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Easy Homemade Ice Cream Birthday Cake

This simple ice cream birthday cake recipe not only proves that you don’t have to shell out major bucks to enjoy the double decadence almost always promised by ice cream cake, but also has a more grown-up vibe going for it, making it easier for all to enjoy no matter the time of the year and harder to share!

Every time I peer into the refrigerated case at an ice cream parlor or bakery, I can’t help but wax nostalgic over the sight of mile-high ice cream cakes. Rarely is it the cakes’ over-the-top frosting and details that has me drooling, so much as the promise of cool ice cream and moist cake in tandem that has me pressing my nose to the glass.

I am sure you will agree that ice cream cake screams summer and youth, just as apple pie conjures images of crisp fall days, and for many of us the last time we actually had ice a slice of ice cream cake was when we were too young to truly enjoy the perfection of the pairing.


For Cake

  • 1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix, plus required ingredients
  • 1 pint pistachio ice cream, softened
  • 1 pint strawberry ice cream, softened
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped

For Ganache

  • 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with waxed paper and cover the sides with plastic wrap. Make cake batter according to box’s directions and carefully pour into pan. Bake as directed.

Allow cake to cool thoroughly before attempting to cut into layers. Once cool, take 8 to 10 tooth picks and push them into the perimeter just at the halfway mark. This will be your guide for cutting. Carefully cut along the toothpick line, making sure to cut into the center for easy layer separation. Gently remove the top layer and set aside.

Using a rubber spatula carefully spread one of the ice creams in a generous layer on the bottom tier of the cake, smoothing as you go. Once a nice, thick layer has been applied repeat with the remaining flavor of ice cream; top with upper tier.

Cover cake with layer of plastic wrap and chill in freezer for at least 1 hour. Top with ganache (recipe to follow) and chopped pistachio just before serving.

To make ganache place chocolate pieces in a small, heatproof bowl and set aside. In a small sauce pan heat heavy cream just to the point of boiling. Remove cream from heat and slowly pour over chocolate, whisking as you do so until chocolate is completely melted and a smooth sauce has formed. Allow to cool slightly before pouring a generous amount over your cake.

More Birthday Cake Fun:

Margarita Birthday Cake Recipe

S'mores Birthday Sundae

Find more party planning inspirations for Birthday Cakes

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