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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.

Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

Yield: 10-12 slices

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

Cook Time: 12 minutes

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.

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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106 Responses to “Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake”

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  11. Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mamaposted November 12, 2012 at 7:00 am

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


  12. Erikaposted November 12, 2012 at 7:16 am

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


  13. 30A EATSposted November 12, 2012 at 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!!


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  16. Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)posted November 12, 2012 at 7:53 am

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


  17. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookieposted November 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Holy crapolla that looks good


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  20. Sarah W. Caronposted November 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

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


  21. Aggieposted November 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

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


  22. Tara @ Chip Chip Hoorayposted November 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

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


  23. carrianposted November 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Good mercy! That looks/sounds like heaven!


  24. Lizposted November 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

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


  25. claire @ the realistic nutritionistposted November 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Yes please!


  26. Kristenposted November 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

    This is just SO beautiful! Wow, Sommer!


  27. Meagan @ A Zesty Biteposted November 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

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


  28. Jen L | Tartine and Apron Stringsposted November 12, 2012 at 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!


  29. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebelposted November 12, 2012 at 9:58 am

    GET. IN. MY. FACE.

    Holy cow.


  30. Julia {The Roasted Root}posted November 12, 2012 at 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!


  31. Aimee @ ShugarySweetsposted November 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

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


  32. Sheilaposted November 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

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


  33. Christine (Cook the Story)posted November 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

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


  34. Paula - bell'alimentoposted November 12, 2012 at 11:05 am

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


  35. Rachel Cooksposted November 12, 2012 at 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


  36. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggiesposted November 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

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


  37. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmetposted November 12, 2012 at 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!!



  38. Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mamaposted November 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

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


  39. Jennifer @ Mother Thymeposted November 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

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


  40. Cassie | Bake Your Dayposted November 12, 2012 at 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!


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  42. Nancy/SpicieFoodieposted November 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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


  43. diabeticFoodieposted November 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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


  44. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted November 12, 2012 at 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!!!


  45. Barb | Creative Culinaryposted November 12, 2012 at 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.


  46. Kathrynposted November 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm

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


  47. Averie @ Averie Cooksposted November 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm

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


  48. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted November 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Ohhh gurrrrllll! This is incredible!


  49. Stephposted November 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm

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


  50. kitaposted November 12, 2012 at 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…. ;)


  51. Toni | Boulder Locavoreposted November 12, 2012 at 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.


  52. Wizzyposted November 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    This is wicked good! Love the presentation.


  53. Erin @ Cooking With Erinposted November 12, 2012 at 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.


  54. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted November 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    This is seriously gorgeous, please pass the fork!


  55. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted November 12, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Absolutely scrumptious!!! Perfect treat, Sommer :)

    HUGS <3


  56. MIss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted November 12, 2012 at 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!


  57. Jeanetteposted November 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

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


  58. Deborahposted November 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm

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


  59. Donnaposted November 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm

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


  60. Nutmeg Nannyposted November 12, 2012 at 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!!!


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  62. Kare @ Kitchen Treatyposted November 13, 2012 at 7:10 am

    This is stunning! Congratulations, Rachel! :)


  63. Jen @ Savory SImpleposted November 13, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Wow, this looks incredible!


  64. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted November 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    This looks absolutely killer!!! Want!


  65. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchenposted November 13, 2012 at 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!


  66. Shanna@ pineapple and coconutposted November 13, 2012 at 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!


  67. Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted November 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

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


  68. Vianneyposted November 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm

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


  69. Meagan @ Scarletta Bakesposted November 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

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


  70. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchenposted November 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm

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


  71. Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker}posted November 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

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


  72. Angieposted November 14, 2012 at 9:01 am

    This looks so pretty and delicious!


  73. Ashley - Baker by Natureposted November 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm

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


  74. Shari-Tickled Redposted November 15, 2012 at 8:24 am

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


  75. Brookeposted November 15, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Wow! That looks amazing.


  76. Kelly Senyei (Just a Taste)posted November 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

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


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  80. Kelsey Keagleposted November 17, 2012 at 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.


  81. Erin @ Texanerin Bakingposted November 18, 2012 at 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!


  82. Christian Rene Friborgposted November 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm

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


  83. katieposted November 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

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


  84. Jett2Whit Productionsposted November 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    OH my goodness – everything looks so good!!


  85. Mariaposted December 3, 2012 at 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?


  86. Kristenposted December 21, 2012 at 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.

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  91. Donnaposted October 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm

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


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  98. Shirleyposted October 17, 2014 at 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. :(


  99. Sharana @ Living THe Sweet Life Blogposted October 22, 2014 at 10:30 am

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


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