I am so glad you’re here! Today’s post features a festive and delicious Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake.

With some cookies for a nice crunchy contrast to the creamy ice cream, you can make this as a no churn ice cream cake either by using no churn ice cream (like I did) or by softening your favorite store bought ice cream to make it even easier.
Another good no-churn ice cream recipe is my French vanilla ice cream.

For ease of browsing, here are all of my ice cream recipes in one place. Thanks for stopping by!

A chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream birthday cake on a pedestal with a slice on a plate.

Celebrations Call for Ice Cream Cake

Because celebrations mean cake, I thought it would be fun to celebrate with ice cream cake.

There’s something really nostalgic about a good ice cream cake–maybe it’s because many of us grew up with Fudgy the Whale from Carvel

Using No Churn Ice Cream

I have become a pretty big fan of no churn ice cream, so, I decided to see how it would work as both the layers and the frosting for a No Churn Ice Cream Cake.

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It actually worked out fairly well, but I will say that using it as frosting was a bit of a challenge. I had to build up multiple layers over time and freeze them in between.

Next time, I will probably make a vanilla whipped cream and use that rather than trying to use a partially frozen (or thawed, depending on how you look at it) ice cream base for icing.

Making a Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake, Step by Step

A white iced ice cream cake on a white pedestal with birthday napkins and candles.

The process of making the cake is pretty straightforward:

  1. Make the chocolate base and pour into a 9″ x 3″ springform pan.
  2. Add a thick layer of coarsely crushed shortbread cookies (or your favorite cookie) and lightly press them into the chocolate base.
  3. Freeze for two hours.
  4. Make the strawberry base and pour on top of the cookies, shaking the pan slightly to level out and get down between the cookies.
  5. Freeze 8 hours, or overnight.
  6. Make the vanilla base and whip to stiff peaks.
  7. Frost in thin layers, freezing for about 45 minutes between each layer to build up a nice thick layer of vanilla, especially on top of the cake.
  8. Decorate as desired.
  9. Keep frozen until serving time and put any leftover cake back in the freezer right after slicing and serving.

PRO TIP: If you own a deeper pan, you can pour the vanilla layer and freeze, then frost the entire cake with whipped cream.

If you don’t own a deeper pan, you can always mold the vanilla (or any flavor) in a separate pan of the same diameter and then place it on top of the rest of the cake, using some still soft no churn (or softened store bought ice cream) as the “glue” to adhere that layer.

Then, frost the whole cake with straight up whipped cream (whipped in a mixer or by hand, not the kind from a can as it won’t hold up to freezing).

What Other Flavors of No Churn Ice Cream Would Work in This Cake?

A slice of Neapolitan ice cream cake decorated with sprinkles and pearls on a blue plate.

There is no rule that says you have to make a Neapolitan ice cream cake if you don’t want to. While it’s a classic combination for good reason, make this ice cream cake your own by customizing the flavors however yuo want.

Honestly, the sky is the limit when it comes to flavors. You will want to make sure the flavors you choose will go well together, but other than that, you can make any flavor you like.

My chocolate caramel no churn ice cream is pretty sinfully delicious would complement many other flavors.

If you’re a mint lover, you may enjoy using my Andes Mint Chip ice cream which you can make with or without the chips, depending on what cookies you are going to use and what other flavors you’d like to add.

Another excellent choice that would go with many other flavors is salted caramel.

Do I Have to Use No Churn Ice Cream?

The top of an ice cream cake decorated with edible pearls and sprinkles and birthday candles.

Absolutely not. Make your life even easier by buying ice cream and then thawing it partially and whisking it before pouring it into your springform.

As long as you don’t completely thaw the ice cream, it should freeze back up without large ice crystals.

Now that you have an overview, let’s do this. Let’s make some ice cream cake.

cut ice cream cake on a pedestal with one slice on a blue plate

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake Recipe

Jennifer Field
Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake takes three favorite flavors and marries them together in a fun and refreshing birthday ice cream cake. Easy to make, smooth, creamy and delicious–what's not to love? Note that the chocolate and strawberry layers use less than one can of sweetened condensed milk to ensure they aren't too sweet to freeze, so plan accordingly.
5 from 7 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Freezer Time 13 hours
Total Time 13 hours 30 minutes
Course Ice Cream Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices
Calories 665 kcal

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Base

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz excellent quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 oz by weight sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Strawberry Base

