GLUTEN FREE | Knock off Ice Cream Cake

As promised, I must deliver on this ridiculously simple and amazingly delicious gluten free version of, you guessed it, Dairy Queen’s infamous Ice Cream Cakes. I made this in 2016 for Mother’s Day, as mentioned in my post 10 Tips for Hosting the Perfect Mother’s Day Brunch, and chose this because it’s a dessert that must be made the night before, leaving more free time the day of. This weekend kick starts picnic season, and surprising everyone at your picnic with this cool and pretty dessert, would definitely wow a crowd.

This dessert went over so well with my in-laws and parents on Mother’s Day last year, that I believe they had all wished I would repeat for Father’s Day. I seriously regretted not repeating the recipe this year for Mother’s Day. But lucky for you gluten-free fanatics, my girls and I whipped one together just for fun this week!

Now, I was recreating this from memory, and quickly ran to the store grabbing the essentials. There are two major differences between the one I photographed, and the one I made last year. The first major difference is the one in the photographs only has one half gallon of vanilla ice cream; whereas the exact Dairy Queen Replica cake requires one full gallon of vanilla ice cream. The second difference is the quantity of whipped topping used to “ice” your cake. So be prepared for the one following the recipe below to be a bit taller than the one picture here.

To make this cake you will need a spring form pan, preferably a 9-inch. I believe mine was a 10-inch, which made a wider and flatter cake. (but just as delicious!)


You will need to line the bottom and sides with wax paper. Remove the bottom piece of your pan and trace it on to a piece of waxed paper.


Next line the edges of your pan with waxed paper. Tape it together if you are going for a cake that’s taller than the sides of your pan.


I like to make this after getting home from the grocery store. Ice cream seems to naturally soften while shopping, loading, and unloading groceries. By the time everything is put away the ice cream is the perfect consistency to spread evenly.


If you have a half gallon of chocolate, you will need a full gallon of vanilla. Begin by evenly spreading the chocolate in the bottom of the pan. Now, this is not an ad for ice cream brands, but if I’m being totally honest, Great Value brand ice cream has to be my favorite carton ice cream on the market right now. It’s so rich!


Next, take a container of gluten free chocolate cookies with vanilla filling (aka, Gluten Free Oreo alternatives) and let out all that aggression from the week with a few good swift whacks of a rolling pin.


Crumbling these Oreos evenly over your chocolate ice cream will create that delicious crunchy mystery layer hidden inside the Dairy Queen cakes. Place in the freezer at least 30 minutes.


Next, soften two jars of hot fudge just until pliable. Drop the fudge on to the semi-frozen layer of ice-cream and cookie crumbs, and gently spread until evenly coated. If you are quick handed go ahead and spread the softened vanilla ice cream on to the fudge. If you are not comfortable with this, place the cake back in the freezer an additional 30 minutes until the fudge solidifies again.

This is where my pictures are not a proper replica of the recipe provided below. I only used a half gallon, but strongly recommend using a full gallon to create your cake.


Place back into the freezer for a solid 30 minutes to an hour. Once the cake is nice a solid, remove spring-form sides and wax lining.


Don’t worry if your cake isn’t perfectly smooth or even. A swift hand and lovely thick whipped topping “icing” will smooth out all of those bumps and cracks. You literally just open a package of cool whip and begin to “ice your cake, starting by evening out the top of your ice cream.


Once you have a nice even layer of cool whip on the cake, place the cake back in to the freezer for at least two hours or overnight. If you want to get really fancy, consider this your “Crumb layer, and use a second container of cool whip at room temperature to put a smoother layer over the entire thing, even adding a little piping on the edge of the cake to get that true “DQ” feel.

Remove the cake from the freezer just before serving and top with sprinkles, pipe on some decorative cool whip or take my approach and line that bad boy with more cookies! Chop your gluten free cookies in half and gently press them into the frozen dessert.


Ok, some little fingers found their way into this pile of cookies before ever decorating the final product. And trust me, I got one official stamp of approval on the end product from a 3 year old semi-pro dessert sampler.


And with a few simple steps, zero cooking, a little free time, and a whole lotta ice cream carton licking, you can FINALLY have a gluten-free ice cream cake that will most certainly”Take the cake” to any store-bought ice cream cake around. Happy Summer!


