This coffee ice cream cake has a decadent brownie bottom topped with coffee ice cream and a layer of vanilla ice cream swirled with fudge.
We’ve been slowly cleaning out my childhood home.
There’s almost 30 years of memories that in house. I’m finding little bits and pieces of my younger years every weekend.
Feeling a bit nostalgic, I started craving one of my favorite childhood treats- ice cream cake.
Here’s an updated adult version flavored with coffee ice cream!
Coffee Ice Cream Cake
Since my birthday was during the summer, ice cream cake was a requirement.
As a kid, I LOVED mint chocolate chip.
I’m not sure if it was the little chunks of chocolate scattered throughout the ice cream or the green color that I found so alluring.
These days I’m all about coffee.
Give me all the coffee: coffee mousse cheesecake, espresso chocolate cake, mint mojito coffee.
This coffee ice cream cake is an ice cream cake for the big kids!
Ice Cream Cake 101
Homemade ice cream cake
This ice cream cake starts with a brownie bottom.
It’s your standard brownie recipe baked in an 8-inch cake pan.
You could use any brownie recipe, including box mix to save time!
Once the brownies have cooled, place it in a cake ring mold lined with an acetate strip.
(If you don’t have a cake ring mold, you can also use a springform ring – the ones used to make cheesecake.)
Depending on how wide your acetate strip is, you might need to tape them together to build a taller cake (like I have photographed above).
Once the brownie is securely placed into the acetate lined cake ring, spread coffee ice cream inside.
While I find it’s best to use homemade freshly-spun coffee ice cream, you can totally use softened store-bought ice cream.
- Add brownie layer.
- Layer coffee ice cream on top. Freeze until almost frozen.
- Spread vanilla ice cream on top.
- Add dollops of chocolate fudge and swirl with vanilla.
- Place back in the freezer until top layer is frozen.
Ice cream cakes may take a little more time and effort than a traditional cake, but well worth the effort!
Regardless of the ice cream flavors, ice cream cake tastes like childhood.
I immediately remember my pool party birthdays and weekends playing at the beach.
Storage and Leftovers
Cover and wrap the assembled ice cream cake well to ward off any unwanted flavors from seeping in.
Ice cream cake keeps for about 2 weeks in the freezer.
The brownie will slightly harden in the freezer. For a softer brownie, substitute half of the butter with coconut oil or vegetable oil.
Coffee Ice Cream Cake
- 10 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 g)
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed (50 g)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons (113 g)* see note
- 3 large eggs, room temp
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour (87 g)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
Ice Cream Components:
- 1.5 pint (0.75 quart) homemade coffee ice cream, or store-bought
- 1 pint (0.5 quart) homemade vanilla ice cream, or store-bought
- 2 Tablespoon chocolate fudge, homemade or store-bought
- Preheat oven to 375 °F. Line 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease cake pan and set aside.
- Over a double boiler (bain-marie), gently melt together 8 oz of the chopped chocolate with sugars and butter. Once mixture is smooth and melted, removed from double boiler and allow to cool slightly.
- Add eggs, one at a time, to cooled chocolate mixture. Whisk until each egg is incorporated. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add flour mixture and remaining 2 oz of chopped chocolate to batter. Fold to combine until there are no longer any dry streaks of flour.
- Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until center of brownies no longer jiggle and a toothpick inserted in center of brownie comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Run a mini offset spatula around the edges of brownie to unmold. Unmold brownie and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Place cake ring mold on top of a parchment lined baking sheet. Line cake ring mold with acetate. Place cooled brownie on top of the cake board and place inside the ring mold.
- If using homemade coffee ice cream: Use freshly spun ice cream while it is still a little soft. Spread on top of brownie layer. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in freezer for 2-3 hours, or until the ice cream layer is solid.If using store bought ice cream: Place ice cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat ice cream until softened and spreadable, but still cold. Spread ice cream on top of brownie layer. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in freezer for 2-3 hours, or until the ice cream layer is solid.
