The most divine gluten free Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake. Easy to make, it may be one of the BEST desserts you ever make… (optional dairy free)
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First published 24th April 2016… Updated 15th May 2023
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Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake – An exceptional dessert…
If you’re a lover of chocolate mint then you absolutely HAVE to try my Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake. It is DIVINE! It may just be one of the BEST desserts you ever take the time to make. A gluten free chocolate sponge cake sandwiched together around a thick and luscious layer of mint choc chip ice cream… All generously topped with decadent dark mint chocolate.
It sounds like a lot of work, but honestly, it’s so easy… The sponge is pretty basic and the ice cream is a simple no churn, one bowl and whisk job. The chocolate topping is fool-proof too… Melted chocolate with a little coconut oil to create magic!
Although my gluten free Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake has been on the blog since 2016, it still remains one of our most quickly devoured desserts ever. It’s THAT good. And for that reason, I know you’ll love it too.
Ice Cream sandwiches inspired by After Eight Mints…
This recipe was originally inspired by the iconic After Eight Mint… A sweetie treasure that was first sold in the UK as far back as 1962. It was one of those ever-present confections from my childhood… particularly at Christmas and celebrations.
For anyone who has not had the pleasure of eating After Eights before… They are basically flat, square mint chocolates consisting of a layer of very minty white fondant, enrobed in a thin layer of dark chocolate. Simple but exceptionally moreish.
My Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake Sandwiches are created to mimic the flavours and experience of After Eights in cake form… Deep, dark chocolate from both the cake and chocolate topping. And a central layer of intensely minty white ice cream, shot through with fragments of chopped dark mint chocolate for added coolness and texture.
I think I did pretty well… Each and every square slice is a perfect gluten free ‘After Eight’ Ice Cream bar.
Why you’ll LOVE this Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake
For those of you not convinced about making your own ice cream cake, let me tell you why it’s more than worth the effort and why you’ll love my recipe…
- It’s the perfect, decadent layered dessert to turn heads at any dinner party or celebration and will be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
- It can be made well ahead of time and stored in the freezer. (The hard part is trying not to eat it before you intend to serve it).
- I promise it’s really easy to make, even if it does take a little time. But then again… even the time can be broken into stages and fitted around your schedule.
- Despite being frozen, the texture of the sponge stays perfectly soft.
- It’s gluten free. If you’re Coeliac that’s a biggie… because it means you won’t miss out on the best ice cream cake ever!
- You can even make it dairy free with a few subs and tweaks.
- The deliciousness rating is off the scale.
How to make an Ice Cream Cake (gluten free or not)… Three stages
Ice Cream Cake (whatever flavour) basically consists of three elements…
- Sponge cake
- Ice Cream
- Chocolate Topping (While in reality, this third element is optional, IMHO it’s essential for the best show-stoppers).
The Sponge Cake
The sponge cake is made first… It must have a baked consistency that even after freezing remains soft enough to yield to each and every bite for the best eating experience.
The chocolate sponge recipe shared here offers an ideal texture of lightly dense with a tender frozen chew… But it is also deeply chocolate, being made with real dark chocolate and an intensifying shot of espresso coffee to ensure the chocolate still shines with equality against the cool mint.
Once the sponge is made and chilled, it is sliced horizontally with a sharp knife to create the two external sandwich layers. Then… the original baking tin forms a mould for layering your masterpiece.
The Ice Cream
Because the ice cream used to make this cake is a no-churn recipe, it can be whipped up in half an hour or less. It’s literally a case of whisking together the ingredients… then spreading on top of the base cake layer, topping with the second sponge and freezing!
The ingredients used for no churn chocolate mint ice cream are: condensed milk; double (heavy) cream; mint extract; alcohol (optional); and chopped mint chocolate.
The Chocolate Topping
Topping the ice cream cake with chocolate enters the realm of magic. I LOVE this bit! If you have never made magic chocolate then you’re in for a treat.
Magic chocolate is a combination of melted chocolate and coconut oil… The coconut oil stops the chocolate from hardening at room temperature. However… when the mixture comes into contact with the frozen ice cream cake, it instantly starts to freeze. How simple and utterly cool is that?
Making a gluten free Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake that is safe for Coeliacs
To make gluten free Ice Cream Sandwiches that are safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac), it is essential to make sure that all ingredients used are certified gluten free. This starts with the gluten free flour blend used to make the sponge cake.
I use my Gluten Free Alchemist white flour Blend A (which you can find at the bottom of my What Is Gluten Free Flour? page). However, being a chocolate cake, the darker rice-free Flour Blend B will also work well, as will a well-balanced commercial gluten free flour blend, such as Doves, Freee plain baking flour.
