Home » Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Homemade Ice Cream Cake
Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Every year for the kids’ birthdays, we let them pick out their favorite birthday meal for us to eat at home, complete with their favorite dessert as a part of our attempts to have frugal birthday parties. Sometimes the kids do this pretty frugally, sometimes not. Like when one kid asked for a (famous ice cream store) ice cream cake for her dessert last month. I cringed at the thought of spending 20 bucks on a store-bought cake just for the six of us, so I started to think about how we could replicate an ice cream cake here at home for less.

Related Reading: If the Birthday Party was “So expensive!” It’s Your Fault

This recipe is the final result, and it got rave reviews from the entire family, including hubby, who LOVES the store bought ice cream cake and is picky about that kind of stuff in general. Here’s how I did it:

Homemade Ice Cream Cake


1 half gallon chocolate ice cream (we like Kemps as opposed to the generic stuff, but we got it on sale for $3 for a half gallon)

1 half gallon Vanilla Bean ice cream ($3)

1 package Oreo cookies ($2.50 on sale)

2 8 oz tubs Cool Whip ($1.96)

Sprinkles from home (free!)

Total cost: $10.46


I put the cake in a 9×13 cake pan to catch the drips, as I knew it’d be a bit sloppy.

  1. Let the ice cream soften enough so that you can slice it. and the Cool Whip soften enough so that it’s spreadable
  2. Slice the chocolate ice cream in half the long way
  3. Place each half on the bottom of the 9×13 pan
  4. Crush the Oreo cookies and spread them evenly over the Chocolate ice cream
  5. Slice the Vanilla Bean ice cream in half the long way
  6. Press the vanilla ice cream halves over top of the Chocolate ice cream and crushed Oreo cookies
  7. Spread the Cool Whip evenly over the top and sides of the ice cream (if the ice cream has gotten too soft, you’ll want to re-freeze it before you do this)
  8. Add sprinkles or other decor of your choice
  9. Put in the freezer to let it harden again (an hour or so), and then serve.

If you’re looking to save money on birthday parties, this is one dessert that will “wow” guests and “wow” your pocketbook at the same time. 🙂

Depending on serving size, you could probably easily feed 10 with this cake. It’s rich and delicious too!

Do you have any famous restaurant meals that you make at home for cheap? 


  1. Hannah says:

    Gallon or half gallon? I think two gallons of ice cream wouldn’t fit in a 9×13.

    We do something similar for our anniversary because we had cold stone ice cream at our wedding.

  2. kay ~ the barefoot minimalist says:

    This was a delicious post! I definitely would try this. Half the price of the store bought version and probably twice as tasty! NICE going Laurie! 🙂

  3. Retirment Savvy just did a post entitled “If The Birthday Party Was ‘So Expensive’ It’s Your Fault.” And here you are, writing about a frugal answer to store-bought ice cream birthday cakes. I love it when different people in the pf bloggosphere don’t even know they’re working together : )

  4. Kara @ The Daily Whisk says:

    What a great idea! And, so simple!
    You could even add fudge sauce to the oreo crumble layer to mimic a DQ ice cream cake!
    Thanks for sharing – Happy Birthday to your daughter!

    • Laurie says:

      Yes, that was the idea, but we skipped the fudge for budget reasons and it still tasted remarkably like the DQ cakes – and even better according to some family members. 🙂 Thanks much, Kara!

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