Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake! An Easy and Impressive #Thanksgiving Dessert  - ASpicyPerspective.com #holidays #icecream #pumpkinTurtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake: A seasonal celebration Ice Cream Dessert that doubles as a Thanksgiving Dessert.

Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake: An Easy and Impressive #Thanksgiving Dessert | ASpicyPerspective.com #holidays #icecream #pumpkin

Alright, alright, I’m cheating a little today.

I’m selling this as a Thanksgiving dessert, when really I made it for my sweet friend Rachel.

Sneaky, right?


Rachel of RachelCooks.com is having a precious baby boy and we are partying it up in her honor!

Something I look forward to every fall is finding pumpkin ice cream in the grocery stores. Why they don’t sell this all year long, is beyond me.

"Turtle" Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake: An Easy and Impressive #Thanksgiving Dessert | ASpicyPerspective.com #holidays #icecream #pumpkin

For Rachel’s Virtual Baby Shower, I took my beloved pumpkin ice cream and turned it into an pumpkin ice cream cake with a gingersnap crust.

The “turtle” element comes into play with chocolate-shell drizzled over the top and edges, a candied pecan garnish, and a hidden layer of dulce de leche underneath the pumpkin ice cream.

Told you I was sneaky.

Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake: An Easy #Thanksgiving Dessert | ASpicyPerspective.com #holidays #icecream #pumpkin

This pumpkin ice cream cake could not be easier to prepare, and would make a fantastic Thanksgiving dessert, when you’ve got so many other dishes to manage.

The only real cooking going on, is baking the gingersnap crust for a few minutes. Other than that, it’s all layering and presentation.

Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Deesert Cake: An Easy and Impressive #Thanksgiving Dessert | ASpicyPerspective.com #holidays #icecream #pumpkin

Of course, you could make the pumpkin ice cream, the dulce de leche, the candied pecans, and the chocolate shell from scratch. But I find, with a few good quality store-bought ingredients, you’ve got an impressive and indulgent dessert with very little time invested.

This is one of those ice cream desserts, that no one can resist. It disappears with so much ooooohing and ahhhhing, no one will miss the plain old pumpkin pie!

Easy Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake: An Impressive #Thanksgiving Dessert | ASpicyPerspective.com #holidays #icecream #pumpkin

I’m serving this today, because I know Rachel loves pumpkin and chocolate, and because all pregnant women deserve an over-the-top ice cream dessert every now and again.

Rachel’s Virtual Baby Shower Menu also includes…


Jamie from Thrifty Veggie Mama ~ Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Pesto Crostini
Kathryn from London Bakes ~ Mini Onion and Feta Pizzas
Kita from Pass the Sushi ~ Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Cream
Krista from Budget Gourmet Mom ~ Baby Blue Cheese Burgers
Mackenzie from Susie Freaking Homemaker ~ Cucumber Sandwiches
Marnely from Cooking with Books ~ Curried Salmon Phyllo Cups
Sarah from Sarah’s Cucina Bella ~ Apple Asiago Prociutto Bites
Sheila from Eat 2 Gather ~ Chicken Salad
Shelby from Diabetic Foodie ~ Cranberry Citrus Meatballs
Susan from 30A Eats ~ Southern Cheese Straws


Amanda from Fake Ginger ~Mini Snickerdoodle Scones
Barbara from Creative-Culinary ~ White Chocolate Quilt Cake
Brandi from Bran Appetit ~ Bourbon Toffee Popcorn
Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny ~ S’mores Popcorn
Carrie from Bakeaholic Mama ~ Caramel Popcorn Pretzel Bars
Cassie from Bake Your Day ~ Caramel Cashew Popcorn Bars
Deborah from Taste and Tell ~ Blue Layered Jello
Donna from Cookistry ~ Walnut Streusel Coffee Cake
Erin from The Spiffy Cookie ~ Sweet Potato Pie Dip with Pie Crust Dippers
Heather from Farmgirl Gourmet ~ Dark Chocolate Cashew Brittle Cookies
Jennifer from Mother Thyme ~ Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Jessie from Bread & Butter ~ Primal Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Liz from The Lemon Bowl ~ Chewy Molasses Cookie Bars
Milisa from Miss in the Kitchen ~ White Chocolate Biscoff Muddy Buddies
Tara from Chip Chip Hooray ~ Itty Bitty Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Congratulations Rachel!