Other than the flour blend, no other specific substitutions of ingredients are required. However, it is still really important to check ALL ingredient labels to be sure there is no hidden gluten or risk from cross-contamination. If you are new to label-checking, then head over to my page ‘Coeliac Disease + Food’ for some advice on what to look out for.
Can I make Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches that are dairy free as well as gluten free?
Yes. It is possible to make your Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake dairy free as well as gluten free with some alternative ingredients and extra caution. Specifically:
For the chocolate sponge cake
For the Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream layer
While the ice cream layer is the one which requires the most ingredient subs, it is no more difficult to make than the dairy version. Even better, I’ve done the hard work in testing for you… Simply make the vegan no churn mint ice cream using the recipe from my Vegan Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Bites.
For the Mint Chocolate Topping
As in other parts of the recipe, check that the dark mint chocolate used is suitable for a dairy free diet (with no ‘may contain’ warnings as required). If you are unable to find dark mint chocolate that is safely dairy free, then use plain dark chocolate and add a little mint extract at the same time as adding the coconut oil.
Tips for making the BEST Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake
Making my gluten free Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake is easy… But it’s always good to have a few tips up your sleeve to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. So here is my best advice…
For the sponge…
- Use a deep cake tin… (3 inches deep), as it will be used after the initial bake to layer and freeze the final ice cream cake.
- Whisk the eggs long and hard! They need to be really thick so that when the whisk is lifted, a trail stays on the top for a good couple of seconds before disappearing.
- Trust your judgement on when the sponge is ready… All ovens are different, so treat baking times as a guide and test readiness by hand. Touch the top and see if it springs back under slight pressure. And poke the centre of the cake with a cocktail stick or cake tester… If it comes out clean or with a couple of crumbs attached, it’s done.
- Leave the sponge to cool completely. Then wrap and place in the fridge for about an hour before cutting in half. Chilling will make the cake firmer and easier to cut.
- Use the same tin as you baked the sponge to layer and freeze the final cake. Make sure it’s washed, dried and completely lined with baking paper, ready to use. To completely line using a single sheet of baking paper, use the guide below, but for a square tin.
the ice cream batter and layering the cake…
- Put the condensed milk (and coconut milk if making vegan ice cream) in the fridge the day before you plan to make it so it’s thoroughly chilled and ready to use when you want it.
- Also, remember to set the freezer to ‘fast freeze’ (or the lowest temperature it takes) in advance of making the ice cream. This ensures the creamiest ice cream from the smallest ice crystals.
- Chop the chocolate really fine… Alternatively, grate it, so it’s nicer to eat.
- Add a tablespoon of alcohol to the ice cream batter. This is absolutely optional, but it helps to lower the freezing temperature of the ice cream so that it stays softer. Use either a ‘neutral’ flavoured tipple such as gin or vodka (you won’t be able to taste these in the final cut)… Or go all out minty with some boozy crème de menthe liqueur.
- When ready to layer the ice cream cake… Gently place the base sponge layer back in the lined tin… Evenly spread the ice cream batter on top… Then carefully place the top layer of cake into the tin, pressing VERY gently only.
- Completely freeze the cake until hard, before adding the chocolate topping.
for the chocolate topping
- Leave the cake in the cake tin when you add the chocolate topping. The melted chocolate coconut oil mixture is very runny and the borders of the tin will ensure it stays put.
- If adding a contrasting ‘swirled’ chocolate colour for decoration add this immediately after the main chocolate topping (while it’s still liquid).
- Remember to switch the freezer back to its standard temperature once the cake is made.
How to cut your Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches
Once the ice cream cake is completely frozen, it can be easily lifted from the tin using the baking paper lining. Remove the paper and place the cake on a clean board ready for cutting into bars. Depending on how neat you want the slices to be, you may wish to trim the edges of the cake before cutting it into slices. It’s up to you. Any off-cuts won’t go to waste. I guarantee they’ll be quickly devoured by the kitchen vultures…
However you portion it, the best way to cut an ice cream cake is using a long, sharp, hot knife. The heat will enable the knife to move through the frozen layers more easily and cleanly. To heat the blade, have a measuring jug filled with boiling water ready to dip between each slice. And also a tea towel or kitchen paper ready to wipe off any cake residue and hot water before cutting the next slice. Dipping and wiping the knife between each cut will keep it hot and the slices ‘clean’.
How to store your ice cream sandwiches
Once cut, your ice cream sandwiches should be stored in an airtight container in the freezer. If stacking the slices, place a layer of baking paper between them to keep them separate. They will stay good for up to three months, although in our house, they have never lasted more than a week.
Ready to make gluten free Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake?
