Last Updated on February 20, 2023
Making ice cream cakes can be quite tricky, especially when there's no in-depth guide! Today we'll discuss exactly how long to thaw ice cream cake and the techniques to use.
We will look at the ins and outs of ice cream cake, from how to correctly freeze it, how to prevent over-freezing it, and then finally, how to and how long to thaw ice cream cake.
What is an Ice Cream Cake?
There are two main types of ice cream cakes, and we aren't even talking about the many flavors you can use! When talking about how long to thaw ice cream cake, the type you are working with will make a massive difference in time and technique. So, let's have a look at them.
Pure ice cream cake
The first type of ice cream cake is made using only ice cream. These cakes are made by stacking frozen-shaped ice cream layers. However, they can also be made by layering semi-soft ice cream and re-freezing them.
These cakes, after being frozen, are decorated with many different frostings, glazes, and garnishes.
Cake layered ice cream cakes
The second type of ice cream cake you will come across is made with alternating layers of sheet cake and ice cream.
These cakes take a lot longer to make and are a lot more technical. First, you have to make layers of sheet cake. Then, you also have to make ice cream layers. This is done by setting semi-soft ice cream into a layer that is a similar shape and size to the cake one.
Finally, to assemble this cake is built by alternating between pre-made ice cream and cake layers. The entire cake is frozen before being decorated.
How to Properly Store an Ice Cream Cake
After your ice cream cake has been made, it needs to be properly stored. These cakes have to be kept inside the freezer.
To properly freeze an ice cream cake, follow these steps;
1. Make sure that your cake is completely frozen before wrapping it gently in plastic wrap or placing it inside an airtight cake container.
2. Wrap the entire container or cake with aluminum foil. This will help add another layer of protection against freezer burn.
3. Label the cake and freeze it inside a freezer with stable temperatures.
How to prevent an ice cream cake from freezing too hard
So, the biggest challenge in storing an ice cream cake is preventing it from becoming too hard. This hard ice cream is created with large ice crystals.
To prevent those, you should try to minimize the moisture content of your cake layers. In other words, don't use moist cakes to make an ice cream cake. This can also be prevented by wrapping the cake in foil before freezing to prevent freezer burn (an excess amount of crystals). And finally, don't store your cake for too long.
How to Properly Thaw an Ice Cream Cake
Now that you know how to properly store different kinds of ice cream cakes, let's have a look at how to thaw them and how long to thaw ice cream cake.
There are two techniques you can use. Both of them are very effective, but they have their pros and cons. They will also have different effects and timelines depending on the different types of ice cream cakes. But again, they both will work nonetheless.
Method 1: In the fridge
This is arguably the best way to thaw an ice cream cake. While it does take much longer than our other technique (which is its only downfall) it works extremely effectively and won't change the texture or flavor of the cake.
Here are some of the main reasons this technique is the best:
- It allows the cake to thaw in an environment with a stable and uniform temperature. This will help prevent the cake from melting completely in some areas while others are still rock-solid.
- It will allow the different elements to slowly thaw. Then, once you serve the cake, any part that is still very frozen will quickly soften and be ready,
- It protects the cake from harmful bacteria and foreign objects like dust particles.
To best thaw, an ice cream cake in the fridge, keep it inside the container and place it in the fridge. Your fridge should preferably run below 40ºF (4ºC). Then, allow it to thaw for 30 minutes before it needs to be served.
Remember, the colder your fridge is the longer it will take to thaw.
Method 2: At room temperature
Our second technique will shave off a lot of time but is riskier. You can place the entire container on the counter and it will be ready to serve in 8-10 minutes.
But, you have to take great care when using this technique. Different flavors thaw at different speeds. For example, rum and raisin are softer than chocolate (which freezes very hard). So, when thawing softer flavors at room temperature, they may completely melt before the harder flavors have even thawed.
Secondly, make sure to keep the ice cream cake away from direct sunlight, heat sources, humid areas, and dusty spaces.
How Long to Thaw Ice Cream Cake Made With Only Ice Cream
Cakes made with only ice cream will often thaw more quickly as opposed to ones with cake. When thawing these in the fridge, they will be ready in roughly 15-30 minutes. This large time difference is because different flavors freeze differently.
