Layers of creamy peppermint ice cream, decadent chocolate cookie crumbs and crust, sprinkled with crushed candy canes and drizzled with fudge. This Easy Peppermint Chocolate Ice Cream Cake is the bomb! A fabulous make ahead holiday dessert!
Our family is not into traditional holiday desserts; instead of pumpkin pie, we do chocolate pumpkin graham crisp, or they’d prefer Whoopie Pies or instead of buche de noel they love these mini French Silk Pies, so it only makes sense that I present you with another unique holiday dessert.
PRO TIP | Ideally this cake should be made the day ahead of time, or longer, just cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
I LOVE peppermint, a make-ahead holiday dessert and I love the ice cream and crunchy cookie crust. What’s not to love?
Ice cream cakes are ideal because you change the flavors to fit your tastes.
For the easy, visual step-by-step instructions, pop on over to my post on Mile High Mud Pie, however all of the steps are in the recipe!
Tools Needed for Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
- Choose your bowl size; for this one, I used a smaller Pyrex bowl the 1.5 qt bowl, but I use the 2 qt for larger parties, simply adjust your ingredients up or down a bit.
- I prefer using an ice cream spade to a scoop, but a solid spatula works well too.
Suggested Ingredients for Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
- Chocolate Sandwich Cookies or try Mint Fudge Cookies
- Vanilla, White Chocolate, Peppermint Ice Cream (or any variation of good quality ice cream)
- Hot fudge sauce (I use jarred many times, but you might try homemade!)
- Crushed Peppermint for sprinkling in the middle and on top
BEST COOKIE CRUST
For the Cookie Crust, I used Back to Nature Classic Creme Sandwich Cookies, but Oreos work well too.
Place the entire sleeve (box/package) of cookies in a food processor (or a handful at a time if you have a smaller food processor) and pulse until the cookies resemble coarse crumbs.
Gluten Free Peppermint ice Cream Cake
Replace your sandwich cookies with a Gluten Free Cookie of choice and make sure that your toppings and ice creams are also GF.
Pro Tip | Buy quality ice cream, it will freeze up better and firmer.
How to build layers for the ice cream cake
Press using the back of the spade or a large spoon to smooth out completely, or use some parchment or plastic wrap and press down until smooth.
Do I Have to Freeze the Layers in between?
I have been known to “RUSH” my layering process. The cake isn’t as pretty if you don’t freeze between layering, but guess what? It still tastes amazing.
If you are pressed for time, then do all of your layering without freezing between, work fast and get that baby in the freezer to freeze at least 6-8 hours; preferably overnight.
Let me know how you made this Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake?
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Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
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- 1 package creme filled sandwich cookies I used Back to Nature Chocolate Creme Cookies, or use Oreos, Newman O’s, Mint Fudge or your favorite.
- ¼ cup butter ½ stick; melted, slightly cooled
- 1 ½ gallons ice cream Vanilla, White Chocolate and Peppermint Ice Cream. Approx. ½ gallon of each flavor. May not use all the ice cream
- 1 jar hot fudge sauce try and buy without High Fructose Corn Syrup or make my [Chewy Hot Fudge]
- Crushed Peppermint for layers and garnish
- ⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup milk chocolate chips or all semisweet works well too
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- COOKIE CRUST AND CRUMBLIES
- Place the entire package of cookies in the base of a food processor* (or a handful at a time if you have a smaller food processor) and pulse until the cookies are coarse crumbs. Melt ½ of a stick (¼ cup) of butter; pour into food processor while on low/pulse until butter is incorporated. Remove 1-2 tablespoons and set all aside.
- ASSEMBLING ICE CREAM CAKE
- First, grab a sturdy freezer and heat friendly bowl, like traditional clear glass Pyrex bowls, so you can see your layering. Size is your preference, use between 1.5 liter – 2.5 liter bowls.
- Making an ice cream cake is more art than recipe, it’s simply taking your favorite ice creams, toppings, cookies and fillings and making it your own!
- Using an ice cream spade (a spatula will work just fine too) scoop about 1-2 inch layers of ice cream and place in the bottom of the bowl. Press using the back of the spade or a large spoon to smooth out completely, or use some parchment or plastic wrap and press down until even. Spoon on a layer of fudge topping over the ice cream. If you need to warm it to pour easier, warm slightly so you don’t completely melt your ice cream. FREEZE for 30-60 minutes!
- Remove from freezer for your next round of ice cream and toppings. If desired, sprinkle on some crushed peppermint and more cookie crust.
- Scoop and press the next layer of ice cream and repeat with fudge layer; return to freezer for 1 hour. Or replace a fudge layer with a ganache layer (instructions below). I like to use 2-3 different ice creams in my ice cream cakes, appeals to most. After cookie crust and/or ganache layers are firm to the touch from freezing, add your final layer of ice cream. Smooth and refreeze for 30 minutes.
- Finally, pack on the cookie crumb crust and smooth down firmly using parchment paper or plastic wrap. Keep covered and freeze overnight preferably, or at least 4-6 hours.
- If making the ganache now is a great time to make it and add to your cake. In a microwave proof bowl pour in your chocolate chips and whipping cream and heat in 30-40 second bursts, stirring well in between. It melts faster than you think and will continue to melt. Do not overheat, it will burn and ruin your ganache. It might be overkill to do both a layer of cookie crumbs AND ganache, but who am I to tell you what to do!
- Once smooth, toss in your butter and stir until blended and smooth. Mix in your vanilla and a pinch of salt. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes then spoon over frozen ice cream layer, smoothing to edges and return to fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- HOW TO UNMOLD THE ICE CREAM CAKE
- Grab a plate or platter that will fit your ice cream cake creation! Using a small knife, slide around the edge of the cookie crust.
- Fill a sink or much larger bowl with hot tap water. Carefully lower the bowl into the water, dip until just before the rim (careful, you don’t want to water log your cookie crust). Hold for about a minute.
- TIP | If holding the frozen glass bowl is too chilly or the water is to hot, put on some dishwashing gloves; extra points for cute gloves!
- Place platter upside down on top of bowl; flip holding both the bowl and the plate until bowl is sitting on the plate. You may want to angle the bowl slightly and insert a knife on one edge, gently encouraging the cake to come forth! If it’s being stubborn hold in the hot water for another 30 seconds and try again.
- Once plated, return to freezer for 30 minutes or more, then if desired before serving, spoon on more fudge sauce, sprinkle with tablespoon of reserved cookie crumbs and crushed peppermint. Remove ice cream cake from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving. Slice into desired size slices, running a long knife under hot tap water or setting in a glass to heat up helps cut the cake easier and leaves a smoother finish. Serve IMMEDIATELY. Freeze leftovers.
- GARNISH IDEAS
- Drizzle a little more fudge or topping of choice over top.
- Add crushed cookies chunks or chopped Andes Mints, Peppermints or candy canes. A dollop of whipped cream
- PHEW! It sounds so much harder than it is, it’s seriously one of the easiest, no fuss desserts I make and I ALWAYS have people request the "recipe" from me! It’s so worth the time in between layers for this work of art!