Welcome summer with this Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake. An easy but show-stopping no-bake dessert. Vanilla ice cream and strawberries layered with fresh strawberry sauce in a vanilla cookie crust. This ice cream cake is refreshing and light, a favourite frozen dessert during the hotter months.
It's finally summer! Already, we have experienced days when it is just too hot (and too nice sitting by the pool) to be stuck in a hot kitchen.
But it was my daughter's birthday and she loves two things more than anything when it comes to dessrt. Strawberries and vanilla ice cream.
And she doesn't like cake (I know - I'm not sure we're related). So we usually celebrate with something that can be served with ice cream, like brownies, this strawberry crumb cake, or just a bowl of fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
Why this vanilla ice cream cake works
This strawberry ice cream cake could not be more perfect. Especially this time of year when strawberries are at their best.
Layers of vanilla and strawberry ice cream and store-bought frozen whipped topping (because I love the stuff).
This ice cream cake takes advantage of fresh sweet berries and includes a sauce between the ice cream layers. The sauce will get a little bit firm and icy, adding a nice texture and contrast between all the creamy ice cream layers. However, cooking the berries into this saucy puree avoids big frozen chunks of berries, which no one likes.
How to make the fresh strawberry sauce
The star of this cake is the fresh strawberry sauce. It is so easy, just a few simple ingredients.
Clean and slice 1 pint of fresh berries and place in a medium saucepan with some sugar. Bring to a simmer, the sugar will melt and the strawberries will release their juices. It takes just a few minutes.
I like to use my immesrion blender to puree the sauce right in the pan. It saves on clean up. But feel free to use a regular blender. Puree the strawberries until smooth.
Return to a simmer. Then make a little slurry of corn starch and cool water in a separate bowl. Make sure the corn starch is completely dissolved. Stir the mixture into the simmering strawberry sauce and simmer for one minute then remove from the heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
Allow the sauce to cool completely before using it to assemble the cake. Transfering the sauce to a separate bowl can speed up the cooling process.
How to assemble an ice cream cake
This strawberry vanilla ice cream cake is all about the layers.
- Vanilla cookie crust
- Vanilla ice cream
- strawberry sauce
- strawberry ice cream
- strawberry sauce
- vanilla ice cream
- whipped topping
- (sprinkles 🎉🎊🥳 )
📖 Ingredient and assembly notes
Let the ice cream warm up. It is perfect when you can stir it like a thick cake batter.
Take the ice cream out of the freezer about 30-40 minutes before you want to assemble the cake. It's okay if there are still some frozen chunks in there. Don't let it melt into soup -- otherwise, you will need to let it freeze between the layers.
If you find the ice cream is too soft to layer properly, put the cake into the freezer in-between each layer. It's okay if the strawberry sauce sinks a bit between the layers, but you don't want it to fall to the bottom of the cake. We really want to see that beautiful later of rich red sauce in the middle of the cake for the WOW factor!
I like using fresh sliced strawberries and tucking them around the edge of the cake. Do this after the first vanilla ice cream layer to help keep them into place.
You will need a 10 inch-spring form pan for this recipe, like this one.
what kind of ice cream to use
I used a small pint container of strawberry ice cream. Mostly I wanted a vanilla cake with highlights of strawberry. Feel free to switch up the ice cream flavors.
To fit perfectly into a 10 inch spring form pan you will need:
- 1.5 litre (US 1.5 Qt) container of vanilla ice cream (I used Breyers Classic Vanilla). I love the creamy sweetness of the classic vanilla flavour. Use your favourite vanilla ice cream.
- 500 ml (US ½ Qt) container of strawberry ice cream ( I used Hagandaz Strawberry) for a little decadent pure strawberry flavour.
- 1 litre of whipped topping (I used Cool Whip)
Freeze for at least 6-8 hours. It's best to let this cake freeze overnight before serving, so plan ahead.
This little bit of fat helps make the sauce smooth and creamy, without butter you might find the sauce feels a bit icy once frozen.
Yes- of course. Same process
Yes of course!
Strawberry and Vanilla Ice Cream Cake
- 10" spring form pan
- 1 pint fresh strawberries stemmed and halved or quartereed
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or corn starch
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Vanilla cookie crust
- 312 grams Nilla waffer cookiers
- ½ cup butter
- 1.5 liters vanilla ice cream I used Breyers family classic
- 500 mls strawberry ice cream I used Haagen Dazs
- 1 liters whipped topping
- I pint fresh strawberries sliced
Make the strawberry sauce
- In a medium sauce pan add 1 pint of cleaned, stemmed and halved strawberries and ⅓ cup of sugar. Bring to a simmer and simmer until strawberies are just softened. About 3 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth right in th pot.
- In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder and ¼ cup of cool water. Dissolve arrowroot completely. Pour into simmering strawberry sauce. Remove from heat just as it comes back to a simmer. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Stir for a couple of minutes to be smooth. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the cake
- In a food processor add the nilla crackers and pulse until finely and evenly ground into crumbs. Add ½ cup melted butter and pulse until combined. Mixture should stick together when you press it together with your hands.
- Press into a 10" spring form pan. Press about ⅓ up the sides of the pan.
- Spread half of the vanilla ice cream on top of the vanilla wafer crust. Drizzle ½ of strawberry sauce over top. Place strawberry slices around rim of cake pan. You can chill for 30 minutes at this point. Spread strawberry ice cream on top and then drizzle with remaining strawberry sauce. Chill if needed. Spread remaining vanilla ice cream. Then spread whipped topping over top of vanilla ice cream as final layer. The pan will now be full. Chill in the freezer - keep flat and level. Chill at least 8 hours, overnight is best.