Ice Cream Cake Decorating Tutorial

Learn how to decorate a beautiful ice cream cake or regular cake in an hour or less! Personalize any store bought cake with this simple step-by-step Cake Decorating Tutorial!

This post is sponsored by I Love Ice Cream Cakes, but all opinions are my own.

OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mother's Day!

How to Personalize a Store Bought Ice Cream Cake

Can you believe Mother’s Day is just over a week away?! It’s coming quickly and I need to get prepared. I feel like this Mother’s Day is our biggest yet! Not only is it my first Mother’s Day ever – a day I’ve been trying to join in on for years now – but it’s also important to the hubs and I this year to celebrate our mothers. Since having the twins in February, they have been absolutely amazing with all the help they’ve given us. Such great women to celebrate!

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

And of course it should come as no surprise that I find cake to be appropriate for celebrating all holidays. Any kind of cake would make me happy, but today is all about putting together a fun ice cream cake for mom. I was totally pumped to work with I Love Ice Cream Cakes – who makes all kinds of ice cream cakes, including the original Carvel® and OREO® – and show you a fun way to decorate them. We’ve been eating Carvel ice cream cakes since I was a kid! They are so classic and so good! Since you can pick them up from the bakery or freezer section at the grocery store (I got mine at Publix), it’s a quick and simple way to put together and decorate a cake for Mother’s Day – or any occasion really.

Plus, with these particular decorations, you’ve got flowers and cake all in one! 😉 It’s such a lovely Mother’s Day cake that looks complicated, but really isn’t. It’s just a matter of frosting the cake with whipped cream, drizzling the white chocolate ganache on top and then adding some swirled flowers. It comes together quickly and all you really need is the right piping tips – this one and this one. And since the cake is frozen, you can make it a few days ahead without a problem – score!

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

How to Decorate a Cake Like a Boss

So, let’s look at how you put the cake together. First thing you need is the actual ice cream cakes. I Love Ice Cream Cakes has several yummy options. I used the OREO one, but the original Carvel is obviously a great choice. They also now have ones with chocolate chip cookies, strawberry crunchies and more – such decisions! You’ll want two of whichever cake you choose, so we can stack them.

Once you have your cakes, you’ll want to make the whipped cream (recipe below). Spread some whipped cream onto the top of the first ice cream cake, just enough to fill in the center of the piping already on top of the cake. Add the second cake to the top of the first one.

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

How much do you love seeing two delicious Oreo ice cream cakes stacked on top of each other?! Double the goodness!

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

Next up – set aside a little bit of the remaining whipped cream and color that with green gel icing color. With the remaining whipped cream, divide it up. Set aside a small amount for the darker shade of pink and then color the rest a lighter shade of pink. I used pink gel icing color and just added a little more to the darker pink.

Use the lighter shade of pink frost the outside of the cake. You can simply use an offset spatula to do this, or you can follow my other tutorial for frosting a smooth cake. It’s so simple with the whipped cream, because it’s light and easy to spread. You’ll want to start the frosting process by adding a crumb coat though. It’ll hold in all those delicious OREO bits around the outside of the cake so that they don’t show through on the finished design.

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

Be sure to pop the cake back in the freezer after the crumb coat has been added so the cake can firm back up a bit. Once it’s ready, add the final coat of whipped cream then pop it back in the freezer for a bit.

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

While the cake is in the freezer, make the white chocolate ganache. You just need some white chocolate and heavy whipping cream. You’ll want to make it just before you’re ready to use it. It won’t melt the whipped cream, but it will firm up quickly since the whipped cream will be so cold. Once you’ve made the ganache, drizzle it around the sides of the cake, then pour the rest onto the top of the cake and quickly spread it around to the edges of the cake. Like I said, it’ll firm quickly because of the cold cake, so work fast.

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

The final few steps are adding the flowers and leaves. Start out by making a ring of flowers around the outside of the cake in the lighter shade of pink, then add in the darker pink flowers.

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

Once the flowers are in place, pick a few places to add the leaves.

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

And look at that – all done! What looks like a complicated cake is actually fairly simple to put together and so beautiful! Not to mention delicious! I’m loving all the OREO cookie pieces in this cake. Such a delicious treat for mom on Mother’s Day!

Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

For more ice cream cake inspiration, visit the Party Tips section of the I Love Ice Cream Cakes website. Be sure to join their Crunchie Club for the best product coupons and celebration ideas.

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OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mother's Day

Ice Cream Cake Decorating Tutorial

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 Cake
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Decoration
  • Cuisine: American


Learn how to decorate a beautiful ice cream cake or regular cake in an hour or less! Personalize any store bought cake with this simple step-by-step Cake Decorating Tutorial!



