This cookie dough ice cream cake is the ultimate dessert for this summer. Soft white cake, edible cookie dough layer, cookie dough ice cream, with classic American buttercream make this a must try dessert this season.
Tools to make the cake
To make the cookie dough ice cream cake you’ll need a mixer with a paddle attachment, 8 inch cake pans, cooking spray, a bowl, baking foil, parchment paper, and a scale. You’ll also want some sort of cake board. I usually like to go one size bigger than what I’m making. You can get these at Walmart or craft stores. If you plan to decorate the top of your cake like this one, you may want a piping tip, I used Ateco 865, the Wilton 4B would be similar if you have that. A piping bag if you’re decorating the top, I usually just get whatever is the best deal on amazon. A cake turn table is helpful, some people even use a lazy Susan.
The cake layer
The cake batter is made from my usual versatile cake recipe. I tested a layer with cookie dough and floured chocolate chips a couple times but they just kept sinking. The ice cream cake is so rich though, I found I didn’t miss the extras in the cake layer while eating it. I chose to flavor it with imitation vanilla because it matches the classic vanilla flavor of the ice cream.
The cake is made with the reverse creaming method, it produces a nice flat cake with a tight crumb. All the flour gets coated in fat first and it makes for a very delicious moist cake! The cake layer should be wrapped in plastic and frozen, I always like to do this at least a day before decorating.
To prepare the cookie layer
You can easily prepare the cookie dough in a bowl. Heat treat the flour in the microwave and let it cool completely before combining with the other ingredients. You’ll want to save some of the cookie dough for decorations. The rest will go in a prepared pan, get flattened, and frozen.
To prepare the ice cream layer
You’ll want the ice cream to get soft, not liquid. Once it’s soft you can put it in a cake pan that is lined with plastic wrap. Make sure the top is flat and it’s wrapped up well before freezing. You really should do this a full day before you plan to assemble it.
To make the buttercream
I rarely use American buttercream but it’s really just classic for an ice cream cake. I don’t use the typical 2:1 ratio because I prefer a softer less sweet buttercream. It comes together quickly. The butter gets beat up, then salt and imitation vanilla is added. Then the sugar and cream go in, it’s all very easy. It can be made just before assembly and covered when not in use.
I will note that I only had about 1/2 cup left over when I was done. If you are heavy handed with your buttercream you may want to make a larger batch.
The best thing to do is keep everything in the freezer until you need it and work quickly. Make sure there is a flat cleared surface in the freezer for the cake to go in and out of before beginning. Do not put buttercream between the layers.
I think the most crucial part is coating the ice cream in the first layer of buttercream, finishing the crumb coat, and getting it in the freezer before it gets a chance to melt at all. If it melts some, leave it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or longer to firm up as much as possible before putting the finishing layer of buttercream and decorating.
Store the cake in the freezer until ready to serve.
Cookie dough ice cream cake
- mixer with paddle attachment
- kitchen scale
- oven thermometer
- 3 8 inch cake pans
- cake turntable
- offset spatula
- cake scraper or bench scraper
For the cake layers
- 165 g all purpose flour
- 240 g sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt 3 g
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder 5 g
- 6 TBS unsalted butter, softened 3 oz
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 150 g buttermilk, room temp
- 1 1/2 tsp imitation vanilla 8 g
For the cookie dough
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 4 oz
- 75 g sugar
- 115 g brown sugar
- 200 g all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 85 g
- 1/4 cup milk 67 g
- 1 tsp imitation vanilla 4 g
For the ice cream
- 48 Fl oz store bought cookie dough ice cream whole container
For the buttercream
- 1.5 cups unsalted butter, softened 12 oz
- 1/4 tsp salt 1.5 g
- 1 1/2 tsp imitation vanilla 6 g
- 16 oz confectioners sugar
- 4 tsp heavy cream 20 g
- I recommend preparing all the layers a full day (or more) before assembly. Especially the ice cream layer. Each layer should be fully frozen before assembled.
For the cake layer
- Preheat your oven to 330 degrees, check for accurate temp with an oven thermometer.