  • Whitney


Gluten Free DQ Knock Off Ice Cream Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
  • 1 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 1 jar hot fudge
  • 1 container gluten free chocolate cookies with vanilla cream (plus additional for topping)
  • 2 8 oz containers Cool Whip
  • sprinkles, cherries, additional cookies to decorate


  1. Line a 9-inch spring form pan with wax paper. Spread softened half gallon of chocolate ice cream in bottom of pan.
  2. Crush chocolate cookies and sprinkle over ice cream. Drizzle hot fudge sauce (slightly warm) over cookies. Place in freezer 30 minutes or until solid.
  3. Spread softened gallon of vanilla ice cream over top. Free again until firm.(30 minutes to 1 hour)
  4. Remove from freezer. Ice with cool whip. Decorate with optional toppings, return to freezer at least 2 hours or over night. Serve immediately after pulling from freezer.


Recipe Round Up | Cadbury Season!



With St. Patrick’s Day freshly in the rear view mirror, it is only appropriate to move ahead to the upcoming holiday, Easter. I was walking through the isles at the grocery store a few weeks ago after proctoring the SAT exam, and came across my Mom’s favorite Easter treat: Cadbury Minis. A few years ago, I take full credit for successfully hooking my Mother-in-law on to theses little bad boys. So this post is completely for these two and all people who love Cadbury Minis.

Last Easter I was browsing Pinterest for ideas to use during our pre-Easter egg coloring family event I host each year. I randomly stumbled upon a recipe incorporating in Cadbury Minis leading me to a plethora of recipes! I was so shocked  and thrilled that I now have a Pinterest board dedicated to these recipes just for fun: Cadbury Mini-speration with additional recipes and ideas.

So here it is: 15 cute Cadbury Recipes to spark a little Spring Fever in us all.

  1. Bunny Chow


I mean, like the name isn’t enough to sell you?? I just love this idea! And what a simple twist!

2. Mini Eggs Cheesecake Dip


If you are looking for a simple recipe to add to any potluck or family gathering, this one is sure to please a crowd! Everyone loves the dessert styled dips. And Cheesecake? Well that just seals the deal!

3. Easter egg Pretzel Chocolate Swirl Bark


I love bark recipes, but really need to work on my chocolate swirl patterns. Bark recipes make the best last minute gift ideas. Salty and Sweet, covers all bases and the festive colors are so pretty!

4. Coconut Macaroon Nests

Coconut Macaroon Nests-4

These delicate little treats are almost too cute to eat! Being a sweets lover, I couldn’t resist these and already have them scheduled mentally for Easter dinner at my parents!

5. Easter Nest Sugar Cookies


Now, I can guarantee you I will see sugar cookies that look exactly like this at my mother-in-laws this year! Why? Because her sugar cookies are delicious, she decorates in this star tipped style, and she loves Cadbury Eggs! And who wouldn’t when you could make these sweet little nests with just a couple quick tweaks to convert it to a gluten free recipe?

Everyone in the family looks forward to her sugar cookies. She even made me gluten free ones one time, for my baby shower. They were sweet little pink and yellow star-tipped owls. I’m pretty sure she hated working with the gluten free flour and would agree there is a learning curve to get the feel of it, but trust me when I say, it’s an easy conversion!


6. White Chocolate Easter Egg Cupcakes


I love these cupcakes! They are so sweet and light. But I think the best part is the egg carton presentation! It’s so cute! These are on my to-do list for a school party coming up in a few weeks!

7. Cadbury Chocolate Thumbprints


I. LOVE. THUMBPRINTS. They are so simple and delicious! I also love six sisters’ stuff blog, and have lost count of the recipes I use from these lovely ladies!

8. Mini Egg Fudge


Fudge should be a necessary staple at all holiday events. This one in particular makes me think of when I was young and my Mom and Aunts would go to Smicksburg, a local Amish village and buy all kinds of crazy fudge the day after Thanksgiving. We kids would wait for them to get home and dive into the pounds of fudge we knew would be hidden in those bags. I love when new recipes arouse a sense of nostalgia when viewed for the first time. It makes a new taste so personal right from the start.

9. Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies


I feel safe to assume I will see this recipe in my Mom’s kitchen at some point in the next 4 weeks until the holiday. Blondies? YES PLEASE.

10. Easter Egg Layer Cake


My next big project I want to tackle and master is cake decorating. I made a miserable attempt at my oldest daughter’s birthday and really need to recover my reputation with a pretty cake. Perhaps this simple recipe might help!

