3-Layer Ice Cream Cake Recipe

This easy Vanilla Ice Cream Cake recipe has everything that you love, creamy vanilla ice cream on top of a soft vanilla sponge cake & luscious ganache. If you are looking for a showstopper dessert recipe, then you have come to the right place.

This 3 layer ice cream cake recipe was the part of my plan for celebrating my husband’s birthday. So, when he asked for an ice cream cake this year, I wanted to make him a cake that was more like an indulgent dessert.

Since his choice of flavour is through and through vanilla, I chose my super easy 1-2-3 Vanilla Sponge Cake recipe for the base. Next, I topped with some store-bought Vanilla ice cream. Finally some ganache and chopped pistachios to put the final touch to this delicious birthday cake.

Once it was done, I realized that it wasn’t difficult at all. All it needed was a little bit of planning ahead and some quality ingredients to make this ice cream cake recipe with chocolate ganache topping.

In this post, I will share all the details on how I planned this cake ahead and made it over two days so that I can easily bring out this super fancy (yet ridiculously easy) Vanilla Ice Cream Cake for a birthday celebration.

Birthday Special – Ice Cream Cake recipe – easy & delicious!

As much as daunting and difficult it might appear, this vanilla ice-cream cake is quite easy to make. Just a little bit of planning and you will have a super stunner of a dessert for your celebration. Oh! And a springform cake pan. That’s non-negotiable.

Here’s how I planned this cake ahead keeping our preferences in mind.

  1. The Base Cake – I baked a simple vanilla sponge cake for the base. I replaced butter with oil in this recipe for a couple of reasons.
    First, it reduced the calorific value of the cake. Second, since this is a frozen dessert, a butter-based cake would freeze hard. On the other hand, an oil-base cake would remain soft and also soak up some of the ice-cream, making it even more flavorful.
    There are a couple of alternates to this vanilla cake. I have listed them below.
  2. The Ice Cream layer – Since vanilla is a popular choice in my house, I used vanilla ice cream for this cake. You may use any other flavour and create your favourite combo. More options below.
  3. Ganache – To give a complete look to this cake, I went for a ganache frosting. Again I have included the written recipe for Ganache below in this post.
  4. Topping – I went for a simple topping because I made this cake for a man who loves minimalism. So, a couple of pistachio nuts got chopped and sprinkled around the edge for a classy look.

How to make Vanilla Ice-Cream Cake – Ingredients list

  • Ingredients for the Vanilla Sponge Cake
    • All-purpose Flour
    • Cornflour
    • Sugar
    • Eggs
    • Refined Sunflower Oil – alternate would be any neutral oil
    • Milk
    • Baking Powder
    • Baking Soda
    • Vanilla Extract
  • Ingredients for Ganache
    • Dark Chocolate compound
    • Fresh Cream
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Pistachio Nuts for topping
Vanilla Ice Cream Cake recipe Chocolate Ganache topping

Possible (delicious!) variations to this Ice-cream Cake recipe

  • Oreo Ice Cream Cake recipe
    In case you are looking for a no-bake ice cream cake recipe then you can skip the vanilla sponge and go for a base of crushed Oreos instead. Simply crush some Oreo cookies and push them at the bottom of a springform cake pan. Freeze it for an hour before assembling the layers as shown here.
    This will give you a ice cream cake recipe without oven usage. Just assemble and freeze.
  • Brownie Ice Cream Cake recipe
    Who doesn’t love the combination of rich brownies and ice cream? How about bring them together for an ice-cream cake! My Chocochip Brownie recipe is quite a perfect choice. With each scoop you will get buttery brownie, ice cream and luscious dark chocolate ganache.
  • Ice-Cream Cake recipe with simple variations.
    If vanilla is too blande for you, then you can go for any other flavoured cakes for the base. You can use my Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake recipe in case chocolate sounds good for you.
  • Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake
    You can also pair various flavours like this one here has a chocolate cake base with layers of vanilla an strawberry ice cream. Then the entire cake is covered with buttercream frosting and ganache topping.

Choice of Ice-Creams for this Cake

Let me put it this way, it is totally upon you which flavour you choose for this ice-cream cake. It is your canvas to paint so go as you like. I am giving you couple of flavour combinations to start with.

