How to Make Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

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We made doughnut ice cream sandwiches, and we "do-nut" know how we lived this long without them!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…doughnut ice cream sandwiches! According to Ree Drummond, aka the Pioneer Woman, taking a scoop of ice cream and sandwiching it between a soft, pillowy yeast-raised doughnut is the way to make an ice cream sandwich. Now, none of her desserts have ever led us astray—including her famous brownies—so we decided we had to try this out.

This simple sweet treat can be made with your favorite store-bought doughnuts (or homemade doughnuts if you’re feeling ambitious), a scoop of ice cream and any number of sauces, syrups and toppings.

Keep reading for our 3-ingredient recipe for easy doughnut ice cream sandwiches and our three favorite ideas for flavor combinations.

How to Make Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 6 yeast-raised glazed doughnuts
  • Toppings of your choice (rainbow sprinkles, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, caramel sauce, chocolate shell, hot fudge, fruit preserves, etc.)

Tools You’ll Need

You’ll want to have these tools handy to make doughnut ice cream sandwiches:

  • 13×9 pan: A basic 13×9 cake pan is the perfect vessel for spreading the ice cream out into an even, thick layer.
  • Offset spatula: The slight bend of an offset spatula makes working the ice cream into the tight corners of your baking pan a breeze.
  • Round cookie cutter: Choose a round cookie cutter slightly larger than your doughnuts to maximize your ice cream surface area for toppings galore.

Directions

Step 1: Spread and chill the ice cream

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich 072822 Toh 02 JveditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper, leaving excess around the edges so you can easily lift the ice cream from the pan later. Transfer the softened ice cream to the pan and use an offset spatula to spread the ice cream into an even layer, about 1-2 inches thick. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 1-2 hours until firm.

Step 2: Slice the doughnuts

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Meanwhile, slice the glazed doughnuts in half, so you have a top and bottom like a burger bun. Set aside.

Step 3: Cut ice cream rounds

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich 072822 Toh 03 JveditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

When the ice cream is fully set, remove it from the freezer. Carefully lift the ice cream from the pan, using the parchment paper “handles” to assist. Peel away the parchment and then use a round cookie cutter to make 6 ice cream disks of equal size.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t waste the leftovers. Store ice cream remnants in a freezer-safe container and save for another recipe that uses ice cream, or simply dig into it later with a spoon. You can also scoop it onto extra doughnuts using an ice cream scoop to make doughnut ice cream sandwiches with a more rustic look.

Step 4: Assemble

Working quickly, top the bottom half of each doughnut with a disk of ice cream. Next, spread a dollop of caramel, fudge or fruit preserves on the ice cream, if desired. Place the top of the doughnut over the ice cream to create a sandwich.

Step 5: Decorate

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich 072822 Toh 06 JveditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Gently roll the edges of your doughnut ice cream sandwich into your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich Variations

Our favorite thing about doughnut ice cream sandwiches is their unlimited potential for creative flavor combinations. While the basic recipe above is delish, don’t be afraid to snag other varieties of doughnuts, unique ice cream flavors and toppings to make your own custom creation.

Chocolate Lovers

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich 072822 Toh 10 JveditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

This one is for chocoholics everywhere. Take an old-fashioned chocolate cake doughnut, then fill it with chocolate ice cream and a smear of chocolate ganache. Finish by rolling the edges in a mixture of crushed chocolate wafer cookies, mini chocolate chips and chocolate sprinkles. Then drizzle with magic shell, hot fudge or chocolate doughnut glaze.

Peach Cobbler

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich 072822 Toh 12 JveditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

This one is inspired by everyone’s favorite peach dessert. Choose a classic glazed or sugar-dusted doughnut and fill it with vanilla ice cream. Add a few thin slices of juicy, ripe peach before topping with the other half of the doughnut, and then roll in a mixture of crushed graham crackers and chopped candied pecans.

Caramel Apple

Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich 072822 Toh 11 JveditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Slice an apple fritter in half and fill it with salted caramel ice cream. Roll the edges in chopped nuts and finish with a generous drizzle of ooey-gooey caramel sauce.

Tips for Making Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

Here are our top tips for making doughnut ice cream sandwiches at home.

Use an ice cream scoop for a shortcut method

Running short on time? You can skip spreading and cutting the ice cream into disks and simply use an ice cream scoop to scoop the softened ice cream right onto the doughnuts. Keep in mind that this method will yield doughnut ice cream sandwiches with a more rustic appearance.

Warm the doughnuts first

For an extra special indulgence, warm your doughnuts in a 350°F oven for 2-3 minutes before slicing and filling with ice cream. The combination of cold ice cream with a warm gooey doughnut is otherworldly delicious.

Enjoy the doughnut ice cream sandwiches at room temp

Doughnut ice cream sandwiches are best enjoyed soon after they’re assembled. Ideally, you want the doughnuts to be room temperature when eating, rather than frozen. If a firm, chilled doughnut is more your style, you can store doughnut ice cream sandwiches in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

Make the ice cream sandwiches ahead of time

If you need to make doughnut ice cream sandwiches in advance, we suggest preparing your ice cream disks as directed through step three. Then, instead of assembling, wrap each disk individually in parchment or plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight container until ready to assemble. This is an excellent option if you want to create a doughnut ice cream sandwich buffet for your next gathering or kids birthday party.

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.