And that’s all you need to know. The recipe for my utterly divine gluten free Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake is below (just scroll an inch or two further). If you have any other questions, just get in touch with a comment, an email or message me on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest). You can even rate the recipe (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️).
For everything else, check out our massive Gluten Free Recipe Index… It’s our FREE on-line recipe book to fill your gluten free kitchen journey.
All shared with my love to the gluten free community
Easy Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake (Gluten Free)
- deep, 8 or 9 inch square baking tin (at least 3 inches deep)
- fridge and freezer
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- chopping board
- large sharp knife
- 135 g dark chocolate – chopped
- 130 g unsalted butter – cubed
- 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 65 ml boiling water
- 135 g plain gluten free flour blend I use GFA Blend A (see NOTES), but alternative flour blends will work fine
- ½ tsp xanthan gum (leave out if the flour blend already contains it)
- 1½ tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 130 g soft light brown sugar
- 100 g caster sugar (golden)
- 20 g cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 2 large eggs At room temperature – UK large size (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 85 g plain yoghurt
No Churn Mint-Choc-Chip Ice Cream
- 450 ml double cream (heavy cream)
- 397 g sweetened condensed milk = 1 standard tin (chilled)
- 4 tsp natural peppermint extract
- 1 tbsp vodka (optional, but keeps the ice cream soft)
- 90 g dark mint chocolate very finely chopped or grated
Mint Chocolate Topping
- 150 g dark mint chocolate (chopped)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
Optional additional white chocolate topping for decoration
- 35 g white chocolate (chopped)
- ½ tbsp coconut oil
Ahead of time
- Place the can of condensed milk for the ice cream in the fridge to chill for several hours before making the ice cream.
- Set the freezer to ‘fast-freeze’ ahead of making the ice cream.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3 and base-line a square 8 x 8 inch (20 cm) or 9 x 9 inch (23 cm) loose-bottomed baking tin with baking paper. The tin needs to be about 3 inches deep.
- In a heat-proof pyrex bowl, melt the chocolate for the sponge (135g) with the butter, either over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave on 30 second bursts (medium setting) stirring between each. Stir until thoroughly combined and smooth and set aside.
- Mix the boiling water with the instant coffee to dissolve. Set aside.
- Weigh and mix together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, sugars and cocoa powder, making sure any lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until very thick and pale and so that a trail of the mixture will stay on the surface for a couple of seconds.
- Add the vanilla extract, chocolate and coffee mixtures, and yoghurt and beat again until smooth and combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and fold in thoroughly and lightly with a large mixing spoon.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is cooked and a skewer/cocktail stick inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wash and dry the cake tin ready to layer the final cake.
- When the cake is cold, wrap and pop it in the fridge for about an hour to firm up ready for cutting.
- Carefully slice the cake horizontally through the middle to make two even layers.
- Take the same cake tin that was used for baking the sponge and completely line it (base and sides) with baking paper.
- Place the base half of the sponge into the lined cake tin and put it in the fridge to stay cool. (Re-wrap and chill the second sponge also).
Make No Churn Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
- In a large bowl, whisk the cream with the condensed milk and peppermint extract until it forms soft peaks.
- Add the alcohol (if using) and whisk through, ensuring the mix returns to soft peaks.
- Add the finely chopped (or grated) mint chocolate and gently fold through, being careful to maintain as much air as possible.
- Spoon and spread the ice cream mixture onto the first chilled chocolate cake (in the tin) in an even layer.
- Carefully place the second sponge layer on top of the ice cream and very gently push down to fuse together.
- Place the whole tin in the freezer until the ice cream cake is completely frozen.
Mint Chocolate Topping and Decoration
- Melt the chopped mint dark chocolate in a pyrex bowl (either over a pan of lightly simmering water or in a microwave on medium setting (max 30 second bursts)), stirring frequently until evenly melted.
- Add the coconut oil and stir through, until completely melted and smooth. The mixture will become a looser liquid as the coconut oil melts into the chocolate.
- Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- If making a contrasting white chocolate topping, make this now by the same process.
- Once the cake is frozen, spoon and spread the chocolate topping over the sponge surface (while still in the cake tin). If using a contrasting chocolate colour for decoration, add this straight away before the main chocolate sets. The topping will start to harden as it comes into contact with the cold sponge and will fully harden when returned to the freezer.
- Place back into the freezer until fully set.
- Once frozen, carefully remove the whole cake from the baking tin by lifting with the sides of the baking paper lining.
- Remove the baking paper and place the cake on a cutting board.
- The sides of the cake can be trimmed and tidied using a hot, sharp knife (optional), before cutting into slices.
- Slice into squares using a hot sharp knife (dipping in a jug of boiling water and wiping between each cut) .
- Store the ice cream sandwiches in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to eat.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist