Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake…your go-to summer dessert…super easy, super simple, yet so delicious. The filling is made with high-quality chocolate ice cream, creamy peanut butter, chocolate fudge sauce, and vanilla ice cream. The crust is a mix of salty pretzels, roasted peanuts, and sweet salted butter. The filling and the crust combined make for a mouthwatering cake that’s chocolatey, peanutty, heavy on the fudge sauce, and a touch salty. Once the cake is frozen, top with homemade “magic shell” and salted pretzel twists. This is everyone’s favorite ice cream cake.

overhead photo of Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake

When it comes to sweets, I think you can all guess my favorites.

I love a good berry dessert, especially during these late spring and summer months, but when it comes to a tried and true favorite? It’s always going to be chocolate and peanut butter…always. Add some salty pretzels to the mix, WOW, even better. So, clearly I love this cake, but it does have a bit of a back story to it.

overhead prep photo of Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake before adding the final layer of chocolate and pretzels

The story…

About a week ago I came across a photo on my phone as I was frantically going through my catalog to free up space (the worst). It was a photo of an ice cream cake I’d shot about this time last year. It’s was melty, chocolatey, and topped with salty pretzels. As soon as my eyes caught hold of the cake, I stopped scrolling and paused to ask myself a few questions.

What was this cake? Why is it on my phone? It looks pretty good. Have I shared this recipe? What is this?

And then I remembered. It was a photo of the ice cream cake that was meant for the Half Baked Harvest Super Simple cookbook. It was cut out at the last minute due to spacing issues and me not loving the photo. When I don’t love a photo…I don’t use it. I thought back to the cake and the recipe itself, I LOVED this cake. It was all the things I wanted out of an ice cream cake and easy to put together too.

But as I said, I didn’t love the photo and when it came down to it, we ended up cutting the recipe from the cookbook. Was I bummed? Yes. So much so that I reshot the cake multiple times to try to get the photo just right. But I just wasn’t able to make it happen and we nixed the recipe.

The silver lining? While this didn’t make it into the cookbook, it’s making it onto the blog. And with new and improved photos too.

Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake | halfbakedharvest.com

The details.

Let me break this cake down into steps.

First, make the crust. This is super easy. Just combine salty pretzels, roasted peanuts, and butter. I find this easiest to do in a food processor, but it can also be done in a bowl. Do what works for you. Now, press the pretzel crust into a springform pan. No baking required. Simple. Simple.

Moving along to the ice cream filling. Are you ready? Mix slightly softened chocolate ice cream and a jar of creamy peanut butter together until they’re just mixed and have pretty swirls throughout. Spread the ice cream peanut butter mix over the crust. Add a layer of homemade fudge. Yes, homemade chocolate fudge sauce.

It’s indulgent but perfect.

Next, freeze for an hour or so, then remove from the freezer and add a layer of vanilla ice cream and that remaining creamy peanut butter.

At this point, you’ll need to freeze the cake again. This time until completely solid, ideally overnight.

overhead close up photo of Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake

A little before serving, make the “magic shell”. Mix melted chocolate with coconut oil until smooth. You now have a “magic shell”.  Pour the “magic shell” over the cake and top with pretzels. The shell will harden and the pretzels with be secured into place.

Slice and eat…simple, easy, and so darn delicious! The crust is salty and the filling is creamy and peanutty. The fudge sauce adds that extra layer of amazingness. And the pretzels on top? They provide a salty CRUNCH with every bite. This cake may be a bit over the top, but I’m all for it! As we head into a more low key summer than usual, it’s fun desserts like this that bring us together and bring us joy.

overhead close up photo of Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake slice

What about the homemade fudge sauce?

Yes! I’m giving you that recipe too, but I also want you to have the option to use store-bought as well. It’s totally up to you. If you’d like to make homemade fudge sauce, it’s 100% worth it, and so much easier than you’re probably thinking.

Just mix sweetened condensed milk with chocolate and a touch of butter…and that’s it.

overhead photo of Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake

I’ll be making this cake from Memorial Day through Labor Day, it has that extra element of sweet and salty deliciousness. It’s my “back pocket” ice cream cake that never fails me.

And the best part? It’s an ice cream cake! So make it today as a Memorial Day dessert and know that it’s going to be delicious. And because it’s frozen, if there are any leftovers it will keep well for at least a few months in the freezer. But it’s definitely not going to last that long.

Trust me. This cake gets eaten…fast.

Make it, enjoy it, and have the happiest Memorial Day weekend. See you guys tomorrow for another Cocktail Saturday!

overhead photo of Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake

Looking for other warm weather ice cream desserts? Some favorites of mine include…

Browned Butter Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon “Toast” Brioche Crumbs

Three Ingredient Strawberry Mango Popsicles

No Churn Minted White Chocolate Swirled Ice Cream

Nonnie’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake

overhead photo of Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake slices

Lastly, if you make this Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake | halfbakedharvest.com
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4.49 from 104 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake

Your go-to summer dessert. So easy, super simple, so delicious...everyone’s favorite ice cream cake!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 534 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. 1. Line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

    2. In a food processor, pulse together the pretzels and peanuts into semi-fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture holds together when pinched. Press into the bottom of the pan, and about 1-inch up the sides, making sure to pack tightly.

    3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened chocolate ice cream and about 1 cup of peanut butter until just combined, leaving streaks of peanut butter throughout the ice cream. Spread the ice cream over the crust in an even layer. Top evenly with chocolate fudge sauce. Cover and freeze 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the freezer, add the vanilla ice cream and remaining peanut butter, gently swirling the peanut butter throughout the ice cream. Cover and freeze for 4-6 hours or preferably overnight.

    4. To make the "magic shell". In a microwave safe bowl, melt together the chocolate and coconut oil until melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Let cool 5-10 minutes. Remove the cake from the freezer and release from the spring-form pan. Pour the magic shell over the cake. Working quickly, top with pretzels, then return the cake to the freezer until ready to serve.

    5. Remove the cake from the freezer 10 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

To Soften the Ice Cream: remove from the freezer 10 minutes before using.

If you don't have a Food Processor: just add the pretzels and peanuts to a large ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to smash into crumbs. Or simply crush them by stepping all over the bag!

Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake | halfbakedharvest.com
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4.44 from 79 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Easy Homemade Fudge Sauce

Great on just about everything!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 169 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, and butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until the butter and chocolate are melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat. Let cool before using.

overhead horizontal photo of Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Cake