And, it also depends on the temperature of your fridge. The lower the temperature, the longer it will take.
And, if you want to know how long to thaw ice cream cake at room temperature, the exact time will again vary. It would be roughly 8 minutes.
How long to thaw ice cream cake made with sheet cake layers
These cakes generally take a little longer to thaw. Inside the fridge, they will be ready between 20-35 minutes. And, if kept at room temperature, they could be ready in 10-13 minutes.
How to Keep Ice Cream Cake From Melting
The truth is, besides keeping ice cream in the freezer, there is no way to keep your ice cream cake from melting. But there are ways to slow the process down. Some tips you may like to try are:
- Ensuring your cake is sealed completely in the packaging. The less air that gets into the packaging, the slower your ice cream cake will melt.
- Be careful when moving around. Any small movement or bump can damage the cake and cause melting, so be sure that you're extra careful if you need to move the cake anywhere.
- Keep it in the fridge. If you can't freeze your cake, it'll be safe in a fridge for a few hours before it will need to be eaten, or frozen.
- Keep in a cooler. Ensure the cooler is closed and keep at a low temperature.
- Cool, dry, and place. If you can't keep it in the fridge or freezer, keep it out of direct sunlight or in a humid environment. A cool, dry place is the best idea.
Will Ice Cream Melt in the Fridge?
Yes. Eventually, ice cream will melt in the fridge. However, it should be safe for a few hours if that is the only storage method you have available for your ice cream cake.
Ways of Transporting Ice Cream Cake
When it comes to transporting ice cream cake, there are a few effective ways you can do this. Let's take a closer look.
- Use Foil. If you're looking for an effective method that's easy and inexpensive, then using foil is the choice to opt for. While this won't last for more than around four hours, it's the perfect way to transport your cake over a short period before you refreeze it. Just be sure the foil is tightly wrapped around your ice cream cake.
- Use a Cooler. While a cooler is a more expensive option, if this is something you plan to do often, you can reuse it again and again. Just place your ice cream cake into the cooler and cover it with ice for long-lasting results.
- Insulated Container. Much like a cooler, you can use an insulated container that aims to keep products at the same temperature they were when they went in. As long as you keep the lid on, no heat will get inside and your ice cream should stay frozen and chilled for a while.
- Salt. This may seem like an odd one, but if you cover the ice around your ice cream cake with salt, it will keep your ice cream colder, as the salt acts as a barrier to any heat. All you need to do is add your ice cream cake to your cooler or container and surround it with ice cubes and sprinkle the salt on top.
I Left Ice Cream Out Overnight - What Should I Do?
If you've left your ice cream or ice cream cake out overnight, you may be wondering what to do. The answer is simply to throw it away. After around two hours, your ice cream will start to spoil and should then be thrown away. There is no set time as to when ice cream will go bad left out, as it all depends on the temperature of the environment; but the usual time is around two hours.
As you can now see, there isn't one specific answer to how long to thaw ice cream cake. But, you can expect any type to be ready in under 30 minutes in the fridge, and in less than 15 at room temperature.
If you found this article informative or would like to know more about ice cream cakes, go check out our website for loads more educational content!
How Do You Defrost Cream Cake?
You should never completely defrost an ice cream cake. Only thaw it slightly to make it easier to eat. To thaw your ice cream cake, simply place it inside the fridge for 20-30 minutes. You can also keep it at room temperature for 8-10 minutes, but this technique is a lot riskier.
How Long to Thaw Ice Cream Cake Before Serving?
You should place the ice cream cake inside of the fridge roughly 30 minutes before you want to serve it. This will give you enough time to soften most parts without completely melting it. And, if you are in a hurry, you can thaw it at room temperature for roughly 8-10 minutes before serving.
Should You Thaw Ice Cream Cake?
You should definitely thaw ice cream cake before serving it. Otherwise, each bite will just be rock-hard and very unappealing to eat - even impossible!
How Do You Keep Ice Cream Cake From Freezing?
The best way to prevent ice cream cake from freezing too hard is to wrap the container in foil. This will prevent freezer burn, which causes too many ice crystals to form and makes the cake way too hard. Alternatively, you can try avoid using moist cakes, which will also freeze extremely hard.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.