Brownie, chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge & even more chocolate make this chocolate ice cream cake over the top delicious. So easy to prepare – it’s the ultimate ice cream treat for true chocolate lovers.
The Perfect Chocolate Ice Cream Cake
Ice cream cake is the perfect dessert for warm weather, and this chocolate ice cream cake is the perfect dessert for chocoholics. It starts with a thick brownie base, then there’s cold and creamy chocolate ice cream on top. It’s then topped with fudgy chocolate ganache and a little chocolate frosting around the edges to add even more chocolate and give it a truly impressive look.
The recipe itself takes very little effort, but you need to plan in advance so that the ice cream has enough time to firm up. I typically make the brownie base and assemble the chocolate layer the day before I plan to serve, and then do the toppings the next day.
Making the Cake – Tips & Tricks
For the brownie base, you can use any recipe that’s designed for an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square pan. You can use box mix brownies or I also like to use my one-bowl chewy brownie recipe, minus the chocolate chips, because it’s very quick and easy. You’ll bake the brownie batter in a 9-inch round springform pan, and it will take about the same amount of time as the recipe states.
Pro Tip: I don’t recommend any brownies with added chocolate chips (chocolate chips melted into the batter is ok) because the chocolate chips make the brownie base very hard to slice when the ice cream cake is frozen.
After the brownie is fully cooled, you’ll spread softened chocolate ice cream on top. It’s important to let the ice cream soften for about 20-30 minutes first. Then you’ll transfer the ice cream to a bowl and give it a stir so that it’s a smooth consistency – like soft serve. This is key so that you get a smooth layer of ice cream and it freezes evenly. You’ll spread the ice cream over the cooled brownie, cover the pan, and then pop it in the freezer for the ice cream to firm up overnight.
I always add the toppings the next day. You need the chocolate ice cream to be fully hardened before adding the chocolate ganache. I used a combination of chocolate ganache on top and chocolate frosting around the edges which I included in the recipe below.
Alternatively, you could:
- Whip ½ cup whipping cream with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and spread an even layer on top of the cake
- Drizzle each piece with chocolate sauce or hot fudge when serving
- Sprinkle crushed Oreo cookies on top of the cake
- Some combination of the 3
Chocolate overload, cold and creamy, simple prep – this homemade chocolate ice cream cake is perfect for warm weather. Or just whenever you’re in the need for chocolate.
More Ice Cream Cake Recipes to Love:
Chocolate Ice Cream Cake
- 9-inch springform pan
Brownie Base* or use your favorite recipe
- ½ cup vegetable oil (120 ml) or canola
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar (250 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk discard the egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (94 grams)
- ¾ cup cocoa powder (60 grams)
Ice Cream Layer
- 1.5 quart chocolate ice cream (about 1.5 litres)
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (85 grams)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream (80 ml)
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter (74 grams) softened
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (20 grams)
- 1 - 2 cups powdered sugar (110 - 220 grams)
- 1-3 tablespoons whipping cream (15-45 ml) or milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees.
- Wrap the outside of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with aluminum foil. This is to ensure the brownie batter doesn't leak out if your pan doesn't have a tight seal. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Whisk in the 2 eggs, additional egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the flour and cocoa powder until evenly mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few damp crumbs. Cool fully.
Ice Cream Layer
- Take the ice cream out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to soften.
- Add the ice cream to a large bowl and stir until the ice cream is a smooth and even consistency (like soft serve ice cream).
- Spread the ice cream over the cooled brownie base.
- Cover the pan and place in the freezer for at least 12 hours to firm up. I typically do this overnight.
Chocolate Ganache (Optional)
- Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream until almost boiling (I do this in the microwave), then pour over the chocolate.
- Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate isn't entirely melted, microwave on medium power (not high power, which is the default on most models) for 45 seconds, and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the ganache over the ice cream cake and smooth the top as needed. Cover the pan and place back in the freezer to frim up.
Chocolate Frosting (Optional)
- Beat the butter until smooth.
- Mix in 1 cup powdered sugar until no longer lumpy, followed by the cocoa powder.
- Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, alternating with a spoonful of cream until the desired sweetness and thickness is reached.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag (I used a 1M tip) and pipe rosettes around the edges of the pan. Either serve immediately, or return to the freezer until ready to serve.
- Take the cake out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes first.
- Gently trace around the outer edges of the pan with a thin knife, then unclamp the outer ring of the springform pan.
- Slice with a sharp, thin knife. Be sure to cut all the way through the brownie base. For clean cuts, wipe off the knife after each slice.
- This recipe can also be made in a 10-inch springform pan. The bake time for the brownie base will be about 20-25 minutes instead.
- For the brownie base, feel free to use your favorite brownie recipe that's designed for an 8x8 or 9x9 inch (20x20 or 23x23 cm) pan. The bake time will be about the same. You can also use brownie mix. I do not recommend adding chocolate chips in the base (melted chocolate is fine), because the frozen chocolate chips are very hard to slice.
- Instead of chocolate ganache and frosting, feel free to top your cake with:
- Just the ganache
- Just the frosting
- Beat ½ cup whipping cream with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake.
- Leave plain and drizzle the top of each piece with chocolate sauce or hot fudge.
- Crushed Oreo cookies
- Store the cake covered in the freezer for up to 2 week. Make sure the pan is covered tightly so that the cake doesn't get freezer burn.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 slice with ganache and frosting, assuming the cake is sliced into 12 equal pieces and all the frosting is used.