It's Creamsicle® season! And if you're yearning for the sweet nostalgia of this classic orange and vanilla ice cream treat, you're going to love this cake. I'll show you step by step how to make a Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake for a fun and easy summer dessert.

By Mackenzie Schieck
August 13, 2020
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creamsicle ice cream cake on plates
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Two layers of orange-flavored cake sandwich a layer of vanilla ice cream in this simple recipe, then it's finished off with whipped topping for a bit of extra flair. And it tastes like the real deal. Dare we say, even better than the real deal. Here's how to make it using just three easy ingredients: orange cake mix, vanilla ice cream, and whipped topping.

Get the recipe for Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake

1. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan. Allow it to cool completely. Place the cooled cake on a cutting board so the top of the cake is facing up. Use a serrated knife to carefully trim off the raised portion of the cake to create a level, flat top. It helps to place one hand on the top of the cake while you slice. (Go on and snack on those trimmings.)

trimming off the domed top of an orange sheet cake
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Cut the cake crosswise into two equal halves (9x6½" each).

orange sheet cake cut in two widthwise
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Line a baking pan with plastic wrap and place one half of the cake in the pan, trimmed side down — the original bottom of the cake is a firmer surface and will hold up a bit better when you add the ice cream. Add one scoop of ice cream at a time to create a thick layer. If your ice cream is really hard, you can bring it out five minutes before you begin to scoop to soften it a bit, but keep in mind that it will also get softer as you're scooping.

cake half topped with ice cream
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

As best as you can, mold the ice cream into an even, solid layer from edge to edge. If you bought ice cream in a rectangle box, you can also slice it like bread and add whole rectangles to the cake.

Place the second half of the cake on top of the ice cream, trimmed side down. Press down gently and evenly to secure it in place.

two layers of orange cake with ice cream sandwiched in-between
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Spread thawed whipped topping on top of cake. (Also, if your ice cream is starting to melt quicker than you'd like, you can put the cake and ice cream layers in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm it up a bit before you add the whipped topping.)

It's okay if the edges aren't smooth or even, and if you have drips like in this picture. You're going to end up slicing them off to create a polished look!

whipped topping on an ice cream cake
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Put the ice cream cake in the freezer for 4 to 6 hours, uncovered. You want to make sure it's frozen solid before trimming it up.

Once it's frozen solid, lift the cake off the pan, using the plastic wrap edges as handles, and place on a cutting board. Slice a thin layer off of all four sides to even up the cake.

trimming the sides of an ice cream cake
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Remember all those drips and uneven edges from before? Poof — all gone! (And you get to do some taste-testing with those scraps.)

To serve, use the plastic wrap as "handles" again and place the ice cream cake on a serving plate. Carefully pull the plastic wrap out as you hold the cake in place. You might want to have someone help you with this part — four hands are better than two.

Serve ice cream cake slices immediately. (Yum, look at those layers!) But wait, there's more...

orange cake with vanilla ice cream filling and whipped topping
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Feeling extra creative? Push popsicle sticks into the cake in rows, then cut slices so that sticks are in the middle. You still may want to recommend everyone eats their slice from a plate, but the popsicle sticks really amp up the cute factor on this Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake. Enjoy!

slices of creamsicle ice cream cake with popsicle stick decoration
Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

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