Our Favorite Birthday Cakes: Ice Cream Cake

by Maggie Battista on June 16, 2011

in All Recipes, Desserts, Holiday

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

I grew up with a mom who grew up on a farm near the Honduran coast. In her home, everything was homemade or often, farm-made.

She drank her milk fresh each morning, pulled warm from the cows out back. The bubbling black beans on the back of the stove were dried nearby. The cheese was made in the kitchen. Everything she ate was made in the very home she grew up in.

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

Treats were more of the same. She was permitted candy now and again, but rarely from a store. Her mother made a milk candy that took hours to become thick and fudge-like. I know because my grandmother made that same candy for me and I adored it. My mother was quite over it and anything homemade by the time she had her own family in the States. She did what Americans did: bought food in the grocery store.

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

As a kid, I embraced the store-bought lifestyle. I just wanted whatever was glossy, shiny and totally familiar to my non-Latin friends. And there was only one cake I wanted for my birthday. The very best version was available at my very favorite food store: Carvel.

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

Three points of perfection met beautiful on a Carvel ice cream cake. First, it was ice cream, duh. Next, the shiny red piped gel was deliciously bad for you, pumped with colorings and whatever it needed to make it overly sweet. And the pièce de résistance was the chocolate crunchies layered inside. I still have a texture thing to this very day. Meaning, I love texture.

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

I wanted to pull together an ice cream cake for my husband’s birthday with chocolate crunchies but was super short on time. Since I couldn’t make the ice cream or the crunchy part from scratch, I bought local and assembled it all, by hand, over the course of an evening. It was a total mesh of my passion for all things handmade and my store-bought childhood, but it was still so very delicious.

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 pints of ice cream, 3 distinct flavors
  • 10 small chocolate biscotti

Special equipment:

  • 1 8-inch spring form pan
  • 1 wide metal cake spatula
  • Wax paper or plastic wrap

Line the pan with either ample plastic wrap or wax paper. I used wax paper and lined both the bottom and the sides of the pan.

Chop the biscotti up into small pieces about ¼ inch thick, but having super fine pieces or larger chunks is just fine.

Let a pint of ice cream sit out for 5 minutes to soften. Place the entire pint of ice cream into the base of the spring form pan and spread out until level and about 1-inch high. Place the pan into the freezer for about 45 minutes or until firm.

Just before the 45-minute mark, let the second pint of ice cream sit out on the counter to soften.

Remove the pan from the freezer and spread about half of the biscotti over the ice cream layer, evenly. Then pour and spread the pint of ice cream onto the biscotti layer. Spread out until level and about 1-inch high.   Place the pan into the freezer for another 45 minutes or until firm.

Just before the 45-minute mark, let the second pint of ice cream sit out on the counter to soften.

Remove the pan from the freezer and spread the remaining biscotti over the ice cream layer, evenly. Then pour and spread the pint of ice cream onto the biscotti layer. Spread out until level and about 1-inch high.   Place the pan into the freezer for another 45 minutes or until firm.

In order to serve the cake, let it sit out on the counter for 5 minutes to soften. Gently pull off the spring form side. With the spatula, gently lift the cake off of the pan and place on your desired serving platter. It’s absolutely beautiful as it is, slightly messy and askew.

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

A few notes:

  • I chose a chocolate gelato by Giovanna in Newton, Massachusetts, and a vanilla ice cream and a salted caramel ice cream from Batch Ice Cream in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
  • I chose some small biscotti made at Verrill Farm in Concord, Massachusetts. They were about 4-inches in length and filled with chocolate and walnuts.
  • I ended up drizzling some melted chocolate on top of the cake, a la Jackson Pollock.

All photos were styled and taken by Maggie.

If you don’t have the time to make a homemade birthday cake for a friend this year, send them a gift box of local, pure and comforting handmade food. Eat Boutique sells a handmade gift box filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send food that hugs you back today. And for Father’s Day, get free shipping by entering “DAD” at check out!

Homemade Ice Cream Cake on Eat Boutique

Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's writing her first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in fall 2015.

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  • http://erincooks.com Erin

    Just gorgeous and so gooey! I love the way you think. xoxo

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Aww, Erin, you are so sweet! It feels a bit messy to me, but that’s kinda the way I like it. Thinking of you, SF lady!

  • Anonymous

    This looks so so so good. Gaaaah.

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Thanks, Lilly! Again, I was thinking it was kinda messy, and it’s definitely messy now melting on my counter. But oh my, the biscotti tastes just like the crunchies from the Carvel cake! 

  • Susie (Batch)

    Thanks so much, Maggie, for selecting Batch to be part of this recipe!  We always love hearing (and seeing!) what people do with our ice cream and the recipes that they come up with. This is the first ice cream cake recipe we’ve heard of, and it looks delicious!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Thanks so much, Susie. You make some delicious ice cream. I’m dreaming up a way to use the ginger ice cream, perhaps with some graham crackers or ginger snaps between each layer. I’ll respond to your email shortly too – have a nice weekend!

  • Jen B

    I would absolutely take your ice cream cake over Carvel’s any day, and as you know, that’s saying A LOT!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Thanks Jen!

  • The Roman Nose

    It wouldn’t be good if it wasn’t messy! This cake looks awesome!!!! 

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Thanks, Christine. I love messy. :)

  • Paula Venti

    Maggie…I am making this for Father’s Day and cannot wait to use Batch Ice Cream…It is the best ! Hope this note finds you well and we LOVE messy !! All the best

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Paula, my dear, thank you for posting. I hope the fathers in your life love this cake! I love Batch ice cream too. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  • http://pixelatedcrumb.com Kristen | Pixelated Crumb

    Gorgeous and perfectly rustic! Love that you kept it all local! I haven’t tried Giovanna (yet!), but I love Batch. Very nice work!

    • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

      Thanks so much, Kristen! We really love our ice cream cakes. And my sis recently said “It’s better than Carvel!” :)

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