When I think back to my childhood, my favorite summer ice cream treat was an orange creamsicle. I loved the frosty taste of the orange layer wrapped around the delicious creamy center. For me, creamsicles were the taste of summer.

Lately I’ve been dreaming about those creamsicles flavors and knew I wanted to come up with a recipe to bring that treat back into my life and into my kids’ childhoods. What I ended up with is simple to make, looks beautiful, and delivers the taste I was missing. I started with a moist cake layer base chock-full of orange flavor. Then I stacked on two rich and creamy layers to give it that dreamy creamsicle taste—made with real Challenge Cream Cheese. Its texture is superior to any other cream cheese product on the market, and they don’t use additives or fillers in their ingredients.

So if you have been dreaming about creating a dessert as refreshing as summer, you must give this recipe a try. It’s a cool summer treat full of real ingredients, amazing creamy texture, and sweet summertime flavor!

Update: Watch the Dreamsicle Cake segment that aired on Arizona Midday



Mandarin Orange Cake

  • 1 box (15.25 oz) French Vanilla Moist Cake Mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Challenge Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges, reserving one cup of juice from can
  • 1 package (6 oz) orange flavored gelatin, divided
  • ⅛ cup fresh orange zest
  • 1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
  • (as desired) fresh orange slices

Creamsicle Ice Cream Layer

  • 12 oz Challenge Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tub (16 oz) whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract (optional)


  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F or as directed on cake mix. Grease the bottom of a 12 inch springform pan.

  • 2

    In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, Challenge Butter, eggs and the mandarin orange juice on low speed until ingredients start to combine. Beat on high speed for two minutes, then mix in 5 tablespoons of the orange gelatin. Carefully fold in the mandarin oranges and orange zest. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake is baked through. After 10 minutes, remove cake from pan and cool completely. If cake “domes” up in the middle, cut off top portion with a serrated knife to flatten the top surface.

  • 3

    In a large mixing bowl, beat together Challenge Cream Cheese, sugar and milk until light and creamy. Fold in whipped cream.

  • 4

    Divide mixture between two bowls. In the first, stir in the vanilla extract to create the vanilla cream layer. In the next bowl, add the remaining orange gelatin to create the orange cream layer. If a more intense orange flavor is desired, add the orange extract.

  • 5

    To assemble, place cake back into clean spring form pan. Line edges of pan with parchment paper for easy removal. Place orange cream on cake, spreading out in an even layer. Next spread on the vanilla cream to create the final layer. Place cake in freezer and freeze until firm, about 6 hours.

  • 6

    When frozen, remove cake from freezer and frost with the whipped topping. Decorate with orange slices. Store in freezer until needed, and remove 10 minutes before serving for easier cutting. For neat looking slices, dip knife into hot water before slicing.