Ice Cream Cakes From These 8 Chains Are The Best, According To Customers

Slice of ice cream cake
Slice of ice cream cake - Mitchellpictures/Getty Images

Ice cream holds a special place in many hearts and stomachs, thanks to its many delightful combination of flavors and its refreshing, creamy texture. Similarly, cake is also a firm favorite with sugar-loving gourmets, captivating with its decadent layers of filling, frosting, and decorations. That said, what could be more irresistible than a fusion of these two classic desserts?

Ice cream cakes merge the deliciousness of ice cream with the richness of cake in one culinary treat. This innovative combination offers ample space for innovation, allowing for endless variations in flavor, texture, and presentation. From classic vanilla and chocolate to more adventurous blends incorporating out-of-the-box flavors like pecan or Snickers, ice cream cakes can be customized to suit any occasion or palate. Be it a simple family reunion or a lavish party, these delicious creations are bound to impress, delivering both the invigorating quality of ice cream and the velvety decadence of cake.

Short on time or motivation for a homemade ice cream cake? These ice cream chains have you covered!

Read more: 12 Popular Ice Cream Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Carvel Ice Cream

Carvel Fudgie the Whale
Carvel Fudgie the Whale - Facebook / Carvel Ice Cream

Carvel Ice Cream started with a $15 loan and a big dream. The mastermind behind the brand, Tim Carvel, used this investment to purchase an ice cream truck in 1929. The first Carvel store opened in the 1930s after the brand's founder accidentally discovered people's penchant for partially melted ice cream, a texture we today call "soft serve." Countless other icy creations followed, including the chain's trademark ice cream cakes Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss, both introduced in 1934. While a lot of Carvel inventions have doubtlessly come and gone over the years, both Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss continue to symbolize the brand's enduring legacy.

Just like Carvel's numerous ice cream flavors, the brand's ice cream cakes cater to a wide range of tastes and occasions. Many of the chain's round cakes feature tiers of flavored ice cream divided by layers of crunchy crust, all covered in whipped icing or more crunchies. Carvel also offers a selection of ice cream cakes in imaginative shapes, including the 3D Racer Cake, 3D Butterfly Cake, and the Hug Me the Bear cake. For sports fans, there's the Game Ball cake (shaped like a football) as well as baseball and basketball cakes. Additionally, customers can customize their cake by choosing its size, shape, flavor, and toppings. They can even add an edible image for a personalized touch. While Carvel cakes are on the pricier side, many find that the quality of the desserts is worth the splurge.


Baskin-Robbins Oreo Cookie Cake
Baskin-Robbins Oreo Cookie Cake - Facebook / Baskin-Robbins

Baskin-Robbins has established itself as a worldwide powerhouse with approximately 7,800 locations in over 50 countries, and a repertoire of 1,400 ice cream flavors. Founded in the 1940s by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, the brand broke the mold by offering 31 ice cream flavors, one for every day of the month. This innovative approach set Baskin-Robbins apart during an era when most ice cream parlors limited their offerings to the traditional flavor trio of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

Initially offering only ice cream, Baskin-Robbins broadened its frosty selection by introducing ice cream cakes in 1962. Today, customers can choose from pre-designed cakes, or personalize their torte with bespoke ice cream flavors and cake designs. Baskin-Robbins' range includes simple offerings like the Celebration Party Cake and the Fudge Roll Cake, as well as more intricate designs. Some of the chain's shaped cake options include the Dinosaur Dome Cake, the Unicorn Cake, and the Ladybug Cake. Customers can also add a special message or an edible image to their sweet treat, ensuring a personalized touch for any celebration.

While Baskin-Robbins has built a strong reputation for itself over the years, it's worth noting that its ice cream cakes are among the priciest on the market. Although the elevated cost does reflect the variety and personalization options, it can be something to consider before placing your ice cream cake order.


