My mom is the homemade ice cream cake champ. Every year, she used to make her signature homemade ice cream cake for my dad, sister and I for our birthdays—and always let us choose the ice cream flavor when it was our special day. Sometimes she’d mix in surprises like peanut butter cups, chocolate chunks, or my favorite—globs of peanut butter.
Her cakes were pure, divine yumminess. And I probably have a photo of me cheesin’ big time in front of a homemade ice cream cake for every birthday I had until I graduated college. So, yes—I kind of miss them. That is, until now.
Eventually, it hit me that all the components of my mom’s homemade ice cream cake can be made using more nutrient-dense ingredients free of processed grains or dairy. It’s simply a layer of brownie, ice cream, and then a whipped icing-like topping. Not only is it way easy to make, it actually tastes better than the ones I got as a kid. (Sorry mom, you’re awesome. But you know it’s the truth!) In short, I’m super happy to have my homemade ice cream cake back in my life—and to share it with all of you.
When making this homemade ice cream cake, you have the option to use any dairy-free ice cream flavor of your choice. There are quite a few coconut milk ice cream flavor options now at speciality grocery stores, and almond ice “creme” is also making its way onto shelves. If you’re not interested in using store-bought dairy-free ice cream, you can make your own frozen cream using frozen bananas and coconut milk.
As a heads up, you’ll need to make the brownie layer the night before, and put in the freezer overnight. You’ll also want to place the cans of coconut milk in the fridge so the coconut water separates to the top. The next day, you’ll be able to make the whipped “cream” topping, and assemble the cake. It will need about 2-3 hours in the freezer after assembly to solidify.
Now, to use one of my dad’s favorite birthday quotes… Let them eat cake!
This paleo-friendly homemade ice cream cake layers brownie, ice cream, and whipped coconut cream to make the perfect frozen dessert that is free of soy, dairy, and grains!
- 1 (16 ounce jar) creamy almond butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (cocoa powder works as well)
- 3/4 cup raw honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
Ice Cream Layer:
- 2 (16 ounce) cartons coconut milk ice cream (we use the brand Coconut Bliss)
- – OR –
- 3 bananas, frozen
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
For the brownies:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit
- Blend almond butter in a large bowl until smooth, and then blend in honey, eggs and vanilla.
- Once wet mixture is combined, mix in cacao powder, sea salt, and baking soda. (Note: Batter will not be runny like traditional brownie batter.)
- Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- Spread batter into a well-greased 9-inch springform pan and bake for 25-35 minutes. You can also use a 9 x 13 glass baking dish if you don’t desire it to be “free standing.”
- Once brownies are done, pull them out of the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips evenly over brownies, and spread with a spatula to create a thin, smooth layer of chocolate. Freeze brownies overnight.
For the ice cream:
- If you’re using store-bought coconut milk ice cream, let the cartoons sit out for at least 10 minutes. If making your own, blend together frozen bananas and coconut milk in a blender until smooth.
- Take the brownies out of the freezer and spread the mixture evenly on top of the brownies with a spatula. Return to the freezer for at least an hour.
For the whipped topping:
- Remove can of coconut milk from fridge and open upside down.
- Gently pour out the coconut water that is separated on top. Place the thick cream that remains in a bowl and whip until peaks form (about 2-3 minutes on high if using a mixer.) Add honey while whipping.
- Remove unfinished cake from freezer. If using a springform pan, unlock your outer ring slowly, gently encouraging the ice cream to release from the sides of the pan with the spatula.
- Spread whipped topping evenly on top and around the sides of the cake. If using a glass baking dish, simply spread whipped topping evening on top of the ice cream.
- Return to freezer again for 1-2 hours
- Before serving, drizzled melted chocolate on top as a garnish
Have you made this homemade ice cream cake yet? Post below and let me know if you do!