Friday, January 20, 2017
Easy Homemade Ice Cream Cake
Well, we survived the annual "birthday week" without much of a functioning kitchen. Matthew and Paul have back to back birthdays in January and I always insist on them celebrating apart even though it would be so much easier just to combine them. I was a little worried about what food I was going to make the boys for their birthday dinner, but Paul left me with no choice other than going out to eat. I was a little relieved. However, I still wanted to make them some type of cake or dessert, even if it was only semi-homemade.
What Paul REALLY wanted for his birthday dessert was delicious but slightly involved Apple Pie Layer Cake. I really wanted to make it for him, but after experiencing how difficult it has been to make basic things like sandwiches and pasta without countertops, a kitchen sink, a functioning dishwasher, and a pantry that is still scattered throughout various corners of the house, I decided to make an ice cream cake. Paul loves ice cream - he can almost never turn down a scoop. He also absolutely loves the Dairy Queen ice cream cakes and I knew I could make a better one at home with better ice cream and flavors more suited to his tastes. However, it would definitely still have that wonderful middle layer of fudge and chocolate cookies.
And just look how excited Paul was to have this cake...
As easy as this cake is to assemble, it actually was still a bit frustrating with the limited space. You have no idea how many volunteers I had when I started unloading the ice cream, fudge sauce, and oreo cookies from the freezer and fridge. Of course, I quickly learned my little helpers were more interested in quality control in the form of sampling all the ingredients rather than actually assembling the cake. The most difficult part of this recipe, aside from slapping away dirty little fingers constantly trying to dip into the ice cream, was chopping up the Oreo cookies. And, if you have a food processor, that will take less than 20 seconds.
It probably would be easier to make the ice cream layers if you let the ice cream thaw a bit at room temperature. You could even dump it into a larger bowl and just stir it a bit until it softens. I did neither of those things and just used my ice cream scoop to fill my springform pan and then flattened everything down with a mallet. Worked great and I'll probably do it that way in the future.
In less than 15 minutes, I had a fully assembled ice cream cake that just required a long chill in the freezer before decorating. The afternoon of Paul's birthday, I made fresh whipped cream, removed the ice cream cake from the pan and transferred it to a serving platter, and then "frosted" the tops and sides with the whipped cream. Emma insisted on a finishing of confetti sprinkles for a festive touch.
The cake then went back into the freezer until we were ready to eat it later that night.
Between the five of us (Lucy was all about this cake) we finished maybe 1/4 of the cake - it's super rich. But having leftover ice cream cake is not a bad thing at all! Well wrapped, it will actually keep better than regular cake because you can store it in the freezer for longer than it takes a layer cake to stale! A lot of times during "birthday week" the whole family gets so sick of cake because we eat it for about 10 days straight before we finally finish it all. Not a problem with this recipe.
This cake was very much loved by my birthday husband and a complete lifesaver for me during this crazy remodel. If you are in need of an easy cake idea for whatever reason, ice cream cake just might be your answer. And I guarantee that it will taste better than Dairy Queen's.
Easy Homemade Ice Cream Cake
2 (1.5 quart) containers of ice cream (use two different flavors of your choice - we used Chocolate Coffee and Caramel)
1 package of Oreo cookies (or store brand)
1 cup of hot fudge sauce (or more)
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Line a springform pan with two large pieces of plastic wrap. Make sure to leave enough extra to cascade down the outside of the pan. This will help with the removal of the cake later.
Take one quart of your ice cream and scoop it evenly into the bottom of the pan. Then, using a large spoon, spatula, or mallet, smash it into an even layer. Put the pan in the freezer as you prepare the middle layer.
Finely crush about 3/4 of the package of cookies by hand or in a food processor. You can use the whole package if you want a thicker layer. Heat the hot fudge sauce for a couple seconds in the microwave or just until it is pourable. You don't want it too hot, but just warm enough so that it will easily slide out of the container. In a medium bowl, mix the crumbs and a little of the fudge sauce at a time to form a sticky, crumbly mixture. It should hold together and crumble when you press it between your fingers. Stop adding hot fudge when you feel the consistency is right.
Remove the cake from the freezer and drizzle a thin layer of fudge over the top, if desired. Crumble the cookie mixture over the top. Press lightly to adhere. Return the cake to the freezer for five minutes.
After five minutes, take the cake back out of the freezer and scoop the remaining quart of ice cream over the top. Press into an even layer and smooth the top. Cover the top with an additional layer of plastic wrap and return to the freezer until frozen solid.
To make the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream and sugar in a mixer with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Remove the cake from the freezer, remove the sides of the springform pan and invert the entire cake onto a cake platter. Peel away the rest of the plastic. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream. Use an offset spatula to add some peaks and swirls to the top. Decorate with additional fudge sauce, cookies, or sprinkles. Return to the freezer until ready to serve.
Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing with a heated knife. Enjoy!