I cannot wait to see pictures of that sweet baby boy.


Yield: 10-12 slices

Prep Time: 20 minutes active time, 1-2 hours freezer time

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

A Thanksgiving dessert and celebration ice cream dessert cake!


  • 1 pound ginger snaps
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 14 ounce can dulce de leche
  • 3 quarts pumpkin ice cream (Pumpkin pie, pumpkin swirl, you name it!)
  • 1 small bottle chocolate Magic Shell
  • 3/4 cup candied pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Trace the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan on parchment paper, and cut out a circle to lay in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Using a food processor or high-powered blender, pulse the gingersnaps until they reach a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and egg and pulse a few more times to combine.
  3. Press the gingersnap mixture evenly over the bottom of the spring-form pan, and up the sides approximately 2 inches. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Once out of the oven, cut a parchment paper strip 4 inches high, and a little over 2 feet long, to line the perimeter of the pan. Tuck the parchment paper strip carefully between the crust walls and the sides of the pan. Adjust the paper ring to fit snugly around the crust the secure with a paper clip. Press the crust back gently if it has slumped a little.
  5. Spread the entire can of dulce de leche over the bottom of the crust. Then place the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
  6. Scoop the ice cream into the crust and press down using a piece of wax paper. Smooth the top with a spatula. Place back in the freezer to firm up--30-60 minutes.
  7. Then release the sides of the spring-form pan and remove the ring and parchment paper. Shake the chocolate magic shell vigorously, then drizzle around the edges. Once the edges of the cake are covered in chocolate, drizzle the magic shell in the middle of the cake. Quickly top with candied pecans, before the magic shell hardens. Place back in the freezer until ready to serve. If you plan to wait more than 1 day to serve the cake, wrap it well with foil, followed by a layer of plastic wrap.

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105 Responses to “Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake”

  1. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — November 12, 2012 @ 7:00 am

    AMAZING! This is almost too good looking to eat. I really need to make it for Thanksgiving.


  2. #
    Erika — November 12, 2012 @ 7:16 am

    Holy Ice Cream Cake.. This looks amazing!!!


  3. #
    30A EATS — November 12, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    WOW! This is one amazing recipe and as usual I love your photos! I’m ready to dive right into that ice-cream cake!!


  4. #
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) — November 12, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    I love that the crust is made out of gingersnaps – too perfect! This looks aaaammmaaazing =)


  5. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — November 12, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    Holy crapolla that looks good


  6. #
    Sarah W. Caron — November 12, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    Whoa. That’s like ice cream cake crack — looks ah-freakin-mazing!


  7. #
    Aggie — November 12, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this looks! Wowzers girl! Congrats to Rachel and her baby boy! :)


  8. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — November 12, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    Oh WOW. This cake is incredibly gorgeous–I’d go crazy for it at any holiday celebration. :D


  9. #
    carrian — November 12, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    Good mercy! That looks/sounds like heaven!


  10. #
    Liz — November 12, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    This looks amazing! Love the chocolate and pecans on top :)


  11. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — November 12, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    Yes please!


  12. #
    Kristen — November 12, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    This is just SO beautiful! Wow, Sommer!


  13. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — November 12, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    Oh wow Sommer you out did yourself on this dessert. It looks amazing!


  14. #
    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings — November 12, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    Holy moly, this is ah.maze.ing! Ahhhh, I want to scream at how beautiful this cake is. I want this now, now, now!!! And it’s only 11am here in Toronto!


  15. #
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — November 12, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    GET. IN. MY. FACE.

    Holy cow.


  16. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — November 12, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    You are quite the temptress with this ice cream cake! The hidden layer of dulce de leche sounds tantalizing…I would have a difficult time staying away from this cake – I’d have to give it to someone and get it out of my house ASAP else I’d be glued in front of it with a spoon. I love everything about it from the chocolate drizzle to the pumpkin ice cream to the candied nuts…sigh….what a wonderful baby shower treat! AND great for Thanksgiving, especially since I could satisfy my whole family’s sweet tooth with this single dessert!


  17. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — November 12, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    Are you kidding me??? This looks flipping fabulous!!! Congrats Rachel :) I hope Sommer gives you this cake too!


