Save Money with this Easy Ice Cream Cake Recipe
First a warning, my cake isn't anywhere near as pretty as the ones you'll find on Pinterest, like the cake pictured above, or like this one:
Who wants to ingest all that dangerous food coloring anyway, though, right?! Mine still turned out okay, especially if you're like me and care more about good ingredients and taste. Except the aluminum pan isn't very attractive! But it was the only big, deep pan I could find, and I knew I wasn't going to mess with a layer cake. Yeah… Nope. I'm just not that fancy around here, plus there was too much other cooking to do with company coming over to make “the perfect cake”. Not that I could have pulled that off anyway, even if I tried! (We had company two weekends in a row — the following weekend I made just cake, and if you want to see a picture of that, plus what else we made for a big crowd, including recipe links, click here.)
So here's the easy ice cream cake recipe that we made:
We had some family over for two of our kids' birthdays, and instead of paying $70 for a big ice cream cake from a local bakery like we've done in the past (and who knows for sure about those ingredients), we just made it ourselves! Remember I told you our daughter loves being in the kitchen, well she did a lot of it herself and it turned out pretty yummy. I found this awesome decorating tool that actually worked very easily — much better than messy piping bags. As mentioned, it wasn't as pretty as a fancy bakery cake, and yeah, that aluminum pan was kind of cheesy, but it worked well and tasted great, so there you have it. 🙂
Here's how we did it, and be sure to start early, or even a day or so ahead, to allow time for freezing between layers:
- I bought a big aluminum pan from the store, 12×20 or so? — a little bigger than 2-9x13s together. Yes, aluminum is bad, but making a big birthday cake is pretty rare so I figured it was okay. (You could also just put parchment paper on the bottom so less food is touching aluminum.)
- We made a basic vanilla cake recipe — any white cake will work, ours is enough for 3-8″ round pans…
Ice Cream Cake Recipe
- 2 cups of your favorite natural sugar — I used regular organic cane sugar for this so it would be a lighter color than if I used coconut palm sugar.
- 3 1/2 cups flour (I used half Einkorn flour and half organic unbleached all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (I use aluminum free baking powder)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened — pastured butter is best
- 1 1/4 cup milk (read about healthy milk choices here)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs, from pastured hens if possible
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- Mix wet ingredients separate from dry ingredients — I did the wet in my beloved Bosch. Then add dry ingredients to the Bosch and mix well, scraping the sides.
- Pour into buttered pan/pans, or cupcake tins if that's what you're making. (It would make at least 24, but I haven't made cupcakes with this recipe.)
- Bake until it feels “set” to the touch, every oven is a little different. Start checking it after 20-25 minutes (much less for cupcakes of course). If the edges start to get what looks to be too brown but it's not set yet, turn the oven down a little and let it go longer. Cool completely.
Additional Ice Cream Cake Ingredients (besides the cake above):
- One container of softened chocolate ice cream — find one with a not-too-bad ingredient label, which is not easy, or make homemade ice cream!
- Organic oreo pieces, chopped
- Softened vanilla ice cream — again find one with a not-too-bad ingredient label, or make homemade ice cream
Homemade Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
- 2 cups softened butter — again, pastured butter is best
- 5 cups organic powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream, never ultra-pasteurized — read why here and how to tell
Ice Cream Cake Instructions:
- Spread one container of softened chocolate ice cream over the top of the cooled cake.
- Sprinkle chopped organic oreo pieces all over the top of the ice cream and freeze. (I buy organic oreos here and keep them in the freezer to pull out for making an occasional batch of cookies-and-cream ice cream, which is just homemade vanilla with chopped oreos – yum!)
- Spread one container of softened vanilla ice cream on top of that last layer. Freeze.
- Make buttercream frosting: Mix together well butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream — start with 2-3 Tablespoons and add more until you get a nice spreadable, but not too thin, consistency.
- Using this frosting decorating pump tool to decorate as you wish!
- Keep it in the freezer and pull it out about 15 minutes before serving, trust me on this (otherwise the cake is to hard to cut OR eat). 🙂
The next week when we had more company I forgot to get the big pan, so I tried making it using these 3 pans (see below), but the cake rose too high, so that time we had ice cream on the side with Oreo pieces sprinkled on top. You gotta roll with it, right?
Another variation, if you just want only one layer of ice cream: cake, oreos, ice cream, frosting.
The main point is…
There are many EASY ways to make a special cake at home that tastes GREAT, looks sorta pretty, and is much better for you than the ones from the store or bakery with all those mystery ingredients.
Try this and let me know what you think! Also, would you share this post using the social media buttons? Thanks!
- Scroll through these posts for more tips for feeding a big group
- More a-little-better-for-you dessert ideas