Birthday Ice Cream Cake
A classic birthday ice cream cake with three layers of ice cream sandwiched between fluffy vanilla cake. (Pictures updated February 2021)
This is thirty!!
Who doesn’t want a slice of birthday ice cream cake on their 30th birthday? That’s what I thought, NO ONE.
But before we talk about cake, let’s talk about this whole turning THREE ZERO thing. To be honest I don’t know how I feel about it. Scared? Happy? Excited? Way back in my teen years, I remember talking to my then high school sweetheart in Sierra Leone about where we would be at 30; you know the usual married, kids, house, etc. I remember thinking “Gosh, that is so old” and now that it is here, I wish I felt a little older but this thing called graduate school is not helping me feel exactly completely ‘grown-up’.
With the start of a new decade, it is inevitable to take a ride down memory lane and reminisce of the past. The last decade I dare say was the hardest and best years yet! It was in these years I moved to the US permanently, met my best girlfriends, had my first drink and hangover (let’s not do that again!), graduated from college, met the man of my dreams, learned how to drive a car and bought my first car, lost my favorite man (dad), got married, made new lifelong friends, developed a passion for baking, started a blog, and made new friends online.
So much has happened in my 20s that it will be impossible to just forget these years and why I understand my not-too-ecstatic celebration of the end of that era. But I am looking forward to the next phase, whatever it may hold!!
Anyhoo, let’s talk about this cake! I always make my own birthday cake and I love experimenting at this time of the year. I love using this time to make a cake that I want to make but you know my picky family doesn’t really care for it because it is all chocolate with them. Last year, I made this Strawberry Lavender Cake and I loved it. However, this year I was not sure what I wanted to make. I even asked you guys on Facebook and you gave me so many great ideas. Ala’s suggestion of ice cream cake struck a chord with me as I had never made an ice cream cake before, so I decided to make one for my birthday!! Well funny enough, my grandma-in-law called a few days later and said she wanted an ice cream cake for our joint birthday celebration making it impossible to say no!!
I’m convinced I really need to make them more often because they are so easy to make and the flavor possibilities are endless. I am already thinking I need a cookies and cream version before the summer ends but that’s for another day, let’s focus on what’s inside this cake?
I made my favorite vanilla cake and used two homemade berry ice creams; this Coconut Raspberry Rhubarb Ice Cream and a Strawberry Ice Cream based on this recipe and a pint of vanilla ice cream. That is it!! All the ingredients you need to make this beauty. Of course, you can see how easy it is to customize to what you like. Use chocolate cake instead of vanilla, your favorite ice cream flavors (chocolate, cookie dough, mint chocolate, whatever), and just sandwich all in a beautiful presentation to WOW your birthday girl or boy! I used these sprinkles I got from Sprinkle Bakes new online store and I may have gone a little sprinkle crazy. Love the pearls!!
If you love fun cakes check out my step-by-step guide on how to make a makeup cake.
Birthday Ice Cream Cake
A classic birthday ice cream cake with three layers of ice cream sandwiched between fluffy vanilla cake.
- 1 9-inch vanilla cake (your favorite recipe or box mix)
- 1 pint Coconut Raspberry Ice Cream (or ice cream of your choice)
- 1 pint Strawberry Ice Cream (or another flavor ice cream of your choice)
- 1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Prepare your vanilla cake as your recipe or box instructs. You need just one round 9-inch cake. Let cool completely, slice horizontally in half and freeze.
- A day before serving, assemble the cake. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment. Spray parchment. Line the inside of the pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on all sides. Smooth out the plastic very carefully. Place the prepared pan in the freezer for at least an hour.
- Remove the first pint of ice cream from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to soften. Use a spoon and mix the ice cream until spreadable. Place one half of the cake at the bottom of the springform pan. Top with first pint of ice cream and spread evenly. Transfer to freezer and let firm up for at least an hour.
- Repeat with the other two pints of ice cream freezing each layer before adding the next. After the last layer of ice cream, top with the cake layer before freezing. Press firmly into the ice cream and make sure it sticks. Wrap cake top with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 3-4 hours but preferably overnight.
- On the day of serving, unmold cake from pan by passing a sharp knife around the edges before loosening the springform pan. Remove plastic wrap and move cake to a cake board or stand. Return to freezer.
- Using an electric mixer, in a medium bowl whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat until grainy.
- Remove cake from freezer and frost as you would normally with whipped cream. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Freeze cake for another hour.
- To serve, remove from freezer about 30 mins before serving. Cut with a sharp knife.
- You can use any cake flavor you like for the cake. Chocolate, vanilla, buttermilk, funfetti etc.
