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Carrot Cake Ice Cream Cake is Carrot Cake that is topped with an easy cheesecake ice cream – the perfect summer cake!

carrot cake ice cream cake with nuts outside on green cake stand

This was my husband’s birthday cake. And people, he actually ate it.

*jumping for joy*

Well, when I say he ate it, I mean he had one slice. A sliver, really. But still…he used one of his weekly “cheats” to have a slice.

I didn’t hear “it’s too sweet” or anything. He actually enjoyed it. Yay me!

Can we talk about the fact that he gets three cheats a week and that’s all he uses? Best. Willpower. Ever.

I knew I could get him with Carrot Cake.

And ice cream.

AKA, his two kryptonites.

carrot cake ice cream cake with nuts outside on green cake stand

I think this is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. It’s got a carrot cake base layer. The carrot cake is filled with cinnamon and carrots and pecans. I don’t do pineapple or raisins in…well, anything, but if you have to have raisins in your carrot cake, add away! I also used applesauce for some of the oil in the cake, because I was trying to make it lower calorie for him. I didn’t notice a difference at all!

The ice cream is a cheesecake ice cream (ala Something Swanky) that tastes like cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake wouldn’t be complete without it! It’s an easy ice cream that needs no ice cream maker, and I used fat-free sweetened condensed milk and fat-free Cool Whip. You can use full-fat versions…or use real whipped cream. That recipe is so versatile it’s a little scary. With the addition of vanilla bean paste, the flavor is out of this world.

And if that all wasn’t enough, I frosted the cake with Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting. The frosting is convenient, good, and I knew that it would re-freeze well to be the topping on the ice cream cake.

Seriously, favorite cake ever.

slice of carrot cake ice cream cake on white plates

carrot cake ice cream cake with nuts outside on green cake stand

Carrot Cake Ice Cream Cake

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My favorite carrot cake recipe with a cream cheese ice cream layer and topped with cream cheese whipped topping! The perfect cake for spring!
Yield 12 servings


For the Ice Cream:

  • 1 can 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (I use fat-free)
  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract vanilla bean paste
  • 8 ounces 1 tub fat-free Cool Whip (or 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream, whipped - see note)

For the Cake:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces about 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 heaping cup shredded carrots from about 2 med/large carrots

For Frosting:

  • 1 tub Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting thawed or your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe
  • Chopped pecans for garnish


  • Make the Ice Cream: Beat cream cheese until smooth with a hand mixer. Beat in sweetened condensed milk. Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and stir in vanilla. Fold in Cool Whip. Place in a sealable container and freeze until hardened, overnight is best.
  • Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 6” round cake pans or one 9” round cake pan.
  • Stir together eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir in sugars. Add salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and stir until they are just mixed in. Add flour and stir until smooth. Stir in pecans and carrots.
  • Pour batter evenly into pans (or into the one 9” pan). I used to 6” round pans, but this batter should fit into a 9” pan. Fill about 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. (My two 6” pans baked in 24 minutes. The centers fell a little when I removed them from the oven, but that doesn’t matter. We’re covering it with ice cream!)
  • Cool completely before removing from pans. Wrap in plastic and freeze until ready to assemble the cake. This can be done up to a week ahead of time.
  • Assemble the Cake:Line the bottom of whatever size cake pan you used to bake the cake (either the 9” or one 6” pan) with plastic wrap.
  • Remove ice cream from freezer. If it’s too hard, let it sit for a few minutes. Scoop ice cream into the bottom of the plastic wrap lined pan and press to compact with your hands. If you are using a 6” pan you’ll use about 2/3 of the ice cream. If you’re using a 9” pan, use it all.
  • Take your cake layer (only one of them if they are 6”) and press it gently on top of the ice cream. Wrap the entire thing in plastic wrap and freeze for at least a few hours.
  • Note: I only used one of my 6” cake layers. I kept the other frozen for future cake needs.
  • When it’s good and frozen, remove from freezer. Unwrap and turn it out onto a serving plate. Peel off the plastic wrap gently from the ice cream.
  • Frost with your frosting and line the sides with chopped pecans. Serve immediately or refreeze until ready to serve.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Click here for more Carrot Cake Recipes!

carrot cake ice cream cake with nuts outside on green cake stand collage photo

Other carrot cake goodness you might like:

Carrot Cake Coffee Cake


Carrot Cake Brownies


Sweets from friends:
Caramel Carrot Cake Cheesecake Trifle by Something Swanky
Carrot Cake Scones by Created by Diane
Carrot Cake Popcorn by Kitchen Meets Girl

Last Updated on February 26, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. This sounds too good to be true!!! I love carrot cake, it is my favorite cake and I love vanilla ice cream

    !!!!!!!! I don’t think we have cool whip cream cheese frosting here in Canada, but my son shops in the States, if I can not find it what can I replace it with? Also is there any one else out there besides Dorothy that can tell me if the icecream is truly good?
    I made a no churn ice cream with the sweetened condensed milk and it was so bad, we all through it in the garbage!!! Any comments, Dorothy
    can you please also send me a reply to my email, PLEASE. keep up
    the good work!!!

    1. As for the ice cream, you can use your favorite from the grocery store if you’re worried about the SCM kind. It’s the only kind I make now and it’s taking the internet by storm! Add some vanilla extract and pinch of salt and it tastes like vanilla custard. 🙂

      As for the frosting, try whipped cream or cream cheese frosting! or

  2. Tried making this for a birthday at my house. Very sweet and delicious, but just for reference of people thinking of making this, the ice cream proportion is way off from the cake, and if I made it again I would double the amount of cake. Cream cheese frosting on cream cheese ice cream was a little too rich. I added plenty of spices as well as strained pineapple and ground raisins, and more cinnamon and baking powder to the cake. The cake was still heavy and the flour should probably be increased, and the applesauce simply omitted. Flavoring up the frosting and the ice cream should improve its appeal as well.
    Overall, thank you for the wonderful recipe! I wanted to add constructive criticism, but don’t think I didn’t love your gorgeous site and your creativity! Cheers

    1. Thanks for letting me know! I’m trying to remember, but I think there was more ice cream than I put on the cake (we just ate it!) As for the additions to the cake, yeah if you’re adding the pineapple you’ll need to omit applesauce or add more flour (or both). I used Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting, which is definitely less sweet than a regular cream cheese frosting, so that or using whipped cream might help with the too sweet!

  3. Hi there -what if we wanted to make this a layer ice cream cake? Any suggestions? is it as simple as following the instructions above twice using half of the cake/ice cream (lay ice cream, then half of cake, then ice cream, then half of cake?) 

    1. You can make the cake as directed, then torte it (slice it in half) and sandwich the ice cream between the layers! Enjoy! (Sorry for my delay in replying, I’ve been out of town!)

  4. Love that you totally took carrot cake and made it even better than traditional versions and perfect for summer! Pinned!

    1. The carrots, applesauce, and oil are designed to keep the cake moist. If it’s too dry for you, you can always try adding a little bit more oil or some water to the batter, but I’m not sure how that will make a difference in the end product. 🙂

  5. Dorothy, this looks delicious. I need this in my life so definitely planning a carrot cake day! Thank you!