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Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sandwiches | Brown Eyed Baker

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Chewy chocolaty cookies sandwich fresh homemade ice cream in this old-fashioned ice cream sandwich recipe. These decadent treats are better than any store-bought option and perfect for keeping you cool all summer long!

Homemade ice cream sandwiches on a white plate with a brown rim.

Old-fashioned ice cream sandwiches. The uniform pattern of holes. The chocolate cookie remnants stuck to your fingers. Ice cream oozing out between the cookies. The plain paper wrapper. They’re as iconic as the milk man. (Incidentally, we actually did have a milk man when I was young. There was a metal bin outside the door and everything!)

The classic ice cream sandwich wasn’t always the first thing on my wish list when the ice cream truck came jingling and jangling down the street – there were so many other flashy options, like the push-up, the drumstick, and the firecracker popsicle! Now that I’m older, two amazingly rich and chocolatey cookies sandwiching vanilla ice cream sounds about as good as it gets.

You know what’s even better? Homemade chocolate cookies and freshly churned vanilla bean ice cream. These are 100% homemade, and a perfect imitation of the classic ice cream sandwich, only a million times better.

Why We LOVE these Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Better than store-bought.
  • Rich chocolaty flavor. With the Dutch-processed cocoa and the espresso powder, you get a deep chocolaty flavor.
  • Versatile. Swap the ice cream filling for any flavor combination you want!
  • Perfect to stash in the freezer all summer long.
Homemade ice cream sandwiches on parchment paper.

The Ingredients

These ice cream sandwiches are made of two components: the chocolate cookies and the ice cream filling.

Chocolate Cookies – The Key Ingredients

Ingredients for ice cream sandwiches labeled with which ingredients are what.
  • Vegetable Shortening: Makes the chocolate cookie softer and a little flaky.
  • Brown sugar: Sweetens the cookies but also keeps them extra soft.
  • Cocoa Powder: I highly suggest using Dutch-processed cocoa powder for an intensely chocolate flavor.
  • Espresso Powder: Helps bring out the flavor of the chocolate.

Other Ice Cream Choices

While many people argue the best flavor for an ice cream sandwich is classic vanilla, the truth is you really can’t go wrong with any flavor. I would suggest picking a flavor that pairs well with chocolate since that’s the flavor of the cookies. Some of my favorites to try are:

How to Make Them

These ice cream sandwiches are not at all difficult to make but do require a little planning ahead. It’s important that everything be as cold as possible before you begin assembling them and that you work quickly.

Prepare the Ice Cream

This step needs to be done the day before you plan to assemble the ice cream sandwiches.

  • Prep the pan: Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil, allowing the excess to hang over the edges.
  • Freeze ice cream: Spread ice cream onto the prepared pan. If using store-bought ice cream soften it slightly before spreading. Freeze overnight.

Directions for Homemade Chocolate Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Beat shortening and sugar: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the shortening and the brown sugar with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add dry ingredients: Beat in the baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  • Add flour and water: Mix in 1 cup of the flour followed by 2 tablespoons of water, mixing well until no dry ingredients remain.
Two side by side photos of how to make the chocolate cookie dough.
  • Tip: Give it some time, up to 5 minutes of mixing. The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky; if necessary, add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
  • Roll out the dough: Turn out half the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into an even 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness.
  • Cut the dough into 2×4-inch rectangles. You could also cut into squares or use a cookie cutter to make circles.
  • Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Poke the cookies: Using a skewer or the tip of a thermometer, poke a pattern of holes on each cookie’s surface.
A bowl chocolate cookie dough on the left and rolled out chocolate cookie dough on the right.
  • Repeat: Roll out, cut, and poke the remaining dough, re-rolling the scraps as you work.
  • Freeze the cookie dough: Place the sheets of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
  • Bake 7 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are just set. Do not overbake.
  • Cool completely: Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool for 2 to 3 minutes on a baking sheet. Transfer to cooling racks and cool to room temperature.
  • Freeze the cookies for at least 1 hour before assembling the sandwiches.

Assemble Your Sandwiches

  • Pair cookies: Match up cookies of the same size and have them laid out and ready for ice cream.
  • Remove ice cream: Use the edges of the foil to lift the block of firm ice cream from the baking pan and place it on a cutting board.
  • Cut ice cream: Working quickly, cut the ice cream into 2×4-inch rectangles (or whatever shape you cut the cookies into).
Ice cream freezing in a baking pan on the left and cutting and assembling the ice cream sandwiches on the right.
  • Stick cookies together: Using a narrow stainless steel spatula, place a rectangle between two chilled cookies and press the cookies lightly to adhere.
  • Freeze to set: Return sandwiches to the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Tip: I found it easiest to cut one or two ice cream fillings at a time and assemble the sandwiches, then transfer them to a tray and repeat until all finished.
A plate with ice cream sandwiches on a white plate with a brown rim.

