These brownie ice cream sandwiches have decadent homemade nutella brownies layered with dollops of nutella and the ice cream of your choice. These little beauties and sandwiched with french vanilla ice cream. They hit the spot for that hot weather frozen treat!
Sweltering heat and ice cream sandwiches are a perfect match. Sticky hands, melting ice cream and the still summer air form some of my most beloved summer memories.
Creating my own version with one of my favorite ingredients, nutella, was a no-brainer. This is a simple recipe with the hardest part being the patience to let them freeze firm! Let’s dig in to how to make them.
Making the brownies
Homemade brownies are nothing to be scared of. Of course, there are times when that box mix comes in clutch, like in my raspberry cheesecake with a brownie crust.
Since we are using store-bought ice cream, we might as well make homemade brownies!
To start, mix the dry ingredients together and set aside. Next, mix the sugar and melted butter together followed by the eggs and vanilla. Now the generous amount of nutella gets added to the wet ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir just until the flour streaks disappear. Divide the batter evenly between the two 9 x 13 pans and use an offset spatula to smooth the top.
The batter will be thin and will just cover the bottom of the pan. Using a smaller pan could yield too thick brownies making the sandwiches difficult to eat.
Bake the brownies for about 14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let the pans cool for about 10 minutes and then transfer them to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes before the ice cream gets added.
Assembling the sandwiches
Before you begin to assemble the brownie ice cream sandwiches, remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it sit out for about 20-30 minutes to soften.
Starting with one pan of brownies, scoop the ice cream onto the sheet of brownies, spacing evenly. Use an offset spatula to spread the ice cream evenly over the brownies.
Next, dollop the remaining 1/2 cup of nutella over the ice cream evenly. Use a knife to swirl the nutella slightly into the ice cream.
Lift the other brownie out of the pan, peel the parchment off the bottom and carefully lay it on top of the ice cream pushing it down slightly. Return the pan to the freezer to freeze for about 2 hours until firm.
Cutting the ice cream sandwiches
Once the brownie ice cream sandwiches have frozen firm, use the parchment paper to pull the brownie slab out of the pan. Use a very sharp knife to slice the brownies into 18 squares.
You can make smaller sandwiches that yield more if you choose. They are quite rich!
If the sandwiches are difficult to cut, try running the knife under hot water between each cut.
Tips for the best ice cream sandwiches
- Parchment Paper: Make sure to line each of the pans with parchment paper and leave an overhang on at least 2 opposite sides to make it easy to pull the brownies out of the pan.
- Freeze Time: Chilling the baked brownies before adding ice cream helps for 2 reasons. First, it helps the softened ice cream not melt too much after adding it. Second, it makes it much easier to pull the one pan of brownies out of the pan to top the ice cream. If you skip this step, the brownie may crack when attempting to lift it out of the pan.
- Sharp Knife: Use a sharp knife both to swirl the nutella into the ice cream and also to slice the brownies. Running the knife under hot water can help if the brownie ice cream sandwiches are being stubborn.
- Thaw the ice cream slightly: To make it easy to spread the ice cream over the brownies, make sure to take it out of the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes before assembling the sandwiches. Don’t thaw it too much that it is melting everywhere though or you’ll have a big mess!
Customizing your dessert
These can easily be customized to your taste. I choose simple vanilla ice cream for mine but any flavor of ice cream would be delicious with the brownies.
The nutella imparts a very subtle hazelnut flavor that won’t compete with other flavors of ice cream. Mint chocolate chip, cookie dough or cookies and cream would all be equally delicious.
You can choose to leave the dollops of nutella off the ice cream if you’d like a less prominent flavor of chocolate hazelnut with your chosen ice cream.
How to store the sandwiches
After cutting the brownie ice cream sandwiches into squares, you can place them in a single layer into ziptop freezer bags for easy storage.
If your sandwiches have melted some before getting them into the bags, you may want to separate them so they aren’t touching in the pan and place them back into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up.
Once they’ve firmed up, you can place them into the ziptop bag without worrying they will stick to each other.
How long can I store the ice cream sandwiches?
If kept in a ziptop bag or an airtight container in the freezer, these should last for 1-2 months.
Before eating them, remove them from the freezer for just a few minutes to soften the brownies and make them easier to eat.
For other frozen desserts, check out these:
- Blood Orange Semifreddo with Salted Almond Crumble
- Key Lime Coconut Popsicles
- Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake with a Pretzel Crust
Tag me on Instagram @TaraKringlen if you make this and leave a review and comment below! Thanks and enjoy!
Nutella Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups Nutella divided
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1.5 Quarts vanilla ice cream or more for thicker sandwiches
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9 x 13 inch baking pans with parchment paper, leaving an overhang of parchment on the 2 long sides of the pans.
- In a small bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- Combine melted butter and sugar in a large bowl, whisking to mix well.
- Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each. Add vanilla and stir until incorporated.
- Add 1 ½ cups of Nutella, again stirring well until completely mixed.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the flour is just mixed in without overmixing.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and smooth the tops.
- Bake the brownies for about 12-14 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean with just moist crumbs.
- Cool the brownies in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer the pans to the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
- Before assembly, remove the ice cream from the freezer for about 20 -30 minutes to soften.
- Once the brownies have chilled, scoop the ice cream over one pan of brownies. Using an offset spatula or knife, smooth the ice cream into an even layer.
- Dollop the remaining 1/2 cup of Nutella over the ice cream evenly and swirl through the ice cream using a sharp knife.
- Carefully remove the other brownie from the pan using the parchment paper to lift it out. Remove the parchment from the brownie and carefully place it on top of the ice cream, pushing it down slightly.
- Place the pan into the freezer and freeze for about 2 hours until completely firm.
- Once frozen, remove the pan from the freezer and cut the brownie ice cream sandwiches using a sharp knife into 18 squares.
- Store in the freezer in a ziptop bag or airtight container for up to 2 months.
- Use your favorite ice cream in place of the vanilla ice cream.
- Leave out the extra nutella swirls if desired.