Of course, everyone knows there’s an National Ice Cream Day and there’s also a National Cake Day but a day that can combine both of these beautiful and tasty treats into one is celebrated as National Ice Cream Cake Day!
History of National Ice Cream Cake Day
Obviously, in order to get the background of National Ice Cream Cake Day, it is important to look at the history of the two components that make it up: cake and ice cream. The two distinct pieces of this combination of flavors each have their own unique narratives that will, like any good romance, eventually combine into one amazing story!
Though ice cream and cake were probably both created before the New World was even settled by Europeans, the combination of the two to create ice cream cake now seems to be more commonly enjoyed in the United States and Australia.
Ice cream’s history likely dates back more than 1500 years, originating as an icy, milk-like confection that was enjoyed by the emperors of the Tang dynasty. The first recipe for a milk-based sorbet was created in the mid 1600s, which is considered by many to be the first official version of ice cream.
The earliest version of cake also goes back to ancient times, originally more bread-like and sweetened with honey. However, cake as it is known today, using refined flour, baking soda and sugars, wasn’t made until the middle of the 19th century.
A relative of the ice cream cake, Baked Alaska was created in 1867, named in honor of the American acquisition of the territory of Alaska. This dessert somewhat resembles an individual ice cream cake, with sponge cake and ice cream, but is topped with meringue and then baked.
Eaten at celebrations such as birthdays, graduations or other parties, ice cream cake can be made with layers of ice cream with actual cake, or the layers of ice cream can simply be shaped to form a “cake” that is then frosted with icing or whipped cream and decorated. Sometimes unique flavor layers are added, such as chocolate fudge, sandwich cookies, brownie crumbs or candies.
National Ice Cream Cake Day Timeline
Ice cream is molded into shapes
Trifles are created by molding ice cream into shapes, and a biscuit crust is used to hold the ice cream in place.
Baked Alaska is invented
Though not called “ice cream cake”, this dessert is made of sponge cake on the bottom, topped with ice cream, covered with meringue and then baked.
Dairy Queen is founded
One of the early American ice cream shops, the first DQ is opened in Joliet, Illinois. Now at least 5,700 stores exist, and most of them sell ice cream cakes.
Guinness record for World’s Largest Ice Cream Cake
A Dairy Queen team in Canada takes the cake with an ice cream cake that weighs a whopping 22,333 pounds and measures over 14 feet long.
How to Celebrate National Ice Cream Cake Day
Ice Cream Cake Day has a few deliciously specific ways that it can be observed and celebrated, so try these out:
Enjoy Eating Ice Cream Cake
Ice cream cakes don’t have to be only for birthdays, anniversaries or parties! They can simply be for a day that is worth celebrating, and National Ice Cream Cake Day is certainly such a time!
Delicious ice cream cakes can be found at a variety of different ice cream shops throughout the United States and other places in the globe.
- Baskin Robbins makes ice cream cakes in the shape of a roll, like a Swiss roll, using a variety of its 31 different flavors. They also offer traditional rectangle cakes that can be custom decorated with a photo.
- Dairy Queen uses their vanilla soft serve ice cream, filling the cake pan and leaving space in the middle for blizzard flavors like Oreos, M&Ms, Fudge & Peanuts, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Chocolate Brownie and many others.
- Cold Stone Creamery. Pick up an ice cream cake from Cold Stone in flavors like red velvet, Oreo, strawberry, and cookie dough. Or, even better, order online ahead of time and get a custom cake made with your choice of cake flavors, local and seasonal ice cream flavors, and even mix-ins.
- Ben & Jerry’s offers ice cream cakes that serves from 2-40 people, made from their delicious ice cream flavors in themes like Fudge Caramel Drizzle, Groovy Tie Die, Sprinkle Explosion, and Heart Shaped cakes.
Try Making an Ice Cream Cake
Making an ice cream cake at home can be loads of fun. Just make sure there’s enough room in the freezer! While making an ice cream cake alone is an option, it might be even more fun to grab a friend or two to enjoy working on it together.
Gather the ingredients needed, including ice cream in the chosen flavors, cookies or cake crumbles to make the crust, hot fudge or caramel sauce, whipped cream, and decorations like colored sprinkles.
Mix the cookie crumbs with melted butter, place in a layer in the bottom of the pan and freeze for 15 minutes. Spread softened ice cream in a layer on top of the cookie crust and freeze for 30 more minutes. Then pour the hot fudge or caramel sauce and freeze for an additional 30 minutes.
Spread homemade whipped cream on top of the frozen concoction and add colored sprinkles. Feel free to decorate in fun and festive ways that are appropriate for National Ice Cream Cake Day!
Create New Ice Cream Cake Flavors
While Oreo, Reese’s peanut butter cup, or mint chocolate chip are some classic favorites, this would be a great time to get creative with ice cream cake flavors.
Try some of these ideas for unique options that are less common in the ice cream cake world.
- Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake. It’s like having peach cobbler a la mode, but the opposite! Use graham crackers, peaches and pecans to make it delicious.
- Watermelon Ice Cream Cake. Use watermelon flavored sorbet ice cream and add chocolate chips to look like the watermelon seeds. This one can even be made vegan.
- Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Cake. Make two enormous chocolate chip cookies, fill them like an ice cream sandwich, and roll the edges in chocolate chips.
- Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake. Enjoy vanilla cake, vanilla ice cream stirred together with pudding mix, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafer cookies.
Bring an Ice Cream Cake to Work
Spread some joy and sunshine with coworkers by taking an ice cream cake into work and sharing with everyone during lunch or a coffee break. Surely, National Ice Cream Cake Day will become a new tradition at the workplace, even if most people didn’t even realize that’s what day it is!
National Ice Cream Cake Day FAQs
Are ice cream cakes gluten free?
Some ice cream cakes may be gluten free, but many of them contain a crumbly, cake-like layer that likely contains gluten, so be sure to ask or read the label.
Can ice cream cake expire?
Ice cream cake can go bad eventually, especially if it is not stored properly. Some recommendations are to not store it for longer than seven days.
Do ice cream cakes go in the freezer?
Yes! Ice cream cakes need to be stored in the freezer, then removed to thaw for 10-20 minutes prior to serving.
How to make ice cream cake?
The simplest ice cream cake recipes use pre-made ice cream layered with pre-made cake or brownie crumbs, then it is frosted with whipped cream and re-frozen.
Where to buy ice cream cake?
Ice cream cakes can often be found at local bakeries, dessert shops or grocery stores. Some US national chain ice cream stores, like Dairy Queen, Cold Stone Creamery and Baskin Robbins, also sell them.