A Spicy Perspective

Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

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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.

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes
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Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Freezing Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 32 minutes
A Thanksgiving dessert and celebration ice cream dessert cake!
Servings: 12 slices


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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 758kcal, Carbohydrates: 88g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 138mg, Sodium: 479mg, Potassium: 607mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 60g, Vitamin A: 1250IU, Vitamin C: 1.4mg, Calcium: 341mg, Iron: 2.8mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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121 comments on “Turtle Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake”

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  4. Built for the dessert of Thanksgiving. It was completely magnificent! Everybody’s a hit! The only downside was that it was too tough to cut the croast. I suppose it was because ginger snaps are now really complicated. But the taste valued it absolutely! Since I was blessed to wear Blue Bell Spiced Pumkin Pecan Ice Cream I haven’t put candied pecans on top. Overcrowding, I figured the added pecans. I look forward to again thank you… but not before. Calories too WAY!!!

  5. Made this for Thanksgiving dessert. It was absolutely fabulous! A hit with everyone! The ONLY negative was that the crust was so very hard to cut. I guess it was since ginger snaps are already quite hard. The taste, however, was totally worth it! I did not add candied pecans on top since I was fortunate to use Blue Bell Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream. I thought the added pecans may be overkill. Looking forward to making it again next Thanksgiving…but not before. WAY too may calories!!!

  6. This looks wonderful, but I’m considering making it several weeks ahead a I’m wondering if I should leave off the magic shell and nuts until right before I service it or go ahead and complete the cake and then freeze it. Your thoughts?

  7. Absolutely love your creative and awesome idea with turtle pumpkin ice cream cake! As you know I made it a short while ago, and it was lovely! Thx for sharing, Sommer!

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  9. Amazing! This pumpkin ice cream cake looks fabulous. Perfect for any celebration!

  10. This pumpkin ice cream cake absolutely something new for me! Looks yummy! I am obsessed with healthy desserts! I prefer pumpkin – it may reduce cancer risk, protect the skin, boost your mood and other! I’m also gonna pin this post on my Pinterest board my followers will love it. Thanks for sharing Sommer!

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

  19. 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?

    • 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. :(

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  26. 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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  31. Hi,

    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. :(

    • 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!

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

  33. OH my goodness – everything looks so good!!

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

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

  36. 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!

  37. 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!

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

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

  43. Wow! That looks amazing.

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

  45. This looks so pretty and delicious!

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

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

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

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

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

  51. 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!

  52. 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!

  53. This looks absolutely killer!!! Want!

  54. This is stunning! Congratulations, Rachel! :)

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

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

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

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

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

  61. Absolutely scrumptious!!! Perfect treat, Sommer :)

    HUGS <3

  62. This is seriously gorgeous, please pass the fork!

  63. 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.

  64. This is wicked good! Love the presentation.

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

  66. 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…. ;)

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

  68. Ohhh gurrrrllll! This is incredible!

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

  70. 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.

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

  72. 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!!!

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

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

  75. Pingback: THANK YOU!

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

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

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

  79. 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!!


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

  81. 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

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

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

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

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

  86. 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!

  87. 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!

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

  89. This is just SO beautiful! Wow, Sommer!

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

  91. Good mercy! That looks/sounds like heaven!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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