Three Layers Ice Cream Cake

How Long Does Ice Cream Cake Last?

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When we think of cake, most of us picture moist chocolate or vanilla cake slathered in delicious buttercream icing, but I have noticed ice cream cakes become more popular in the last few years. Ice cream cakes are the perfect alternative for children’s birthday cakes and are a hit in the summer, but how long do they last?

The general rule is to eat ice cream cake within 7 days after it is made. Some ice cream cakes have bases that don’t freeze well, and you will have a mushy base after a few days. Ice crystals also form quicker on ice cream cakes, and you should avoid eating the cake after they have formed.

My nephew wanted a Star Wars ice cream cake for his birthday, so I dived into all the information I could find about ice cream cakes, how they should be stored and how long they last. I was so happy I did, it saved me time and money, and I learned a few tricks along the way. I thought I would share the info I found.

How Long Does Ice Cream Cake Last?

Ice cream cake decorated with chocolate and strawberries

In general, a typical ice cream cake should be eaten within seven days of being made. It doesn’t last as long as regular store-bought ice creams because the base ingredients don’t freeze well. After a few days, the ice cream will start to form crystals.

It doesn’t mean your ice cream cake has gone bad yet, just that it has a bit of freezer burn. The longer the ice cream cake is in the freezer, the more the flavor and looks of the cake will change. There are, however, ways to ensure your ice cream cake lasts longer in the freezer.

How Can I Make An Ice Cream Cake Last Longer?

How long an ice cream cake lasts has everything to do with what ingredients you choose to make your ice cream cake from or the ingredients the company you buy it from uses. Some ice cream cakes have cookie or cake bases, and these bases don’t freeze that well.

They get soft and mushy after a few days and draw in extra moisture. It can ruin the texture of your cake and the flavor. So, in this case, I would forgo the cookie base or any base that will get soft when frozen.

If you want the ice cream cake to last longer than seven days, try to get one that has non of the following ingredients in it:

  • Whipped Cream – Whipped cream tends to separate and draw in moisture, making the ice cream cake watery, and when it freezes, more frost crystals form, and you get more freezer burn on the ice cream cake.
  • Chocolate Syrup – It either freezes with the ice cream cake or becomes a toffee consistency, and it also draws in extra moisture.
  • Sprinkles – Are a mess to freeze, they get mushy, and their colors will start to run, making a mess of the overall looks of the cake.
  • Eggs – Eggs yokes are usually used in the ice cream base mixture, and if it is not prepared correctly or stored correctly, it could lead to bacterial growth in the ice cream.
  • Buttercream – Doesn’t freeze well; it breaks down and becomes watery, separating from the cake and making the cake soggy after about a week.
  • Cream cheese – While cream cheese stores well in the freezer, it will deteriorate faster if combined with the other ingredients the ice cream cake base is made from.

These are great ingredients; they just don’t freeze well. If you can get an ice cream cake or make one without these ingredients and store it properly, you could store it safely for up to 2 months.

The cake won’t go bad after that, the taste, texture, and consistency will start to change, and it will begin to taste and look strange.

How Far In Advance Can I Make An Ice Cream Cake?

Cake Cooking Process

According to Nigella Lawon, a baker who has her own ice cream cake business, if you are making an ice cream cake from scratch, the best guide would be to make the cake two days in advance.

It gives you time in case something goes wrong and for the cake to properly freeze. After the ice cream cake has been frozen for at least 4 hours, you should wrap the container twice in thin plastic wrap (cling film) and a layer of tin foil.

It ensures no foul odors can spoil the cake’s taste and keep fros crystals and freezer burn from forming too quickly.

If you order the cake, it is always best to make sure that you pick the cake up at least a day in advance to keep the temperature as cold as possible before the day you use it.

How Long Can An Ice Cream Cake Sit Out?

Depending on the temperatures outside on the day you are eating the ice cream cake, take the cake out of the freezer 10 minutes before cutting, not sooner, or it will melt, and it can only be out of the freezer for 10 minutes after the cutting.

Any longer, and you will have a milkshake and not an ice cream cake. Ice cream cakes melt faster in the heat, and it is best to keep the cake in the freezer until the last minute. After everyone has had a piece of the cake, you need to store it before what’s leftover melts.

Collect all the uneaten cake, put it in airtight containers, wrap the containers in cling wrap, and put the container in the freezer.

How To Store Leftover Ice Cream Cake Properly

After everyone has had their piece of ice cream cake, you need to store what is left over; if you store it correctly, you can safely eat it for up to a week. Here is how you store it; take the leftover cake as soon as possible and put it in an airtight plastic container.

