When you know how to make ice cream sandwiches from scratch, you can bake the best, fudgy homemade chocolate wafers and fill them with your favourite, creamy ice cream. The result is a treat far superior to anything you’ve had from a crinkly wrapper.
What is an Ice Cream Sandwich Made of?
The components of an ice cream sandwich are just cookies and ice cream. Ice cream sandwiches can be made from scratch in two ways: either by baking a batch of individual cookies (traditionally chocolate wafers) and using two to form a sandwich or by baking a giant slab wafer cookie (like we do here) to essentially make one giant ice cream sandwich that gets sliced up.
How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Make the cookie batter.
- Drop cookie batter by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Use a metal spatula warmed in hot water and oiled or sprayed with non-stick spray to smooth cookie batter evenly into corners. Bake until just set. Cut in half and freeze.
- Spread slightly-softened ice cream over one half of cookie slab. Top with remaining half of the cookie slab. Freeze the whole thing.
- When firm enough to handle, slice into individual portions and wrap.
Sharing a crude video I shot for my Instagram stories but I thought you’d find it most helpful to see the recipe made visually, so here it is in all its unpolished, iPhone-shot glory.
Essential Tips to make Ice Cream Sandwiches Easily
There are several pain points with making homemade ice cream sandwiches from scratch.
That doesn’t mean they are difficult, just that you need to use a few tricks to make it a breeze.
The cookie batter is stiff and could be difficult to work with.
Just use my two hacks and it becomes super-easy:
- Warm the spatula under hot water and dry it off quickly.
- Then, grease it. This way the spatula glides and pushes the batter around like a hot knife on butter. Repeat as many times as necessary until the batter is spread evenly in the pan.
Once baked, the cookie base should be soft and slightly underdone. This yields a soft, fudgy cookie. Because it’s soft and thin, there is a trick to handling it without breaking it. Once cooled to room temperature, pop the whole cookie slab in the freezer (still on the baking pan) until firm enough to easily lift it off the parchment and manipulate it without it splitting.
Finally, the ice cream. If it’s too soft, it runs everywhere. Too firm and it’s impossible to spread. I solved this problem, too! The easiest way I found is to simply cut open the container like an animal and slice the hard-frozen ice cream into slabs. Position the slabs over the bottom cookie, then smooth over with the same (cleaned) spatula you used to make the base. Warm it under hot water if needed. It’s considerably easier to cut open the ice cream container if it’s cardboard vs. plastic, but I’ve done both.
To cut the frozen ice cream sandwich slab into tidy individual portions, dip your knife in hot water. If at any point the ice cream is melting too fast, just pop everything back in the freezer.
We’re using hot water and the freezer as cooking tools here, that’s all there is to it!
More Popular Summer Dessert Recipes
Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 7.9 oz all-purpose flour 1 3/4 cup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup canola or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 pints (1 litre or 4 cups) vanilla ice cream
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line an 18x13" (half-sheepan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk egg, then whisk in buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Scrape the egg mixture into the flour mixture and gently fold together until no dry flour remains. Do not overmix.
- Dollop the cookie mixture onto the prepared baking pan. Use a metal spatula to smooth the batter evenly over the whole pan. It is a thick, sticky batter. You'll need to run your spatula under hot water, dry it off, then spray with nonstick spray (or use a paper towel dipped in oito grease it. Anytime the batter starts to catch on the spatula rather than glide smoothly in the pan, repeat the hot water and greasing procedure. You'll need to do it several times.
- Bake for 7 minutes, until set but still a bit shiny in spots. Cool to room temperature, slice the slab in half while still in the pan, then transfer the whole thing to the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Place one half of the frozen cookie slab pretty-side down on a work surface. Scoop the ice cream over top (or I find it easier to cut open the carton with scissors and then slice the hard ice cream into slabs). Use a knife or metal spatula to firmly press the ice cream down to evenly cover the bottom cookie. Place the second cookie slab, pretty side up, on top and transfer the whole thing back to the freezer until ice cream is very solid again.
- Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice into equal-sized ice cream sandwiches. Freeze individual sandwiches in a single layer on a baking sheet until hard, then you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper tied with kitchen string and store up to a month.