Friendly's Celebration Ice Cream Cake
Friendly's Celebration Ice Cream Cake - Facebook / Friendly's

Originally established as a small ice cream shop in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1935, Friendly's quickly expanded its offerings to include diner-style cuisine. Today, the popular chain restaurant serves a variety of meals, including soups, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and seafood. Remaining true to its roots, Friendly's continues to provide a selection of ice cream and ice cream cakes. One of the primary characteristics of the brand's ice cream cakes is that they lean towards the ice creamy side, featuring very thin layers of cake. Additionally, with only around 100 Friendly's locations in just 11 states, the chain has a limited geographic reach.

Although the variety of Friendly's ice cream cakes may be somewhat limited, the available options are economically priced. The chain's lineup of frosty delights includes Chocolate Crunch Cake, Strawberry Krunch Cake, Oreo Cake, Peanut Butter Cup Cake, as well as an assortment of sheet cakes and round cakes in various sizes. Many of the offerings are made with chocolate crunchies, icing, and appealing decorative touches. However, unlike many other ice cream chains, Friendly's doesn't offer customization options.


Häagen-Dazs chocolate cake
Häagen-Dazs chocolate cake - Facebook / Häagen-Dazs

With just over 200 Häagen-Dazs locations in the U.S., the ice cream parlor might not be the easiest to find. However, with Häagen-Dazs' ice cream flavors widely available in supermarkets, the brand remains a familiar indulgence for many. This being said, getting your hands on a Häagen-Dazs ice cream cake is likely to require a trip to one of the brand's stores or an online order.

Häagen-Dazs doesn't specialize in shaped ice cream cakes, so if you're after an edible penguin or a bunny, it's probably best to look elsewhere. Instead, the brand offers a range of pre-designed cakes in classic shapes, allowing you to add personal touches. After selecting your cake design, simply choose your favorite ice cream flavors and decide between frosting or a chocolate coating. Alternatively, you can collaborate with a Häagen-Dazs representative to design your own frosty masterpiece. Some of the pre-designed cake options available for customization include Mocha Torte, encased in chocolate crunchies, Birthday Fun, encircled by cones brimming with frosting, and Confetti, topped with multi-colored sprinkles.

Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery Midnight Delight
Cold Stone Creamery Midnight Delight - Facebook / Cold Stone Creamery Cyprus

Cold Stone Creamery is pretty confident about the quality of its ice cream, rating itself 11.5 out of 10. Indeed, the chain's ice cream is richer than that of some of its competitors — a sure perk for those who enjoy bolder textures. The secret lies in the brand's formula, which includes a greater amount of milk fat or butterfat, and a production process that incorporates less air. The result is an ice cream that strikes a balance between the creamy softness of soft serve and the denseness of hard-packed ice cream.

It's this rich ice cream -- coupled with frosting, fudge, and other mix-ins -- that makes Cold Stone Creamery stand out from the pack. Some of the chain's signature cakes include the choco-centric Midnight Delight, with devil's food cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate shavings, and fudge ganache; and the Strawberry Passion, featuring strawberry ice cream and purée, red velvet cake, and a cracker crust. The company also specializes in birthday cakes, complete with sweet cream ice cream, devil's food cake, and sprinkles. For the little ones, the creamery offers kid-themed cakes adorned with unicorns, princesses, racing cars, and superheroes.

While Cold Stone Creamery provides a variety of ice cream cakes, its prices can be relatively high. One of the perks is the brand's customization options, which include bespoke flavors, mix-in, frosting, and other decorations. However, with only around 300 brick-and-mortar shops across 20 countries, finding a nearby outlet may be a bit of a challenge.

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's ice cream cake
Ben & Jerry's ice cream cake - Facebook / Ben & Jerry's

The humble beginnings of Ben & Jerry's date back to 1978 when two friends Ben and Jerry opened an ice cream shop in a repurposed gas station in Burlington, Vermont. Having completed an ice-cream making correspondence course for $5, the duo felt ready to conquer the world, and so they did. Today Ben & Jerry's not only sells a myriad of popular ice cream flavors but also seeks to improve the state of the world by working to eliminate social and economic injustice and protect the environment. The company does this by spreading awareness and working with environmentally and ethically responsible suppliers.

