A plated slice of lemon ice cream cake garnished with a candid lemon slice

Lemon Ice Cream Cake

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Chill Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 10 servings


With creamy, no-churn lemon ice cream stuffed between two layers of lemon cake, this Lemon Ice Cream Cake is the perfect sweet-but-tart dessert for spring and summer! It uses a few shortcuts, like box cake mix, for a super easy homemade ice cream cake!


For the Cake Layer:

  • 1 box (15oz) lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) Instant Lemon Pudding
  • 1 cup (236ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (79ml) vegetable Oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg White
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested

For the Lemon Ice Cream:

  • 1 1/4 cups (296ml) heavy whipping cream, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons, divided
  • 1/2 cup (65g) powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces (226g) full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested

For the Frosting:

  • 2 containers (8oz/226g)) Cool Whip 


For the Cake Layer:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Wrap with bake even stripes if desired. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake ingredients: cake mix, pudding mix, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, egg white, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Beat on medium-high speed until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Test your cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the cake is done. Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the Lemon Ice Cream:

  1. Prepare the whipped cream first. Place a medium-sized metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill. Pour 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and beat on medium-high speed until the heavy cream has thickened to soft peaks
  2. Next, add the powdered sugar and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Set the whipped cream in the refrigerator. 
  3. Beat the softened cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until the cream cheese is smooth and free of lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the dry instant lemon pudding mix and 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium-high speed for two minutes until pudding is well mixed into cream cheese. The cream cheese will thicken. You can add additional tablespoons of heavy cream until the cream cheese is softened so it will easily mix into lemon filling.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Beat on medium speed until well combined.
  6. Finally, fold in the prepared whipped cream, turning the filling over from the bottom to the top and continuing to stir until it’s well mixed.

To Assemble the Cake:

  1. Use a springform pan or your cake pan that is the same size as your cakes (8 inches). Wrap the edges of the pan with saran wrap or cake collars. Place a cake board in the bottom of your pan.
  2. Tort the top of each cake layer so that it is flat using either a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Place the first layer on top of your cake board.
  3. Pour the ice cream base over the top of the cake and spread evenly with a spatula.
  4. Place the second layer of cake on top, inverting it so the bottom of the cake layer is now the top. Freeze for at least 4 hours until the ice cream layer is completely frozen.

To Frost the Cake:

  1. If needed, shave the edges of the ice cream e using a hot serrated knife until they’re even with the cake layer.
  2. To add a crumb coat, spread a thin layer of Cool Whip with an angled spatula, covering the surface of the cake as evenly as possible. Use and offset spatula or bench scraper to remove excess frosting. Freeze for 15-30 minutes. 
  3. Add a final layer of Cool Whip, pipe the frosting along the outside edge of the cake using a large open round tip or a cake icer tip. Then use an offset spatula or icing smoother to create a smooth edge.
  4. Decorate the top of the cake using a large open star tip. Return to the freeze for at least 1 hour until the cake is completely frozen. 


  • Cake Mix Substitute: If you’d prefer to make a homemade lemon cake, try this cake recipe, and bake in two 8-inch pans for 25-32 minutes. 
  • Cool Whip Substitute: You do not have to use Cool Whip for the frosting. Try using a homemade whipped cream or try it with a mascarpone whipped cream instead. 
  • To make the candied lemon, I followed this tutorial using one lemon. Note that these need at least 24 hours to dry.
Nutrition Information:
1/10 of recipe
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade ice cream cake, lemon dessert, lemon cake