ice cream cake

ice cream cake for birthdays

One summer, many years ago, my boys were, for the very first time, away at camp for a month.   That in of itself was traumatic enough.  Add to that, I would not be with my oldest son on his birthday.  Their camp's (very smart-homesickness-busting) policy is that there are no electronics and no phone calls...birthdays excepted, of course.  When I finally got to talk to my boy on his big day, I asked what kind of a cake he wanted when he got home to celebrate.  He distractedly answered...I don't know.  Ice cream?  Well, that was all I had to hear.  He was going to have the most bad ass ice cream cake he had ever laid eyes on.  And that, my friends, was that.  Now I have to make it every year, which you will see, is no small task.  But totally worth it.  I promise.

Start the cake the day before you want to serve it to give it time to freeze properly.

ice cream cake

serves 12-15

for the crust:

1 package oreo cookies (I use Newman's organic) middles scraped out

2 T butter, melted

for the ganache:

3 c heavy cream

2 T butter

2 lbs bittersweet chocolate, chopped

for the cake:

2 quarts of ice cream ( I used roasted banana-chocolate streak and moose tracks, per request)

Preheat your oven to 350º

how to make an ice cream cake

In the bowl of a food processor, whiz the cookies to fine crumbs.  Reserve about 2/3 cup of the crumbs and set aside. Add the butter to the remaining cookie crumbs and stir until you have the texture of wet sand.  Pour the mixture into a 9" springform pan.  Using a flat bottomed glass, press the crumbs gently and evenly to form a crust.  Bake for about 10 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.

crushed oreo cake crust

For the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a glass bowl.

ganache for ice cream cake

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and butter to almost boiling.  Carefully pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let it sit for about 2 minutes.

ice cream cake with oreos

After 2 minutes, whisk the mixture together until it is smooth and shiny.

chocolate ice cream cake

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

frosting for ice cream cakes

To assemble the first layer of the cake, soften one quart of ice cream to the point where it is not melted and very liquid but spreadable.  Carefully, spread the ice cream on top of the prepared crust.  If you spread it too hard, you will lift the crust and essentially end up mixing the crumbs into the ice cream which is not what you want.
 layers of ice cream cake
If the ice cream is too liquid, it will be a melted mess when you add your layer of ganache-trust me.  Once you have successfully spread the first layer of ice cream, cover it with the reserved cookie crumbs.
healthy cake recipes
Melt about 3/4 c of ganache in the microwave so it is of pouring consistency but not at all warm.  Cover the cookie crumb layer with the ganache, cover and quickly place the cake in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
online cooking light
When it is set (and don't even think about rushing it)  Add the next quart of ice cream, following the same process as before.
healthy ice cream cake
Cover and return again to the freezer until set, at least another 2-3 hours.  When the ice cream is firm, get your ganache to that perfect pouring consistency again and have it ready to go.  Remove the cake from the freezer and loosen around the sides with a butter knife.  Release the spring and set the cake on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking pan (for easy clean up).
ice cream cake alternatives
Working very quickly, double-checking that the ganache is not at all warm, pour the remaining ganache over the entire cake, smoothing out the sides and the top.
birthday cake ideas
how long to cook a cake
Cover the cake with a dome and return to the freezer for at least 4 hours.
how to layer an ice cream cake
Serve immediately from the freezer.  In the time it takes you to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles, the cake will be ready to cut.
favorite kind of cake