Happy Birthday, love of my life and non-cake-fan! (Ice Cream Cake “recipe”)
Today my dear husband of 10 years turns …well, he turns. And he’s gorgeous and fabulous and aging well. (And you can tell him I said so.)
He doesn’t much love cake. The kids and I kind of do. So somewhere along the line we’d compromised into getting him an ice cream cake for his birthday, one of those things with a layer of cake and then an inch or two of ice cream over it. The downside of this is that for one thing, those cakes are crazy expensive; for another, you have no idea what’s really in it—even if you know all about the ice cream (and actually found someone who makes such a cake who doesn’t put HFCS into their ice cream), how do you know what’s in the cake?
The good news is that these ice cream cakes are really really easy to make, and this is almost a silly post, because anyone to whom this idea occurred would just need a little “Hey, could I do this myself?” to figure it out in about 26 seconds. But I’m hard up for post topics this month. So…here it is.
Ice Cream Cake
- Whatever you need for your layer cake of choice
- ½ gallon (or you can do just a quart) ice cream in flavor of choice
- 1 quart of ice cream in contrasting flavor of choice (for icing)
Make either one or two layer cake, using whatever recipe you prefer; I use the ubiquitous “one bowl chocolate cake” that’s all over the internet and in cookbooks. It really doesn’t matter whether you do one or two; we only have four people in the family, so I tend to just halve the recipe and make one. If you only have two cake pans, like me, you must either do one layer only or plan ahead, because you need one of those cake pans for the ice cream part!
Let cool completely. If you only did one layer but want the effect of two, you can split the single layer into two thinner ones by wrapping a piece of strong thread around the edge, gently sawing it in, and then carefully looping it and pulling it around the whole cake. Way easier than trying to use a knife.
Ice Cream Layer:
Soften a quart or half gallon (again, depends how thick you like it; we are a half-gallon-layer family!) of the guest of honor’s favorite ice cream flavor. Stir till it’s still ice-cream-y but very spreadable. Spread evenly into a clean cake pan. Freeze several hours till really hard.
When you’ve got your cake layer(s) and ice cream layer good to go, put it all together. If you have two cake layers, put one on your plate, then carefully remove the ice cream layer from the cake pan and put it on (a very quick hot-water-soak of the bottom of the cake pan makes this easy—like 4 seconds quick), and then the top cake layer over that. If you have only one cake layer, you just choose whether you want cake or ice cream on top; we usually do cake on the bottom and ice cream on top, although this year we might shake it up a bit.
Soften your second ice cream flavor to the point of smooth spreadability. Working quickly, spread over the top and sides of the cake. If it’s a hot day, you may need to take freezer breaks here and there to keep it from going to soup. Put the whole cake into the freezer and freeze till pretty solid. (Note: if one of your two flavors is a chunky kind, like Rocky Road or something, it’s better to use that as the inside flavor and use a smoother one for outside to be the “icing.” But not a deal-breaker.) If you were really good at this, you could put some fudge sauce or caramel sauce into an icing piper or plastic baggie with a corner cut out, and decorate the top gorgeously; or you could just be like me and stick some candles in.
Isn’t that easy? And again, you can now have total control over your ingredients—even more so if you have your own ice cream maker and can do that yourself too.
Now I’m off to the grocery store to buy a whole lot of Cherry Garcia ice cream…