Fudgy Ice Cream Cake


  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) bars high-quality semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 quarts vanilla ice cream (4 pints), softened
  • 3 cups mini pretzel twists
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, to your taste

Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Line an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, leaving a 6-inch overhang on two sides, or use an 8-inch springform pan. Chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.

Step 2: Meanwhile, make the fudge sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, 2 teaspoons of the vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of the butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the butter and chocolate are melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat. Let cool, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3: Press 2 pints of the softened ice cream into the chilled pan. Swirl in half of the fudge sauce, then top with an even layer of pretzels, about 1 cup. Freeze for 1 hour. Repeat with remaining 2 pints of ice cream, remaining fudge sauce (re-warm if needed to loosen it), and end with a layer of pretzels, about 1 cup. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and freeze until completely firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Step 4: Lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang and place it on a serving plate. Freeze for another 30 minutes to reset or until ready to serve.

Step 5: Meanwhile, crush the remaining 1 cup of pretzels into crumbs. In a skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown until it smells toasted and is a deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the pretzels and cook another minute, until toasted. Remove from the heat and transfer the crumbs to a plate. Let cool.

Step 6: Just before serving, whip the cream. In a medium bowl, using a handheld mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and whip until combined. Top the cake with the whipped cream and sprinkle it with the toasted pretzel crumbs. Serve immediately.

Enjoy this salty-sweet ice cream cake from HalfBakedHarvest!