Homemade Baseball Ice Cream Cake

(Apologies for the photo – I forgot to take one until after we’d dug in)

My oldest just turned nine (sob!) and he’s not a fan of frosting. I’m not sure how he can be my son, as I firmly believe that cake is nothing without a good buttercream, but I guess it’s true kids sometimes are nothing like their parents. Anyway, since he didn’t want a cake full of decadent icing, he told me he wanted an ice cream cake.

My first instinct was to buy one at the grocery store. I shared how my Lego cake pop adventure turned out, and I didn’t want another day in the kitchen as I cried silent tears over a project that would take me all day long. But store-bought ice cream cakes seem to cost about a billion dollars and we’re trying to be frugal when we can (hello, trip to Disney World later this year). So like any modern mother I turned to the internet to search out ways to create my own ice cream cake.

I was initially convinced I needed a special springform cake pan, a cake leveler, and a pretty new platter, but buying those items would have surely erased any savings from buying store bought. So I made do with my regular round cake pan and everyday dishes.

Several websites had multiple layers of cake and ice cream. They advised to buy buckets of ice cream and slice off even slabs that would match your cake. I envisioned many loud outbursts on my part as I tried to cut even slabs of ice cream before it melted into a puddle on my counter and quickly nixed that idea.

Here is what I DID do.

How to Make a Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Note: Start this project the day before you need the cake!

You’ll need:

Two round cake pans (same size)
Brownie mix or cake mix
1 quart of ice cream of your favorite flavor (for the top layer of the cake)
1 quart of vanilla ice cream (for “frosting”)
Decorative icing (I used store-bought, one of those pressurized can things that come with different nozzles or whatever they are)
Cling wrap
Enough room in your freezer for a two-layer cake
Offset spatula, if you have one

Put the quart of flavored ice cream into the refrigerator and let it soften for about 45 minutes. Line one of the cake pans with cling wrap, trying to keep it as wrinkle-free as possible, then spread the ice cream evenly in the pan. I couldn’t get the ice cream to stop sticking to my spoon, so I ran my offset spatula under hot water, dried it off, and used that to spread the ice cream and make the top nice and smooth, and it worked like a charm. Cover top of ice cream with ends of cling wrap and put into freezer.

Make brownies or cake according to instructions.  If you make brownies, you’ll have just one layer, if you make cake, you can opt to sandwich the ice cream between two layers of cake, or use just half of the recipe and have one bottom layer. Let cool fully, then wrap in cling wrap and put in freezer.

The next morning, carefully unwrap the brownie and place on platter or plate (making sure you have enough room in your freezer for it to go back!). Unwrap the ice cream layer and flip it onto the brownie layer, working quickly and carefully. Cover cake layers loosely with cling wrap and put back into freezer.

In the meantime, put the vanilla ice cream in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

When the vanilla ice cream has started to soften on the top and edges, remove it from fridge and stir it. I failed to stir it and the consistency was uneven, so don’t skip this step. This is where the offset spatula came in handy again – get it warm under hot water, dry it, and use it to spread the vanilla ice cream over the cake like frosting. You must work fast, it will start to melt and drip immediately. I should have turned my air conditioning down, seriously.

After you’ve got a good layer of ice cream over the cake, put it in the freezer again, uncovered, until it has set. Then remove from freezer and decorate as desired. Since my son is totally into baseball, I went the super easy route and drew red lacing on top of his cake. Would have turned out better if my frosting can hadn’t gone crazy on me and tried to keep the frosting going even after I stopped applying pressure to the nozzle, but it worked.

Don’t take the cake out until ready to serve! I found the brownie layer to be a little difficult to cut, so I used a serrated knife instead of my cake server. Once it’s been cut it softens pretty quickly, though.

Overall it was easier than I would have expected! I got the ice cream on sale for $2.89 each (and only used 1/4 of the vanilla), the brownie mix was maybe $2. So a much less expensive alternative to a store-bought ice cream cake, and my kids loved it.

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Comments

  1. Yum, your ice cream cake looks absolutely delicious and that’s a really brilliant way to assemble an ice cream cake! How I wish I can have a slice of it right now…

  2. I made this yesterday for my son’s baseball theme birthday party, it turned out great and it was super easy!! I got lots of compliments. The only thing I added was a layer of fudge and crushed oreos on top of the brownies. Thanks for the idea!

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