  18. #
    Sheila — November 12, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    OK Darlin’ are you kidding me already! this is crazy! All the flavors I love!


  19. #
    Christine (Cook the Story) — November 12, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    Wow! Ever decadent. Looks and sounds amazing. I love pumpkin and chocolate together.


  20. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — November 12, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    Oh Sommer. You have gone and done it now. Swoon.


  21. #
    Rachel Cooks — November 12, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    Oh my gosh, Sommer! This cake is beyond amazing. YUM! Thank you so much for participating in this baby shower. I’m so honored and touched by everyone doing this. Thank you!!!! xo


  22. #
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — November 12, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    Wow, this is totally insane! It’s like everything delicious in a single dessert.


  23. #
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — November 12, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    I wish I was at your house the day you photographed this. 2 slices, one for you and one for me. :) Looks amazing Sommer. Love it!!



  24. #
    Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama — November 12, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    Oh my gosh. This is totally sinful. Beautiful cake!


  25. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — November 12, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    This is incredible, Sommer! This is definitely a little slice of heaven!


  26. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 12, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    I love hidden layers, especially of dulce de leche. This is a gorgeous cake, Sommer. So perfect for this time of year!


  27. #
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie — November 12, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    This is the perfect dessert for any occasion and I’d love it on my holiday table. Congrats to Rachel!


  28. #
    diabeticFoodie — November 12, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    What a perfect Thanksgiving dessert. And I’m sure Rachel loved it too!


  29. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — November 12, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

    YUM!!! What a gorgeous ice cream cake! I have such a love for pumpkin ice cream and using magic shell on it is genius! I love that idea!!!


  30. #
    Barb | Creative Culinary — November 12, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    You know how much I appreciate that list you made? Well, you forgot to include yourself and I’ve been using it to get to each blog. So glad something didn’t feel quite complete because this is fantastic. The look belies the ease you claim it to be…isn’t that the perfect dessert? Just gorgeous Sommer.


  31. #
    Kathryn — November 12, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

    This ice cream cook looks really delicious – such a great cake for a party!


  32. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 12, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    Wow – the layers in this bad boy. It just goes on and on in the most beautiful way. Gorgeous, Sommer!


  33. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — November 12, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    Ohhh gurrrrllll! This is incredible!


  34. #
    Steph — November 12, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    Holy smokes!! This is insane! I need a huge slice immediately!


  35. #
    kita — November 12, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    Holy amazeballs. I have been drooling over these pics since you posted them on FB this morning. If I ever have the need for any sort of surprise party I want one of these cake. Seriously, at the party…. ;)


  36. #
    Toni | Boulder Locavore — November 12, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    I’m speechless Sommer. Is there a dessert better than this? I think not. The fantastic photos tell the tale. Simply gorgeous.


  37. #
    Wizzy — November 12, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    This is wicked good! Love the presentation.


  38. #
    Erin @ Cooking With Erin — November 12, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    Wow!! This was the perfect recipe to trip across today. Sommer, I am impressed. :-) And I completely agree that the stores should sell pumpkin ice cream all. year. long.


  39. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 12, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    This is seriously gorgeous, please pass the fork!


  40. #
    Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet — November 12, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    Absolutely scrumptious!!! Perfect treat, Sommer :)

    HUGS <3


  41. #
    MIss @ Miss in the Kitchen — November 12, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    My heavens, this must be the best looking dessert I’ve ever seen! You really knocked this one out of the park. Ah-mazing!


  42. #
    Jeanette — November 12, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    What a fun way to celebrate and a stunning presentation Sommer!


  43. #
    Deborah — November 12, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

    Oh my gosh – I’m so in love with this!! And why have I never bought pumpkin ice cream before??


  44. #
    Donna — November 12, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

    Oh my gosh! That’s BEAUTIFUL! I’d love it someone served that to me for dessert.


  45. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — November 12, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

    This is one amazing looking ice cream cake! I love it! Thank you so much for being a part of this event!!!


  46. #
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty — November 13, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    This is stunning! Congratulations, Rachel! :)


  47. #
    Jen @ Savory SImple — November 13, 2012 @ 7:25 am

    Wow, this looks incredible!


  48. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — November 13, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    This looks absolutely killer!!! Want!


