Oreo Ice Cream Cake with Ganache

My best friend made a last minute birthday trip to Houston this week. As a native Texas living in Virginia, she misses Blue Bell Cookies ‘n Cream Ice Cream more than almost anything. I took it upon myself to make her an ice cream cake from scratch! After a lot of research, I decided I was mostly going to wing it. I think most people buy their ice cream cakes, because the internet did not prove terribly useful. I had to devise a plan on how to stack the layers without over melting the ice cream. Letting Blue Bell, or other commercial  ice creams, melt in order to spread it on the cake layers, and then refreezing the whole cake leaves the ice cream icy and deflated: not the ideal texture. One way to solve this is to make your own ice cream. While this sounded fun, I don’t have an ice cream maker. Plus, you can’t copy Blue Bell Cookies ‘n Cream. My plan was to use a springform pan to stack the layers. I chose a specific sour cream and vegetable oil based chocolate cake recipe, because the author claimed it would hold up better to freezing, as opposed to a butter based cake that would harden more and dry out faster. The cake batter was very thin, but it baked into a delicious, soft, and moist cake, perfect for freezing between layers of delicious ice cream.

You can bake this cake in 8- or 9-inch pans, whichever sized pan you have. For best results, it should be the same size pan as your springform pan. I bought 8-inch disposable foil baking pans to match my 8-inch springform. This is an inexpensive way to ensure all your layers are the same size.

Part 1: Creating Ice Cream Layers:

1/2 gallon Blue Bell Cookies ‘n Cream Ice Cream, or your favorite flavor
1 bag Oreos

1. Let ice cream soften on the counter for 15-20 minutes, until just workable.
2. Line 2 foil cake pans with plastic wrap, leaving a good amount of excess hanging over the edge.
3. Dump the ice cream into a bowl, and stir until smooth and evenly mixed. The ice cream should be mostly solid and not easy to stir. Do not over mix here. This step is mostly to incorporate the melty stuff on the outside so it is one smooth consistency.
4. Split the ice cream evenly between the two plastic line sheet pans, spread until mostly flat on the top (It really doesn’t have to be perfect)  and put back in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
5. Put about half the Oreos in a ziplock bag, and use a rolling pin to break into bit size pieces. Go on, take out some anger on those cookies! Set aside for later use!

Part 2: Baking the Cake
Recipe Adapted from: Engineer Baker

1 1/3 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
½ cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/3 tsp baking soda*
2/3 tsp salt*
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup water
4 tsp distilled white vinegar
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter the bottoms and sides of two 8- or 9-inch cake pans (layers will just be taller if you use an 8-inch pan). Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then butter the parchment.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively you could do this with a whisk by hand, or a handheld mixer.) Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend (this will be very thick). Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the two prepared cake pans.
Bake for 25-35 minutes (less for the 9-inch pans, more for the 8-inch), or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes, invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. I flipped mine out onto cardboard cake boards, and this was a slight misstep. After cutting the cake layers in half, the bottom layer of one cake stuck to the board. It ended up working out however, because I had 2 ice cream layers and 3 cake layers this way. Plus we got to taste test the cake! If you don’t want to risk loosing cake, use one full cake layer as the bottom layer of the ice cream cake, and use the smaller half layers on top! I cooled my cake layers in the fridge for at least an hour while I cooked dinner. The cake layers will be quite flimsy because they are extra moist. If you have time, and space, you can throw them in the freezer for about 30 minutes, they will firm up and be easier to work with, as well as less likely to crack. I did not freeze my cake layers before stacking the cake, so it is possible to skip that step.*: I don’t have a 1/3 teaspoon. I don’t think I was sure this measuring spoon even existed. I estimated.

Part 3: Ganache Frosting
Recipe Adapted from:Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips (or semisweet, if you prefer)
1/2 c heavy cream
1 TBSP butter

Measure chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a simmer over low to medium heat, and pour over the chocolate. Add butter and let stand one minute. Then gently stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Let cool in the fridge until thick and frosting like.

Part 4: Ice Cream Cake Assembly
This is the fun part!

1. Line your springform pan with plastic wrap. Be sure that you use enough that it will hang over the side once full of cake! I used 2 long pieces.
2. Slip the first cake layer into the plastic lined springform pan.
3. Add a layer of crumbled oreos for extra deliciousness.
4. Now take 1 ice cream layer out of the freezer. All you have to do is invert the ice cream layer over the springform, pop it out of the tin, and pull off the plastic.
5. Be sure to press everything down, a pint glass worked well for me. Don’t forget to take off the plastic in between layers!
6. Repeat with the remaining 2 cake layers, and 1 ice cream layer.
7. I let the cake sit for about 15 minutes on the counter to give the ice cream a chance to get a little melty, so the layers all settle together.

8. Let refreeze for an hour, or as long as you can stand. I think we made it about 30 minutes. Remove from the springform, frost, top with more crumbled oreos, and serve (with extra Oreos)!

It was much easier to slice the next day after refreezing completely. It was still a little melty at 30 minutes, but that didn’t change how delicious it was! I only frosted the top of my cake for a few reasons. One being I didn’t think I had enough frosting to frost the sides of the cake. I decided I’d give it a shot anyway, and the frosting did not want to stick to the ice cream layers so I threw in the towel. If you really want to try to frost the outside with chocolate ganache I would double the recipe. I think that a whipped cream based frosting might work out better for frosting the whole cake.

There is no evidence of the whole cake because the camera stopped functioning for me, Jacob was asleep, and the girls wanted cake!
Leave a comment


  1. hippiebc

     /  07/07/2011

    I am the luckiest twin and best friend. That was such a great bday cake. Now we know off of last years cake and this one we have one unbeatable combo for a kickass cake to come in the future haha. DEFINITELY the most delicious ice cream cake ever….screw store bought :) thank you twin!

  2. Craigers

     /  07/14/2011

    Wow Troxy! You did an amazing job on this! On the chance you are interested,
    I happen to own an Italian Gelato machine(it weights 25lbs)that I would be willing to let you use IF we were to do some “creating” together…
    Just putting it out there…!!

  3. Karen

     /  07/27/2011

    Can I volunteer to be your taste tester??? Pleeeeeaaaassseee!!!


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