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Has anyone made an ice cream cake?

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Has anyone tried creating one at home? I'm really curious. My extended family LOVES ice cream cake and showing up with a surprise homemade one for our Mother's Day celebration would be great!

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  1. Yes. It couldn't be easier, and it looks very impressive. If using storebought ice cream, you can either use your favorite or soften vanilla ice cream and mix in the flavoring of your choice.

    I like to use a chocolate wafer cookie crust, sprinkle more crushed wafers and drizzle caramel sauce in between the layers, and then top with whipped cream just before serving (you can also do this in advance but the texture changes when freezing). You can do all sorts of flavor combinations.

    Here's a recipe to get you started:
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    1. Its easy but you should allow yourself at least a day before serving. I bake off cake layers first then line the same size pan that you baked the cake layers with plastic wrap and fill halfway with ice cream. Freeze at least 4 hours depending on your freezer. I assemble the cake & ice cream layers with frosting or fruit in between. It goes back into the freezer for another few hours then frost with regular frosting or whipped cream. Back into the freezer for another four hours. You could decorate the cake once frosted but put back into the freezer to harden when it becomes soft.

      My favorite is to do a strawberry & cream cake with strawberry cake & ice cream; make mascaraed strawberries to go in between the layers and top with whipped cream frosting..garish with chocolate dipped strawberries.

      14 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw

        Great advice. I'll just add that it's easier to do it in a springform pan. I bake the cake in the pan. Remove to cool. Then layer in the pan, cake, ice cream, cake (or whatever layers you want to use). When all frozen, remove sides, frost and freeze.

        1. re: chowser

          Springform is a good idea..I normally make ice cream cakes for an occasion, i.e birthday, anniversary etc, which is why I do separate layers

          1. re: Cherylptw

            Thanks everyone for the advice! I am going to try this on Saturday. I have a springform pan so I'll make the cake layer in there - I'm probably going to stay simple and do one layer of cake and one of ice cream since this is my first attempt.

            Can I leave the cake in the springform pan and layer the ice cream on top of it and freeze it all together? Or do I need to freeze the ice cream layer separately from the cake and then assemble it?

            1. re: Aravisea

              You can freeze the ice cream on top of the cake but IMO you need at least two cake layers so bake the cake, split it, fill with ice cream then put the second layer on top and return to freezer.

              1. re: Cherylptw

                Ok, that doesn't sound tricky at all. Except for splitting the cake into perfectly even layers - but that's ok, this isn't for the Queen!

                I figure I'll just cover the whole thing with whipped cream right before serving?

                The man of the house has already called dibs on quality control for this project. :)

              2. re: Aravisea

                Yes, but I'd remove the sides as the cake cools. Once cool, put the sides back on, freeze the cake and put the ice cream in the refrigerator for about half an hour. That way, the ice cream will be easier to spread. Oh, a word of warning--the first time I tried it, I thought chocolate ganache would be a good cover. It froze in a 1" thick layer and was impossible to cut through. I like to pipe whipped cream on it now, just before serving.

                1. re: chowser

                  I will steer clear of ganache!

                  So I should freeze the cake layers after cooling and splitting but before layering with ice cream?

                  1. re: Aravisea

                    Yes, but I like to freeze the cake after it is frosted so that the entire cake is frozen, otherwise you have the frosting softer than the rest of the cake. but that's just me..good luck with it.

                    1. re: Cherylptw

                      What kind of frosting do you use?

                      1. re: Aravisea

                        I like whipped cream frosting which I make myself, because I don't care for too sweet frosting; I cover the cake and allow it to freeze but I've also used other frostings, some of which are store bought.

                        1. re: Cherylptw

                          I baked the cake layer last night, since I wasn't positive that other things in my schedule would leave me time to do it later. I don't have much cake-baking experience (yeast breads are more my thing!) and I think I had unrealistic ideas of how much it would rise in the oven - the layer is only about an inch thick, maybe an inch and a half in the center. That's already pretty thin - would you still advise that I try to split it?

                          I had some leftover batter that I baked in a separate pan, that came out a bit overdone on the bottom but tastes fine...I could cut a circle out of that and use that as another layer, although the overdone part on the bottom is much tougher and I'm not sure if that would mess with the overall texture...

                          What do you all recommend?

                          1. re: Aravisea

                            No, I wouldn't try to split--it would be hard to do, especially evenly and you haven't done it before. I'd use that as a base and spread the ice cream on top.

                            You could use the extra cake, shave off the burnt part, then put that on the bottom (the shaved part facing the ice cream). The ice cream would soften it.

                            1. re: chowser

                              Ok, that's what I'll do then. The bottom of the spare cake isn't burned, fortunately, just more brown on the bottom and thinner overall (less batter in a bigger pan) than the other one.

