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Best Mud Pie Recipe (Ice Cream Cake)

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Outrageously delicious, this Mud Pie recipe is the best! Mile High Mud Pie is a dynamite ice cream cake with layers of rich and creamy coffee, chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, ribbons of fudge sauce, cookie crumbles and an amazing chocolate cookie crust! A dessert to remember, even non-dessert lovers, love this cake!

Ice cream cake is not just for summertime, oh no, it’s a year ’round dessert in our house! One of my most requested recipes, this Mile High Mud Pie will become one of yours too!

No bake desserts are a favorite at our house and for our readers too! Try these favorites: Fried Ice Cream Cake, Old Fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream, Patriotic No Churn Ice Cream!

Mud Pie Ice Cream Cake square image with layered ice cream dessert and crushed reeses peanut butter cups.

Why you will love this Mud Pie Recipe

  • No Fuss, No Muss! Simply soften your ice cream, layer away and freeze
  • Unlike Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake or the Chart House Mud Pie, this one is simple, easy and assembles in minutes for a dramatic dessert every time. Way cheaper too!
  • Customizable! Don’t like chocolate cookies, use Golden or other cookies, love mocha almond fudge ice cream, use that! You can totally make this your own!


Instead of my traditional ice cream cake, made in a spring form pan, to make this a MILE HIGH Mud Pie grab a sturdy glass bowl, I like a traditional Pyrex style bowl best, so you can see the layering.

Mile High Mud Pie Ice Cream Cake | www.thefreshcooky.com

The size is completely up to you, I made two of these ice cream cakes for my son’s birthday, one larger (maybe 2-2.5 liter) for the day of celebration and another smaller one (1.5 liter) for his party. You will just use more or less of your ice cream, either way you make these, big or small you will probably have a little leftover ice cream, not all bad?

Making an ice cream cake or mud pie is more art than recipe, it’s simply taking your favorite ice creams, toppings, cookies and fillings and making it your own! I have some combinations for you to try at the end of this post.

Simple Ingredients

Recipe with measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Oreo Cookies | Use regular or gluten-free, change up the flavors, or use Organic chocolate sandwich cookies
  • Butter | this will bind the cookie crumbs together making it an amazing layered frozen dessert
  • Ice Cream | Use your favorite ice cream here, my suggestions are vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate ice cream, coffee ice cream (classic in mud pie), use at least 2 types.
  • Hot Fudge | Use this between layers, make your own or buy a quality brand.

Optional Mix-Ins and Layers

Slice of mile high mud pie on plate with extra hot fudge.

How to make Mud Pie Recipe

Speaking of ice cream, I love Alden’s Organic Ice Cream, their coffee chip is delicious and different. Additionally we love Trader Joe’s Coffee Ice Cream along with their vanilla ice cream!

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. Check out my Oreo Cookie Crust post.

Can I make Gluten-Free Mud-Pie?

Replace your sandwich cookies with a Gluten Free Cookie of choice and make sure of course that your toppings and ice creams are also GF. Now that there are Gluten-Free Oreo’s they are perfect!

Oreo cookies in bowl of food processor.

Melt 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick); pour into food processor while on low/pulse until butter is incorporated. Remove 1-2 tablespoons of the crumbs for garnish and set all aside.

No food processor? No problem, working in several batches, place your cookies in a heavy duty plastic ziplock baggie. Using a rolling pin or heavy bottomed bottle, smash your cookies until they resemble coarse crumbs, rolling if needed, then pour into mixing bowl and add melted butter and stir to combine.

Pouring melted butter into food processor to combine with Oreo cookie crumbs.

Best way to soften ice cream

Soften your ice cream, about 15 minutes on the counter should do it; you need it soft enough to easily mold into the bowl. Or you can zap it in the micro for 15-20 seconds, no longer.


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 smooth.

Ice cream spade smoothing out layers on ice cream cake.

Spoon a layer of fudge topping over the ice cream. If you need to warm the fudge to pour or spread easier, just warm slightly so you don’t melt your ice cream. Or try my easy homemade fudge topping!


Freeze for 30-60 minutes! Remove bowl from freezer for your next round of ice cream and toppings. If desired, chop some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Chocolate Sandwich Cookies or your favorite candy and place on top of first layer, pressing in slightly

Adding crushed peanut butter cups to ice cream cake.

If desired, spoon on some of the cookie crumb crust (be sure to leave plenty for the final crust) and press into the nooks and crannies filling in any holes and cracks.

My son said he liked the “crumbly” cookie parts the best, so on my second cake I added a second layer of the cookie crumbs to the middle of the cake and omitted the ganache.

Spooning on cookie crust layer last for ice cream cake.

Scoop and press on your next layer of ice cream and repeat with fudge topping (or ganache, below) layer; return to freezer for 1 hour.

I use 2-3 different ice creams in my ice cream cakes, at least one of the varieties typically appeals to everyone.

Layer of cookie crust on ice cream cake.

Add another layer of fudge topping if not making ganache layer (below).

Pouring hot fudge sauce on ice cream cake.


If making ganache now is a great time to make it and add to your creation.

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 vanilla and a pinch of salt. Allow to  cool for 10-15 minutes then spoon over frozen ice cream layer, smooth out and return to fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

Pouring chocolate ganache on top of the vanilla layer for ice cream cake.


