the pan once it’s assembled and frozen. You want to make your cake layers in the same pan you’ll use for layering the ice cream and cake together so that they cake layers fit in the final pan you use for layering.

CHOCOLATE CAKE:

1. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C).
2. Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
3. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
4. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture.
5. Mix at medium speed until smooth.
6. Pour into one 8-inch pan and bake 40-42 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes in pans, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. Once cooled, cut off cake dome with a long serrated knife.

STRAWBERRY AND VANILLA ICE CREAM:

1. Once the cake has cooled, make the strawberry ice cream. Combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a mixer until smooth. Add the milk and strawberry extract and mix until completely combined.
2. Fold in the cool whip and food color, then set aside.
3. To make the vanilla ice cream, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a mixer until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract and mix until completely combined.
4. Fold in the cool whip.

ASSEMBLING IT ALL:

1. Line the sides of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. The parchment paper should stick up above the top edge of the pan, since the cake will probably be a little taller than your pan. If you want, put a cardboard cake circle in the bottom of the pan.
NOTE: You should be using the same 8-inch pan you used for the cake. Not all 8-inch pans are exactly the same size. Your cake needs to fit in this pan.
2. Put the chocolate cake in the bottom of your pan.
3. Top cake with the strawberry ice cream and spread into an even layer.
4. Carefully add vanilla ice cream and spread into an even layer.
5. Allow ice cream cake to freeze completely, 6-8 hours.
6. When frozen, remove cake from springform pan and remove parchment paper from sides.
7. To make icing, put mixing bowl and whisk attachment in freezer for about 10 minutes.
8. Remove bowl and whisk from freezer and whip cream on high until it begins to thicken.
9. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and whip on high until thick and creamy.
10. Ice cake and freeze until serving.

Keywords: neapolitan ice cream, ice cream cake recipe, best ice cream cake, how to make ice cream cake, homemade ice cream cake, summer dessert, summer dessert recipe, best chocolate cake recipe, best chocolate cake

Enjoy!

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Recipe rating

61 Comments
    1. Lindsay

      In theory yes, but you’d need to adjust your pan size and I’m not really sure what size would be ideal.

  1. Sarah Wheeler

    I have had a request for this cake and as I’m in Australia I’m wondering if the measurements are the same here in Australia? I don’t have a 1/8 cup measurement. Also the oven temp 300 degrees our ovens only go to to 250 and that’s seems quite hot for a cake.
    Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      I edited the ingredients to include grams and ml, so hopefully that helps. Also, it’s 300 degrees Fahrenheit. I added the celcius temperature.

  2. Wendy

    Looks great! I want to pin for later. The images Pinterest pulled in don’t align with article. You may want to make an update

  3. Matti

    I would love to make this beautiful cake, but would like to use already made ice cream (maybe later I’ll experiment with homemade ice cream)! How much already made ice cream would you suggest I use?

    1. Lindsay

      I would suggest taking a look at this ice cream cake recipe. It uses real ice cream and might be a little easier to follow. You just might want to reduce the two flavors I used by a little bit to make room in the pan for a third flavor. I hope that helps!

  4. Reet

    Hi Lindsay,
     I would love to make this but unfortunately we don’t have cool whip in Australia, would it work with thickened (heavy) cream?

    With kindest regards

    Reet

      1. Reet

        Thsnk you so much, Lindsay. Cant wait to make the ice cream cake but i may have to wait for “cooler” weather, though, as we’ve been experiencing over 40 degree heat layely. 

  5. Stephanie

    Hello, I really want to make this cake.. confused by when you say vanilla and not vanilla extract, is that same?, also do not have vanilla paste at my local stores, can I used 4 tps of extract in lieu of?

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, vanilla extract. I’ve updated the recipe for clarity. And yes, feel free to use extract in place of the paste.

  6. Suzanne

    This looks great. Do you wrap the cake after you frost it to prevent freezer burn/absorbing freezer flavors? If so, what do you wrap it with and how long can you keep it in the freezer?

    1. Lindsay

      You certainly could try to wrap it, though it might mess up the decor. A cardboard box might work. It’s probably best for up to a week. If you wanted to freeze it longer, certainly wrapping it would be beneficial.

  7. Adrienne

    My daughter wanted a Neapolitan ice cream cake for her 10th birthday.  I found your recipe on Pinterest and made 1 change with cherry ice cream instead of strawberry.  It was beautiful and did not disappoint.  Thank you!

  8. Ashley

    Hello, this cake looks delicious. My friend’s birthday is coming up soon and she is not a fan of cake but she loves ice cream. So I am thinking about making this for her. Does this require all purpose, self rising or cake flour?

  9. Brittany

    Hey Lindsay! I just made this cake today and it was absolutely delicious!! Everyone loved it and said it was better than store bought cakes!

    I have a quick question, when I made the ice cream mixtures there were lumps of the cream cheese, I just wanted to know if this was normal or if there was something I could do to prevent that.

    Thanks so much!!!! =)

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it! 🙂

      I used to have that happen sometimes too. Now I usually combine the cream cheese and sugar first, then add the milk and other ingredients and it fixes the problem. I’ve updated the instructions to reflect that change.

      Thanks!

  10. Dawn

    How many cups of cream and sugar do I use to make the homemade whipped cream to equal 8 oz cool whip on this recipe?