- In a bowl combine buttermilk, imitation vanilla extract, and room temp eggs. Mix to break up the eggs and combine.
- Add flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar to the bowl of your mixer.
- Add the softened butter and mix with your paddle attachment on the lowest setting on your stand mixer until it looks like coarse sand, about 1 minute.
- With your mixer on low, add around half of your wet ingredients. You really just want to add enough liquid so that everything is a little wet without forming a dough texture, it should resemble cake batter. Then turn it to medium and let it mix for 2 minutes. Set a timer and do not go over. This helps develop the structure of the cake, without over mixing.
- Scrape your bowl after the 2 minutes. With your mixer on low add the rest of your wet ingredients. Mix just until totally combined. About 15 seconds.
- Prepare your pan by spraying the sides and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
- Pour all of the batter into the pan and smooth the batter so it’s flat in the pan, then cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake until done about 75 min. When the cake is done the sides will start to slightly pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
- Place on cooling rack, carefully remove foil.
- Let the cake cool for about 15 min or until the pan is cool enough to touch and remove them from pan to cool completely.
- Once cake is totally cool wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it to prepare it for assembly.
Cookie Dough Layer
- To make the flour safe to eat, microwave it for 1 minute and let it cool.
- Put the softened butter and sugars into a bowl and work them together.
- Once the flour is cool, add the flour and salt to the mixture and work it together with a spoon or spatula.
- Add the milk and vanilla and combine until smooth.
- Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
- Prepare an 8 inch cake pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
- Reserve 1/3 cup of cookie dough for decorating in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Put the rest of the cookie dough in the prepared 8 in cake pan and press it flat and evenly to make the layer. You can put parchment on top of it and use a smaller cake pan to help flatten it.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap an freeze until ready to use.
To prepare the ice cream layer
- Leave the ice cream container on the counter to soften 15-30 minutes depending on the temperature in your home. You want it softened, not liquid.
- Thoroughly line an 8 inch cake pan with plastic wrap so all the sides are covered, and the corners don't have empty space between the plastic and pan.
- Put the entire container of softened ice cream into the pan. Smooth it flat using an offset spatula. Put plastic on top. Using another 8 inch cake pan, flatten the ice cream and make sure it is level. Freeze until ready to assemble.
For the Buttercream
- Put the softened butter in the bowl of your mixer. Fit the mixer with your paddle attachment.
- Beat the butter on medium for 2-3 minutes until it's smooth and lighter in color.
- With the mixer on low add the imitation vanilla and salt.
- Turn off the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Slowly let that start incorporating. I prefer to turn the mixer on and off because of the dust cloud it creates. Once it's not making a lot of dust I turn it on to the lowest setting.
- Add the cream and let the mixture run for a few minutes until well combined and smooth. Cover the mixture while not using.
- Do not remove components from the freezer until you are about to use them. Work quickly when possible. Make sure there is a flat cleared surface in the freezer for the cake.
- On a cake board, put a small dollop of buttercream and put the cake top side down on the board.
- Remove the frozen cookie dough layer from the pan by running a knife around the edge. Place it directly on top of the cake layer with no buttercream between the layers.
- Remove the plastic from the ice cream layer and place that directly onto the cookie dough layer. I placed mine upside-down so the top was smoothest.
- Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of the buttercream.* Because it is so cold the buttercream will begin to harden quickly so you will want to work quickly. The most important part here is to make sure all of the ice cream layer has buttercream on it before it begins to melt at all.
- Once it is crumb coated, place the cake on a flat surface in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. If things seemed melty you may want to leave it for 30 minutes.
- Cover the rest of the cake in buttercream and smooth with a bench scraper until it is evenly coated and smooth. Place it back in the freezer.
- To decorate it like mine, fill a piping bag fitted with a piping tip with the left over buttercream. I used ateco tip 865, wilton 4B is similar.
- Make a scallop design around the top edge of the cake. Break up bits of the reserved cookie dough to place on top.
- Store the cake in the freezer until ready to serve.