Easy Ice Cream Pie Recipe (Gluten-free option)
This is the easiest ice cream pie, and it is ALWAYS a huge crowd pleaser, no matter the season. For the crust, use crispy chocolate cookies or wafers (gluten-free or regular). I’ve had success with everything from chocolate graham crackers, to chocolate animal crackers to crunchy double chocolate chip cookies. For the ice cream filling, the sky’s the limit (see the post above for some ideas)! The slightly salty fudgy topping is the real star. This ice cream pie recipe needs to freeze for several hours between steps, so I like to make it the day (or several days) before serving. If using gelato, be sure to give it plenty of time to freeze, as it tends to melt faster.
Servings: 10 people
- Cooking spray
- 8-12 ounces crispy chocolate cookies (or chocolate wafers, graham crackers or animal crackers), regular or gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Ice cream filling
- 2 1/2 -3 pints ice cream (either one flavor or a mix), softened
- ½ tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- ¼ plus 1/8 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon Morton kosher salt)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (heaping ¾ cup chopped chocolate or 2/3 cup chocolate chips)
Make the cookie crust
Preheat the oven to 375˚Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
Place the chocolate cookies in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and process until the mixture looks damp. Scrape the crumbs into the springform pan and press them firmly over the bottom and about 1 ½ - 2-inches up the sides (a flat-bottomed measuring cup works great for getting into the corners - be sure to check out the video above). Bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then pop it into the freezer until it’s completely chilled, about 15 minutes. Do Ahead: The crust can be made up to 1 week in advance. Wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap and freeze.
Add the ice cream
Scoop the ice cream into the cooled crust, alternating flavors. Smooth out the top with an offset spatula. Place the pan back in the freezer. Freeze until solid, at least 1 hour (preferably 2-3 hours). Do Ahead: At this point the cake can be frozen for up to 1 week. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before freezing.
Make the fudge topping
In a small saucepan, combine the butter, heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Bering to a simmer, whisking, and cook until everything has melted and is smooth. Add the vanilla, then remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until melted and shiny. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Do Ahead: The fudge sauce can refrigerated for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave in 30 second stints, stirring between each, until pourable.
Pour the fudge sauce over the cake and spread with an offset spatula to evenly coat. Freeze the cake until the fudge topping is cold and the ice cream is set, about 2-4 hours, or overnight.
Do Ahead: The finished cake can wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 1 week. Let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to soften slightly before slicing.
- You can use any crispy store-bought chocolate cookies or graham crackers for the crust (regular or gluten-free). I've had success with chocolate graham crackers, chocolate animal crackers, these gluten free chocolate cookies and even Tate’s double chocolate cookie.
- If you don't have a 9-inch springform pan you can use a pie plate, but you won't need to use all of the crust and will only need about 2 pints of ice cream.
- If you have the time, allow the pie to completely freeze (I usually allow at least 2 hours) before adding the fudge topping and before serving. This will allow the ice cream to harden. You can make it several days in advance!
- You can swap out the corn syrup for brown rice syrup in the fudge topping.
- Make sure that the fudge topping cools to room temperature before spreading it over the pie, so that it doesn't melt the ice cream.
- If the pie is frozen overnight, let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften before slicing (or dip a knife in hot water before slicing).