How To Make a Vegan Ice Cream Cake (with Sparklers!) and Fluffy Macadamia Mallow Frosting

Spring is a busy time as we have one girl’s birthday in April, and then another daughter’s birthday a couple of weeks later in May.  Our eldest turned eleven in April and asked for an ice cream cake.  Supposedly it’s the ‘cool’ thing to have at parties now.  I wasn’t worried, I’ve made them before.  Actually, it’s one of the easiest cakes you can make – it just takes a few prep steps and planning.

Step 1:  Start with a spring-form pan, it makes for easy slicing and serving later!  Line it it with a layer of vegan cookies.  Here, I used the sandwich cookies and separated them because they are rich enough and almost too sickly to have a full cookie as a base and side.  You can use another cookie – or a layer of cake as well.


Step 2:  Choose your ice cream victims.  These were mine:

I liked the idea of layering different flavors, and varieties that had “extras” in them.  While lately I’m particularly partial to some of the Coconut Bliss flavors, these were on special at our local store, so it was an easy decision.  Plus, I knew our daughter would love the flavor combinations!

Step 3: Take one pint out in advance, about 20 minutes beforehand to soften at room temperature.  Keep the other pints in freezer.  Once softened, you carefully add scoops and smooth it out on the base.  I started with the Cherry Amaretto for the base.

This is the trickiest layer because the ice cream will lift up some of those cookies at the bottom.  But, if the ice cream is soft enough and you go with the flow (don’t stress, it’s only ice cream cake!), it works fine.  I had to reposition a couple of cookies but that was it.  To smooth out the ice cream, it helps to run a spoon under hot water, dry it off, and let the heat of the spoon help you smooth around that top layer.

Step 4: Pop the pan in the freezer to let that layer set up before adding the next layer.  It will take about an hour to set up again, maybe more.  Check it, and once it is hard and set, you are on to…

Step 5: Next layer!  Take out your next pint to soften, for me that was the Peanut Butter Swirl:

I think that was my favorite layer. :)  See how frosty the pan is in that picture?

Step 6: Now, the pan goes – yep – back into the freezer.  Same drill, give it an hour or so.

Step 7: Take out last pint to layer… here, the Cookie Dough:

I take back what I said.  I think that was my favorite layer.

Step 8: Back into the freezer (technically you could have far fewer steps if you used one or two large pints of the same flavor and simply mixed in some ‘extras’).

With that, you’re DONE!  You can garnish the top as you like – adding some cookie crumbles or crushed nuts or the like.  I kept it simple and grated a little dark chocolate over the top, just to make it look even more pretty.  Take the cake out about 15 minutes before eating, then open up your springform and you are ready to slice and serve!

We added sparklers to our daughter’s cake – boy, was that a hit!

And, I literally had about 5 minutes to try and snap a couple of pics of this cake before the masses swarmed in!

Aren’t those layers pretty?


The kids were happy campers.  Who am I kidding?  I was a happy camper.  Ice cream is my most favorite dessert!

On to cake #2 (actually cake #3, read on).  This was for our youngest daughter, who turned 3 in May.  Her birthday is so memorable because labor kicked in on Mother’s Day that year.  I was laboring all day with her and she was born the next morning.  I knew this little mite would have me running circles with that Mother’s Day prank she pulled. 😉  And I was right!

She’s now three and she still hasn’t eaten cake.  She just doesn’t want to try it.  I think the frosting freaks her out or something, like it’s some mysterious new food frontier that she doesn’t want to take part in.  (If only she knew!)  Actually, I’m quite happy that she isn’t interested in cake just yet.  But, we couldn’t have her birthday without one.

I made my “All-Purpose Vanilla Cake” from ed&bv, but used spelt flour instead of white flour – you need about an extra 1/4 cup – and I also reduced the sugar a titch.  Then, I frosted it with one of my newest and most favorite frostings – Fluffy Macadamia Mallow Frosting from LTEV.  I doubled the batch because I like extra!  I created this recipe as one of my soy-free frostings that are included in LTEV (since most vegan frostings are soy-based, and folks were asking me for alternatives).  This frosting is also gluten-free (and I have a gluten-free cake recipe in LTEV as well).

Sidebar note: This isn’t actually the cake from our 3 yr old’s birthday.  I made a similar one, but didn’t get time to take proper pictures.  So, THESE photos are actually from our the month before, when our eldest had her birthday.  Because, as moms know, you need to make a cake for the actual birthday, and a cake for the party!  So, that brought me up to 3 cakes in 3 weeks!  :)

Anyhow, back to the important stuff.  The frosting!  This frosting is like having a not-so-sweet marshmallowy dreamy layer on your cake.  It’s thick and luscious and frosting happiness!

YUM!  Can you see the flecks of vanilla seeds in there?  I love vanilla beans.  And Fluffy Macadamia Mallow Frosting.  

Whose birthday was it again? 😉

Have you ever made an ice cream cake?  Have you tried this Macadamia Mallow Frosting?  What are your favorite cake combos?


  1. Kristen says

    This ice cream cake looks amazing!! I definitely want to make this. Which vegan sandwich cookies do you recommend to use?

  2. Johanna says

    We’re having a small cook-out on Friday and I might make that ice cream cake. It looks so good!

  3. says

    It sounds like you have 2 Taurus babies…I’m a Taurus, as well!

    Ice cream is one of my favorite desserts, too, and I love this simple way to make an ice cream cake. No actual cake baking required!

    • Dreena says

      Matt, I hope you give it a try sometime – it’s really pretty simple & I know you’ve got some good ice creams your way… :)

  4. says

    Both of those cakes look so pretty! I love the idea of layering ice cream flavors for the ice cream cake. I’ve never made one! Have you ever tried adding in a layer of cake between ice cream layers? I remembering, waaaaay back in the day, my husband wanted an ice cream cake for his birthday so I just picked one up from the ice cream parlor…it was a mixture of cake, ice cream, and ganache…and the combination was quite good!

    By the way, my youngest (who is 2 1/2) made his appearance 2 days before my birthday! So I feel ya a little bit on the mother’s day baby…when it is supposed to be your turn to relax, you are busy baking and prepping for your little one! Such is a mom’s life! 😉

    • Dreena says

      Hiya Rebekah! Thanks. :) Yeah, I’ve done some with other variations, like even using cake or cupcake crumbles. When I have a batch of cupcakes or cake turn out not so well with testing, I’ll crumble it up and pop it in the freezer in a bag/container. Makes a GREAT add-in for ice creams. You could easily put in a full cake layer too, tho probably a thinner layer so it doesn’t get too hard and has time to soften with the ice cream when serving. I used to love DQ cakes back in the day, and they also would put a layer of cookie crumbles (I think) and a fudgy layer – that was so good! So, I can imagine how insanely yummy that ganache layer was in your cake.

      And yeaaah, you get it. 😉 xo

      • says

        Ooh, I love that idea with the cookie or cake crumbs! That could be a fun way to use up birthday leftovers…the portion of the cake that didn’t get eaten, the leftover ice creams…just layer it all into a whole new special treat!

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