  • Vanilla Sponge Base + Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Sponge Base + ChocoChip Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Sponge Base + Strawberry Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Sponge Base + Coffee Ice Cream
  • Funfetti Cake + Strawberry Ice Cream
  • Red Velvet Cake + Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Vanilla Cake + Blueberry Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Cake + Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

Options are endless. You can go as you like with the cake and ice cream pairing. You can even slice the cake horizontally and sandwich a layer of ice cream between them.

Gather the ingredients.

In a heatproof bowl, add 200 gms of chopped dark chocolate compound. To this add 1/4th cup of fresh cream or heavy cream.

Using Microwave method

Put the bowl in Microwave and turn it ON on High Power for 30 seconds. Bring it out and whisk. If you see there are lumps of chocolate in it, then put it back for 15 seconds. Repeat if needed till you get a smooth and luscious ganache.

Using Baine Marie or Double Boiler method

Place the bowl on a saucepan with water boiling in it. Note that the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. The steam from the boiling water will melt the chocolate and the cream upon whisking. Once it becomes lump-free and smooth, remove from the heat.

Split Ganache Troubleshooting

Does your ganache look split, grainy or oily? Is there liquid fat floating on your chocolate lumps? Don’t worry, just act fast. Add a teaspoon of boiling hot water and whisk. Whisk as you have never before! Repeat adding a teaspoon of boiling water till you see it turn into luscious and shiny ganache again.

Have you tried this recipe? I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below along with a rating to let me and others know about it.
Tag me on Instagram @priyankabhattacharya.sa or Facebook @hashdiaries and I will share it further.

3 Layer Ice Cream Cake Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Chilling Time
4 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs

This easy Vanilla Ice Cream Cake recipe has everything that you love, creamy vanilla ice cream on top of a soft vanilla sponge cake & luscious ganache. If you are looking for a showstopper dessert recipe, then you have come to the right place.8

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Birthday Cake Recipe, Cake Recipes, Dessert Recipes, Ice Cream Cake Recipe, Summer Recipes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Priyanka
For Vanilla Sponge Cake Base
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour With 2 tbsp of it replaced with an equal amount of Cornflour
  • 1/2 cup Refined Oil
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
For the Dessert
  • 2 cups Vanilla Ice Cream Around 500ml
  • 200 gms Dark Chocolate compound
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cream
  • Chopped Pistachios to garnish
Bake the Vanilla Sponge Base
  1. Prepare the cake pan by lining the bottom and the sides with baking parchment paper.

  2. Take a bowl and mix all the dry ingredients together. Sieve them through and keep them aside.
  3. Now, in another bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt, till light and almost 3 times in its volume.
  4. Add oil and vanilla extract to the eggs and whisk them vigorously till light and airy.
  5. Now, add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and mix gently. Once you see that the dry ingredients have incorporated nicely, stop mixing.
  6. Now, pour the batter in the springform cake tin and bake it at 170c for 30 minutes. Once you see that the cake has baked and the sides are pulling back from the edges, you know that it is done.
  7. Take it out and allow it to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes before turning it upside down on wire rack to cool down completely.
To Prepare the Ice Cream layer
  1. In the same springform pan, line the inside with clingfilm sheet.

  2. Now, line the bottom with the ice cream. Press it to make a layer of it. Gather the ends of the clingfilm sheet and wrap it to cover the ice cream.

  3. Freeze the ice cream layer for 3-4 hours.

To Prepare the Ganache
  1. In a heatproof bowl, add the finely chopped dark chocolate compound and fresh cream or heavy cream.

  2. Put the bowl in Microwave and turn it ON on High Power for 30 seconds. Bring it out and whisk. If you see there are lumps of chocolate in it, then put it back for 15 seconds. Repeat if needed till you get a smooth and luscious ganache.

To Assemble the Dessert
  1. Place the vanilla sponge cake at the bottom. Trim the top if needed to make it flat

  2. Take the frozen ice cream layer and place it on the top of the sponge cake.

  3. Pour the ganache on the top to cover the entire dessert.

  4. Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts.

  5. Serve chilled immediately. Or put it in the freezer till you are ready to serve

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Indian Food Blogger Priyanka Bhattacharya

Hi! I’m Priyanka!

A passionate home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favourite recipes with the world.


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