11. Peanut Butter Cadbury Cookies


Chocolate-Peanut Butter, enough said!!

12. Cadbury Mini Egg Candy Bark


These are so cute! I know I have already mentioned bark, but this one is so light and sweet looking, how could you NOT want to try and make it? I might have to improve my melting skills and bring this pretty little treat to life!

13. Cadbury Brownies


Brownies are like a blank canvas, you can add anything to them to create unique and flavorful treats! And with the creation of some of the most delicious boxed gluten-free brownie mixes out there like Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Pamela’s, and my sister’s personal favorite: King Arthur

14. Milkshake Recipe


Alright, this recipe came from The Food Network so of course it’s beautiful, b I love the idea of a pretty milk shake! We just gave our youngest her first milkshake recently, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, she loved it!

15. Chocolate and Orange Mini Egg Cheesecake


This particular recipe I posted with my Mom in mind. I always think of her when I hear the Orange and Chocolate combination thrown around. It’s unusual but works so well!

So there you have it! Does this post make you want to run out and grab the first bag of shiny plastic grass and get your spring vibes on?? I’m pretty sure I’ll be binging in the Easter sections this upcoming weekend.

Happy Spring everyone!


  • Whitney

Party Like it’s the 10th Post!

In celebration of my 10th post (hey, we celebrate the small things in life!) I have decided to share with you my 10 most favorite dessert recipes I’ve tried over the past several years. Each one of these delicious recipes was found on Pinterest. I must warn you, if you are looking for healthy recipes, you should stop reading NOW. I love to cook, and love to bake even more. I have several family recipes that fall above this top ten list, but they are worthy of solo posts. So for the 10th post celebration, I will stick strictly to the recipes I have found thanks to the amazing invention we all know as… Pinterest. Along with the link to the recipe I will provide you with the specific adjustments I made to the recipe and products used to make the perfect gluten free version of each.

I am not exactly sure what I did with my life before Pinterest started. I do know that I love to pin, tend to over-pin, and I’m currently in the process of organizing my Shimmering Twig pins and trying to stick to recipes I’ve actually tried and love, or life-hacks that I really use rather than the good old theory “I’ll probably use that sometime…” I can remember thinking how many ideas I have saved and wanted to use, but never followed through with. I’m tacking this on to my new-year new-me theory: Spend Less and Value More. So without further adieu, the first Recipe:

  1. The Homemade Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake


This recipe is almost perfectly gluten free as is, minus the cookie crumb filling. Every year for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day we invite both of our sets of parents out to the house and try to treat them to a full 3-course meal. Last year for Mother’s Day I wanted to use a dessert was so good, but involved zero work for me on Mother’s Day. My husband is an excellent cook, but not into the baking, so this project would fall on me.

When I came across this idea online, I decided this would be a great plan as I could make it on Saturday and pull it out to serve whenever we finished with our luncheon on Sunday.

The recipe calls for oreo style cookies or a chocolate cookie. My mother always keeps a stash of the gluten free Kinnikinnick cookies KinniToos around so we used a package in substitution. Otherwise I followed the recipe for the most part as presented. And trust me, it was a huge hit!

2. Fudgy Brownie Hearts with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream


Oh my goodness! The love I feel for this recipe is unreal. I want to stand up and go make these right now. About 6 years ago I dabbled in the home-show party business selling jewelry and for my grand opening I went a little crazy on food. This was my show-stopper dessert recipe from  a farm girl dabbles. The fresh raspberry buttercream is SO. WORTH. THE. TIME. My mom came out to help me prepare for the party the night before and I think it will always be one of the best cooking with my mom memories I have. We made an unreal amount of food for the party and she really took the lead on making the butter cream for this. I feel certain she would also agree that this recipe was totally worth the time.

This recipe I followed to a T. The flour I used for these little fudgy hearts was Pamela’s Artisan Blend gluten free flour and I typically use this for everything. The large bag you can purchase off Amazon is by far the best value!

The final product was amazing and no one knew it was gluten free!

3. The BEST Chex Mix Ever


This recipe is hands down amazing! I follow the recipe exactly and as a general rule of thumb LOVE everything Chex. If you’re ever in a pinch for a recipe, try one of the countless versions of Chex mix out there, utilizing their gluten-free cereal! I make this in bulk around the holidays and give it out in cute tins to family and friends!

