Filed under: Frozen / Summer
July 26, 2019

Birthday Cake and Cookie Dough Ice Cream

A birthday cake ice cream like no other: this one is gently flavored to taste like birthday vanilla, has real birthday cake bits AND birthday cookie dough. This is birthday ice cream trifecta! 

birthday cake ice cream


birthday cake ice cream

Birthday Cake Ice Cream: Store-Bought vs Homemade

Earlier this summer I had made an impulse buy of a giant tub of birthday cake ice cream; which isn’t like me at all. I generally don’t buy sweets from the grocery store because in my house, there’s usually enough dessert to feed, err, a couple of families as a result of all my baking, lol. But heh, it was on sale and I was in one of those stressed out, I need sugar rn moods.

Sadly, it was not the fix I’d hoped for. What held the promise of nostalgia-laced childhood happiness was in fact, a regular vanilla ice cream with… sprinkles. That’s it. What about this was the ‘cake’ part? The only texture I was getting came from the jimmies and I was mostly overwhelmed by the too sweet taste.




Birthday Cake Ice Cream with Cake Pieces

I decided to come up with a recipe that truly honored the title of ‘birthday cake ice cream’. Mine was going to have actual birthday cake in it. And, idk about you, but I love, love the promise of running into unexpected bits of yumminess in my ice cream, so I doubled down on texture with some ‘birthday’ cookie dough nuggets.

And GUYS, IT’S SO GOOD. The first time I made this we gobbled it up before I could get decent photos, so I, not reluctantly at all, made it again. Again, it was gone within days (this time I got some shots).


Birthday Cake Ice Cream with Birthday Cookie Dough

The recipes for all parts of this dish originate from crafters who really know their stuff. I gather them with a few tweaks, and altogether it’s an absolute explosion of that happy-inducing feeling I was initially after. You’ve got the cake, you’ve got the ice cream, and as you dig in thinking this is the best combination ever, those nuggets suddenly show up full of chewy sweetness and, you’ll wonder if a dish could ever get any better. It’s the middle of summer y’all, let’s waste no more time not making this dish!


How to make Birthday Cake Ice Cream

  1. Make the cake, ice cream base and dough nuggets. Recipes follow.
  2. Once the chunks and nuggets are frozen, and your base is completely cool, churn your ice cream according to your machine’s manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. While the base is churning, cut the frozen cake into half inch cubes.
  4. Once ice cream base is churned, mix in the cookie nuggets and cake chunks and store it in an airtight container in the freezer.




Birthday Cake Ice Cream Recipe

Birthday Cake Ice Cream

A birthday cake ice cream like no other: this one is gently flavored to taste like birthday vanilla, has real birthday cake bits AND birthday cookie dough. This is birthday ice cream trifecta! 


Birthday Cake Ice Cream Base

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Scant ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons artificial vanilla

Birthday Cookie Dough Bites

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons imitation vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour toasted in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 (makes it safe to eat)
  • 3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • Birthday cake bits, made from this recipe or from a box


To make the cookie dough bits:

  • Whisk together the butter, salt and sugar until soft and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla and corn syrup and whisk to combine.
  • Add flour, beat to just combine.
  • Stir in sprinkles.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper that will fit in your freezer (or a small chopping board) and drop ½ teaspoons of the batter onto the pan. Freeze.

To make the ice cream base:

  • In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
  • In a large pot, add the rest of the milk, the heavy cream, sugar and salt. Cook on medium-low until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the cornstarch/milk mixture to the pot and whisk to combine. Cook on medium until it thickens slightly.
  • Whisk the hot mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and whisk to combine. If you see little lumps in your mixture, sieve it before pouring it into an airtight container. Chill the base for at least six hours.
  • Churn the base according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
  • As you add the base to your ice cream container, stir in cake bits, cookie dough bites and additional sprinkles if desired.


Note on Ice Cream Base: Recipe adapted from Jeni’s vanilla ice cream. Jeni uses cornstarch and some cream cheese to thicken her ice cream base, thereby avoiding egg yolks which really can alter the flavor. This is especially important for our purposes here, where the delicate vanilla flavor is our goal. I made Jeni’s version the first time almost to a T, (but without the corn syrup), and loved it but thought it just a tad too sweet with all the add-ins this recipe requires. When I made it again, I reduced the sugar and increased the salt just a bit, I think this way we bring more balance to the overall dish. Of course, we are also using artificial vanilla for that iconic ‘birthday’ flavor.
Note on Cookie Dough bites Recipe: this is adapted from BraveTart, Iconic American Desserts.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. It is my birthday next month (August) and I already know what I am making for myself as my treat! This looks EPIC as I also am addicted to “chewy nuggets” in my ice cream. However, I recently made a Jeni’s recipe for Cookie Dough Ice Cream, and she notes that it is important to toast the flour that you put into the frozen cookie dough before baking, for food safety purposes. Thought I would share that note with you in case anyone is concerned about raw flour.

    • Happy birthday Tricia! Yes – you probably should heat treat the flour to be safe, that’s what I do with my cookie dough tart (just 5 mins at 350). I’ll add a note to the recipe! Thanks!

  2. this is EPIC and I need it in my life! How far in advance can I make the cake and dough parts? That is, for how long do you think that they’ll stay fresh in the freezer?

  3. Love that you used base recipes that are fabulous on a stand alone basis anyway. But birthday cake needs frosting! I suppose you could freeze the cake with icing and then add them? The frosting would smear a bit, but that seems like it would be part of the charm?

    • Hi Robby! It’s true – birthday cake needs its frosting! I think I might disagree with you that it needs it for this dish though, given that the ice cream does the job a frosting would do for a cake in terms of moisture. I also think it might render the whole dish overly sweet which was something I tried to avoid when I made this. But hey, if you try it, let me know how it goes!