Finally, add your last layer of ice cream after your cookie crust and/or ganache layers are firm to the touch. *Oops, I accidentally added my ganache at the very end, just before my cookie crust, it was quite decadent I must say!

Chilled ganache layer on ice cream cake.

Finally, pack on your 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.

Ice Cream Cake in a Hurry?

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, so 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.

Adding cookie crust to top of ice cream cake to become the crust.

Unmolding the Mud Pie Ice Cream Cake

Grab a plate or platter that will fit your Mud Pie recipe creation! Set aside. Using a small knife or butter knife, slide around the edge of the cookie crust.

Fill 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.

Ice cream cake ready to be unmolded.

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 plate or platter on top of bowl; flip over while holding both the bowl and the plate until bowl is sitting on the plate.

Pulling the bowl up slightly angled, 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.

Mud Pie Ice Cream Cake | www.thefreshcooky.com

Once plated, return to freezer for 30 minutes, then if desired before serving, spoon on more fudge sauce, sprinkle with tablespoon of reserved cookie crumbs and/or drizzle with Magic Shell.

Pin for Mile High Mud Pie Ice Cream cake.

Remove ice cream cake from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving.

Slice into desired sizes, 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. Return balance of uneaten cake to freezer. 

If desired, slice the entire cake and using the backside of a knife, push wax or parchment between slices for easier serving.

Slice of peppermint layered mile high mud pie.


  • Drizzle a little more fudge or topping of choice over top, including magic shell.
  • Toss on crushed cookies chunks, chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, M&Ms or 
  • Pipe a dollop of whipped cream
  • Add jimmies! Jimmies always make it festive!
Mile High Mud Pie Ice Cream Cake | www.thefreshcooky.com

PHEW! It sounds so much harder than it is, it’s seriously one of the easiest, no fuss desserts I make and it’s consistently a requested recipe! It’s so worth the time in between layers for this work of art!

slice of mile high mud pie with swirl of whipped cream.

Customization & Substitutions

  • Birthday Cake Ice Cream Cake | Birthday Cake, Vanilla & Chocolate ice creams – Fudge and/or Caramel toppings, rainbow jimmies layer with blonde or chocolate sandwich cookie crust.
  • Mint Chip Ice Cream Cake | Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate, Vanilla Ice Creams – Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Crust – Fudge and use extra cookies in middle (whole, un-crushed) layers.
  • Mountain Man Ice Cream Cake | Moose Tracks, Chocolate, Vanilla Ice Creams – Chocolate Cookie Crust, Fudge  AND Caramel toppings and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Close up of wedge of mud pie ice cream cake.


  • Halloween Ice Cream Cake | Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Dark (Black) Chocolate Ice Cream; Halloween colored sprinkles and jimmies, Chocolate Cookie Crust + Middle Layer of Chocolate Ganache. If desired, tint the Vanilla ice cream orange!
  • Thanksgiving Ice Cream Cake | Pumpkin – Vanilla – Pumpkin Ice Creams – Golden Oreo Cookie Crust or Spice Cookie Crust – Caramel toppings
  • Eggnog Ice Cream Cake | Eggnog ice cream & Vanilla Ice Cream – Blonde OR Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Crust – Caramel or Fudge Toppings and layering, perfect for the holidays when Egg Nog abounds!
  • Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake | Peppermint, Vanilla and White Chocolate Ice Creams- Layered with Crushed peppermints (candy canes) and white chocolate chips with chocolate crushed cookies layer and chocolate cookie crust. Perfect for Christmas and New Year.
Whole peppermint Christmas mud pie ice cream cake.

I would love to hear how you layered your mud pie! Comment below the recipe.

You might like these other no bake, easy ice cream recipes!

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  1. This is without a doubt the best ice cream cake ever. Made it for my daughter’s birthday and will never buy a store bought one again. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

  2. Did you have a Chart House restaurant near you when you grew up? Are they even around any more? Anyway, this recipe immediately brought back memories of the Mud Pie at the Chart House! And my mouth is watering and I’m having wonderful meal memories! THanks for the recipe and the reminiscing!

    1. We did and we still do, there is one left in the state, though I haven’t been in years, indeed this recipe is “crafted” around the idea of that mud pie! Certainly the shape of it, if I remember right, they used coffee and an almond ice cream, which since we have a tree nut allergy we cannot do!

  3. This is amazing. I’m making this for my husband for his birthday. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! PS when I worked in a restaurant that served these we used to take the slices, pop them in a blender with a little milk, and voila, mud pie milkshake! They brought all the boys to the yard. LOL

  4. Hi. This recipe looks great. However your site is so full of encumbrances/pop ups/items on sidebars that it made for very frustrating reading. To the point that I decided to move on. Even as I type this there are big aqua circles crowding my writing…

    1. Hi Robin,

      I am so sorry you experienced this, I understand it can be frustrating. Unfortunately that is the way that bloggers earn their income, it sounds like you were writing from your phone, I will look at my settings with my social sharing buttons (sounds like the aqua circles) that were crowding your writing. I do appreciate feedback as I try and balance having enough, but not too much. Have a happy weekend!

  5. Oh my goodness! Your Mud Pie Ice Cream Cake is going to be a big hit here at the cottage. What a great summertime dessert! Thanks so much for sharing this special recipe with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen