The Easiest-Ever Ice Cream Cake

from 2 votes

Turn a store-bought pound cake into the ultimate customizable ice cream cake! Made with just five ingredients, this make-ahead dessert combines layers of buttery pound cake, your favorite ice cream, and delicious toppings for a show-stopping treat that’s perfect for summer potlucks or any time you need a cool, sweet treat!

Don’t forget to check out my recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches and Secret Ingredient Ice Cream Pie for more frozen dessert inspiration!

Slices of layered ice cream cake made with store-bought pound cake, ice cream, chocolate chips and sprinkles topped with whipped cream.

You can file this creation under “Recipe Development That Happens When Cravings Hit Hard.” With summer temps reaching an all-time high, I’m turning to all my favorite frozen desserts to cool me down. High atop that list: ice cream cake!

When I say this is The Easiest-Ever Ice Cream Cake, I truly mean it. Just check out that ingredient list: five simple ingredients! And it all starts with my favorite store-bought pound cake that has been a staple in my quick-fix dessert repertoire since my childhood. We’d often pair a thick slice of the buttery cake with macerated strawberries and my mom’s famous homemade whipped cream.

The setup is simple: Layers of buttery pound cake, your favorite ice cream and toppings come together to create a frozen dessert that’s as impressive as it is simple to make. Perfect for summer gatherings or any time you need a cool, sweet treat!

Made with Just 5 Ingredients

Use the ingredient list below as your starting point, but don’t be afraid to make this ice cream layer cake uniquely yours!

A small tub of Tillamook White Chocolate Raspberry ice cream next to a Sara Lee pound cake and two small bowls containing chocolate chips and sprinkles.
  • Frozen pound cake: I recommend the frozen 16-ounce Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake because it has a great flavor and the aluminum pan it comes in is very easy to reuse when freezing the ice cream cake. However, feel free to use any brand or even bake your own pound cake for a homemade touch.
  • Ice cream: You’ll need about half of a 1.5-quart container. Use any flavor you love – vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint chocolate chip or even a combination of flavors!
  • Toppings: When I originally shared this recipe in 2016, I used fresh strawberries and mini chocolate chips. Since then, I’ve made this recipe countless times and used a variety of toppings, from sprinkles (my kids’ favorite!) and crushed Oreos to marshmallows and salted almonds. Choose your favorites and get creative!
  • Chocolate or caramel sauce: Drizzle this on top for the perfect finishing touch. Both homemade and store-bought work great. Homemade blueberry sauce is also amazing atop this frozen dessert!

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Ice Cream Cake with Pound Cake

Your quick and easy DIY ice cream cake is only a few simple steps away!

  1. Cut the frozen pound cake into three equal layers lengthwise. Remove the cake from the aluminum pan and let it thaw for about 10 minutes. This makes it easier to slice. 
  1. Line the aluminum pan with plastic wrap, leaving a large overhang on all sides. The overhang will make it easy to cover and then lift the cake out later, so don’t skimp on the plastic wrap!
  2. Assemble. Place the bottom layer of the pound cake back into the pan. Add half of the ice cream on top, spreading it into an even layer, then add half of your toppings. Repeat this process with the second layer of pound cake, ice cream and toppings, ending with the remaining slice of pound cake on top. 
  1. Freeze. Secure the plastic wrap firmly around the cake, adding more if necessary. Freeze the cake until it is frozen solid, at least 6 hours.
  2. Decorate and serve. Drizzle the cake with chocolate or caramel sauce or top it with a thick layer of whipped cream and additional toppings before slicing and serving immediately.

Tips & Tricks

  • Let your ice cream sit at room temp for about 10 minutes to make spreading easier.
  • If you prefer a thicker layer of ice cream, you can add more between each layer of pound cake.
Layered ice cream pound cake topped with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.

Variations

Here are a few of my favorite combinations:

The possibilities are endless. Chopped candy bars, fruits, crushed cookies, chopped nuts, toasted coconut or any of your favorite sundae toppings would work well in this recipe. You can even make an ice cream cake with ice cream sandwiches!

How to Store Ice Cream Cake

Keep any leftover cake in the freezer tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. It will stay delicious for up to a week. I recommend letting the ice cream cake sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before slicing if it’s been stored in the fridge for a few days. This will make it easier to cut through the layers.

