Mastering the Art of Storing and Serving Ice Cream Cake

How to properly store and serve ice cream cake

Ice cream cake is a delicious treat that combines the best of both worlds: ice cream and cake. Whether you’re planning a summer party or just want to enjoy a slice of this delicious dessert, it’s important to know how to properly store and serve ice cream cake. This article will guide you through the process to ensure your ice cream cake stays in optimal condition for serving.

Storing Ice Cream Cake

Ice cream cake, like regular ice cream, should be stored in the freezer to maintain its texture and prevent melting. If you purchased ice cream cake, it was probably packaged in a freezer-safe container. But if it isn’t, you can take additional steps to protect it.
To prevent freezer burn and other odors, wrap the ice cream cake in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. This will also help prevent the cake from becoming too hard, making it easier to slice when it’s time to enjoy.

Thawing ice cream cake

Before serving ice cream cake, it must be thawed slightly to ensure that it can be easily sliced. There are two recommended methods for thawing ice cream cake: on the counter or in the refrigerator.
If you’re pressed for time, placing the cake on the counter for about 15 minutes will thaw it just enough to cut. However, be aware of the ambient temperature, as warmer conditions may cause the cake to thaw more quickly. To avoid rapid melting, keep the cake out of direct sunlight if you’re serving it outdoors.
For a slower, more controlled thawing process, it’s best to use the refrigerator. After removing the cake from the freezer, place it directly in the refrigerator. It typically takes 30-40 minutes for the cake to reach a texture that is easy to slice while still retaining its frozen state.
Check the cake after 30 minutes to see if it’s ready to serve. If it needs more time, check again at 10-minute intervals. Defrosting the cake in the refrigerator ensures that it doesn’t melt excessively and maintains its structural integrity.

What to do with a cake that isn’t ready to serve

Occasionally, you may find that the ice cream cake hasn’t thawed sufficiently even after following the recommended thawing times. In such cases, you can extend the thawing time.
If you thawed the cake in the refrigerator first, you can place it on the counter and check it every 5 minutes until it reaches the desired softness. However, if time is of the essence and you can’t wait any longer, there is a simple trick you can try.
Fill a glass with hot water and dip a knife into the water to heat it up. A hot knife can easily cut through the ice cake, even if it’s still quite hard. Be sure to reheat the knife between slices and wipe off any excess water to prevent the cake from getting too wet or melting too much.

What to do with an overly thawed cake

Sometimes, due to busy party preparations or other distractions, an ice cream cake is left out too long and begins to melt significantly. In such cases, it can be a challenge to save the cake.
If the ice cream cake has only slightly softened and begun to melt, you can place individual slices in an airtight container, wrap them in plastic wrap, and return them to the freezer. However, if the cake has melted to the point where it’s more liquid than solid, it may be difficult to save.
Leaving ice cream cake out for an extended period of time can also pose a food safety risk, as the melted ice cream can spoil. It’s important to use caution and not eat ice cream cake that has been left out at room temperature for too long.
If you do need to refreeze leftover ice cream cake, it’s best to consume it within 2-3 months to maintain its quality and avoid freezer burn, which can negatively affect both texture and flavor.

Cutting ice cream cake

Once the ice cream cake is properly thawed, it’s time to cut and serve. For clean, smooth slices, it’s best to use a long, serrated knife. A pointed knife can also be helpful for precise slicing.
For even smoother slices, fill a cup with hot water and dip the knife into the hot water before each cut. The heated knife makes it easier to cut through the ice cream cake. Depending on the size of the cake, you may need to reheat the knife every few slices to maintain optimal cutting performance.
Using a long knife allows you to slice the cake in one motion, reducing the need for multiple slices. This ensures that each slice maintains its shape and presentation.


Proper storage and serving of ice cream cake is essential to ensure that it remains in optimal condition for consumption. By storing the cake in the freezer and allowing it to thaw properly before serving, you can enjoy a delicious slice of ice cream cake without any problems. Remember to wrap the cake in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn and maintain its texture. Thawing can be done on the counter or in the refrigerator, depending on the time available and the desired softness. If the cake isn’t ready to serve, you can extend the thawing time or use a hot knife to cut through the harder parts. On the other hand, if the cake has melted excessively, it may be difficult to salvage and it’s best to be cautious and consider throwing it away. When it comes time to slice the cake, using a long, serrated knife and dipping it in hot water will produce clean, smooth cuts. Following these guidelines will ensure that your ice cream cake is stored and served correctly, allowing you to enjoy every delicious bite.


Can I store ice cream cakes at room temperature?

No, ice cream cake should be stored in the freezer to prevent melting. Storing it at room temperature can result in a loss of texture and flavour.

How long can I keep an ice cream cake in the freezer?

Ice cream cake can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. After that, it may develop freezer burn and lose its quality.

Can I defrost an ice cream cake in the microwave?

It’s not recommended to defrost ice cream cakes in the microwave as this can cause uneven defrosting and the ice cream may melt. It’s best to use the fridge or counter thawing methods mentioned in the article.

Can I freeze leftover ice cream cakes?

Yes, you can freeze leftover slices of ice cream cake. Wrap each slice tightly in cling film or place in an airtight container before returning to the freezer.

How should I clean the knife when I cut the ice cream cake?

To ensure clean cuts, you can dip the knife in hot water and wipe it dry before each slice. This prevents the ice cream from sticking to the knife and makes it easier to cut.

Can I serve an ice cream cake straight from the freezer?

It’s best to defrost the ice cream cake before serving. This can be done by placing it in the fridge for 30-40 minutes or on the counter for about 15 minutes. Thawing helps to soften the cake, making it easier to slice and enjoy.