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Heart-Shaped Ice Cream Cake Recipe for Valentine's Day

Kylyssa Shay worked as a florist for eighteen years and has created and taught an assortment of crafts to adults and children of all ages.

The homemade ice cream cake my roommate gave to her sweetie for Valentine's Day.

The homemade ice cream cake my roommate gave to her sweetie for Valentine's Day.

Homemade Personalized Ice Cream Cake

These step-by-step instructions will help you create a cute ice cream cake in the shape of a heart. The heart shown in the tutorial photographs was made with Superman ice cream and confetti cake, but you can make yours in any flavors you want.

The cake we made was topped with pale orange whipped topping, but you could choose a pastel color if you want it to look like a candy conversation heart. You could also choose a different color if you just want to make a romantic sweet dessert.

Materials and Equipment

  • 2 heart-shaped baking pans of the same size
  • Plastic wrap
  • Flat metal spatula, frosting spreader, or a wide knife with a big, flat side
  • Large metal spoon
  • Flat plate or cutting board large enough to completely cover one heart-shaped pan
  • Tea strainer
  • Tall mug or glass of hot water
  • Several tea towels or paper towels

Ingredients

  • 1 cake mix (plus the ingredients necessary to make it)
  • 3 extra tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 (8-ounce) tubs frozen whipped topping
  • 1/2 gallon ice cream (any flavor)
  • Food coloring (any colors)
  • 1 tube red gel icing with a small tip
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 boxes instant (not cook and serve) vanilla pudding
  • 1 tablespoon room temperature butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Heart-shaped pan lined with plastic wrap

Heart-shaped pan lined with plastic wrap

Step 1: Line the Pan

  1. Line one of the heart-shaped pans with plastic wrap. Use at least two sheets of plastic wrap, one going across horizontally and one going across vertically.
  2. Press the plastic wrap down into the pan so it conforms to its outlines.
Ice cream packed into pan for freezing

Ice cream packed into pan for freezing

Step 2: Fill One Pan With Ice Cream and Freeze

  1. Allow the ice cream to soften slightly by letting it sit outside the freezer.
  2. Pack the ice cream into the plastic wrap lined pan. Really squash it in there, as much as the pan can take but leveled across the top.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Set the large, flat plate or cutting board on top of the ice cream to keep it nice and flat and even as it freezes.
  5. Put the pan in the freezer with the flat plate or cutting board on top of it and use something from your freezer to weight the plate or cutting board down.
  6. Allow the ice cream to re-freeze. This step depends a lot on your freezer. More time is better. We allowed it to freeze overnight.
  7. You could put this in the freezer up to a week ahead of time if you make sure the plastic wrap is sealed completely over it.

Step 3: Make Icing Glue

You don’t want to have the cake sliding around on the platter or stand so you’ll need some glue to hold it on.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon room temperature butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix them together.
  2. Set the bowl aside. It will be used to glue the cake to the platter. Cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn’t set up before you get to use it.
Frosting made with whipped topping and instant pudding

Frosting made with whipped topping and instant pudding

Step 4: Make the Frosting

  1. Add the powdered sugar and the drops of food coloring to the two containers of whipped topping. Mix it in well.
  2. Sift the pudding mix into the whipped topping, using the tea strainer or a flour sifter. Mix it in well.
  3. Set the frosting aside in the freezer until ready to use it.

Step 5: Bake the Cake

  1. Mix the cake mix according to the box directions but add 3 extra tablespoons of cooking oil and the 2 teaspoons of baking powder before mixing. I use olive oil, but use whatever cooking oil you like. This is to give the cake some extra moistness. Too dry a cake won’t taste as nice. The baking powder will give it a little fluffiness.
  2. Spray the second heart-shaped pan with cooking spray and sprinkle it with flour. Fill the pan about two-thirds full and bake according to the cake mix directions. You can pour the extra batter into a floured loaf pan or into a cupcake pan and bake it up, too.
  3. Set the baked cake aside to cool.
  4. Once the cake has reached room temperature, put it in the freezer or refrigerator.
Delicious edible glue to hold the cake firmly

Delicious edible glue to hold the cake firmly

Step 5: Apply the Edible Glue

Spread all of the edible glue on the plate you plan to display the finished ice cream cake on in a rough heart shape. This will keep the cake from sliding around on the plate as you work with it.

Place the heart cake on top of the edible glue

Place the heart cake on top of the edible glue

Step 6: Place the Cake on the "Glue"

After the cake has chilled down to at least as cool as refrigerator temperature set it atop the glue and press it down gently but firmly.

Gently un-mold the ice cream layer

Gently un-mold the ice cream layer

Step 7: Apply the Ice Cream Layer

  1. Remove the pan of ice cream from the freezer.
  2. Remove the flat plate or cutting board and the layer of plastic wrap over the top.
  3. Invert the pan over the cake, lining it up carefully.
  4. Gently press the pan into the top of the cake.
  5. Lift up the pan, holding the plastic wrap down if the ice cream seems to be sticking in the pan.
  6. The frozen heart should fall out of the pan on the cake or at least the pan should be able to be lifted off of it.
  7. Carefully peel the plastic wrap off.
Rough frosting job before tidying and firming up in the freezer

Rough frosting job before tidying and firming up in the freezer

Step 8: Apply the Frosting

  1. Spread the frosting on the cake and smooth it with a warmed knife.
  2. Put it back in the freezer until the frosting sets up. There's no point in trying to tidy it up too much at this point so just wait until it freezes.
Tidy up the frosting with a warm knife

Tidy up the frosting with a warm knife

Step 9: Tidy the Frosting

  1. Once the frosting has set up, use a water-warmed knife to scrape up and smooth any frosting that may have slumped down as the frosting solidified.
  2. Dip the knife into the cup of hot water to rinse off frosting if it starts accumulating on the flat of the blade.
  3. Wipe any of the frosting that gets on the plate with a warm, wet tea towel. You may need more than one tea towel. You may prefer to use a wet paper towel.
Cyrille wrote her favorite candy conversation heart message on the cake

Cyrille wrote her favorite candy conversation heart message on the cake

Step 10: Write Your Message

Use the tube of red gel icing to write the cute message of your choice. I would not add the writing too long before presenting the cake because it may bleed into the frosting and look like a bleeding heart instead of a candy heart.

This cake is the perfect place for those short but sweet nothings to go.

Cross-section of heart-shaped ice cream cake

Cross-section of heart-shaped ice cream cake

What It Looks Like Inside

I thought it looked kind of neat from the side so I took another photo after my roommate gave the cake to her sweetie. It was a little melty by this point.

Would you like to try a bite?

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 13, 2014:

This looks so nice and tempting!

I have baked heart shaped cake earlier but your topping is something I want to try. May be for the New year eve.

Thanks for sharing the details and helpful pictures!

jen09 writes on May 30, 2014:

Very awesome... adding it to my to-do list

Cheryl Fay Mikesell from Mondovi, WI on March 13, 2014:

WOW! Really neat!

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on February 16, 2014:

Cute! Looks like fun to make too!