Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit

Ice Cream Cakes: Irresistible Frozen Confections

2023-08-31   ◆   4 minutes read

Ice cream cakes are a fantastic twist on a classic dessert we all know and love. With the summer unfolding, everyone is looking for frosty ice cream to keep cool. But you can’t only have ice cream on a cone, month after month. After all, there are so many different ice cream desserts that still offer the cool, fresh feeling you know and love. Let’s find out what ice cream cakes are, explore their different types, and discover how printing a picture on top of it works. 


Brownie and chocolate ice cream cake (Hoche Glacé)Brownie and chocolate ice cream cake (Hoche Glacé)

What Are Ice Cream Cakes?

Originally, it was made with ice cream as the filling for a Swiss roll or a layer cake. In the UK, they call this dessert Arctic Rolls. There is also a simpler no-bake version, made by layering different flavours of ice cream in a loaf pan. Since then, however, this cake has branched out into many different types. The only limits to this cake’s varieties are the bakers’ imaginations!

Usually, the cake part is baked the normal way, cut to shape if need be, and then frozen. Next, ice cream is shaped in a mould, and these components are then assembled while frozen. Whipped cream is often used for frosting, and as a complement to the two other textures, and also because many typical frostings will not adhere to frozen cake. The whole cake is then kept frozen until serving, when it is thawed until it can be easily sliced, but not to the point where the ice cream melts.

Ice cream cake is a popular party dessert, often eaten at birthdays and weddings, particularly in North America and Australia. 

Since the original recipe is rather simple, you can make any kind of ice cream cake based on your dessert preferences. Let’s take a look at some types you can find, from the wildest and the most unusual to the most classic:


Baked Alaska (Preppy Kitchen)Baked Alaska (Preppy Kitchen)


  • Baked Alaska: If you’ve never heard of this dessert before, it’s quite something. In fact, you can read our blog dedicated entirely to Baked Alaska. First, we have a ball of frozen ice cream. Then we line it with slices of cake or layers of pudding. Finally, we cover the whole thing in meringue (whipped egg whites with sugar), and put the dish in a very hot oven for a very short time, which caramelizes the meringue. 


Some serve it by pouring alcohol and lighting it up (flambé) for a few seconds. What makes it even more interesting, apart from its diversified ingredients, is that the air bubbles inside the meringue act as a heat insulator, and prevent the ice cream from melting. This means that even after you serve the dish and eat your way through its outer layers, the ice cream ball will still be firm and cold once you get there. Pretty ingenious, isn’t it?

Chocolate cherry bomb (Epicurious)Chocolate cherry bomb (Epicurious)


  • Ice Cream Bomb: Bearing some resemblance to the Baked Alaska mentioned above, this French invention made it to the world’s most prestigious dessert tables, including Queen Elizabeth’s wedding in 1947. On top of that, this dessert is as delicious as it is pretty! It’s made using a hemispherical mould, lined with ice cream or frozen custard, and filled with a pâte à bombe. Pâte à bombe is basically a rich and fluffy meringue type of mixture. It’s designed specifically for desserts like mousses and parfaits that need to be frozen. It can include nuts, candied fruits, liqueurs, and coulis. This is then left overnight to set and freeze into a cannonball-shaped dish. When it’s ready, you cut into and serve, just as you would a cake. 

Banana icebox cake (Crayons & Cravings)Banana icebox cake (Crayons & Cravings)


  • Icebox Cake: This is a fuss-free dessert that requires no baking and only a handful of simple ingredients. With just wafer cookies or graham crackers, cream, condensed milk, and fruits, you can create the perfect summer cake to freshen up your guests while pleasing their taste buds. Simply layer the ingredients in a springform or baking pan, starting with the cookies, and adjust the quantities to your taste and the desired height and texture. Once assembled, the cake is placed in the fridge to develop its luscious flavours. Read our blog on Icebox Cakes to learn even more!

Oreo variety (Lil’ Luna)Oreo variety (Lil’ Luna)


  • Oreo Ice Cream Cake: This particularly rich twist on the classic recipe combines the creamy taste of vanilla ice cream and chunks of Oreo cookies, resulting in a half-crunchy, half-soft stack of deliciousness. 

