I Tried Every Grocery Store Ice Cream Cake I Could Find — These Are the 3 I’ll Be Buying Again

published Jul 19, 2022
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Frozen food aisle of grocery store
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Raise your hand if you, like me, assumed that picking up an ice cream cake meant submitting an order form to the ice cream shop way ahead of when you actually want it. Friends, I am delighted to announce that you can actually just stop into your local grocery store, head to the freezer case, and pick one up whenever the mood strikes. 

I recently tried a few grocery store options with my family on a random Tuesday night, and three of the treats served up equal parts nostalgia and delight. While these would all be great options for any last-minute celebration, I heartily recommend adding a “just because” ice cream cake to your summer bucket list. Let’s take a look at the winners, shall we?

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

1. Carvel Round Ice Cream Confetti Cake

Carvel makes a variety of ice cream cakes available in the freezer section, including strawberry crunch and cookie dough, but I opted for this classic version. This is what I think of when I think of ice cream cake: a base layer of chocolate ice cream, a layer of chocolate cookie crumbs, then vanilla ice cream on top. The whole thing is covered in whipped topping and confetti sprinkles, and even has “Happy Birthday” written in red gel icing.

It’s nostalgia on a plate. One bite of this cake instantly transported me to my BFF’s backyard in a wet bathing suit with my towel wrapped around me, face and fingers sticky with fudge and sprinkles, not worried about it in the slightest because we are all jumping back in the pool immediately after. Perhaps related, this was my 10-year old daughter’s top choice. 

Buy: Carvel Round Ice Cream Confetti Cake, $18.98 for 56 ounces at Walmart

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

2. Reese’s Premium Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake

If you’ve got peanut butter cup lovers in your house, this is the ice cream cake for them. A layer of peanut butter cups runs through the chocolate ice cream base, which is iced with whipped peanut butter frosting, and decorated with an extra drizzle of fudge sauce and crushed peanut butter cups. The chocolate ice cream wasn’t as rich as the one in the basic Carvel cake, but I think that’s actually a good thing. Peanut butter and chocolate desserts can sometimes be super rich and almost too decadent. This option felt balanced. The marbled chocolate drizzle over the top is a nice touch and feels a little more elevated. This was my 14-year-old son’s choice, and likely a good bet if you’re serving a bunch of teens. 

Buy: Reese’s Premium Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake, $14.98 for 46 ounces at Walmart

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

3. Jon Donaire Mudd Pie Ice Cream Cake

This cake was a significant departure from the other two. As a coffee ice cream lover, I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a cake made up of “coffee-flavored ice cream rippled with chocolate and toasted almonds on a fudge-topped chocolate cookie crust.” This was definitely a more sophisticated ice cream cake, including the more careful packaging to preserve the presentation. My favorite part was the cookie crust. It brought a little nostalgia to the whole thing, which made it fun to eat. If I needed a quick grocery store dessert for an event, I wouldn’t hesitate to stop and pick one of these up. My husband was definitely also a fan.

Buy: Jon Donaire Mudd Pie Ice Cream Cake; mine cost $14.81 when I ordered it via Amazon. It’s no longer available there, but you can buy it at Instacart, where prices vary by location.

Is there a store-bought ice cream cake that you swear by? Tell us about it in the comments below!