                    2. re: Aravisea

                      You could cheat and start with frozen pound cake. I've had good results this way. I also like to add a layer of crushed heath bars or similar treat.

          2. My dear sister made me a peanut butter ice cream cake for my birthday last year that will go down as one of the best things anyone has EVER made me.

            Buttercream tastes a lot like ice cream itself if you freeze it, so that's a good choice in my experience. The only thing that might be a little jarring is that most traditional frosting recipes are a good deal sweeter than ice cream, so you might want to do a test run on it. I made my own chocolate ice cream into a cake and frosted it with vanilla buttercream once, and I intentionally backed down on the ice cream's sweetness to compensate. It turned out really well.

            3 Replies
            1. re: dmd_kc

              Hm. I've never made buttercream frosting - desserts are not my forte - but I'm the person who usually picks icing off cakes because it's way too sweet. Toning down the sugar could work...hm.

              Love the idea of doing a peanut butter cake - I'm filing that idea away for later.

              1. re: Aravisea

                sounds like PB buttercream would be ideal for you because you can tone down the sugar AND complement it with salt. yum :)

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  That's exactly what my sister did. The "cake" itself was made from Breyers ice cream mixed with natural-style peanut butter in about a 70/30 ratio, which resulted in a product very rich but not incredibly sweet. But the vanilla buttercream she put on the outside was very sweet, and the overall effect was stellar.

            2. If anybody wishes to make an ice cream cake but is a little lazy, here's how to do it. Buy ice cream sandwiches and line the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan with them. Add crushed oreos or crumbled cake on top of that, then fudge sauce (or caramel) from a jar, more ice cream sandwiches, crumbled cake or cookies and fudge sauce. Press down on the ice cream sandwiches before adding the last layer of fudge. Cover with plastic and freeze.

              Whenever I've had the Dairy Queen ice cream cakes, I always wish they had more of the crumbled cookies/cake layers. Theirs are mostly ice cream. I wonder why?

              23 Replies
              1. re: John E.

                Completely agree about there not being enough cookie crumbles in store-bought cakes. I was thinking of smashing some Oreo cookies and sprinkling those in between the cake and ice cream layers.

                1. re: John E.

                  I've made these and swear they're better than any other option. Heath bar pieces (found in the baking section) are another great addition.

                  1. re: John E.

                    i grew up on Carvel ice cream cakes, and our family always special-ordered them in advance and had them made with extra "crunchies" and extra fudge :)

                    the next time you get a cake from DQ, just ask them to make it with extra cookie crumbles - i'm sure they'll accommodate the request for a custom order. if buying a pre-made cake they should still be willing to sell you a separate container of them to add as you wish (though i know it's not quite the same as having it sandwiched between the layers).

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I love the crunchies. Have you ever found a close copy cat recipe? I've looked and looked but haven't found a good one.

                      1. re: chowser

                        you know, i never even thought to look...and now i wouldn't be able to eat them anyway! :( i just did a quick search out of curiosity and found this old thread that you've already seen - did you ever end up trying the recipe?
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/510317

                        the chocolate bonnet/magic shell aspect strikes me as odd, but i guess it's possible. there's more to it, though. i get the feeling the cookies or crumbs are twice-baked to ensure that they retain some texture when layered with the fudge and ice cream. the last time i had them - about 5 years ago - i tasted a pinch of them on their own and nearly broke a tooth - it was like munching on gravel! i wish i could still eat them because now i want to crack the code. you should buy some from a Carvel store and try to figure it out...

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I did but don't know about the magic shells. You might be onto something about twice baked cookies. There must be something else that keeps them crunchy. Maybe something along the lines of the magic shells that will coat them. This thread is making me think I should make it for mother's day.

                          1. re: chowser

                            Hm. I had been planning to sprinkle crumbled Oreos between the layers, but it hadn't occurred to me that they might end up soggy.

                            1. re: Aravisea

                              Crumbled Oreos do not get soggy between the layers. I speak from much ice cream cake making experience. ;-)

                              I also like using crushed Skors/Heath bars between layers.

                        2. re: chowser

                          Chowser, I have some GREAT news for you. I know the secret to the crunchies!!! My sister-in-law used to work at Carvel. She said the crunchies are simply the chocolate flying saucer cookies crushed up with some hot fudge topping added to it.

                          I really do like using crushed Oreos in my ice cream cakes though. I think in some ways it is better.

                          Also, I serve hot fudge sauce on the side with my ice cream cake. Best of all worlds.

                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                            Thanks! What are flying saucer cookies? So, the hot fudge sauce doesn't absorb into them? Crushed oreos are good but don't have the memory of the Carvel Whale with crunchies.:-)

                            1. re: chowser

                              This is a flying saucer, a/k/a ice cream sandwich. They take the cookies, crush them and then add a small amount of the hot fudge just to coat them ever so lightly, not too much though, they don't get sticky.

