Home » Easy Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

Easy Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

These incredible gluten free ice cream sandwiches are guaranteed to become a new summer favourite. They’re super easy to make – including the homemade, no-churn vanilla ice cream layer that requires just 3 ingredients! The chocolate cake sponges are wonderfully soft and moist, and the crisp chocolate shell adds the most satisfying snap as you bite into it.

Ice cream sandwiches on a sheet of white parchment paper, a few have been cut in half.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making these ice cream sandwiches all summer long – they’re just SO GOOD!! And they’re also super easy to make – and yes, that includes the from-scratch homemade ice cream.

While I was aware of the existence of “no-churn ice cream”, I’ve never actually tried it before… and gosh, it’s such a revelation. I know I’m super late to the no-churn ice cream game but I’m ready to sing its praises from the rooftops. It’s genius and it makes this recipe a total breeze to whip up.

The flavour of these ice cream sandwiches is, of course, amazing – you really can’t go wrong with the classic combination of chocolate and vanilla. But what I really love are the textures.

When you bite into the ice cream sandwich, you first get that incredibly satisfying snap of the crisp dark chocolate shell. Then, you encounter the moist, fluffy chocolate sponge. And finally, there’s the creamy, luscious vanilla ice cream centre – perfectly firm, without any iciness, that slowly melts in your mouth.

Every single bite of these gluten free ice cream sandwiches is just sheer perfection and I can’t wait for you to try them.

Ice cream sandwiches on a sheet of white parchment paper, one has had a bite taken out of it.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these amazing ice cream sandwiches – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

The inspiration behind these gluten free ice cream sandwiches

When I was younger, I really loved these sweet snack bars called Kinder Pingui and Kinder Milk Slice. I haven’t had them in years but you can still find them in shops. Both have a creamy milky filling – the Pingui bar is coated in a thin, crisp chocolate shell and the Milk Slice has the filling sandwiched between the soft chocolate sponges.

These gluten free ice cream sandwiches aren’t really a copycat recipe, but they do take the elements of both of these snacks and combine them to make something truly fabulous and incredibly delicious. And I seriously can’t get enough of them.

3-ingredient no-churn vanilla ice cream centre

Unlike many other ice cream sandwich recipes out there, you won’t be using a store-bought ice cream for this recipe. Instead, we’re making the ice cream from scratch – but don’t worry, it’s super easy and you don’t need an ice cream maker for this.

The vanilla ice cream layer is based on the classic no-churn ice cream recipe. You need just 3 ingredients to make it: heavy/double cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.

To make it:

  1. Whip the cold heavy/double cream until you get firm (but not stiff) peaks.
  2. Add the condensed milk and vanilla bean paste.
  3. Whisk again until you get soft peaks.
  4. Sandwich the mixture between two sponges and freeze – that’s it!

There are several advantages to using a no-churn ice cream for these ice cream sandwiches:

  • You don’t need an ice cream maker.
  • You don’t have to freeze it separately – just sandwich it between the two sponges and freeze the whole thing together.
  • It has the perfect texture straight from the freezer: it’s nicely firm and creamy, but still soft enough so that you can bite into it. It isn’t icy or unpleasantly hard at all.
  • If or when it thaws a bit, it doesn’t melt all over the place. As it’s based on whipped heavy/double cream, it just softens instead of becoming runny. This makes the assembly process much easier (especially when you dip it into the warm chocolate) and you also don’t have to stress about the ice cream sandwiches turning into a sticky mess if they’re kept out of the freezer for a while. In fact, you could even treat them like dessert bars instead of ice cream sandwiches and just keep them in the fridge – for more on that, check out the Serving Options section below. 

A close-up view of ice cream sandwiches stacked next to each other, before being dipped into chocolate.

Soft & moist gluten free chocolate sponge

The gluten free chocolate sponge is basically just a thinner version of the sponge from my gluten free chocolate Swiss roll recipe. Whereas that one is made from 4 eggs, you’ll need just 3 eggs for this one. It also needs a shorter time in the oven, as a thinner sponge bakes through more quickly.

The preparation method is exactly the same but I did swap the butter for oil in the sponge, in order to ensure that the sponge stays nicely soft even when frozen. Because oil is a liquid fat (unlike butter, which is a solid fat), it won’t firm up and harden as much when frozen – this is true both when talking about the pure fat on its own and when it’s incorporated into a sponge cake.

I baked the sponge in a 10×15-inch (25x38cm) rimmed baking sheet, and assembled the ice cream sandwiches in an 8-inch (20cm) square baking tin with a 7-inch (18cm) square bottom.

I recommend making a template for cutting out the two sponge squares, that fits snugly into the bottom of the baking tin where you’ll be assembling the ice cream sandwiches. Then, just cut around the template with a sharp serrated knife. This will give the neatest possible result.

