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Homemade Ice Cream Crunch Cake

homemade ice cream crunch cake

If you’re looking for a frugal alternative to store-bought ice cream cakes, I’ve got the recipe for you!

This is a whole lot cheaper than a prepared ice cream cake, especially if you manage to find ice cream on a good sale.

Store-bought ice cream cakes usually just come in chocolate and vanilla, but you can buy whatever ice cream you like and switch up the flavors every time you make this one.

Allergy-friendly options!

This cake can be gluten-free if you choose ice cream with no gluten and you buy rice cereal that is certified gluten-free.

Aaaaand it can be nut-free as well if you leave out the peanut butter and choose nut free ice cream.

How big is this cake?

This serves up to 16, depending on how large you make your slices, so if you have a small family, you might want to cut the recipe in half. You’ll end up with a shorter cake, but it still tastes just as good.

The recipe calls for a 9 inch springform pan, which is what I use, but if you don’t have one, you could just use a 9×13 pan and cut the cake into squares instead of wedges.

Cake Directions

There’s a printable below, but here’s the basic idea.

First, melt chocolate chips (plus peanut butter if you like) and then stir it into a big bowl of rice cereal.

A pan filled chocolate crunch topping.

Then you can press some into the bottom of a springform pan, add a layer of ice cream, add more cereal, add another layer of ice cream, and top with more cereal, like so:

A slice of ice cream cake.

Or if you are in a hurry and don’t feel like messing with layers, you can freeze the cereal mixture until it’s hard, like this:

A clump of chocolate topping.

Then you can break it into pieces, fold it into the softened ice cream, and press the whole thing into a springform pan.

Either way, once you’re done, you can cover it with plastic wrap or foil, and freeze until serving time.

A chocolate ice cream cake in a springform pan.

When you’re ready to serve your cake, loosen the sides of the springform pan and slice the cake into wedges.

If the cake is really hard and difficult to slice, you can let it sit for a few minutes so that it will soften.

Overhead view of ice cream cake slice, on a white plate.

The original recipe says to garnish the cake with whipped cream and strawberries, but I’ve never bothered with that. I think it’s just fine as is. 😉

Overhead view of ice cream cake slice, on a white plate.

Ice Cream Crunch Cake

Yield: One 9-inch cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This homemade ice cream cake is much cheaper than the premade ones from the store, and you can customize it with whatever flavors you like!


  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • 12 oz. package chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (optional)
  • 1 gallon of ice cream, whatever flavor you like, so long as it goes with peanut butter and chocolate


  1. Combine peanut butter (if using) and chocolate chips in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted.
  2. Measure rice cereal into a large bowl. Add melted chocolate and mix until cereal is evenly coated.
  3. Spoon 1/3 of the cereal mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to cover bottom. Press gently down with spatula; place pan in freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. Soften half gallon ice cream; spread over cereal crust in pan. Cover with another 1/3 cereal mixture; place in freezer until firm.
  5. Soften second half gallon ice cream; spread in springform pan. Cover ice cream layer with remaining cereal mixture, cover pan with foil, and freeze until serving time.
  6. Let cake sit at room temperature to soften slightly before slicing and serving.


You can leave out the peanut butter to make this a nut-free cake. Just be sure to choose ice cream flavors with no nuts.

If you don't want to make layers of ice cream and the crunch mixture, after step 2, spread cereal mixture onto a sheet pan and freeze until firm. Once firm, break cereal into small pieces, mix with softened ice cream, and spread into springform pan.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 578Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 58mgSodium 299mgCarbohydrates 62gFiber 4gSugar 41gProtein 10g

Nutrition will vary depending on ice cream used in cake

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Kristie Lawrence

Saturday 9th of March 2019

Made this today for my daughter’s 19th birthday. She wanted a cake for Cold Stone. It was $30 and served only eight people! I whipped this up in no time. Thanks for another great recipe!


Thursday 6th of June 2013

Just made this last night for my family. We follow a GF diet, so this is perfect for us! And I used Aldi Rice Cereal and their Chocolate Chips to make this and they worked just great. My question is this - how do you store leftovers?


Thursday 6th of June 2013

I just store the leftover cake in the freezer, covered with plastic wrap. So glad that it worked out well for you!


Thursday 14th of March 2013

hi, i have a question, since you are using peanut butter, what can I replace it with? my child and i know others are allergic to peanut butter but cake sounds awesome. please advise


Thursday 14th of March 2013

You can actually use just chocolate chips if you'd like...when I've done that, I've just added another 2/3 cup of chocolate chips and left the peanut butter out entirely.

Amy Engle

Thursday 12th of April 2012

Yum! I'm going to make this soon. Thanks.


Wednesday 4th of April 2012

This Cake is So Pretty & Fancy ! ;) Gonna Make this for My Brothers BDay.

Do you Remember the Watermellon Ice cream cake ? Green color IceCream Put into a Bowl then a Bowl in to the Green Icecream to make the Shape stay & Freeze. Then take out & remove the Inner bowl. & Add Red Color IceCream or Sherbert with some Choc Chips to look like seeds. & Freeze again . Then Slice n Seever

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