While the cakes at Ben & Jerry's are somewhat expensive, the chain's extensive customization options might justify the lofty price tags. Customers begin by choosing the cake's shape — round or square — and its size. Next, they pick from around 10 available designs, such as Sweet Cream & Cookies, Fudge Caramel Drizzle, or Chip Chip Hooray. They then select two ice cream flavors from a vast range including butter pecan, Chocolate Therapy, Salted Caramel Blondie, and strawberry cheesecake. Plus, there's an option to inscribe the cake with a personalized message. The main challenge is the limited number of Ben & Jerry's locations, with only about 200 outlets throughout the U.S.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen blizzard cake
Dairy Queen blizzard cake - Facebook / Dairy Queen (Treat) (404 S Main St, Viroqua, WI)

Mid-range prices, a vast selection of ice cream cakes, and over 4,200 locations nationwide make Dairy Queen a favorite destination for those looking to indulge their sweet tooth. Founded in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois, by a father and son duo, Dairy Queen quickly distinguished itself with its soft serve ice cream, a novelty at the time. The McCulloughs' formula was so groundbreaking that they sold 1,600 servings of the creamy treat when they first unveiled it at a friend's ice cream store.

Dairy Queen's ice cream cakes feature a vanilla or chocolate soft serve exterior and a crunchy center. Each of the chain's round or sheet cake designs can be personalized with a message or an edible image topper. Dairy Queen is also known for its DQ Blizzard cakes filled with one of the chain's famous blizzard treats. The popular frozen desserts combine soft serve ice cream and a range of mix-ins such as cookies, candies, or chocolates.

The mix-ins are blended thoroughly with the ice cream to achieve a thick, creamy texture that is dense enough to be served upside down without spilling. Dairy Queen's four DQ Blizzard options include the Choco Brownie Extreme Blizzard Cake, Oreo Blizzard Cake, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cake, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard Cake, each offering a unique twist on the classic dessert.

Marble Slab Creamery

Marble Slab Creamery chocolate cake
Marble Slab Creamery chocolate cake - Facebook / Marble Slab Creamery

Given its presence in just 13 states, Marble Slab Creamery may not be on the radar of many ice cream enthusiasts. Nonetheless, those who are familiar with the chain likely get its allure. Marble Slab Creamery is known for its premium, handmade ice cream prepared on a marble slab with a variety of mix-ins that allow customers to personalize their treats. In fact, the chain claims that they have invented — or "dreamed up" — this technique of ice cream preparation in 1983.

Marble Slab Creamery offers both pre-made and customizable ice cream cake options. For those wishing to create their own frosty masterpiece, the process involves selecting the preferred ice cream flavor, adding a variety of mix-ins ranging from nuts to candy bars, and choosing a cake flavor to complete the creation. Alternatively, customers can opt for pre-made cakes with enticing flavor combinations such as the Mocha Cappuccino Fudge featuring a blend of cinnamon and coffee ice cream or the whimsical Cotton Candy Carnival with a marshmallow and M&M topping. Additionally, Marble Slab Creamery also offers cakes designed for specific occasions like birthdays, graduations, and seasonal celebrations.


Ice cream cake
Ice cream cake - Cindy Ord/Getty Images

To compile a list of chains known for offering the best ice cream cakes, we took into account several critical factors. Primary among these was customer feedback from well-known online platforms. We also evaluated each chain's assortment of cakes, paying special attention to the diversity of flavors and the overall value for money. Additionally, we considered the number of each chain's outlets, as convenience is crucial. After all, the quality of ice cream cake doesn't really matter if there's no nearby location to buy it.

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