                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                Oops, photo didn't work. Let's try this again...

                                Flying Saucer

                                 
                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                  Oh no, that means I need to track down how to make the flying saucer. I'll have to work on it all. It's helpful to know that it is a combination of a cookie and hot fudge, though. Thanks!

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers have a similar flavor, though a bit darker chocolate and crispier.

                                    1. re: sbp

                                      That's what I was thinking of, too. Or maybe trying the world peace cookies. Even if they're not the same, they'll be good!

                                      1. re: chowser

                                        I agree, Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers are very similar.

                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                          you know, i was really skeptical about this when i first read it in that other, old thread, but now that i think about it, the Flying Saucer cookies *were* really hard - actually too hard for my liking. i used to stick the whole sandwich in the MW and zap it for a few seconds to soften the cookies and get the ice cream to melt a little!

                                          wow, talk about a trip down memory lane. i think i must have still been in HS the last time i had one of those :)

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            When you think about it though...

                                            What do you think Carvel would do to make their crunchies?

                                            It makes sense that they would use whatever they happen to have on hand. And they have plenty of these little disks and fudge sauce.

                                            It's funny isn't it how something so simple can be so mystifying.

                                        2. re: chowser

                                          chowser, i really hope you see this! i was doing some digging on the Web to figure out if i was right about a discontinued cookie for another thread, and according to Wikipedia, Carvel uses *Hydrox* cookies. sounds about right to me!

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            Thanks for digging. IIRC, they're like Oreos.

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              they are. in fact, Hydrox existed *before* Oreos - a little fact many people don't know.

                                    2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                      That reminds me of Carvel ice cream

                              2. re: chowser

                                I worked at Dairy Queen making ice cream cakes before the premade centers. It's chocolate crumbles (like chocolate animal crackers) a little coarser ground than you want for a pie crust, then chocolate cone coating. Mix it til its moist but not overly so. Then chocolate fudge on top.

                          2. Reading this made me think of a dessert my mother used to make for dinner parties back in the 60's or 70's - Baked Alaska. If I remember correctly it had a round shaped brownie base, then 2 or 3 different types of ice cream in concentric layers to make an ever-increasing diameter dome shape. It was then covered with meringue and browned. It sure would be good covered with whipped cream.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pcdarnell

                              You know - I always saw Baked Alaska in my grandmother's old Betty Crocker cookbook and was wondering if anyone actually made it - seems like one of those 50s generation things that has long since fallen out of fashion. I don't think I've ever seen one made.

                            2. I sometimes do an ice cream cake "bombe", using brownies instead of cake. Brownies are moister to begin with, so they don't dry out in the freezer like cake, and defrost with a good texture (even while ice cream remains frozen).

                              Bake up a family sized box of brownies (or homemade, of course) in a 9x12 pan. Take a medium to large sized mixing bowl, spray it down with Pam. Line the inside of the bowl with chunks of brownie, squishing the brownies to seal the edges to one another. When finished, the bowl should have a seamless coating of brownie.

                              Fill with softened ice cream. If you have enough brownies left, line the top of the bowl (which will become the base of the cake). Freeze.

                              To unmold, dip the bowl in hot water for a minute, then flip onto a serving plate.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: sbp

                                What a cool idea!

                                1. re: Aravisea

                                  If you really want to go nuts, after unmolding, you can pour melted dark or white chocolate over it (it will harden right away).

                                  1. re: sbp

                                    **eyes pop out a bit**

                                    I have got to try this!

                                    1. re: Aravisea

                                      Forgot to mention. If you add just a bit of melted butter and heavy cream to the melted chocolate, it won't harden to a "shatter upon cutting" stage. More of a dense ganache glaze.

                                      1. re: sbp

                                        this is sooo cheating, but I have used a McCain's deep and delicious cake...use the cake for the layers (just slice it up) and store bought ice cream in between..scape off the icing from the original cake and use this as the icing and presto - ice cream cake! (the cake takes to the freezer well too)..life gets busy so sometimes we have to cheat a bit..

                              2. I've made this many times. Easy and delicious.

                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                And this is the one I'm dying to make next. Lets us know how you make out!

                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                1. Here's a thread I started about ice cream cakes. Enjoy!
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6376...

                                  1. My one piece of advice is to use an oil based cake rather than a pure butter cake (or a combination of butter and oil) or a sponge/genoise nicely soaked. An american butter cake will be dry and less pleasant when frozen IMO.

