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Easy Cookies and Cream Cake Recipe (With Ice Cream Option)

Virginia has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.

Old-fashioned cookies and cream cake

Old-fashioned cookies and cream cake

Easy Birthday Cake Recipe

My daughter Steffi wanted cookies and cream for her birthday cake, but I was late getting started and needed to make it fast. I decided to use my favorite white-cake mix and add in some Oreos. It turned out to be a very delicious and creamy cake! It was so easy to make—and yet everyone thought it must have taken a lot of time.

I was worried it would stick to the pan, but it came out like a breeze. We split the cake into two layers, put ice cream in the middle, and then frosted it with buttercream and crushed Oreos on top. With baking and cooling time, the whole cake came together in under an hour. So easy and so good!

You can make this as a regular cake or as an ice-cream cake. I have included instructions for both.

The cake slices up nicely.

The cake slices up nicely.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

25 min

35 min

12 servings


For the cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix, any brand
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 12 Oreos (10 for batter and 2 for decoration)
  • 1/4 gallon cookies and cream ice cream (optional: only for ice cream cake option)

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Step 1: Make the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray two 8-inch pans with cooking spray, or put oil on the bottom of the pans.
  2. Put cake mix, eggs, milk and softened butter or margarine in a bowl. Mix with mixer on low until blended. Mix at high speed for 3 minutes. Put 10–12 Oreo cookies in a Ziplock bag and crush them using a rolling pin. Put cookie crumbs into the cake batter and fold in lightly until blended.
  3. Divide cake mix between the two pans equally and smooth out the tops. Bake at 350˚F for 25–30 minutes, or until top springs up when lightly touched—cool cakes for about 15–20 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Ice Cream Layer (Optional)

While cakes are baking, make the optional ice cream layer by using a pan the same size and shape as the cake layers.

  1. Place clear plastic wrap on the bottom of the pan and press it into all corners.
  2. Take spoonfuls of ice cream and press them into the pan using the back of the spoon (or your hands—cover them with gloves or a plastic bag).
  3. Press the ice cream in firmly until it is up to the top of the pan. Put another clear wrap on top and freeze until ready to put cake together.

Step 3: Make the Buttercream Frosting

  1. Measure the powdered sugar in a bowl and add the butter and cream. Mix until blended. Add more cream if the mixture is too dry.
  2. Mix thoroughly for 1–2 minutes. Add Karo syrup and mix 1 more minute until light and fluffy (you can leave out the Karo syrup if you want, but it does make the icing easier to spread on the cake).

Step 4: Assemble the Cake

  1. Put one layer bottom side down on a plate (or bottom side of half layer).
  2. Take out the ice cream layer, unwrap, and put on top of the cake.
  3. Put top layer of cake on the ice cream layer, rounded side up.

Step 5: Frost the Cake

  1. Working quickly, put icing on the sides of the cake moving from the bottom up. Use plenty of frosting to cover the ice cream.
  2. Frost the top last.
  3. Add some crushed Oreos in the middle to decorate, or use Oreos around the sides and sticking out of the top.

How to Store the Cake

Ice cream cakes must be stored in the freezer until just before serving. After frosting and decorating, put the cake back in the freezer until the frosting is frozen. If you are not going to eat the cake that day, wrap it in foil to keep it from forming ice crystals. Sometimes a very cold freezer can make the cake very hard to cut, so if you are storing overnight or longer, you might want to take if out for 10–15 minutes or so right before serving.

Note: You can make a small cake by just using one layer of the cake split in two (as I do in the cake in the photos) or a large cake by using both full layers.

Baking Tips

  • You can bake your cake in advance and freeze the layers. This makes a very moist cake every time.
  • The cake will shrink a bit when it is frozen, so you may need to use a slightly smaller pan for the ice cream layer.
  • Assemble the cake, frost it, and stick it back in the freezer unwrapped until the icing is frozen. Then you can wrap it up well with clear wrap and aluminum foil and the cake will last up to a month or longer. This is a great way to get one part of the party done ahead of time!
  • Save a step by using Cool Whip or canned frosting instead of buttercream.


This cake recipe really does taste like cookies-and-cream ice cream. We loved having the cake made with ice cream inside, but it would also be great frosted as a two-layer cake with ice cream on the side. Here are some variations:

  1. Use a chocolate cake mix.
  2. Try using mint Oreos (decorate with Junior Mints or Andes Mints).
  3. Use peanut butter Oreos and peanut butter frosting (1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup margarine in frosting).
  4. Use chocolate chip cookies instead of Oreos. You can decorate with chocolate chips all over the cake.

Who Invented Cookies and Cream?

Apparently, there are a lot of people who thought about combining cookies with ice cream in the late 1970s. Several ice cream makers vie to claim the idea, including our family's favorite ice cream, Blue Bell (our family's favorite brand!), trademarked the name "Cookies and Cream" in 1978, and first produced the flavor in 1980.

What no one disputes is that Cookies and Cream quickly became a best seller and ranked among the top five flavors by the early 1980s.

Do you like this recipe?

© 2013 Virginia Kearney