  11. Brittany

    When your recipes state “8 inch pan” – would the standard 8″ x 1.5″ pans work or would it have to be a deeper pan (8″ x 2″ or larger)? Thanks so much!

    1. Lindsay

      For baking the cake layer, I used an 8×2 inch pan. For building it in the pan, I used an 8×3 inch pan. The 1.5 inch might be ok for baking, but a bit short for building the cake.

  12. Norma

    Does your recipe of ice cream taste as good as regular ice cream? I am a ice cream freak I love it to the point that a day without is incomplete . Your cakes are gorgeous

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thanks Norma! I think that they do taste like ice cream (maybe better) and everyone of our friends and family who’ve tasted it would agree. But some people have thought that it didn’t. You’d probably have to try it to decide.

  13. Sandy Delawder

    I plan on making an ice cream cake for my son’s 3rd birthday. He does not like cake…I know! Strange! Lol Anyways I have a couple questions…can I add frozen strawberries or fresh to the strawberry ice cream?
    Also I’ve never made a whipped cream icing…is whipping cream the same as heavy cream?

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      You can definitely add strawberries (either fresh or frozen). Do be aware though that they tend to be icy when they freeze in the ice cream. If you’d like to use strawberries to flavor the ice cream, you could swap out the strawberry ice cream in this ice cream cake. I hope that helps!

  14. April

    Im confused how do i add the ice cream tp the cake won’t the cake pan be small that the ice cream will spill PLEASE HELP????????

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      In the assembly part of the instructions (#1), I talk about lining the plan with parchment that sticks up above the top edges of the pan. That will extend your pan upwards so that the ice cream will stay. This ice cream is also thicker than a regular ice cream when melted, so it stays in place better. Here’s a photo of my pan with a similar set up.

  15. Amy @ Amy's Healthy Baking

    Oh no!!! Verizon is usually pretty helpful with saving contacts and getting them switched over. They did that for me before, so I have my fingers crossed for you! 🙂 And this ice cream cake… Ohmygosh!! They’re one of my favorite desserts, but I’ve never been brave enough to try making one. I just eat the whole thing instead! 😉 Pinned!

  16. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    iCloud was when I realized I had hit my technology understanding limit. 🙂

    I love this cake!

  17. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    I think Neapolitan is just my favorite because in addition to being an awesome flavor combo, the colors just look gorgeous together. 😀 Beautiful cake as always, Lindsay! 😀

  18. Kathi @ Deliciously Yum!

    This cake is the bomb. I don’t think it could look any more perfect. So gorgeous – I seriously can’t get over it!! The vanilla ice cream with the tiny flecks is definitely calling my name…. wait, who am I kidding? This entire cake is calling my name.

  19. Heather @ Shards of Lavender

    That does stink about your phone; thank goodness for iCloud and your husband’s knowledge. I’m sure they’ll be able to transfer your contacts once you pick out a new phone as long as they were backed up. This cake though! My grandparents always used to have Neapolitan ice cream for us when we visited and I’m long overdue for some… Your cakes are always so gorgeous!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I think they were backed up – fingers crossed! I still haven’t made it to the store. 🙂 Thanks Heather!

  20. Lindsey+@+American+Heritage+Cooking

    GORGEOUS photos! Do you have boxes of artsy straws and sprinkles in every color just waiting for the right cake?! Jealous. This cake looks delicious! Love that it is so easy to make even though it looks super complicated! Hope you get a new phone soon!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thanks Lindsey! And I wish I had every color! I think I have the main straw colors covered, but not the sprinkles. I literally picked those pink ones out of a mixed sprinkle jar. So tedious. I need to finally order them separately online.

      1. Lindsey+@+American+Heritage+Cooking

        Haha! I’ve been known to pick out specific colors of M&M’s…Ordering separate colors is definitely a good call!

  21. Jocelyn+(Grandbaby+cakes)

    Girl this cake is amaze balls. I can’t stop staring at it. I’m officially addicted. Thank you so much for including my recipe too my dear. Much love!

  22. Julia @ Sprinkled With Jules

    This is such a beautiful cake!
    That really stinks about your phone BUT I bet this cake more than made up for it!

  23. Julia @ Sprinkled With Jules

    Yum! As the weather gets colder I swear I crave ice cream more than I did in the summer! This looks so great!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Ice cream is great year round, I think. I’ve been known to have ice cream birthday cakes for my birthday in December. Why not? 🙂

  24. Jaren+(Diary+of+a+Recipe+Collector)

    Neapolitan is one of my favorites! This looks fantastic! I get all jittery and nervous if I just leave my phone at home. I’d freak if I broke it!

  25. Mir

    It’s amazing how your phone has so much power. I dropped mine in the toilet at Starbucks a few months back (lesson: do not keep phone in back pocket) and I felt lost.
    This cake is beyond amazing, Lindsay! It looks just like the ice cream, but better. And gorgeous, like all your cakes!

      1. Wilma

        Hi Lindsay, if you remove the cake from the freezer just before serving, isn’t the cake part still frozen and how would you let it thaw without the rest of the cake melting?

      2. Lindsay

        The ice cream in this cake is a no churn ice cream, so it doesn’t really melt the same way a traditional ice cream does. You could let it sit for 20 minutes and it would be fine.

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