Ice cream and cake have long been the staples of birthdays, weddings, graduations and many other types of celebrations. It's little wonder some culinary genius decided to combine them. Most of the time, ice cream is a delicious dessert all by itself. But if you've ever had an ice cream cake then I'm sure you'll agree that it's a taste treat that you'll want to have for every party and celebration. Filling delicious ice cream between layers of flaky, moist cake allowing the two to melt together is a flavor explosion so good it is sinful.
It would seem that this wonderful combination of two cherished desserts could only be experienced at a restaurant or bought from an ice cream shop or grocery store. Purchasing an ice cream cake can be quite expensive, usually more than a regular cake. But in reality it isn't that difficult to make a custom ice cream cake right at home and it's much cheaper. In fact it's a lot of fun to do. And once you get good at it you'll probably look for every opportunity there is to make great ice cream cake for your friends and family.
Start with a quart to a quart and half of your favorite flavor of ice cream. The biggest trick to making an ice cream cake at home is to get the ice cream to just the right level of softness. You'll want it soft enough to mold but not to the point that it is getting melted and runny. So don't just leave it out for an hour and forget about it. Somewhere around 20-30 minutes should do it. In fact, try setting a timer so you can record the perfect amount of softening time for the next ice cream cake you make. Make it part of your own personal recipe. When you bake your cake, use only about half of the batter. Rather than throwing it out, use the other half to make cupcakes. Follow the directions on the box and remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool. It should be completely cool before proceeding.
Once you have the ice cream at the right level of softness you'll need to make the cake using a simple layering technique. Use a deep round cake pan or you can experiment with other sizes and shapes once you are comfortable making the cakes. Bring out your cake and cut it into slabs about an inch thick. Start with a layer of cake on the bottom and then make a layer of ice cream about the same thickness. If the ice cream is at the right softness, you should be able to cut and mold it easily. Continue adding layers of ice cream and cake until the cake pan is full. At this point you'll want to work very quickly to avoid letting the ice cream melt too much. Always use a layer of cake at the top so you can frost it or use sundae topping or fruit or whatever topping you like. Now cover the ice cream cake with plastic wrap and put back in the freezer for at least three hours. Once it is frozen, take it out and slice it as you would a regular cake. Now you have an ice cream cake just as good as in any restaurant and for half the price.