Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake

Our friends’ son, Luca, turned five and had a birthday party this weekend.  This little boy has totally captured my heart (and the hearts of our three daughters). I love to see him smile, and he loves food, so it goes without saying that we have the perfect relationship!

 When his Mom told me she was going to order an ice cream cake for the party, I insisted on making it myself. The party was thoroughly enjoyable on what turned out to be an amazingly sunny day (who would have guessed after the deluge of rain on Friday evening).  From a bounce house to a wonderfully entertaining presentation by Curious Creatures, which offered a fun and educational live animal show, the birthday boy and his twenty-something little friends had grins on their faces from ear to ear. After lunching on a variety of mouthwatering pizzas from New Haven Apizza and Bakery (recently opened on Route 79 in Madison), it was time for the cake.

I will note here that if you think you cannot improve upon the ice cream parlor’s ice cream cake, guess again.  Homemade ice cream is truly better than anything you can buy.  And the addition of rich, fudgy chocolate ganache drizzled in between the layers of ice cream and cookie crumbs, makes a delicious chocolate ripple type flavor that is decadent. Luca was very excited when he got the first piece of cake and the smile on his face when he held up his fork and exclaimed “I just got to the chocolate” was priceless.  Happy 5th Birthday, Luca!  We all love you!

PS: The batches of homemade ice cream are small, and you will definitely need a double batch to make one eight-inch cake. Make the ice cream a few days ahead of time so that you break up the steps. When ready to assemble the cake, let the ice cream come down in temperature so you can literally pour it into the pan, and then freeze again.

Ice Cream Cake

  • 1 ½ Cups whole milk
  • 1 ½  Cups For the Ice Cream
  • heavy cream
  • 6 Extra large egg yolks
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 2 Vanilla Beans
  • 1 Teaspoon Madagascar vanilla bean paste

To Make the Vanilla Ice Cream

Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and place them in a medium saucepan with the milk.

Cook the milk until just under a boil, and then remove the pan from the heat.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks and sugar.  Whisk at high speed until pale and fluffy (this takes a full 5 minutes).

Take the vanilla beans out of the milk and scrape the pods into the milk.

Pour half of the milk into the egg yolk/sugar mixture and whisk until combined.

Slowly add the rest of the milk and mix again.

Pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook over low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  You must stir constantly (this process takes almost a full 5 minutes).

Remove the milk from the heat and add the heavy cream and the vanilla bean paste.  Stir until combined.

Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a glass bowl.

Chill the custard for four hours.

Pour the custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions.

The Elegant Occasion Note:  To make an 8-inch cake, you will need a double batch of this recipe.

For the Cake Base

  • 15 Oreo Cookies crumbled into very fine crumbs in a food processor (you want the entire cookie filling and all)
  • Nine inch springform pan

Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan.

Place the springform pan on a sheet pan to prevent a mess when pouring in the ice cream, as sometimes the melted ice cream leaks through the bottom of the pan.

To Assemble the Cake

Pour half of the ice cream onto the cookie crumbs.

Top the ice cream with more cookie crumbs and your favorite chocolate sauce or chocolate ganache (remember, chocolate ganache is just equal parts chocolate and cream melted together…this is terrific in an ice cream cake).

Top with the remaining ice cream.

Freeze the cake on the sheet pan for two hours.

Remove the cake from the freezer and place whipped cream (homemade or store-bought) over the ice cream cake.

The Elegant Occasion Note: If you are going to write something on the cake, now is the time to do it so that the entire cake can freeze and the flavors meld together.  I wrote “Happy Birthday” as you see above in Chocolate Ganache.

Freeze the cake until ready to serve.

Remove the ice cream cake from the freezer five-10 minutes before serving.

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