- Similarly, feel free to use your favorite ice cream flavors.
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Happy Birthday!!! This cake is gorgeous. Love all the sprinkles. And I’m totally glad you saved it to cut with your Grandma!
Thank you Mallory!! Sprinkles make everything pretty 🙂
Happy birthday!!! Wonderful cake and I wish you a fabulous day of celebrating!
This cake is so gorgeous!
Girl this ice cream cake is ah-maz-ing!!!! I want I want I want!!!
Oh, my goodness! When I first saw this, I thought that this must be the most complicated cake ever, but of course it isn’t. It looks incredible, though! Really incredible!
Oh, and happy birthday!!! And don’t worry, 30 is not so bad! In fact, I’ve enjoyed my 30s more than my 20s … 🙂
Happy birthday!! Perfect cake to celebrate
Happy birthday! I’ll be 30 this year too. I don’t know ow I feel about it, haha. That cake looks yummy! I want some! Haha. I hope you have a great birthday!
This cake is so pretty and is making me hungry! Happy 30th!!
Happy birthday!! I am trying to make the best of the last year of my 20s despite living with my parents while trying to find a job post-grad school.
Happy Happy Birthday!!! This ice cream cake looks beautiful! I lovelovelove all those sprinkles and I can just imagine how wonderful the inside looks. I’ve been wanting to make an ice cream cake similar to this recently, and you’ve just inspired me to actually do it. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful day, Zainab!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZAINAB! This cake is beyond gorgeous!! Hope today is amazing for you 🙂
Happy Birthday!!! Your cake looks beautiful. I’m rapidly approaching 30 and am terrified. Already passed all those ages that I thought I’d have gotten things done…when I was 17 I was sure I’d be married at 25 and kids at 27. Didn’t happen! But that’s ok, just funny how time flies.
Girl, 30 never looked so good. I’m all about reminiscing at birthdays. . your 20s sounded fabulous and I know your 30’s are going to be even better!!! I also thought 30 sounded SO old but now that I am . . ahem . . 40, 30 ain’t so bad 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZAINAB! love love love your ice cream cake. . I DO wish we could have seen the inside but I am picturing it in my head. . love that you used 3 kinds of ice cream! LOVE!
Happy Birthday to one of my favorite bloggers!! Here’s to an awesome year ahead for you:)
Happy Birthday, Zainab!
Love love love this recipe! I love that you make yourself a birthday cake every year. I’m so used to ordering one from my favorite bakery, but this year I might just take a page from your book and bake my own. (Or do both, LOL) And yes, ice cream cake is definitely the best for a birthday. I used to always get one of those terrible freezer burned ones from Baskin Robbins back in the day.
I’m sure this would be much better. 🙂 I’m going to try out your vanilla cake recipe soon because I have yet to find a recipe that I’ve actually liked. Tragic, I know.
Hope you have an amazing day!
Happy Happy Birthday!! This cake is gorgeous. Enjoy every bite. I turn 30 in just over a month. I am pretty excited for the birthday not so much the 30.
I turned 30 this year too! It was a little sad. This cake is a great way to celebrate though 🙂
A VERY HAPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAY ZAINAB!!!!!! <3 A new milestone to look forward to and what a fun way to bring in your 30th birthday! This cake looks DELISH!!!!! Ice cream cake is like the best thing ever and how cool that you get to celebrate it with your grandma-in-law!!!!! Enjoy your day! <3 :* PS: It's totally a must to go sprinkle crazy with such an amazing cake! 😀
Happy Birthday to you, my friend! this is a beautiful cake!
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADY!!!!!!! I wish you all the awesomeness and greatness in the world! One more year wiser and better. Your cake looks incredible. Ill be celebrating my birthday on the 26th this month and ive been trying to decide what kind of cake i want to make…..always nice to have a little inspiration !
First of all, 30!!!!! I’ve only been thirty for a month or two and it is pretty awesome 🙂 Happy birthday, dear Zainab! I hope you have a magical day (which is pretty much guaranteed with this gorgeous ice cream cake)!
Happy happy birthday Zainab! Oh my goodness, you had so many milestones in your 20s, no wonder this is a little bittersweet. You are so worth celebrating and I can’t think of a better cake to do that with! This is beyond gorgeous. Absolutely freaking gorgeous! It fits the lady who’s celebrating today 🙂 Wishing you the best day ever!
This cake is absolutely beautiful. Wish I could see the inside!! I love ice cream cakes too. I’m working on one right now! Happy birthday! 🙂
Happy birthday!! What a great cake to celebrate with! It looks so pretty!