  49. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — November 13, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    Good call on the gingersnap crust! I can’t decide if that or the ice cream is my favorite part. I can’t get over how gorgeous this is!


  50. #
    Shanna@ pineapple and coconut — November 13, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    I have had this page open all day staring at this cake. I cannot WAIT To make it next week. Sending my mom out for ingredients soon so its all ready for me to make when we get to their house next week – I will absolutely send pics!


  51. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 13, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    Amazing! So are you going to make this for my baby shower too in like 10 years? :)


  52. #
    Vianney — November 13, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    Congrats to Rachel!! Swoon Sommer, this looks amazing!!


  53. #
    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — November 13, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    Wow – this cake is AMAZING, Sommer! Cheers to you and congrats to Rachel!!


  54. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — November 13, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    Wow, now that’s a show stopper and perfect dessert for this season.


  55. #
    Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker} — November 14, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    Um… I wish we were neighbors. This looks so fantastic. Great idea to bring this to the shower!


  56. #
    Angie — November 14, 2012 @ 9:01 am

    This looks so pretty and delicious!


  57. #
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — November 14, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

    This might be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!!!


  58. #
    Shari-Tickled Red — November 15, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    Momma!!! Please come be sneaky at my house…really that cake is the bomb diggity.


  59. #
    Brooke — November 15, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    Wow! That looks amazing.


  60. #
    Kelly Senyei (Just a Taste) — November 15, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Oh my sweet, sweet heavens! I am dying for a slice of this right now!


  61. #
    Kelsey Keagle — November 17, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    I just made this for a friend’s birthday party at work. This recipe was SO easy, the hardest thing was putting the parchment ring around the crust!

    I love how impressive this dessert is without all the fuss of totally handmade ingredients… it still turned out wonderfully!

    Thank you for the delicious recipe and post!


    • Sommer — November 18th, 2012 @ 8:20 am

      Oh Kelsey I’m so glad you liked it! My family has been begging for me to make it again.


  62. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — November 18, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

    Holy cow. This sounds like the best most amazing dessert ever. All of those delicious flavors…

    Sadly enough, the only ingredients in the ingredient list that I can actually buy where I live are the butter and egg. Have to make the rest, which I’m sure is totally worth it, but my freezer is constantly full. As soon as I can make the ice cream, I want to make something like this!


  63. #
    Christian Rene Friborg — November 18, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

    This looks so freaking good, I wish I could take it out of the monitor and eat it.


  64. #
    katie — November 20, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    oh-my this cake looks fabulous. Perfect for any celebration!


  65. #
    Jett2Whit Productions — November 20, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

    OH my goodness – everything looks so good!!


  66. #
    Maria — December 3, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    I would see this just before lunch. The question is now do I fall of the diet wagon this early in the week?


  67. #
    Kristen — December 21, 2012 @ 4:43 pm


    I made this last night for dessert at a friend’s house. The flavor was perfect! The only problem was that the crust was so tough, we had a nearly impossible time cutting through it even after letting it sit for 10 minutes on the table.

    I pressed the cookie mixture into the spring form pan and baked it at the required temp for 11 minutes. Any thoughts on how to fix this? We LOVED this cake and I want to make it again, but am nervous about the cement-like cookie base. :(


    • Sommer — December 21st, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

      Hi Kristen, It’s hard to say way it turned out so hard without seeing it, but maybe try pressing it taller and thinner next time. Merry Christmas!


      • Kristen — December 22nd, 2012 @ 11:06 am

        Thanks. :) Yeah… the crust was a bit thick especially in the bottom corners. I’ll try that next time.

  68. #
    Donna — October 9, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

    I don’t understand what you mean about the parchment paper strip? Do I actually unhook the springform to do that ?


  69. #
    Shirley — October 17, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

    I just made this recipe, it tastes delicious, however, it was impossible to cut through the crust. I actually broke a knife. How long could you leave it out prior to cutting, any suggestions?


    • Sommer — October 19th, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

      Hey Shirley! Oh No!! Let’s see, last time I made it I think I left it out for 15-20 minutes before cutting. Sorry about your knife. :(


  70. #
    Sharana @ Living THe Sweet Life Blog — October 22, 2014 @ 10:30 am

    HOLY MOLY MOTHER OF YUUMMM .. now that right there, is what i call the perfect thanksgiving dessert!!



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