Saltine Cracker Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

July 10, 2021
6 Ratings
  • Prep time 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 25
Author Notes

The inspiration behind this ice cream sandwich -- the idea that you can bake between two layers of crackers -- comes from Donna Hay's cracker cheesecake. Once you can bake between crackers, why not add a layer of ice cream, too? —Mandy @ Lady and pups

Test Kitchen Notes

These ice cream sandwiches were a really interesting, fun take on a more traditional ice cream sandwich, or a brownie a la mode. They were remarkably easy to make for how complex they look. The sandwiches taste exactly like what they are: a combination of ice cream (with a slightly boozy note), plus brownie, and crunchy toasted saltine cracker. There's a lot of flavor and texture going on in these. I felt like these elements stay sort of separate instead of melding into a cohesive unit, but they're all delicious! —fiveandspice

What You'll Need
  • Cracker and Brownie Layers
  • 60 salted saltines or soda crackers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter for brushing
  • 90 grams of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 113 grams of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • No churn ice cream layer (adapted from Martha Stewart)
  • 240 grams of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  1. Cracker and Brownie Layers
  2. Using a 9 inch square pan, estimate exactly how many pieces of crackers you’ll need to cover the top and bottom layer. In the ideal world, the crackers you purchased would fit perfectly into the pan like Cinderella and her shoe, but let’s just take a wild guess that neither of our worlds is a real-life fairy-tale -- it’s ok to trim the crackers to fit the pan (see step 4). Just in case, take out 5 to 6 extra crackers extra to protect against potential errors. Once you've figured out how many crackers you'll need, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and brush the crackers on both sides. Set aside.
  3. Mix the brownie batter: Combine semi-sweet chocolate and unsalted butter in a large microwave-proof bowl. Heat until the ingredients have melted. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, large eggs, ground espresso beans and vanilla extract. Whisk until it’s smooth and slightly fluffy. Sift all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and fine sea salt into the bowl. Fold the ingredients together with a spatula or whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the brownie and cracker layer: Brush the pan with some oil and line it with parchment paper. Pour the brownie batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Arrange the crackers on top of the batter and once you get to the edges where a whole cracker no longer fit, just simply cut the cracker with a sharp knife into the exact size. Once you have completely covered the top with crackers, scatter the rest of the crackers on another baking sheet. Place the square-pan with the brownies on the middle-rack and the baking sheet with the crackers on the lower-rack. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. The brownie should be slightly underdone -- a wooden skewer should come out moist with wet crumbs.
  5. Remove the brownie and the crackers. Let the brownie cool for 10 minutes, then move the entire pan into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. It should be completely cold before you continue the next step.
  1. No churn ice cream layer (adapted from Martha Stewart)
  2. Assemble the ice cream layer: Take the brownie-cracker pan out of the freezer. Lift and peel the parchment paper to remove it from the pan. Then, line the pan again with parchment paper and invert the brownie and cracker back into the pan so that now, the cracker-layer is facing down and lining the pan. If you have trimmed/uneven cracker, take note of which sides the uneven crackers are. You’ll want to match the top and bottom layer so you can make even cuts later.
  3. Make the ice cream: Combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and dark rum together in a small bowl. Set aside. With a stand or handheld mixer, whisk the heavy cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, approximately 3 minutes. It's always better to under-whisk the cream than to over-whisk it (I usually stop when I see a train of ripples forming after the trail of the whisk). With a spatula, gently fold the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream until combined.
  4. Pour the ice cream batter on top of the brownie and smooth the top with a spoon. Arrange the crackers on top of the ice cream-batter, but -- this is important -- make sure that the cracker arrangement matches the bottom cracker-layer (the uneven cracker pieces should be on the same side of the pan). Move the pan back into the freezer to harden, at least 8 hours to overnight.
  5. Cut between each crackers into little sandwiches. Wrap each with plastic wrap and keep in the freezer for anytime craving.
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16 Reviews

Jean O. June 1, 2022
What temperature should be used? Missing from recipe....
xhille May 21, 2022
Read this recipe and was determined to make this, although with a few shortcuts, which came out beautifully!

I will say that the crackers that are baked separately from the brownie may want to be pulled from the oven earlier... about 5-10 minutes earlier than the brownie.

I used a brownie mix and premade ice cream instead... worked well and saved a few steps. I put my ice cream in the fridge about the same time as starting to make the brownies, it was a good consistency when it was time to spread atop the brownie.

The salt of the saltines works really well, but we're already dreaming of making again with variations: smores style with marshmallows mixed with the ice cream and graham crackers, or perhaps even rocky road with nuts as well!

This was a hit tonight at a big family event, and all the kids loved it, from ages 3 to 75.
Nora August 10, 2021
I wanted a smallish batch of brownies. My absolute all-time non-can-compare is the Joy of Cooking's brownie Cockaigne recipe, but that's a big batch. I saw that the brownie layer of this is like a scaled-down version, so I gave it a try. Excellent. I added nuts. I loved the coffee and would add that to JOC version next time out. I'm sure the crackers and ice cream and whole sandwich thing is great. I'll get around to that. In the meantime, I will do these brownies over and over.
Mary July 20, 2018
I can’t find where the oven temp is supposed to be set. Help I am in the middle of the recipe!
Ali S. June 1, 2016
Is it possible to make the cracker-brownie layer in advance? If so, how long would it keep in the freezer (or fridge)?
Robin March 10, 2015
What size pan should I use?
Mandy @. March 11, 2015
I used a 8" square pan
Cynthia C. August 2, 2014
Awe. Some.
Rainie December 2, 2013
Great idea~ and it's really deilicous.
Kitchen B. June 8, 2013
Thrilled to see this in the list of CPs! Wish I were home and could find saltine crackers ( which I haven't looked for)! Congratulations
Midge June 2, 2013
Love this idea!!
Hilarybee May 31, 2013
I'm fascinated by the use of saltine crackers. I loathe them, actually- but maybe a brownie layer and ice cream will improve them!
sexyLAMBCHOPx May 30, 2013
My husband would kill for this.
Kitchen B. May 30, 2013
That is an absolutely gorgeous photo! Beautiful composition and colours......I'm going to try to recreate it! The recipe is great too :-)
Val D. June 26, 2013
I wonder if the recipe would work with graham crackers on top and bottom?
Mandy @. June 26, 2013
I don't see why not!