15 Truly Unique Ice Cream Cakes To Wow Your Next Party

Being in charge of a gathering requires a number of decisions. As far as we're concerned, the dessert you're serving is one of the most important. There are endless possibilities, however, one sweet treat trumps them all — ice cream cake. This frozen treat not only looks and tastes phenomenal, but it also makes life a ton easier. Instead of having to scoop individual portions of ice cream while partygoers await, all the components come together in one creation.

Some people leave ice cream cakes to the professionals because they can appear daunting. However, the truth is that with a bit of planning, they're achievable for the average joe. So, what do you need to know before making an ice cream cake? You'll want to prepare your freezer space beforehand, soften the ice cream before layering it, and use a hot knife to cut the finished cake. Another DIY ice cream cake tip for success is to place your empty pan and other baking tools in the freezer prior to assembling the cake.  

Now that you have the scoop, all you need to do is choose one of these dazzling ice cream cakes to take on. Your guests and your tastebuds will certainly thank you.

1. Samoas ice cream cake

It's no mystery that Girl Scout cookies are delicious as is, but how about making a Samoas ice cream cake? This recipe only requires four ingredients along with the Samoas, and it brings a sense of nostalgia to everyone who tries it. The combination of crushed cookies and rich caramel ice cream makes this cake incredibly decadent, while the toasted coconut adds a pleasant textural contrast. This cake can serve eight people, but simply adjust the recipe to fit a bigger pan if you're hosting a large party.

Since the flavors are so timeless, this ice cream delight works for all occasions, from birthdays and anniversaries to retirement parties. To ensure the cake is fully set, allow it to chill in the freezer for two hours minimum prior to serving it. Finally, drizzle dessert sauces over the cake, or add other embellishments like homemade whipped cream or fresh fruits.

2. Vegan layered pint cake

Ben & Jerry's vegan layered pint cake is one impressive-looking ice cream cake. It is assembled in pint-sized ice cream containers, making it extra unique. This dessert might be a big project if you're hosting a large get-together, but it is a winner for smaller parties. Although the recipe suggests using Ben & Jerry's non-dairy coffee caramel fudge, you're welcome to use your favorite flavor. The tricky part is getting the ice cream out of the container while ensuring its shape doesn't become askew (you want it to fit perfectly into the carton when assembling the cake).

After cutting the baked cakes and ice cream to look like round pucks, alternate layering them in the pint container. When it's time to serve, cut the carton in half with a sharp knife, uncovering the layers inside. Revealing the cake as a surprise is a fun idea since it looks just like a normal pint of ice cream from the outside. Making this frozen dessert birthday-themed with colorful cake and confetti ice cream is just one way to customize this treat.

3. Triple-layer ice cream cake

While it is nice to have elaborate ice cream cakes, sometimes it's better to make a dessert that is certain to appease everyone. This triple-layer ice cream cake is the optimal choice because it contains chocolate, strawberry, and pistachio ice cream (or vanilla if you prefer). The multi-colored look is charming, and whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherry toppings perfectly complement the taste of the cake.

For best results, use maraschino cherries for the garnish, which have a vivid color and offer a sugary-sweet flavor. Use either vanilla or chocolate-flavored shortbread cookies to prepare this frozen treat. Both kinds taste divine when combined with the various ice cream flavors and are sure to be crowd pleasers. Keep in mind that you will need a cake ring to assemble this beauty successfully. This recipe provides you with an 8-inch cake, which gives you the freedom to cut it into as many slices as you wish. 

4. Angel food ice cream cake

You may have never considered creating a frozen angel food cake, but since Breyers and So Yummy partnered up to create this winning formula, that's all we can think about. This recipe utilizes pre-made angel food cake, but if you have the time to make it from scratch, by all means, go for it. The cake has delicious elements of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream in addition to chocolate shavings, freeze-dried fruits, and coconut.

There is enough ice cream cake for 12 hungry people to enjoy, making it ideal to serve at celebrations. The best part? Since the angel food cake has a hollow center, you're able to stuff it with fresh fruits (or any other filling you'd like) to create a presentation like no other. While this cake takes a bit of preparation and focus, the outcome is worth it and it tastes just as scrumptious as it looks.

5. S'mores ice cream cake

Look no further if you want an ice cream cake full of comforting elements — this healthy s'mores ice cream cake is meant for you. Registered dietitian Liz Shaw created this recipe using Halo Top ice cream, but any brand will do. Vanilla bean and chocolate are the only two ice cream flavors you need to bring this heavenly treat together.

