An ice cream cake is a thing of beauty; the best of cake and the best of ice cream, combined as one cool, whipped cream–topped slab on a paper plate. Instant joy and generally pleasing for party guests of all ages. Making an ice cream cake is easier than you’d think and certainly easier than most baked layer cakes. Homey and old-fashioned and altogether perfect for summer birthdays, picnics, and dinner parties that stretch late into the night.
Related Reading: 14 Unusual Ice Cream Flavors to Try Before Summer Ends
Ice cream cake’s one obvious challenge is storage but fear not, we’ve rounded up some of the summers coolest coolers to keep an ice cream cake alive and well all the way to the park picnic or BBQ bash. Below find some of the best ice cream cake recipes for summer with one special adults-only version you’ve just gotta try.
This cake has textures and tastes in spades with strawberry ice cream in addition to chocolate and vanilla—and it’s no-bake which is a major bonus this time of year. But switch up the flavors as you see fit. Get our Chocolate Rice Krispies Ice Cream Cake recipe.
Related Reading: We Ranked the Best New Whole Foods 365 Ice Cream Flavors
This ideal summer birthday cake is sweet and gooey enough to feel like a celebration, but the coffee ice cream gives it a sophisticated edge. Get our Chocolate–Coffee Almond Crunch Ice Cream Cake recipe.
Brownies made with stout, filled with vanilla or caramel ice cream? I think I just passed out. These are not for kids (sorry kids!) which is good news because that means more for you…and me. (And before you quibble, these totally count as mini cakes.) Get our Chocolate Stout Ice Cream Sandwich recipe.
Related Reading: The Basics: How to Make an Icebox Cake
The cool thing here, apart from cookies and cream ice cream and an Oreo garnish, is that no cutting is necessary: Everybody gets a mini self-contained ice cream cake! Get our Chocolate Ice Cream Cupcakes recipe.
Salted caramel is the flavor of our time. Here, the irresistible sweet-salty balance plays out in the presence of sour cream–enriched vanilla cake and soft whipped cream. Get our Vanilla–Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake recipe.
Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan, $19.95 on Sur la Table
You'll definitely want to SPRING for this pan if you're making ice cream cakes.
Boston cream pie is not, of course, actual pie, and this version—custardy vanilla ice cream substitutes for vanilla custard—is not actual Boston cream pie. It is, however, delicious. Get our Boston Ice Cream Pie Cake recipe.
There’s no actual cake-baking here, just three ice cream flavors—fresh strawberry, vanilla bean, and roasted pistachio—stacked up under a crunchy layer of crushed vanilla cookies. Get our Pistachio-Strawberry Ice Cream Cake recipe.
Individual brownie parfaits are an all-around simpler way to make an ice cream cake. Just layer fresh-baked brownies, ice cream, fresh raspberries, and whipped cream. Get our Brownie Ice Cream Parfaits recipe.
Classic Parfait Cups (set of 6), $27.99 on Amazon
Totally charming vessels for your individual ice cream desserts!
Header image by Chowhound.