My mom is the homemade ice cream cake champ. Growing up, she would 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. Sometimes she would mix other surprises into the ice cream, such as 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 cheesing 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 of the components of my mom’s homemade ice cream cake can easily be made with more nourishing ingredients. The basics are: A paleo brownie base layer, a coconut milk ice cream middle layer, and a whipped cream topping, which can easily be swapped for whipped coconut cream.
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. It’s completely paleo, too, which means it’s dairy-free and grain-free!
When making this paleo ice cream cake, you have the option to use your ice cream flavor of 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.
With this recipe, you’ll need to make the brownie layer the night before, and put it 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 coconut cream topping and assemble the entire 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!
What I Love About This Paleo Ice Cream Cake Recipe
- This recipe makes creamy ice cream cake that’s customizable and completely homemade!
- While this cake has a lot of moving parts, it’s actually very simple to assemble.
- You get to choose your ice cream flavor—vanilla, chocolate, or mint chocolate chip all work great in this recipe!
- The ingredients are very simple, nourishing, and yummy.
- This recipe is completely paleo, dairy-free, and grain-free!
Tips and Tricks For My Paleo Ice Cream Cake Recipe
- If you have another paleo brownie recipe you love—you can use that too! We’ve also done a chocolate chip cookie bottom, and it is SO GOOD!
- Make the brownies the day before, and then place the pan in the freezer. The next day you’ll just make the whipped topping, and assemble!
- You can use a 9-inch springform pan to make a free-standing cake or a regular 9 x 13 cake pan! Both work great with this recipe.
- This paleo ice cream cake recipe makes 12 large pieces of cake.
- Make sure the lay the cake out for 10-15 minutes before eating. This will help the whipped coconut cream to soften for cutting.
- If using sprinkles as a garnish, place them on top of the whipped topping just before the final freezing. You can also drizzle the cake with melted dark chocolate. This works great with chocolate or mint chocolate chip ice cream!
This simple homemade ice cream cake layers brownie, ice cream, and whipped coconut cream. It’s the perfect indulgent treat that’s completely paleo!
- 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 dairy-free ice cream of choice (I use Coconut Bliss – Vanilla)
For the brownies:
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- Blend the almond butter in a large bowl until smooth. Then blend in the honey, eggs, and vanilla.
- Add the cacao powder, sea salt, and baking soda to the bowl and combine. (Note: batter will not be runny like traditional brownie batter.)
- Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- Spread the brownie batter into a greased 9-inch springform pan and bake for 25-35 minutes. You can also use a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
- Remove the brownies from the oven. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips evenly over the brownies, and spread with a spatula to create a thin, smooth layer of chocolate. Freeze the brownies in the pan overnight.
For the ice cream:
- Let the ice cream cartoons sit out at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
- Once the brownies are frozen, take them out of the freezer and spread the ice cream evenly on top of the brownie. Return the pan to the freezer for at least an hour.
For the whipped topping:
- Remove the two cans of coconut milk from fridge and open upside down.
- Gently pour out the coconut water that is separated on top.
- Place the thick coconut cream that remains into a bowl and whip until peaks form (about 2-3 minutes on high if using a mixer.) Add the honey while whipping.
- Remove the pan from freezer. If you’re 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, spread the whipped topping evenly on top of the ice cream. Garnish with sprinkles.
- Return the cake to freezer for 1-2 hours, or until completely frozen.
Before serving, let the cake sit out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
What do you think about this paleo homemade ice cream cake? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!