I have to admit it – I’m not really much of a cake person. Cheesecake? Yes please. Special cakes with blueberries or lemon or mousse? I’m all about that. But regular old birthday cake? Not really a huge fan.
Ice cream cake though? I can get on board with that. This is an ice cream cake in the true Dairy Queen or Carvel sense – no cake at all, just layers of ice cream, whipped cream, and some fudge sauce.
Before we get started though, let’s get this out of the way – home made ice cream cakes are not cheap. You’ll probably spend less on a DQ cake than you will on this, but trust me, it’ll taste so so much better. You’ll also need a lot of time to make this – lots of overnight freezing needed here. You’ll need at least two nights to freeze each of the ice cream layers, and a third once you’ve unmolded the cake. It’s worth the effort though – layers of creamy, perfectly sweet home made ice cream, with home made fudge sauce, Oreo cookies, and whipped cream frosting – this is the ice cream cake of your dreams!
Vanilla Bean Layer
2 cups whole milk (3.5% fat)
2 cups whipping cream (35% fat)
2/3 cup milk (1 or 2% is good)
1 vanilla bean
4 egg yolks
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
6 tbsp cocoa powder
Whipped Cream Frosting
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 package Oreo cookies, chopped
First, make your two ice cream bases. For the vanilla ice cream, combine whole milk, whipping cream, and milk in a medium sauce pan. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the other side of your knife to scrap out the seeds. Add the seeds and the pod to the milk in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook, slowly stirring, until little bubbles start to form on the edges. Remove vanilla bean pod.
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, combine eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Beat until pale yellow and thick. Turn mixture to low and slowly pour in hot vanilla milk/cream mixture. Transfer back to sauce pan and return to medium heat. Cook on medium low, stirring, until mixture is thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer to a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate overnight.
To make the fudge sauce, combine water, sugar, corn syrup, and cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until boiling. Boil one minute, than transfer to a bowl and chill until cool.
The next day, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the ring of a springform pan (without the bottom) directly on the parchment paper. Put this in the freezer while you churn your vanilla ice cream.
Churn vanilla ice cream base in your ice cream maker until it’s the texture of soft serve. Spoon into prepared springform ring, use a spoon to make it as flat on top as possible. Top with chopped Oreo cookies and drizzle with about a third of the fudge sauce (but work quickly, your ice cream will be melting!) Transfer to the freezer for at least a day.
Next, make your chocolate ice cream base. Combine 2 cups whole milk, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Heat on medium until milk starts to steam. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup milk with cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Add to milk in sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Pour through a mesh strainer into a bowl. In a small bowl heat cream until steaming. Pour in chocolate chips and stir until the heat from the cream melts the chocolate chips. Add to remaining ingredients, stir, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, churn the chocolate ice cream, and once it’s the texture of soft serve spoon onto the vanilla ice cream. Use a spoon to spread the top as flat as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for another day.
Now for the moment of truth – once your chocolate layer has been in the freezer for a day, put a plate or cake plate on top of the ice cream cake and flip the whole thing over, so it’s all resting on the plate now. Carefully open the springform ring. Pour remaining fudge sauce on top of cake. Admire your beautiful cake, and quickly transfer back to the freezer for a few hours, or ideally, overnight.
When you’re ready to finish decorating, whip the cream with the icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Remove cake from freezer and frost the sides of the cake with whipped cream. Pipe the edges if you want, and sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles. Ideally, freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
So there you have it – a bit labour intensive, and you’ll need about five days to make it happen, but you can do it! Take that, DQ.