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 10 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 oz excellent quality strawberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • several drops red or pink food coloring , optional (I used some–start with 2-3, mix, and add until you achieve the color you want)

For the Vanilla Base

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

To Assemble

  • Very coarsely crushed cookies of your choice. I used shortbread (Lorna Doones), but almost any kind of cookie will work)

Instructions
 

For the Chocolate Base

  • Place the chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat the cream to steaming and the pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute and then whisk gently until the chocolate is evenly melted and the cream mixture is uniform.
  • Cover the bowl and chill until cold.
  • Place the “chocolate cream,” sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and whip until the cream until thickened and the whip leaves tracks in the cream. You’re looking for a texture something like cake batter.
  • Pour into a 9″x3″ springform pan and shake gently to level.
  • Add a thick layer of coarsely crumbled cookies evenly to the top of the ice cream. I used 24 Lorna Doone cookies. You can use any sort of cookie you like. You want the ice cream completely covered by crumbled cookies–you shouldn’t really see much ice cream peeking through at all.
  • Freeze for 2 hours.

For the Strawberry Layer

  • Combine the cream, sweetened condensed milk, strawberry jam, vanilla,salt, and food coloring in the bowl of your stand mixer, and whip until the cream has thickened and the whip leaves tracks in the cream. Again–cake batter texture.
  • Pour the strawberry base evenly over the cookies, tap on the counter to make sure the base gets down between the cookies, and shake gently to level. Freeze overnight.

For the Vanilla “Frosting”

  • Combine the cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whip the mixture until you achieve stiff peaks.
  • Remove the springform pan from the freezer, run a thin knife around the inside of the pan to release the ice cream and then remove the collar.
  • Frost the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of vanilla frosting.
  • Refrigerate the remaining vanilla base and freeze the cake for about 45 minutes.
  • Add another 2-3 layers of ice cream on the top of the cake, freezing between each addition, until the frosting is as thick as you want it.*
  • Decorate as desired and then freeze at least 3 hours before serving.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

Prep time does not include all the time you must wait for the cake to freeze. I suggest starting the cake 2 days before serving, finishing it up on the day before your party and then bringing it out just in time to sing Happy Birthday or Happy Blogiversary.
*If you don’t want to futz around with a no-churn frosting layer, just use straight-up whipped cream. It will hold up very nicely for decorating.
Once you start making no-churn ice cream, you might not ever go back to churned. I suggest you stock up on sweetened condensed milk!
You can also choose not to make your ice cream and just soften store bought ice cream to make your cake,

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 665kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 10gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 27gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 250mgFiber: 1gSugar: 59g
Keyword how to make a no churn ice cream cake, ice cream cake, neapolitan ice cream cake
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Collage of photos of Neapolitan ice cream cake.

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24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I swear, this is one of the prettiest cakes I’ve ever seen Jenni – you’ve outdone yourself! And how fabulous to combine two of the biggest childhood favorites into one dessert. Huzzah, you are the queen!

  2. 5 stars
    I am just drooling all over the place looking at your photos and recipe, Jenni. I have yet to try making an ice cream cake and I think I found the right recipe here on your blog. Thanks for sharing and the giveaway — hope I win, fingers-crossed!

    1. Thanks, BA! Love your mango-peach/peach-mango, too! Isn’t it fun to make? So easy and creamy-smooth! And big good luck in the giveaway! I’d love it if someone I know wins! xo

  3. 5 stars
    Jenni – that’s an incredibly nifty ice cream cake! It’s beautiful and festive and I honestly think I could make it to – where it would almost look as good as yours! 🙂

  4. You are killing my diet! Seriously though, this cake looks incredible and I love that it’s made with no churn ice cream! You made it look gorgeous and I can’t wait to try it for myself! Thanks for helping my celebrate my Blogiversary!

  5. Two of the Facebook links (Nik Snacks and Heritage Cook) are broken, and I didn’t get credit for visiting ANY of them (there were 8), or at least it didn’t register on the counter on the entry sign-in form. Not being on Pinterest or Instagram, I can’t follow anyone, but I was hoping to get at least a few entries in.

    1. Sorry about that Sandra–I will check on the links. Not everyone posted at the same time, so you may want to try again a bit later. And if you want, joining Pinterest is free and easy and you can do it right from your computer. Instagram requires a phone app, so you may not want to do that. Regardless, good luck in the giveaway!

      1. I just tried again, and it says “I visited,” but the counter at the top remains at 0/34.

5 from 7 votes

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