Over a decade ago, a reader named Amy B. shared some favorite dairy-free recipes with us. One of them was this dairy-free strawberry ice cream cake, which she made for her daughter’s 6th birthday party. It’s a single-layer cake (either chocolate or vanilla) made into a three-layer cake with Amy’s easy, homemade vegan strawberry ice cream.
Since my daughter was diagnosed as allergic to dairy and nuts, I have benefited greatly from this website and from the book Go Dairy Free that I got for Christmas. I wanted to “pay it back” by sharing with everyone a very quick and easy dairy-free alternative for a birthday treat. I made this dairy-free strawberry ice cream cake for my daughter’s birthday last week, and it was a big hit! I absolutely must credit the cookbook Rose´s Heavenly Cakes for the idea!
Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream Cake with Easy Vegan Ice Cream
In honor of National Ice Cream Cake Day, we’ve updated Amy’s recipe, and also have some notes, tips, and alternative ideas to share.
Amy likes to use chocolate cake with the strawberry ice cream. You can bake 1 cake layer (1/2 batch) of this Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe or this Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Chocolate Birthday Cake. Or you can use a cake mix! Many brands are dairy-free, and even have dairy-free instructions (add egg, oil, and water). See our Duncan Hines Cake Mix Guide or our Complete Dairy-Free Cake Mix Guide.
Cake Pan Size: You can use 8-, 9-, or 10-inch pans. Just be sure to adjust the cake baking time accordingly (a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean. But use a cake pan that is same size or bigger than the springform pan. You want the baked cake to fill out the springform pan, and you can always trim it to fit.
We like to use a basic Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting Recipe, but like cake mixes, many store-bought frosting cans are dairy-free! Here is a quick list of the Dairy-Free Duncan Hines Frosting options.
Strawberry Frosting Option: If making homemade frosting, you can infuse it with strawberry flavor. Powder about 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries in a spice grinder or small food processor. Stir the powdered strawberries into the frosting. you can use more or less depending on how much strawberry flavor and color you would like.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream Options
You can substitute plain old sugar for the sweetener if preferred. Since berries can vary widely in sweetness, it’s best to taste the mixture before churning. You might want to add a little more sweetener. The mixture will taste a little less sweet when frozen. Avoid sugar-free sweeteners, which will result in very hard ice cream.
You can swap other berries for the strawberries. If using blackberries or raspberries, blend them first, and strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Use the seedless puree in place of the berries when blending the ice cream mixture.
No Ice Cream Maker? See our post on How to Make Dairy-Free Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker. It includes several methods.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, and optionally egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Just be sure to choose the cake and frosting options that suit your dietary needs.
- 1 Recipe Dairy-Free White or Chocolate Cake (single layer; see the post above for suggestions)
- 10 ounces frozen strawberries (or your favorite berry)
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- ⅓ cup honey or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dairy-free frosting (see post above for suggestions)
- Bake the cake in a 9-inch or 10-inch cake pan and let cool completely. (See Cake Pan Size note in post above.)
- Slice the cake horizontally into two parts, the top slightly larger than the bottom. Set the top half to one side and place the bottom half into a 9-inch springform pan, trimming the cake, if needed. A pancake turner, pizza spatula, bottom of a tart pan, or a very flat plate can be used to help you in this maneuver.
- Put the strawberries, coconut milk, sweetener, and vanilla in your blender, and blend until there are no chunks of strawberry.
- Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Once churned, the ice cream should have a soft serve consistency. Spread it on the lower half of the cake, in your springform pan. Place the top half of the cake on the ice cream, trimming it, if needed.
- Spray a large piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray, place it on top of the cake, and press down firmly to eliminate any air bubbles.
- Freeze the cake for 4 hours or more.
- Frost the cake and decorate as desired. Keep the cake frozen until ready to serve.