4. Marshmallow Blondies


This recipe by Cookies and Cups is wonderful! It was a great switch up from the chocolate that seems to monopolize my life! The recipe is pretty simply and straight-forward if you’re looking for sweets with minimal prep-time. The one thing about this recipe that really stands out in my mind was how sticky they were, so be sure to really prep that pan!

I used Pamela’s Artisan Blend flour and really LOVED the caramel-goey texture with the little surprise bites of marshmallows. We love using Nestle Toll House white chocolate chips and usually keep a stash in bulk as the girls LOVE snacking while we bake.

5. S’mores Dip


THREE INGREDIENTS. TWO MINUTES. And Bam! You have this delicious dip! My second year teaching we would have unofficial luncheons at work every time someone had a baby. That year, at least six of us had babies. It was like a crazy school district baby boom. I made this for one of the teachers “shower” luncheon who was due about three months before me. And seriously… what pregnant woman doesn’t love an endless supply of chocolate to dip anything into?! Chocolate Chips, Sweetened Condensed Milk, and Marshmallow Fluff. That’s all there is to this recipe!

6. Oreo Loaded Cheesecake Brownies


If you haven’t been sold by the first half of this post, these surely should seal the deal. Vera hit the jackpot with the fudgey chocolate, cheesecake, and oreo layered masterpieces! Again I cannot STRESS the quality of these Kinnikinnick Chocolate Cookies they are an excellent substitute for an Oreo. I used my go-to Pamela’s Artisan Blend flour again for these, and keep a surplus coming every two months with Amazon’s subscription option.

Every January we have a joint birthday celebration for my parents. This year we went with an Italian theme meal, but threw this bad boy in for dessert and trust me, it was a hit with everyone!

7. Pecan Pie Bars


Rewind back to my pregnancy with my first daughter. The hormones during that holiday season turned me into a self-proclaimed Martha, finding countless new recipes to try baking, baking, and a little more BAKING for good measure. I am pretty sure I turned out more treats between Thanksgiving and New Years that year, than I have the 3 years that followed. One of those little holiday finds was this gem of a dessert. I love pecan pie and I love bar style desserts! Put them together and you have yourselves the perfect little Thanksgiving treat! I followed the recipe exactly, only changing the pan preparation to just greasing the pan and eliminating any foil lining.

8. Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars


It was during the same holiday season that I first met and fell in love with The Girl Who Ate Everything. This girl’s got it going on! I went back through my Pinterest boards and discovered that a bulk of my pins were recipes developed by her. She is fantastic!

I followed the recipe exactly as she explains it, and found one of my family’s and in-law’s new favorite recipes! The chef sister fully approved as well! We make this recipe at least 6 times a year in our house. It’s simple, straightforward and a great Gluten-free adapted recipe when you switch out the flour for Pamela’s Artisan Blend.

9. Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Filling


This was another Pinterest find from back in 2012. My sister and I both use this cookie as a Christmas staple! There is something so Christmas-y about Peppermint and the slight hint in the cream filling is amazing! Now, usually for time sake I use the same flour for this, but in all reality the best version of flour for any type of Gob or Cake textured cookie is the America’s Test Kitchen Gluten Free Blend. They have a Pinterest page that you can also find HERE. Other than that minor tweak, the recipe is a straight forward gluten free conversion. Both America’s Test Kitchen gluten free blend and Pamela’s Artisan Blend gluten free flour are cup for cup conversions making baking that much easier! America’s Test Kitchen DOES require the additional xanathan gum along with the cup-for-cup flour blend. Refer to the book for specific amounts!

10. Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


This tenth and final recipe was my most recent find on A Spicy Perspective, a blog I have every intention of following and really inspecting, because I was in love with this recipe! There is something so magical about the idea of Salt and Caramel combined, that any recipe with these two words in, I typically assume i will love.

And I was right. This was another simple, quick throw together recipe, that the only minor adjustment was the Pamela’s Artisan Blend flour. They were a bit tricky to cut at first, but like most ooey-goey bars, once the first one is out, the rest are much simpler.

And that, my friends is how I like to celebrate 10 consecutive posts on Shimmering Twig. Ten Tantalizing Treats to make the mouth water. I really hope at least one of these recipes brings your family the joy and comfort of a homemade treat shared with loved ones. Happy Sunday everyone.


  • Whitney