  • 3 cups (720ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 1/2 cups (173g) powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pink gel icing color
  • Green gel icing color


  • 6 oz (1 cup) white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream




1. Add the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
2. Place the first ice cream cake on a cardboard cake circle or serving platter. Spread some whipped cream, about 1/2 cup, on top of the ice cream cake to create an even layer. Place the second ice cream cake on top of the whipped cream. Place the ice cream cake in the freezer.
3. Set about 1/4 cup of whipped cream in another bowl and color with green gel icing color. Place in the fridge until ready to use. Color the remaining frosting with the pink gel icing color.
4. Frost the outside of the cake with the pink whipped cream, starting with a crumb coat to seat in the crumbs on the outside of the ice cream cake. Place the cake back in the freezer.
5. Make the white chocolate ganache. Place the white chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave until it begins to boil, then pour the cream over the white chocolate. Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the white chocolate doesn’t melt completely, heat in the microwave for 10-second increments, stirring between, until smooth.
6. Place the ganache into a squeeze bottle, piping bag with small round tip or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off. Remove the cake from the freezer and drizzle the ganache around the edge of the cake. Pour the remaining ganache into the center of the cake and quickly spread it out to the edges to cover the top of the cake. Place cake back in the freezer.
7. Set about 1/3 of the remaining pink whipped cream into another bowl and add a little more pink gel icing color to get a slightly darker shade of pink. Use the light pink whipped cream and a piping bag fitted with Ateco tip 844 or Wilton 2D piping tip to make an initial circle of roses around the edge of the cake. Use the darker pink whipped cream to add a few smaller roses.
8. Use the green whipped cream and a piping back fitted with the Wilton 352 piping tip to pipe the leaves around the flowers.
9. Place the cake back into the freezer until ready to serve.

Keywords: how to decorate a cake, cake decorating ideas, cake decoration tips, how to frost a cake, homemade frosting, homemade frosting for cake

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Tutorial: A beautiful OREO ice cream cake decorated for Mothers Day!

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Recipe rating

  1. Erin

    I love your ice cream cake tutorials, but I have two questions – if I were to make a Halloween version with chocolate ganache drips and whipped cream ghosts, would the chocolate ganache freeze well and could you use this whipped cream recipe to pipe ghosts?

    Thanks either way!

  2. Carmen

    Hi, I am new to Ice Cream cakes and I worry that my birthday cake for a good friend will be ruined because he wants Vanilla Buttercream and all the recipes I find have whipped cream?
    Which is better so I do not ruin a birthday ice cream cake, please respond, thank you
    Carmen G

  3. Shannon

    Is is possible to get pirouline cookies to stick to the side of a store purchased ice cream cake? If so, what would you recommend? Will they just stick or do I need some sort of whipped cream or icing to help them stay secure?

    1. Lindsay

      My guess is that they wouldn’t stick easily to a cake, just because while they sit in the freezer, the frosting can lose it’s stickiness. You could try adding a new layer of whipped cream and sticking them to that.

  4. Shakthi

    Thanks Lindsay, going to try it out tomorrow! Just one silly doubt. Have you added yellow colouring to white chocolate ganache? I like the mild yellow tint

  5. Shakthi

    I was looking for beautiful cake decorations and that’s how I found this cake! It’s a love at first sight 🥰 Can I do the same decoration on an ordinary sponge cake? 
    Im a beginner and haven’t frosted a cake before. Want to try for my daughter’s 2nd birthday 😊

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you found it! Yes, you can do the same thing on a regular cake – either with whipped cream or with buttercream.

      1. Shakthi

        So if I’m doing for a regular cake, I don’t have to follow the freezing steps right? Can I do all steps at a go? I’m afraid the ganache might melt the buttercream layer below. 

  6. Debbie

    BEAUTIFUL! Lindsay I just wanted to take a moment and tell you how grateful I am that I found you a few years ago. Honestly the amazing showstoppers you produce have always been trustworthy and very easily defined. . I have learned so much since following you. You have made me look great with family and friends again and again. . Honestly have never made anything of yours that was noting more than awesome. Just wanted to take a moment to tell you that you are very appreciated. Always keep them coming! Continued prayers and blessings for you and yours!! Thank you so very much!!

  7. Dellys Fry

    I have just made an ice-cream “dolly varden” cake for my grand daughter.  I purchased vanilla ice-cream, softened it a little and added cut up raspberry and snake lollies.  I had lined a bowl with plastic wrap and turned the ice-cream into it, smoothing the bottom so that it would sit straight when turned out.  I placed it in the freezer overnight and turned it out onto a cake board the next morning letting it soften a little before a cut a hole out of the centre so that I could insert a doll. (I had previously poured boiling water over the lower part of the doll to make sure that it was properly cleaned). This also made it a little easier to insert into the cake and then back into the freezer it went.  Next I whipped up some cream and piped stars around the base of the cake adding cashews to each star.  Next I added a few drops of pink colouring to the remaining cream and mixed it through.  I used a spoon to decorate the skirt, making a scallop pattern just above the stars.  I then scattered coloured cashews making a polka dot look.  It was much appreciated by five year old granddaughter, but it would be great to find an alternative to cream for the decorations as it is very rich to eat.  Any ideas from anyone?