                                    To make the chocolate crumbles, you can buy high end versions from Valrhona for instance. Or you can make your own. Use rice crispies and coat with melted chocolate. To mimic more of what you taste in carvel/DQ, I would guess they use a mix of palm oil, chocolate or cocoa, and corn syrup. Or you can use cornflakes - and GHG you can make them gluten-free with a GOOD gluten free cereal. I do it all the time for my pastries.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: jsaimd

                                      Excellent point regarding butter in the cake. I would add this goes for any cake you plan to refrigerate if it won't be room temp when you serve it. I made a coconut cake once and served it straight from the fridge and it tasted dry as all get out, but it was just that the butter was in a solid state.

                                      1. re: sbp

                                        Hm. Thanks very much for the advice. I already made the cake for this go-around - and it called for butter, not oil - so I'll see how dry it comes out and switch to an oil based cake next time if necessary. Thanks! :)

                                    2. S'mores ice cream pie: technically this is a pie, not cake, but it is very good and kind of fun because you brown the marshmallows on top (plus you get to buy a product called marshmallow fluff which I hadn't even thought about since I was kid and begged for fluffer nutter sandwiches - husband thinks I'm making that up, but surely someone must remember it).

                                      Tip, if anyone does make it, don't bother with the chocolate sauce and I think it would actually be better with a lighter chocolate ice cream; the one I used was super dark and dominated the "delicate" graham cracker and marshmallow flavours.
                                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                      1. not an ice cream cake but I've done the ice cream roll and really enjoyed it, and easy. Its been a while but this looks like the recipe although I remember frosting mine:
                                        http://www.frugalcreativity.com/2010/...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: lexpatti

                                          I like this variation!

                                        2. The cake turned out great - thanks to everyone for the advice and ideas! I ended up with four layers. From the bottom up: cake, crushed Oreos, mint ice cream, cake. Whipped cream over all right before serving and crushed Oreos on top. The Oreo layer was great, no soggy problems there. I used a white cake with mini chocolate chips, which tasted good but was a tad dry, so next time I'll try an oil-based cake as suggested by jsaimd and sbp. I'd also probably use more ice cream - I used almost an entire container of Breyer's in my cheesecake pan, and the ice cream layer was between half an inch and 3/4 inch thick.

                                          The family loved it - will definitely be doing this again. (And again and again...)

                                           
                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Aravisea

                                            Nice picture! Glad it turned out well. I agree--I think you could reverse the size of the bottom two layers, a smaller lower layer and a larger middle. No one ever complains about too much ice cream.:-)

                                            1. re: Aravisea

                                              YUM. looks wonderful! glad it worked out :)

                                            2. I just had a totally wacky idea for an ice cream cake. A friend of mine tried this recipe for Giada's Orange & Raspberry Cake (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...) and liked it - I wonder if you used that cake and then some kind of sorbet or sherbert for the ice cream layers?

                                              Has anyone done something like this?

                                              1. This is kind of a late response but just read your post. I've been making this ice cream cake for years and it's always a hit and super simple.
                                                I buy an angel food cake at the store and two different flavors of ice cream or sherbet. Our favorite is chocolate ice cream and orange sherbet. You take two cake pans, 8" or 9", whatever size you want. You line the first pan with aluminum foil and take the other pan to push the foil down tightly. Then reverse filling the other pan with foil. You begin tearing the angel food cake apart in bite size pieces to cover the bottom of the pans. Then alternate with the ice creams and cake until filled to the top. Press it down firmly so it will freeze into a cake shape. Cover with foil and put them into the freezer and let them freeze firm. Right before serving, take one layer out and remove top foil. You will probably have to dip briefly into hot water or put a warm towel around the pan to slightly loosen. Put the first layer on a plate then frost it with either whipped cream or whipped topping (i.e Cool Whip). Add the second layer and do the same. Work quickly and serve. If it's in this hot weather, the cake can start to melt before you know it. It probably would be a good idea to freeze the serving plate first before adding the layers.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Neta

                                                  Kind of like what Neta says...

                                                  I have taken an angel food cake, split it across lengthwise with a knife in two areas to make three equal layers. Put one layer on bottom of springform pan, add ice cream layer, put next layer of cake, another layer of ice cream then top layer of cake. Can frost with whipped cream. This is very delicious. Would be great with orange and raspberry sherbets.

                                                2. I like to make one that looks like a watermelon. Make it in a metal bowl. Use chocolate mint ice cream for the first layer (outer rind), preferably Chapman's because it's a ripple rather than a chip. Freeze until firm. Then add a layer of vanilla to make the white part of the rind. Freeze. Then add a layer of raspberry sorbet or gelato, then fill with the same sorbet, but mixed with tiny chocolate chips for the seeds.

                                                  1. As an alternative, try layering ice cream (prepared by refreezing in a cake pan) with miniaiture Pâte à Choux. Arrange the Pâte à Choux in a cake pan, put a layer of ice cream on top; repeat.
                                                    It's fun to make and gets rave reviews with guests. You can fill the Pâte à Choux, or not. Your choice.