Happy Birthday Zainab! Welcome to the 30’s club, it’s finally starting to sink in for me. This cake is so beautiful and I love the ice cream combo you stuck inside. Have an extra slice for me!
I had no idea you were turning the Big 3-0 — you don’t look a day over 22 from the photos I’ve seen of you! I loved my 30’s and hated to see them go. 🙂 I love how you listed what you’ve been through in your 20’s — you’ve accomplished so much and you’ve got much more to do. I hope you had a wonderful birthday, and this cake is just beautiful, by the way! It really looks professional and I’m sure it tasted that way too. Happy 30th, Zainab!
happy birthday dear. hope you have something wonderful planned for your big 30..
Happy happy birthday, sweet lady! This cake is the perfect way to celebrate!
Happy happy birthday girl! This cake looks amazing and what a great celebration cake 🙂
Ahhhh happy happy happy 30th!!! What an amazing decade filled with growth and joy and hardship and beauty. Thanks for sharing some sprinkles of it with us. I hope your day was absolutely lovely. You deserve it!
Happy happy 30th birthday Zainab! All those events in your 20’s are absolutely worth holding on to and remembering. Thank you so much for sharing some of those details with us.
Hope you had the most amazing and magical day today and wishing you all the best for your 30’s – I know you will rock them and accomplish so much 🙂
Ice cream cake with sprinkles is definitely my favorite for a birthday and yours looks absolutely gorgeous! Your grandma-in law must have loved it and so fun that you get to celebrate together!
Happy Birthday! This cake is amazing! So beautiful. My mom’s birthday is at the end of this month and I wanted to make an ice cream cake. I’m sooo glad I found this!
Your ice cream cake is so gorgeous, I might have to make one for my birthday:-)
I hope you had a wonderful day celebrating the big 3-0. It’s amazing what happens in a decade… I feel like 20 to 30 is a HUGE time of growth and change. I mean, we were still practically kids 10 years ago! Here’s to the next 10:-)
Thank you Lauren!! You are so right! We were practically kids 10 years ago 😉
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
I remember thinking that TWENTY sounded old when I was younger…oh to be that naive. 😛 This cake is amazing. Probably the prettiest thing I’ve seen in a long time!
THANK YOU dear!!!
Thank you Julie!!
Happy birthday!!! This cake is absolutely beautiful, this is a perfect celebration cake!!! I hope that you and your family enjoyed this cake and celebrating together!
Thank you Renee!!
This cake is stunning! Happy belated!
I can vividly remember teasing my mom that 30 was soooooo old. Now that I am 31 I can’t believe I teased her so. I don’t feel old at all!
Hhahah I know. Now that it is here I do not feel old at all lol!
I felt the same when I hit 30 too. In fact, I remember being out with friends at around 15-16 and thinking this 25 yr old friend of a friend was old. Oh how I take that back! I wasn’t looking forward to my 30’s so I just kept repeating to myself that it was thirty, flirty and fabulous! 😆 That was over 3 yrs ago now. :/
And wow, that is one heck of a cake. It looks absolutely beautiful and divine. So perfect for the time of year too with those delicious layers of ice cream. I imagine you, your grandma and your family inhaled this masterpiece. Gorgeous. Pinning.
You know that’s a great idea!! Flirty and fabulous lol!! Thanks Lisa 🙂
This looks amazing! So fun and cheerful, too, perfect for a celebration!
Thank you Maris!!
Zainab, it sounds like your 20s were amazing but trust me, your 30s will bring you even bigger and better things. I’ve been in my 30s now for four years and I can honestly say I wouldn’t relive the turmoil, self-discovery, doubt and schooling that I endured in my 20s. While I’m not entirely “there” yet, I’m still far more confident and happy with myself than I was in my younger years. I also bake my own bday cakes every year and next year, I’m taking a cue from you – I want a birthday ice cream cake too! This looks 1000 times better than the ice cream cakes from a certain chain of restaurants (cough cough DQ cough cough). And your ice cream flavours are awesome. I hope you and your grandma enjoyed every sweet bite!
Thank you so much Nancy! You are so right. The 20s were filled with lots of self-discovery and doubt that I will not miss at all. Hopefully I get more and more confident in my body and self in the next decade. And yes, you need to make a nice cream cake!! They are too good!!!
Wow i’m so late on wishing you happy birthday, but anyway happy birthday!
You’ve accomplished great things in life, good for you!
I really understand what you’re talking about when saying about the age of thirty “gosh that’s so old” , I remember that this is xactly what i thought and now i can’t believe that the youngsters were born on 2000.
Back then the 80’s were considered the kids (i have a couple of years till thirty).