After all, the other ingredients bring the cake to life. Mini marshmallows, graham cracker cereal, and cacao nibs are just a few of the tasty elements. This recipe provides eight slices of cake, and making it a day in advance produces the best results. Put your kitchen torch to good use when toasting the marshmallows right before you present the cake to your party guests. What's a s'mores-themed dessert without pleasantly charred marshmallows? This detail provides the final touch that turns a good cake into a great one.

6. Classic chocolate ice cream cake

This classic chocolate ice cream cake is the prime dessert of choice for chocolate lovers. The recipe yields eight servings and calls for a boxed cake mix, making it oh-so-easy to bring this treat to life. With chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, and chocolate sauce, this dessert is not for the faint of heart. Sprinkle some chopped nuts over top just before slicing it to give this cake an elegant look. Not to mention, the crunchy texture of the nuts is excellent paired with the silky chocolate layers. Try using peanuts, hazelnuts, or even mixed nuts to enhance this treat. 

You'll want to bookmark this recipe for your next gathering since this formula works for virtually any occasion. Just remember to be patient when working on the recipe, as you risk melting the chocolate elements. To avoid a gooey mess, leave ample time for the cake to cool.

7. Oreo, ice cream, and Cool Whip ice cream cake

This effortless Oreo, ice cream, and Cool Whip ice cream cake is so delectable it's hard to believe that you need just three ingredients to make it. Next time you're preparing for an event, run to the store and pick up Oreo cookies, a couple of tubs of ice cream, and a few containers of Cool Whip — it's as simple as that. Use the cream-filled cookies as a base for the cake to make it easy to release as you're serving it. Assemble the ice cream cake in a 13x9-inch pan for best results.

This recipe is terrific because it's easily adaptable so you can use whichever flavor of ice cream you know your guests will devour. Plain vanilla bean gives a timeless cookies-and-cream feel, while using the suggested flavor (mint chocolate chip) makes for a refreshing treat. The ball is in your court for the toppings; use birthday candles and additional Oreo crumbles, or get more creative with garnishes like hot fudge, M&M's, or strawberry sauce for an unforgettable dessert.

8. Baskin-Robbins ice cream tiramisu

If you and your favorite people are fans of traditional tiramisu, tiramisu ice cream cake is a must for your upcoming party. You can commend Baskin-Robbins for creating this masterpiece of a recipe. With ladyfingers, espresso, and Kahlúa coffee liqueur, this frozen treat has many of the same elements as the classic version of the dessert. However, it also has Baskin-Robbins tiramisu ice cream, which is where the magic happens. Following this recipe, you end up with a tasty 5x9-inch cake that will divide into however many portions you wish. If you don't think a loaf pan will make a cake large enough for your gathering, adjust the ingredient amounts so it can fit a larger pan.

The recipe recommends using chocolate shell ice cream coating to finish the cake and give a smooth glossy finish to the surface. If you pour just the right amount of topping, it leaves gorgeous chocolate drippings down the side of the cake. Of course, you can't go wrong with a classic dusting of cocoa powder if you want the original look instead. Either way, this ice cream cake takes you straight to Italy with its familiar flavors.

9. Traditional spumoni ice cream cake

This traditional spumoni ice cream cake is similar to a triple-layer cake, except it has a few key differences. Rather than using strawberry ice cream, this cake opts for cherry ice cream. Therefore, it offers the classic spumoni flavors: chocolate, cherry, and pistachio (not to be confused with Neapolitan ice cream, which is a whole different ball game). Additionally, instead of using cookie crumbs, this recipe contains chocolate waffle cones — how marvelous does that sound? The crushed-up waffle pieces are combined with melted butter to create a sturdy yet delightful foundation for the ice cream.

The recipe produces eight servings and takes less than a half-hour to build. Of course, that doesn't include the time it takes for the ice cream to solidify in the freezer. This option is a top-tier choice for birthdays, and by garnishing it with cherries, pistachios, and chocolate chunks, it's more than Instagrammable. You won't regret trying this polychromatic treat.

10. Breyers banana split ice cream cake

Who could say no to an ice cream cake that tastes like a good old-fashioned banana split? Breyers shared this clever recipe which calls for smashed chocolate wafers, Breyers homemade vanilla ice cream, fresh bananas, hot fudge, and more. You'll love the fact that it only takes 20 minutes to assemble this mouthwatering dessert. Breyers recommends personalizing the toppings to fit your preferences but suggests cherries, peanuts, whipped toppings, or other fresh fruits. Simply layer the cake in a baking dish; a 13x9-inch pan is ideal, but a round pan works too, though you might have some extra ingredients that you can use for the garnish.