Dip and Decorate

Serve the ice cream sandwiches as is or dress them up for something a little more fun! Here are some ways to dip or decorate these homemade ice cream sandwiches:

  • Chocolate dip. Dunk half of the ice cream sandwich in melted chocolate and freeze to set.
  • Peanut butter dip. Dunk half of the ice cream sandwich in melted peanut butter and freeze to set.

Edge Coatings

To coat the edges with toppings, pour the topping on a medium plate and hold the ice cream sandwich in the middle. Place the ice cream exposed edge in the toppings and dip to coat. Rotate and dip each edge in the toppings until they are all coated. Some great edge coatings include:

  • Rainbow sprinkles
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Crushed oreo cookies
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Chopped peanuts or other nuts like pistachios, pecans, or walnuts
  • Cocoa Krispies Cereal

Storing and Freezing Tips

  • Store: Wrap the ice cream sandwiches individually in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe, airtight container or zip-top plastic bag in the freezer.
  • Shelf-Life: Stores well for up to 3 months.

Ice Cream Sandwich FAQs

Why do you poke holes in the cookies?

Poking holes in the top of the cookies allows the cookies to bake evenly as well as gives a space for steam to escape during the baking process.

Why do you freeze after assembly?

While each individual part is already frozen, it’s important to give the sandwich time to freeze together. The moisture from the ice cream helps to soften the cookies so each bite is chewy and melts in your mouth.

Frozen Treats to Try Next

A homemade ice cream sandwich with a bite take out and a little melted on the parchment paper.

Homemade ice cream sandwiches are a nostalgic summer dessert perfect for cooling off. Made with soft chocolate cookies and homemade vanilla ice cream, these are a classic summer treat perfect for everyone!

If you make this recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️

Homemade ice cream sandwiches made with chewy chocolate cookies sandwiching sweet vanilla ice cream make the perfect summer treat!

  1. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil, allowing excess to hang over the edges.

  2. If you’re using homemade ice cream, immediately after churning, spread the ice cream into the prepared pan. If using store-bought ice cream, soften it slightly and then spread it into the prepared pan. Freeze overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the shortening and the brown sugar with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Mix until incorporated. Mix in 1 cup of the flour, followed by 2 tablespoons of water, and then add the remaining 1 cup flour and another 2 tablespoons of water, mixing well until no dry ingredients remain (give it some time, up to 5 minutes of mixing). The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky; if necessary, add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together.

  5. Turn out half the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to an even 1/8-inch to ¼-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 2×4-inch rectangles (you could also cut into squares, or use a cookie cutter to make circles).

  6. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a skewer (or the tip of a thermometer – works awesome!), poke a pattern of holes on each cookie’s surface. Roll out, cut, and poke remaining dough, rerolling the scraps as you work. Place the sheets of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.

  7. Bake 7 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are just set. Do not overbake.

  8. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool 2 to 3 minutes on a baking sheet. Transfer to cooling racks and cool to room temperature. Freeze cookies for at least 1 hour before assembling the sandwiches.

  9. To assemble the sandwiches, have everything ready and work quickly! Match up cookies of the same size and have them laid out and ready for the ice cream. Use the edges of the foil to lift the block of firm ice cream from the baking pan and place it on a cutting board. Working quickly, cut the ice cream into 2×4-inch rectangles (you’ll have a little ice cream left over). Using a narrow stainless steel spatula, place a rectangle between two chilled cookies and press the cookies lightly to adhere. (I found it easiest to do this one at a time. Cut one or two rectangles, assemble those cookies and place on a tray, then do one or two more, etc. until you’re finished.) Return the sandwiches to the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container or zip-top plastic bag in the freezer.

  • Cocoa Powder: I highly suggest using Dutch-processed cocoa powder for an intensely chocolate flavor.
  • Espresso Powder: Brings out the flavor of the chocolate. Buy at the grocery store in the Italian or coffee section, or purchase on Amazon.
  • Ice Cream: Use fresh homemade ice cream or your favorite store-bought flavor.
  • Storage: These will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Cookie recipe adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Calories: 615kcal

Fat: 26g

Saturated fat: 11g

Cholesterol: 52mg

Sodium: 324mg

Potassium: 421mg

Carbohydrates: 88g

Fiber: 3g

Sugar: 58g

Protein: 8g

Vitamin A: 500%

Vitamin C: 0.7%

Calcium: 202%

Iron: 2.5%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!



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