When thinking of the age 30 now like you i don’t see it as old as i thought back then, however when thinking of all those teenagers that were born in the late 90’s make me feel not so young lol.
The ice cream cake is gorfeous! and i really love this kind of simple cakes and with ice cream yummy!
Thanks for the post and a very happy birthday!
That’s so true Michal! Thanks for the wishes!
It’s been an eventful decade!! Michael will still be in grad school when he turns 30 too!
anyway….HAPPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY you beautiful amazing woman you!!
and thank you for this cake-loooooove the concept of using ice cream between the cake layers!!
Thank you thank you!! It’s annoying to still be in school at 30 but grad school happens lol
Sprinkles! They’re just the best, aren’t they?! 😉 Love this gorgeous cake, girl!
Hi, Love this cake. Could you please tell me
what # frosting tip you used for the top circle
of the cake??
Thank you in advance.
Hi Nancy, thanks. I used Wilton Tip # 1M which is just a large open star tip. It’s my favorite tip to use for decorating cakes. you can find it in most craft stores (Michael’s, JoAnn Fabrics etc).
I just came across your blog , in search of more ice cream cake ideas. One, I have to say Happy Belated Birthday. Two, looking through your decorated cakes are inspirational , just Awesome !!. It is nice to see someone else likes to make fancy tall cakes. And sometimes they take a day or two to make .But worth all the yum and smiles .You go Girl, and thank you for sharing your talent. God Bless. Keep up the good work.
Hi KT. Nice to have you hear. I love celebration cakes too 🙂 The work is always well worth it!!
I’m 13 and I made this vale for my birthday and it was amazing my hole family loved it l💕 definitely going to make again
Hi Lola! I am so glad to hear you loved this cake. Happy birthday!!
Hi! Is Any type of cake ok? Doesn’t need to be a sponge cake? I’m worried the consistency of the cake While frozen will be too hard…
I did a regular vanilla cake recipe. The homemade recipe you can find on my blog ere. I don’t think the consistency matters as much as the ability of the cake to withhold the strength of frozen ice cream without collapsing.
I want to try this cake or similar for my daughters 5th birthday.
Just wonder how soft vanilla cake works out in consistency or if would be better using a bottom and top made out merengue? You tried your cake – would you think merengue could be better, or not? In either case I’ll make some Small merengue cookies to put on top with sprinkles – and an Elsa figure 😀👌
I have never made frosting out of just whipped cream and sugar, it will be interesting – like sweet whipped cream. Must be very nice for ice cream I imagine 😊
I haven’t tried it with meringue but just thinking of how they absorb liquid and break down, I wouldn’t use them to sandwich the ice cream cake. They would be great as decorations!
Hi! I am really looking forward to giving this recipe a try since my son requested an ice cream cake for his birthday. Since I’m a busy mama and won’t have time the day of serving for making the whipped cream, frosting the cake and putting in in the freezer, and then letting it sit for 30 min before cutting….do you think if I frost it with the whipped cream the day before serving it will stay nicely in the freezer? I have never frozen homemade whipped cream, I usually gobble it right up after I make it.
Hi Alison, I have never frozen it either, to be honest. However, from past experiences buying ice cream cakes, the whipped cream can be frozen and always seems fine as the cake is served semi-frozen and not thawed. I would think it is worth it to be able to have it already prior to birthday.
I am so happy and thankful to you that you shared this beautiful post. My grandma was very happy to have this cake I tried making it for her and that too very first time. Thanks a lot.
So glad to hear! Thank you!
Hi let you know you helped with your reciepe for birthday scream cake that I’m planning making for my son for his birthday next week since he has to have dairy free ,gluten free and soy free to make his day so I can still make one of his favorite flavor of cake and it’s my first time using ice cream cake .i just want say thanks coming up a easy recipe for one has food restrictions why I google to help find recipes for my son .
Very glad to help!! Hope you have a wonderful birthday 🙂
I just made this for my daughter’s 3rd birthday and everyone loved it! As long as you give yourself sufficient time to freeze layers and decorate, it is so easy to make. We are vegan so I used Funfetti mix with egg replacer and did a layer of vegan strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream. I also just used a store bought vanilla frosting, but it held up nicely in the freezer. I’m raving about this to everyone. My husband even requested one for his birthday next month. Thanks so much!!
So glad to hear Elise!!! I love the customizations you made to fit your family.
This ice cream cake looks so yummy and the recipe is also very helpful for us.
You’re doing a great job Man, Keep it up.
I need to travel about 1-1/2 hours with this cake. What do you recommend to keep it from melting?
Freeze it overnight and make sure it is really frozen. Then transport in a cooler? If not, I would say just transport in a cooled-down car. An hour should be fine!