The dessert needs approximately four hours to set up correctly, but the best way to go about it is to freeze it overnight. Prepping for a party can get a bit overwhelming anyway, so it doesn't hurt to make it a day or two in advance if you're able to. This cake is genius because rather than individually building banana splits for all your guests, you can simply slice the cake and dish it out. Setting up a topping bar where guests can garnish their frozen banana split cake as they please is another great option.

11. Dreyer's rocky road ice cream cake

This ice cream cake is for all the rocky road fanatics out there. Dreyer's created this recipe using its own rocky road collection ice cream, a batch of brownies, and whipped topping. The ice cream company suggests using pre-made whipped topping and boxed brownie mix to make the process quicker. But of course, whipping up homemade whipped cream and brownies instead is a fantastic way to elevate the cake if you have the time to do so.

The recipe emphasizes that using oil in place of butter for the brownies is crucial because it affects the consistency of the brownies once they freeze. Lastly, since you coat the cake with a plain fluffy coating, it gives you plenty of room to personalize it. Whether you want to write a message in frosting or embellish it with decorations, the choice is up to you. For the best results and sleekest presentation, do the final touches just before serving.

12. Ben & Jerry's firecracker ice cream cake

If the name of this cake doesn't get your attention, the ingredients certainly will. Ben and Jerry's posted a recipe for this firecracker ice cream cake that is sure to be a total hit at any event. It consists of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, chocolate sauce, and two different kinds of ice cream for the base. Use Ben & Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate fudge brownie ice cream flavors for best results. In addition, playful elements like sprinkles, whipped cream, and sparklers act as garnishes that immediately boost this cake's allure.

While this recipe takes a bit of elbow grease, the final result is outstanding and the details don't go unappreciated. To make things easier, try breaking up the work into two different days; bake the cookies and brownies one day, then assemble the cake the next. This will help make the various steps less overwhelming. One thing is for sure when serving this ice cream delight: Leftovers will be hard to come by.

13. Dreyer's mini ice cream cakes

Do you love cake but don't necessarily like slicing and serving it? If so, Dreyer's mini ice cream cakes are the ultimate solution for you. Since you build the cakes in individual serving sizes, you don't need to bother about cutting the cake in the middle of the party. For an effortless approach, stack the ice cream cake layers using a muffin tin to craft tiny cake discs. On the other hand, these cakes are versatile so you can make them into fun shapes like stars, hearts, and flowers if you want to get creative. Simply use cookie cutters to shape the discs once you've given the ice cream time to solidify.

The best way to guarantee the cakes easily release from the pan is to use cupcake liners during assembly. The mini treats are adorable for children's birthday parties, but they don't need to be limited to those occasions. This project only takes about an hour including freezer time, since the ice cream sets more quickly in little portions than when you make a giant ice cream cake.

14. Peppermint ice cream cake

Umpqua Dairy held a holiday recipe contest and one of the winning treats was a tasty peppermint cake. Although Umpqua published the recipe, we can applaud Carolyn Bard of Eugene, Oregon, for this enchanting creation. The starring ingredients are Oreos, Umpqua peppermint candy ice cream, chocolate chips, and peppermint candies. The refreshing peppermint ice cream does a great job of complementing the rich chocolate elements. Sprinkle peppermint candies on top and drizzle some homemade chocolate sauce to complete this sweet treat.

This ice cream cake is cleverly made in a springform pan rather than a normal cake pan, which makes releasing the cake and presenting it less troublesome. Although this is a holiday-inspired recipe that is ideal for holiday parties, there's nothing to stop you from making it at other times of the year. Just make sure to stock up on peppermint candy ice cream and you're good to go.

15. Carnival ice cream cake

Betty Crocker's carnival ice cream cake is a crowd-puller with elements of frozen fruits, ice cream, angel food cake, and more. This cake is towering in height and provides an impressive 16 servings. The interesting detail about this recipe is that it utilizes unsweetened soft drink mixes to flavor and color the cake (specifically, strawberry, orange, and black cherry). The base of the cake has an assortment of frozen fruits too, as well as plain vanilla ice cream which allows all of the fruity flavors to shine. Ultimately, the finished product is bursting with color.

Bear in mind that Betty Crocker recommends transferring this frozen dessert from the freezer to the refrigerator an hour before you actually serve it, which isn't the norm for ice cream cakes. However, following the recipe to a tee will produce the finest outcome. And don't be shy to decorate the cake's exterior to fit your party's theme. You'll soon reveal its true beauty once you cut into it.