Avoid using glassware as this won’t stop odors from seeping into the container and making the cake taste awful.  Ice cream cake freezes much slower in glass than in plastic. It means there will be more time for freezer burn to ruin the cake.

Wrap the container in cling film to keep as much cold air in the container as possible. Put the container in the back darkest part of the freezer; this is the coolest part of your freezer.

If your ice cream cake is an odd shape, you can double wrap the leftovers in cling wrap and put it in a zip lock bag to ensure no odors seep into the cake.

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake with Berries

How To Store Ice Cream Cake Without A Freezer

Suppose you are in a situation where you won’t have a freezer on hand to store the ice cream cake in until it’s time to cut and serve it. Dry ice can last anywhere from 4 to 7 days. Here is how you use the dry ice method.

Storing Ice Cream Cake Using The Dry Ice Method

Before you try the dry ice method, there are a few things you need to remember:

  • Remember to wear gloves when working with dry ice, as dry ice can burn your skin.
  • Dry ice does create vapor, so ensure that the icebox you use has a vent to let the gas out; if you can’t find one with a vent, crack the lid and put the cooler in a cool shaded place.
  • Please don’t get the dry ice too far in advance, or it might melt by the time you have to use it, get it the day off or the day before the event. Dry ice may last a few days, but you never know what can go wrong and instead play it safe.

Now that you know the safety precautions to keep in mind, here is how to use the dry ice method:

You get a big enough cooler to have your cake (inside an airtight container) and some dry ice in it. Put dry ice in the bottom and some in a bag for the sides. Be careful as the ice can damage the decorations.

You could put the ice cream cake in an airtight plastic container and put the dry ice on the bottom and top of the container. Make sure no ice gets into the container, or it will be a mushy mess.

It will keep your ice cream cake cold enough until it can be cut and eaten. When you’re done, put the leftover cake back into the container and into the icebox. Your cake should make it safely back into your freezer in time.

To help the dry ice last longer, wrap the ice in towels and place them into the icebox.  You can also put brown paper or newspaper around the cooler to keep the dry ice colder for longer.

Using Regular Ice To Store Your Ice Cream Cake

Getting a high-quality cooler that will help the ice last longer is more efficient than a Styrofoam cooler.  We all know that regular ice will help keep things cold if it is used correctly.

Regular ice comes in cubes and sometimes in round shapes; either way, it can keep an ice cream cake from melting in the heat. Below are some hacks to help ensure your ice cream cake lasts as long as possible:

  • Put ice into the cooler before you put the ice cream cake and other ice into it; placing an ice cream cake into a warm cooler will let it melt faster.
  • Freeze ice into bigger solid blocks. Using casserole dishes, freeze water into thick slabs of ice that will fit snuggly against the container that has the cake inside. It will allow for an even temperature.
  • Scatter some rock salt over the ice to help it melt slower. It is a method that has been used for years to keep ice from melting too soon.
  • Keep all the open spaces filled with either ice or towels. Open-air pockets will let the ice melt sooner, so filling those spaces will make the ice last longer.
  • Open the cooler as little as possible; every time you open the cooler warm air gets into, the cooler and the ice will melt sooner, and thus the ice cream cake too.

Tips On What To Do With Left Over Ice Cream Cake

If you see that your leftover ice cream cake has been sitting in the freezer for almost a week, but you and your family have had their fill of it, and you don’t want it to go to waste, here are some ideas that you can use to create something else with the leftover ice cream cake.

  1. You can make delicious milkshakes with leftover ice cream cake. You only need a cup of milk, a cup of ice cream, and all the add-ins you like. Mix and serve.
  • You could bake a regular cake. There are tons of recipes out there that are so good, and you’re not wasting perfectly good ice cream.
  • You can bake an ice cream loaf. It is like a loaf of banana bread but with ice cream. These are so good, and there are tons of recipes out there.
  • Try making homemade ice cream sandwiches. It has always been a favorite in my house. Use add ons like chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, or even jelly candies.
  • If you add whipped cream to melted ice cream cake (only the ice cream part of the cake) and mix it until soft peaks are formed, you will have ice cream moose.

So, How Long Does Ice Cream Cake Last?

Ice cream cake is an all-time favorite in most circles and a winner at almost any event. The only problem seems to be that ice cream cake doesn’t last long. After thorough research, I found so many different ways of preserving an ice cream cake for longer.

I also found ideas on using the leftovers if you don’t want to keep in in the freezer for long. Ice cream cakes may only last a few days in cake form, but you can use them afterward to create new and delicious dishes.


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