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’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 easily be made without the refined sugar—and completely gluten and dairy free if needed with some easy swaps.
This homemade ice cream cake uses an almond butter brownie recipe for the base, your choice of dairy-free ice cream, and whipped coconut cream for the topping.
Not only is this homemade ice cream cake 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.
With this recipe, 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 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!
This simple homemade ice cream cake layers brownie, ice cream, and whipped coconut cream. It’s the perfect indulgent treat, and suitable for people who are dairy-free and gluten-free!
- 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.
Have you made this homemade ice cream cake yet? Post below and let me know if you do!