Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel Ice Cream Cake

Still ruminating about what to make your mom for Mother’s Day dessert?  I’m happy to tell you that you still have time to make a cool and easy ice cream cake that will delight both your mama and whomever else happens to be gathered around your Mother’s Day table.  You don’t have to tell anyone that it’s a super-fast concoction of your favorite vanilla ice cream, chopped up peanut butter cups, chopped pretzels and chocolate sauce that took you about 15 minutes to make.  I won’t if you won’t.

The one thing you do have to do is leave enough time for it to freeze properly.  I like to give it a good six to eight hours, just to make sure it is firm enough to cut nice well-behaved slices.  The actual putting-together of this scrumptiousness really will only take you about 15 minutes or so, and here’s how it goes.

First line a loaf pan with either parchment paper or plastic wrap, making sure you leave enough to hang over the sides. Take your container of softened ice cream (you want it just soft enough so that you can press it easily into the pan) and fill the loaf pan half full of ice cream. Now generously sprinkle the ice cream with chopped up peanut butter cups.  Press the remaining ice cream on top, and cover it up with more chopped peanut butter cups and chopped pretzels.

Next pop the loaf pan into the very back of your freezer and do something else for about eight hours. Once your cake is nice and frozen, carefully lift it out of the pan, using the ends of the parchment paper or plastic wrap that you cleverly put in place.  Peel it off and place your cake on a pretty platter.

Now grab your favorite chocolate sauce (click here for mine) and drizzle, drizzle, drizzle.  And then stand back and let compliments wash over you.

And remember, it’s our secret.

Adapted from Real Simple


Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel Ice Cream Cake
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 3 pints of your favorite vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 30 small chocolate peanut butter cups, chopped
  • 1 cup mini pretzel twists, broken into pieces
  • Chocolate sauce, heated as needed for drizzling
  1. Line a loaf pan with either plastic wrap or parchment paper. Use enough so that it hangs over the sides by a few inches.
  2. Press half of ice cream into the bottom of the pan. Scatter half the peanut butter cups over the ice cream. Press the remaining ice cream on top, and scatter the remaining peanut butter cups on top along with the pretzels. Press down slightly so they adhere to the ice cream.
  3. Put the loaf pan into the back of your freezer (where it is coldest) and freeze for at least 6 hours until it is firm (and up to overnight).
  4. Remove from the freezer and using the overhang of the wrap or paper, carefully lift it out of the pan. Peel the wrap off and transfer to a serving platter.
  5. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Cut into slices and serve at once.


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  1. Chris says

    Is there a time limit to how long it can freeze? For instance, if I left it in for up to twelve hours, would the peanut butter cups get too brittle?

    • Kate says

      Hi Chris! I usually make this one the day before and freeze it overnight and it’s fine (I have also frozen the leftovers for a few days at a time.)

      • Chris says

        Gangster. Thanks, Kate. I’m doing it for a Mother’s Day thing, and will have to make it the day before. I’ll let you know if an extended run in the freezer results in any mishaps, for posterity’s sake.

  2. Chris says

    I ended up making this for mother’s day, and it was awesome. My advice is to a) go for a higher loaf pan than a flatter one, b) make sure the middle layer of peanut butter cup pieces is nice and thick, and c) drizzle a little melted peanut butter on top with the chocolate sauce (you heard me, MELTED PEANUT BUTTER).

    Overall, this dessert is the bomb digs. Go nuts.

  3. Christine Jason says

    I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it looked wonderful. So I gave it a try for a dinner party I was hosting. Wow!! What a hit! The only thing I did differently was to do the ice cream in three layers so that the filling was in two layers, and then on top. I drizzled each plate with chocolate sauce and threw on 3 or 4 fresh raspberries for some visual interest and it was AMAZING!! I will make this again & again!


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