Assembling the gluten free ice cream sandwiches

  1. Once you have your sponge squares cut out, place one of them on the bottom of the baking tin (I lined mine with parchment/baking paper, you can use plastic wrap/cling film or aluminium foil instead).
  2. Spread the no-churn ice cream mixture on top and smooth it out into an even layer.
  3. Place the other sponge square on top, pressing down gently so that it adheres to the ice cream mixture.
  4. Cover the baking tin with plastic wrap/cling film or a sheet of aluminium foil and freeze for least 6-8 hours or ideally overnight.
  5. Once frozen solid, cut the ice cream sandwich slab into the individual portions: I divided it into 8 rectangular slices, but you can also make 16 smaller square portions.
  6. Freeze the ice cream sandwiches again, so that they’re ready for the next step: dipping into the melted chocolate to make the crisp chocolate shell!

Ice cream sandwiches before being dipped into chocolate, on a sheet of white parchment paper.

“Magic” chocolate shell

Now, many ice cream sandwich recipes don’t include a chocolate shell – they’re mostly just ice cream sandwiched between two cookies, brownies or pieces of sponge. However, I’ll take any excuse to add more chocolate to a recipe, and I really think that the crisp chocolate shell makes this recipe even more special.

As it’s made from dark chocolate, it balances out the sweetness of the filling. And I just adore its texture – there’s something so satisfying about how it snaps and cracks when you bite into it.

The chocolate shell is based on the “magic shell” recipe: instead of using just pure melted chocolate, I added some coconut oil into it. This ensures that the shell isn’t too hard straight from the freezer.

The addition of the fat (coconut oil) means that you can easily bite into the shell. Using just straight-up chocolate would give an unpleasantly hard texture that you wouldn’t really want to bite into.

Make sure to use refined coconut oil, as it won’t add any coconut flavour to the ice cream sandwiches.

Ice cream sandwiches on a sheet of white parchment paper, one has had a bite taken out of it.

Serving options

There are three serving options with this recipe:

  • Frozen with the chocolate shell. This is the way in which I served these ice cream sandwiches – it’s definitely my favourite serving option.
  • Frozen without a chocolate shell. Basically just an ice cream sandwich that hasn’t been dipped into chocolate.
  • From the fridge (chilled) with the chocolate shell. Because the filling is based on whipped cream, it’s stable enough so that it actually doesn’t *need* to be frozen. If you keep these in the fridge, you’ll basically get a copycat mix between a Kinder Pingui and a Kinder Milk Bar. The chocolate will still be wonderfully crisp (just a bit softer than when frozen) and the filling will be soft, fluffy and creamy. Obviously, in this case, these will no longer be ice cream sandwiches… but they’ll still be delicious.

All of these options are wonderful and scrumptious – it’s just a question of which one you like best.

Ice cream sandwiches before being dipped into chocolate, on a sheet of white parchment paper.

Ice cream sandwiches stacked on a white plate with a gold rim.

And that’s it: this is everything you need to know in order to make the most EPIC gluten free ice cream sandwiches. They’re really incredibly easy to prepare and it’s such a joy having a batch of them in the freezer, ready for when that ice cream craving strikes.

I really hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

Enjoy!

Signature of the author, Kat.

A chocolate-covered ice cream sandwich cut in half. The two halves are stacked on top of each other.

More amazing gluten free desserts

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Easy Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

These incredible gluten free ice cream sandwiches are guaranteed to become a new summer favourite. They’re super easy to make – including the homemade, no-churn vanilla ice cream layer that requires just 3 ingredients! The chocolate cake sponges are wonderfully soft and moist, and the crisp chocolate shell adds the most satisfying snap as you bite into it.
Print Rate
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook/Bake Time 8 mins
Freeze Time 7 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 9 hrs 8 mins
Servings 8 ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients

Gluten free chocolate sponge:

  • 45 g (3 tbsp) sunflower oil or other neutral-tasting oil of choice, plus about 1-2 tbsp extra for greasing the baking sheet
  • 45 g (1⅔ oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 3 US large/UK medium eggs, room temperature
  • 115 g (½ cup + 1 tbsp) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 70 g (½ cup + 1½ tbsp) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour that doesn't have any xanthan gum added. You can also mix your own gluten free flour blend using this recipe. Note that for this homemade blend, 1 cup = 150g, so ideally use a digital food scale for best results.)
  • 15 g (2½ tbsp) Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum (If your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum, reduce the amount to ¼ tsp.)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

No-churn vanilla ice cream:

  • 200 g (¾ cup + 2 tbsp) heavy/double cream, cold from the fridge
  • 160 g (½ cup + ½ tbsp) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)

Chocolate shell:

  • 300 g (10½ oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 25 g (2 tbsp) refined coconut oil (measured when solid but scoopable)

