Party Tips How to Decorate an Ice Cream Cake for the Holidays

How to Decorate an Ice Cream Cake for the Holidays

The holiday season is just around the corner; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus—these festivities will be here in the blink of an eye. If ever there was a year to make these celebrations something extraordinary, this is it, and an ice cream cake is just the ticket. Ice cream cakes are perfect for big holiday celebrations.

Creamy, delicious ice cream cakes on their own are certain to impress, but adding extra flair to these tasty confections for the holidays is simple and fun and adds an extra, personal touch. Here are a few of our favorite ideas on how to decorate an ice cream cake for the holidays.

Let’s Talk About Icing

How to Decorate an Ice Cream Cake for the Holidays

A smooth layer of icing allows you to create a blank slate that you can use to build your holiday theme. It also allows you to stack cakes to create a bigger presentation and to feed a bigger crowd. Stacked layers of Oreo and strawberry is our favorite, but Oreo and mint chocolate chip is also amazing. With so many cakes to choose from, you can design your own favorite combination. Here are a few tips to help you along:

  • Use whipped cream. Traditional buttercreams or meringues will crack when frozen; whipped cream stays smooth and creamy even after significant time in the freezer. And here’s another fabulous whipped cream tip: stabilize your fluffy whipped cream by adding one tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of cream. Use food coloring to add color.
  • Chocolate fudge is another good choice. A rich, chocolatey fudge frosting will also stay creamy when frozen.
  • Ice cream also works as an “icing.” Choose a complementary flavor and let it soften a bit before spreading on the cake.
  • After you’ve settled on the type of icing you’d like to use, construct your cake. Place desired layers on top of one another with an icing level in between. Keep the ice cream cake very cold; don’t hesitate to place it back in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to ensure that it stays nice and hard. Adding a thin layer starting with the sides and then finishing with the top, called a base layer, of frosting to your cake helps to create a smooth surface. Freeze the cake with the base layer and then add your final decorative layer.

Embellishments Galore!

Now that you have a smoothly iced cake, the possibilities for embellishing are endless! If you’re handy with piping tools, you can add holiday greetings, flowers, leaves, faces—the list of options goes on and on. With a touch of color and a dash of ingenuity, you can create holiday wreaths, snowmen, Christmas trees, winter scenes, harvest baskets, polar bears, scary monsters, and friendly ghosts. Your imagination is the only limit.

If piping isn’t up your alley, you still have an abundance of options for dressing up your holiday ice cream cake. The following are a few of our favorites:


Adding fruit to the top of your ice cream cake is a tasty and beautiful way to take things up a notch. Fresh fruits like berries, kiwi, and peaches are simple to add to the top of your cake right before serving. In the winter, when fresh fruits are sparse, you can choose dried and candied fruits like cherries and apricots. Frozen fresh berries look gorgeous on an ice cream cake; their frosted exteriors are beautiful and wintery. Pomegranate seeds and nuts are also lovely atop an ice cream cake, as are sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs.


Candy certainly makes an ice cream cake sweeter. Choose something basic like a dusting of crushed chocolate or candy canes or go a bit fancier with swirling chocolate curls. Selecting an overall theme is helpful when adding candy to your ice cream cake; a theme will narrow your candy selections and help you create an attractive, coherent presentation. We love peanut butter cups, silver dragees, Andes mints, marshmallows, rainbow sprinkles, candy canes, candy corn … well, maybe our favorites are too long to list. You can use whatever candy you like to add flair to an ice cream cake.


Topping an ice cream cake with cookies is a magical combination. Be creative! Add your own favorite gingerbread cookies to the perimeter of a double stack of Carvel chocolate cakes iced with white whipped cream. Sprinkle the sides of your ice cream cake with crushed candy canes and place hand-frosted candy cane sugar cookies on top. Use orange-tinted whipped cream to frost your double stack of Oreo ice cream cakes and then top your confection with Oreo cookies decorated with googly eyes. Again, let your creative juices flow to create a delicious combination of ice cream, cake, and cookies all in one jaw-dropping dessert.

Add Ice Cream Cake to Your Holiday Shopping List

Add an ice cream cake to your holiday menu plans today. Now that you some ideas, it’s time to make plans for creating your own spectacular holiday dessert. If you need help finding an ice cream cake, the product locator at makes it easy to find a grocery store near you that carries delicious ice cream cakes. Or order one online; we’ll ship directly to your door. What could be easier this holiday season?


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