    1. Lindsay

      The whipped cream is nice and light for an ice cream cake and cuts well when frozen, but you could try using a buttercream as well.

  8. Rosina

    Hi Lindsay, can you use frozen raspberries to make the raspberry filling for the chic raspberry layer cake?

    1. Lindsay

      You can, but be sure the thaw and pat them dry before using. Defrosted fruit can tend to have more water in it, which could end up giving you a thinner consistency for the filling.

  9. Amanda

    How Pretty! Just like you! Happy Mother’s Day, Lindsay. I can only imagine how special this year will be for you and your family.

  10. Cecily

    I’m just getting into decorating cakes and stumbled across your amazing website and frosting tutorial, easily the best out there. So thank you!
    I also am so very happy for you on the birth of your darling twins. I read your bio, that said you had trouble conceiving and we’re patiently waiting on God’s will. I was so impressed by your acceptance of such a painful situation. And then I noticed that you now have not one baby but two!!
    I need to remember this in my own life, that God knows our heart and will send us what we need and want in His own time and way, often overflowing us with His mercy!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you’ve found the tutorial helpful and have been enjoying the blog!

      God definitely showed us an abundance of mercy through our twins. It’s truly amazing to watch God at work when you are willing to wait on Him. Not to mention that His timing really is best. We couldn’t have known it during the waiting period but looking back – having the boys now, rather than 5 years ago, was the best thing for us. 🙂 Thanks Cecily!

    2. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you found it helpful, Cecily!

      And yes, God has blessed us beyond measure with these two boys. Although it can be difficult to wait, there’s no doubt His timing and plan is better than our own and more than we could ever imagine! He has shown us that over and over, and most clearly with these boys. I wouldn’t change the path we took to get here for anything. Not only because of the boys, but because my faith grew immeasurably during the waiting period. Such a gift!

  11. Barbi K.

    Looks very pretty and i bet it’s yummy too! Have a glorious Mother’s Day You certainly deserve it!! I can remember my first Mother’s Day, I was so proud. Actually I still am very proud of my 5 sons!

  12. Ruth

    Hi Lindsay. We’re not able to buy any form of ice-cream cakes here in the UK, and my only attempt to make one was really, really awful! I tried making chocolate brownies in a round cake tin (x 2) and then sandwiched them with store bought vanilla ice cream, but the brownies went rock hard in the freezer, and when I left the ice-cream cake out for 20 minutes at room temperature to try and let the brownies soften a little, the ice-cream went too soft. My son has asked me a few times to make an ice-cream cake, but I need a reliable recipe to follow! We are able to buy oreo cookies in the UK – should I substitute these (as a layer) instead of actual cake? Would be grateful for any advice!

    1. Debbie

      I make ice cream pies all the time.  My recommendation is to use a springform pan lined with plastic wrap.  I typically use a cookie crust which keeps the ice cream from leaking through, and have never tried plastic wrap, but it should work.  If you think it might stick you could spray just a light coat of Pam or other cooking oil spray on the metal before putting the plastic wrap liner in.  Soften vanilla ice cream, crunch up the Oreo’s into chunks and stir in.  Put into the pan and freeze.  If you want this to be a double layer and don’t have multiple springform pans you could do layers one at a time.  If you would like to make an Oreo cookie crust.  Approximately 20-25 finely crushed cookies to 1/4 c melted butter.  Press into pan and freeze before adding ice cream.  You can mix and match cookies and ice cream as you wish – such as mint chocolate chip ice cream with Oreo crust, shortbread cookies with pecan praline ice cream.  And if you keep it as an ice cream pie, freeze for a bit and drizzle your favorite topping on it, then freeze overnight.

    2. Cathy

      Hi Ruth,
      I have made ice cream cakes before and they turned out really well. I start with a round springform pan which allows easy release. You can also add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom. (optional). I let my vanilla ice cream softened a bit and then add coarsely crushed cookies of choice. Or if you prefer just use your favorite ice cream flavor. Spread half of the softened ice cream into your springform pan and stick in the freezer until sightly firm. Top this layer with hot fudge sauce or caramel sauce. At this point you can add crushed cookies or candy on top of the sauce layer and press gently to hold in place. Gently top this with the remaining ice cream. If this is difficult to do, freeze it some so the sauce layer firms a bit. Freeze until ready to decorate! Delicious!!

    3. Lindsay

      I can see that being a problem. The ice cream definitely melts before the brownie. One option would be to use cake for the layers (like the layers used here). Another would be to try a recipe like my Oreo Ice Cream Cake, that uses a non-typical ice cream that doesn’t melt the same way and gives the brownies a chance to thaw a bit. And using Oreo cookies might be fine too, I just haven’t tried it. Not sure how firm they’d be when frozen.

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