Slices of easy ice cream cake made with layers of Sara Lee pound cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate chips and sprinkles on a white serving platter.

More Frozen Desserts To Try

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Dessert

The Easiest-Ever Ice Cream Cake

All you need is five simple ingredients for The Easiest-Ever Ice Cream Cake! Best of all, you can get creative with your favorite ice cream flavors, fruits, nuts and toppings.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 2 votes
Slices of layered ice cream cake made with store-bought pound cake, ice cream, chocolate chips and sprinkles topped with whipped cream.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Freeze Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 (16-oz.) frozen pound cake (See Kelly’s Notes)
  • 5 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Homemade or store-bought chocolate or caramel sauce

Instructions 

  • Remove the pound cake from the aluminum pan and slice it into three equal layers lengthwise.
  • Line the aluminum pan the pound cake came in with plastic wrap, leaving a large overhang on all sides.
  • Place the bottom layer of the pound cake back into the pan, pressing it firmly against the bottom of the pan. Add half of the ice cream on top of the pound cake, then top the ice cream with half of the sliced strawberries and half of the mini chocolate chips. Top the ice cream with the middle layer of pound cake then repeat layers with the remaining ice cream, strawberries and chocolate chips. Place the remaining slice of pound cake on top. Secure the plastic wrap firmly around the cake, adding more plastic wrap if necessary, then freeze the cake until it is frozen solid, at least 6 hours.
  • When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer, unwrap the plastic wrap and lift it out of the pan. (If it’s stuck, use scissors to cut through the aluminum.) Drizzle the cake with chocolate or caramel sauce and top it with additional strawberries before slicing and serving immediately.

Kelly’s Notes

  • I recommend the frozen Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake because it has a great flavor and the aluminum pan it comes in is very easy to reuse when freezing the ice cream cake.
  • You’ll need about half of a 1.5-quart container of ice cream. If you prefer a thicker layer of ice cream, you can add more between each layer of pound cake.
  • Don’t be afraid to make this ice cream layer cake uniquely yours! Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 341kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 274mg, Potassium: 228mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 430IU, Vitamin C: 11.1mg, Calcium: 148mg, Iron: 1.3mg

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Comments

  1. This recipe looks great for a family gathering with kids. Wanted to have ice cream but not a traditional ‘ice cream’ cake. This should do it!
    I was wondering if you think it would work to drizzle chocolate syrup, like for sundaes, on the ice cream layer then put the strawberries on that or strawberries then syrup followed by next cake layer? That would be instead of chocolate chips. Planning to make it this Saturday, thanks!

  2. Great receipe ! Short and sweeet
    I don’t like to cook but when I found YOUR Receipes, I now enjoy looking for new receipes.
    They are simply and don’t have alot of ingredients !
    My husband also loves your receipes and even more than I am enjoying cooking so he doesn’t have to cook as much !

  3. Hi! I’m looking to make this cake, but am curious how you get the actual pound cake to defrost before the ice cream melts? The Sara Lee instructions say the cake needs to defrost for an hour. Thanks! ps I’m four months pregnant with my first child (son) and this is looking so good! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you so much for your response. I need this for Sunday and I’m so anxious to get started…tonight’s the night :). Thanks again

  5. Just made for dessert tonight while my house guests are sleeping. Effortless, followed recipe as written (always on first try) and can’t wait to put on chocolate shell and serve tonight. Great recipe for vacation!

  6. yum! I was just about to make this for my son’s birthday but just with cookies and cream ice cream. I like this idea way better. I will have to try this next time.

  7. Why did I never think of something like this 60 years ago when pregnant with my first child? However, I can now have the pleasure of enjoying it at almost 80 and NOT pregnant! Kelly, LOVE your blog! Beautifully done and great recipes!

    1. Could you use a store bought non frozen pound cake??
      Can’t wait to make this for our July 4th weekend

      1. Hi Traci! I’ve never made this using a non-frozen pound cake but my initial thought is that it *should* work. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  8. How long could the ice cream cake be safely frozen? I love your recipes. They really come in handy when unexpected company shows up. Keep up the good work!

  9. I was wondering how long this can be kept frozen? I was hoping to make on a Friday and serve on Monday. Thanks.

  10. Love quick & easy desserts for summer time!
    I’m gonna do this one next week!
    Did you use the chocolate ice cream sauce that hardens? I ask because it looks like a frozen shell on top of the cake. Thank you!