- Remove ice cream cake freezer and add vanilla ice cream layer using homemade/store bought direction above.
- Spread vanilla ice cream into an even layer. Dollop chocolate fudge over vanilla. Use a knife to swirl chocolate into ice cream. Cover with plastic wrap and return to freezer for another 3 hours, or until ice cream layer is solid. At this point, overnight is best to ensure ice cream cake layers are set.
- Remove ice cream from freezer. Gently remove metal cake ring mold. Gently peel off acetate strip. If ice cream cake starts to melt, cover with plastic wrap and return to freezer.
- Use a sharp knife to cut into cake. Brownie layer will be a bit stiff during slicing. It will soften as you eat the ice cream cake. Enjoy immediately! Keep leftovers well wrapped and covered in the freezer.
- 8-inch ring mold, or springform pan
- acetate strip, or wax paper
- 8-inch cake board circle
Reader Questions and Reviews
gorgeous ice cream cake! I would have totally wanted this at my birthday party as a kid.
Thanks so much! :)
Your story touched my heart, Mary.I have been “mourning ” over my childhood memories and years too.May God bless you and yours.
Gorgeous Maryanne! Everyone loves an ice cream cake, especially me!!
Thanks Mary Ann! :)
if we had room in our freezer I definitely would be making this! Also the brownie part looks really good. Is this your go to brownie recipe?
Thanks Teresa! I have a couple go-to brownie recipes depending on what I’m craving (cake-like, fudge, etc). But this brownie recipe is definitely one of my favorites!
What a stunning ice cream cake! Did you say coffee ice cream?? It is my favorite! Love that balance of bitter and sweet. The brownie bottom looks like a perfect bottom for ice cream cake too. Trying this very soon. :)
Wow this looks delicious!
This recipe looks absolutely amazing and I cannot wast to try it. Just one question- Does the brownie base remain soft after freezing? I’ve experimented with homemade ice cream cakes in the past but despite bwing delicious, I was left with a rock hard brownie base after it was frozen :/
Yes, the brownie will harden in the freezer. It will be more like a dense, fudge like consistency. Try substituting half of the butter with coconut oil. Since coconut oil has a lower melting point than butter, it will soften at room temperature faster.
I can confirm the brownie was rock hard. Everything was delicious, but had to hand out a fork and knife so people could eat the brownie bit
Can I use a 9” Cake pan instead of an 8”?? I believe my spring form pan is also 9” or a little bigger.
Yes, you can use 9-inch. Make sure to use 9-inch for both brownies and assembly. Adjust cooking time by 3-5 minute. Also, the layers will be slightly thinner than the photograph.
I like it ❤️
Can you use a boxed brownie mix?
I made this and it turned out to be a huge success! I used the Trader Joe’s Coffee Bean Blast Icream.
Hi! I wanted to do this for my boyfriends birthday because he loves both coffee and ice cream, but I wanted to decorate it “galaxy themed” I was seeing that I could used stabilized whipped cream to decorate it around it, I was wondering if you think it would be possible to cover the cake in whipped cream once it is done?
Thank you! Excited to make it
Happy birthday to your boyfriend! Yes, you can cover the cake in whipped cream just before serving. Don’t put in the freezer once it is covered with whipped cream- as the whipped cream will separate as it warms up. You can also cover the cake with cool whip (which can be frozen).
I made this with homemade ice creams, split brownie in half so 4 layer cake and topped with chocolate ganache. It was a Mega hit at a birthday party!
That’s wonderful to hear! Glad it was a hit!
what is the purpose of the acetate?
The acetate holds the cake up during assembly inside the metal cake ring. Otherwise, you can use a deep springform pan. The acetate also ensure you’ll have clean edges when unmolding the cake.
Also, do you prefer or use the coconut oil when you prepare this beautiful dessert or do you prefer all butter?
All butter has better flavor. However, using coconut oil will lend to a softer texture.
Also Marianne, do you recommend making it with the coconut oil rather than all better?