Instructions

Gluten free chocolate sponge:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line a 10x15-inch (25x38cm) rimmed baking sheet with parchment/baking paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the sides of the baking sheet with oil (you can also spray it with non-stick baking spray).
    Tip: Greasing the parchment paper ensures that the baked sponge will smoothly release from it without sticking.
  • In a heat-proof bowl, either in the microwave or above a pot of simmering water, melt the oil and chocolate together until the chocolate has fully melted. Set aside to cool until warm or lukewarm.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters, whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale, thick, fluffy and about tripled in volume (the ribbon stage). This should take about 5-7 minutes on a high speed setting.
  • Add the melted chocolate mixture, and whisk briefly until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the gluten free flour blend, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate-egg mixture and whisk well for about 15-30 seconds until no flour clumps remain. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to prevent any unmixed patches.
  • Transfer the batter into the lined baking sheet and smooth it out into an even layer (I recommend using a large offset spatula or a bench scraper for spreading and levelling out the batter). You can tap it a few times on the counter to make it perfectly level and also to get rid of any large trapped air pockets.
    Tip: It's very important that your batter is as level and even as you can get it, otherwise you'll get uneven layers in your ice cream sandwiches.
  • Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 8-10 minutes or until well risen, soft and spongy to the touch, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow the sponge to cool completely in the baking sheet.

No-churn vanilla ice cream:

  • In a large bowl, whip the cold heavy/double cream until you get firm (but not stiff) peaks.
    You can do this by hand using a large balloon whisk, with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters. If using a stand or a hand mixer, use the lowest speed setting to avoid over-whipping the cream.
  • Add the condensed milk and vanilla bean paste.
  • Whisk again until you get soft peaks.

Assembling the ice cream sandwiches:

  • Line an 8-inch (20cm) square baking tin with parchment/baking paper, aluminium foil or plastic wrap/cling film.
    Tip: The baking tin I used had a 7-inch (18cm) bottom, which made it the perfect fit for a sponge baked in a 10x15-inch (25x38cm) baking sheet. If your baking tin has straight edges and therefore an 8-inch (20cm) bottom the fit might be less perfect, but you'll trim the edges later on so it won't be a problem.
  • Turn the cooled sponge onto a large sheet of parchment/baking paper or onto your work surface, and peel away the top sheet of parchment/baking paper (that used to line the baking sheet).
  • Cut out two large sponge squares that fit the baking tin where you'll be assembling the ice cream sandwich slab.
    Tip: As I used a baking tin with a 7-inch (18cm) bottom, I cut out two 7-inch (18cm) squares of the chocolate sponge.
  • Place one of the sponge squares on the bottom of the lined baking tin.
  • Spread the no-churn ice cream mixture on top and smooth it out into an even layer (this is easiest done with a small offset spatula or a bench scraper).
  • Place the other sponge square on top, pressing down gently to adhere it to the ice cream mixture.
  • Cover the baking tin with plastic wrap/cling film or a sheet of aluminium foil and freeze for any least 6-8 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Once frozen solid, remove the ice cream sandwich slab from the baking tin and trim the edges with a large serrated knife. This will give you neater ice cream sandwiches.
  • Cut the frozen ice cream sandwich slab into the individual portions.
    I divided it into 8 rectangular slices (by cutting it in half in one direction and into quarters in the other direction), but you can also divide it into 16 smaller square portions.
  • Freeze the ice cream sandwiches again for about 30 minutes, while you prepare the melted chocolate for the chocolate shell.

Chocolate shell:

  • Line a tray or baking sheet (that fits into your freezer!) with plastic wrap/cling film, parchment/baking paper or aluminium foil.
  • In a small or medium-sized bowl, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together until the chocolate has fully melted and the mixture is runny.
    Tip: Don't use a large bowl, as that will give you a shallow "pool" of melted chocolate. You want the melted chocolate mixture to be quite deep, so you can easily dip the ice cream sandwiches into it.
  • Dip the frozen ice cream sandwiches, one at a time, into the melted chocolate mixture. Make sure that all sides are covered in chocolate. Shake off as much excess chocolate as you can – you want to get a thin chocolate coating (a thick shell can be a bit too hard when you bite into it).
    Tip: I recommend using a fork to lift the ice cream sandwiches out of the melted chocolate. Then, tap the fork on the side of the bowl to shake off and remove as much excess chocolate as possible.
  • Transfer the chocolate-covered ice cream sandwiches onto the lined tray or baking sheet. As the ice cream sandwiches are very cold, the chocolate should set fairly quickly.
  • Freeze the chocolate-covered ice cream sandwiches for at least 1 hour before serving.

Storage:

  • The gluten free ice cream sandwiches keep well in a closed air-tight container in the freezer for up to about 1 month.
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