layered ice cream dessert with candles

Layered Ice Cream Dessert Recipe

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This beautiful layered ice cream dessert is simple to make and can be made with many flavors. Impress your friends with a slice of it.

I first learned this recipe at a cooking class in Charleston, West Virginia. I made it for a couple of birthday parties, and the guests were so impressed that I filed it away for a special celebration. You can use whatever flavor combinations you like or the ones I’ve chosen here, which will make the peanut butter and chocolate fans in your life happy. Here is how to make a layered ice cream dessert that is simple and delicious, and incredibly impressive. 

You will need a springform pan and a cake pan that is the same size to make this recipe. Plastic wrap is also a requirement. 

layered ice cream dessert recipe

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layered ice cream dessert recipe

Tempering the Ice Cream and Layering

Line your 9″ cake pan (the one shown is insulated, but that is not a requirement) with plastic wrap. I smear my damp hand around the pan before adding the plastic so that it adheres good and tight. Leave an overhang of plastic on the sides to lift it out of the pan once it is frozen. 

line a cake pan with plastic wrap

Scoop your ice cream into a bowl and either allow to melt a bit naturally or microwave it a few seconds at a time on 50% power. I don’t have the patience to wait, so I use the microwave. Once you can mush the ice cream together, spoon it into the prepared pan.

temper ice cream

Top with another piece of plastic and push against the ice cream to make it smooth across the top. Freeze about 20 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, grease the springform pan with a light layer of butter. 

frozen layer of ice cream
chocolate ice cream in pan

Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Pull the ice cream out of the cake pan with the overhanging side pieces. Carefully turn the ice cream upside down and sit it inside the springform pan. This is layer #1. Repeat with the second and third layers, working each flavor of ice cream to the sides to keep it as circular as possible. 

ice cream dessert in springform pan
layering process for ice cream dessert recipe

When the third layer is complete, freeze for a few minutes before properly wrapping to prevent freezer burn, or eating

layered ice creams in springform pan

Prepare the Crust

Place the ingredients in a food processor and give them a few pulses to chop. Pour melted butter into the mix and pulse again, two to three times, to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the buttered springform pan. Keep the layer smooth since the frozen ice cream will need a flat place to sit. You can use whatever nuts you choose.

I tend to use either pecans or walnuts, but macadamia nuts are a great way to make this layered ice cream dessert have a tropical taste. 

ice cream cake nut crust

How to Serve and Store the Ice Cream Dessert

When ready to serve, run a warmed towel around the springform pan a bit and then unmold. I sit a damp, folded paper towel underneath the metal springform bottom (the ice cream dessert is sitting on top), and sit on a decorative plate or pedestal cake stand. The paper towel will keep it from sliding around.

Run warm or hot water over a sharp knife before cutting. Rinse the knife with water to keep each slice to keep each piece pretty—the dessert pairs well with fresh berries or even potato chips.

Store the ice cream dessert by wrapping the plate tightly in plastic wrap. It still tastes delicious even after a week or two in the freezer. You can make this recipe in advance, too.  

triple chocolate ice cream cake

Hint: I buy the industrial pack of plastic wrap (Anchor Wrap: All-Purpose Food Service Film)) from Sams Club and have since owning restaurants and catering business. It is much more economical, easier to use, and stores conveniently underneath a counter. The quantity is 12 in. X 2000 ft, and it seriously lasts three or four years. You sit the cardboard holder on the counter, place your item to be covered in front of it, pull the wrap over (no clinging), slide the cutter across the size needed, and press against the item. It works so much better than Cling-Wrap or any other plastic wraps I’ve used. 

industrial plastic wrap

Flavor Combinations 

I used 1.5 quarts of Edy’s Chocolate and Slow-Churned Cookie Dough (it was on sale), and two pints of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Half Baked (with fudge brownies) since I knew my husband would love this triple chocolate threat. 

My favorite recipe is using the macadamia nut crust with two layers of premium vanilla bean and one layer of mango sorbet, or any fruit flavor you choose. This lightens the taste up and looks (and tastes!) really refreshing. 

A fun and colorful idea would be to create a Neapolitan layered ice cream dessert with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. I think strawberry would look best for the top layer. 

Which flavor choices would you pick for this layered ice cream recipe? 

layered ice cream dessert with candles

Layered Ice Cream Dessert Recipe

layered ice cream dessert with candles

This pretty refreshing layered ice cream dessert can be made with a variety of flavor combinations, and is super impressive to serve to your friends and family. Though it takes some prep work, it is easy enough to make with your kids, or in advance as it freezes and holds perfectly. The nut crust adds a great saltiness to the rich and creamy dessert.

  • Author: Melody Pittman
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 12 min
  • Total Time: 2 hours 12 min
  • Yield: 8-12 servings 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Cuisine: American



Layers of ice cream

1.5 quart premium chocolate ice cream

1.5 quart premium cookie dough ice cream

2 pints Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Half Baked


1 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

1/2 cup (stick) of butter, melted

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. sugar


Grease a springform pan with Pam or butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place nuts, flour, and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process nuts until they are fine. Pour in melted butter and pulse a few times to combine.

Press nut mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, making sure the nuts do not burn. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Temper first ice cream flavor in a bowl. Spoon into a 9″ cake pan lined with plastic wrap, leaving excess on both sides for lifting out of the pan later. Smooth layer and top with a second piece of plastic wrap, smoothing a second time with your hands over the top of the plastic. Freeze for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove cake pan from freezer and discard top layer of plastic. Lift ice cream layer out by the overhanging edges of plastic wrap, and turn into the springform pan. Remove bottom layer of plastic. Use fingers to extend the ice cream to the edges, meeting the pan.

Place springform pan with ice cream layer back in the freezer.

Repeat with second and third layers. (You can do all simultaneously if you have more than one 9″ cake pan).

Remove outside of the springform pan and serve. Enjoy!


To unmold the layered ice cream dessert from the springform pan, run a hot, wet towel around the outside of the removable piece to loosen it a bit. Unfasten and remove.

Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water before slicing the dessert. Rinse the knife and run through hot water between each cut.

Sit the ice cream dessert (still on the metal bottom of the springform pan) on a damp, folded paper towel or napkin in the center of a serving plate or cake stand to keep it from sliding.

Wrap the dessert well in plastic to store in the freezer.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice

Keywords: ice cream, dessert,

Try some of our other recipes: 

Hello Fresh Meals: Are They Worth It?

The Bomb Brie Bread Bowl 

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ice cream dessert party food recipe

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