Red velvet variety (The Kitchn)Red velvet variety (The Kitchn)


  • Red Velvet Ice Cream Cake: Here you have a classic American layer cake, enhanced with ice cream between the cake layers, instead of the traditional filling. Impress your guests with this special cake, and enjoy a smooth, cool slice under the parasol of a garden party. Also, did you know that there is a song called “Ice Cream Cake” by a K-Pop band named Red Velvet? It’s like it was made exactly for this specific cake. Click here to listen to it! 


Popular Ice Cream Cake Makers

It seems like everyone wants to join the fun! Many ice cream brands you know have made their own versions of this irresistible summer cake for you to try out. Here are just a few of them. Which one will you try first?


Fudge nut round cake (Baskin Robbins)

Fudge nut round cake (Baskin Robbins)


  • Baskin-Robbin’s: It’s no surprise that this major player in the ice cream world has their own selection of ice cream cakes. From fudge to sprinkles, cookie bits, and chocolate chips, you’ll find a cake that’ll suit any occasion.

  • Dairy Queen: With layers of chocolate ice cream, vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge sauce, and chocolate cookie crumbles, it’s topped with sweet whipped cream and, of course, sprinkles!

  • Marble Slab: Founded in Texas in 1983, this company now sells ice cream cakes all over Canada, coast to coast. They make ice cream cakes, both pre-designed and custom, and even photo cakes…which we’ll discuss here a little later.

  • Ben & Jerry’s: This name needs no introduction! Everyone has tried their ice cream before, but have you tried their cakes yet?

  • Abbey’s: This Calgary chain offers many beautiful creations and caters to every taste. Whether you’re into peanut butter, chocolate, gumballs, sprinkles, strawberry, or anything else, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

  • Bendick’s Ice Cream Factory: This Canadian company, which you can find in its own branches as well as supermarkets across the country, is committed to making great desserts at affordable prices.

  • The Merry Dairy:  This Ottawa-based baker makes ice cream cakes suited for every dietary preference, such as vegan and gluten-free. 

  • Carvel’s Cakes: Carvel is an American ice cream brand founded in 1929 and was one of the first companies to make not only ice cream cakes, but also soft-serve ice cream. To this day, they still make their delicious cakes.

A photo cake (Gurgaon Bakers)A photo cake (Gurgaon Bakers)


Pictures on Cakes

Whether at a kid’s birthday party or if you follow bakers on social media, you’ve most likely come across a photo cake. These cakes are actually selling like (no pun intended) hot cakes. They typically have the image of the birthday girl, boy, or the guest of honour printed on top. But how do bakers print pictures on cakes? Let’s find out!

Thanks to modern technology, this process is very simple. All the baker needs from you is a digital file of your picture. Next, thanks to a special kind of printer, an edible picture can be printed in the exact same way one prints a picture on a regular sheet of paper. But what do they print on, and with what, you might ask!

First of all, the edible paper used for this is called “icing paper” or “frosting sheet.” The earliest versions were made from rice, while today, there are several different types of icing paper and frosting sheets. They’re made from many different materials, such as potatoes, cornstarch, and sugar and starch mixtures. What about the ink? They’re made from sugar and food colouring! Pretty simple, eh?


Are They Safe to Eat?

Icing paper sheets are 100% edible, non-toxic, and safe to eat. Likewise, the inks used to print the pictures are completely edible and non-toxic. On top of that, they usually have little to no texture or taste. Most edible photos have very little texture and no significant taste. They’re designed to dissolve on a moist surface, such as a cake. Therefore, once applied and dissolved, the photo looks like it was printed directly on top of the cake itself.

Ice cream cakes are your best bet to end this summer on a high note! Whatever your tastes are, and whether you’re looking for a classic sort or a more avant-garde style, you will find the best one near you, thanks to Dessert Advisor. 

About us img


About the author is an organization dedicated to the research of desserts, baked goods, and snacks. The community maintains one of the largest databases of dessert items and dessert places in Canada. 


With a mission to facilitate foodies’ search for their desired products, the site allows finding locations that dessert items are sold at, enhances knowledge on various treats (i.e., variety, flavours, health benefits, history, origins, etc.), and enables people to enjoy the wealth of life. is a proud member of the BBB Business Review


Sign up for our newsletter:

Want to be in the know about the latest in desserts?

First Name


Related posts:
Other posts:
By type
By flavour
By topic
By holiday
By region

Looking for a dessert?