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Has anyone made an ice cream cake?

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: 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.