Texas Living

No-Recipe Recipe: Easy Homemade Ice-Cream Cake

By Abby Kinsinger 6.1.20

We’re just going to say what you’ve all been thinking: “Cake or ice cream?” shouldn’t have to be a question. Read on for how to make an ice-cream cake in four simple steps.

TL;DR Version

If you’ve got very young or very impatient sous-chefs, this is the fastest, easiest no-recipe recipe: Stack a few ice-cream sandwiches on top of each other, top with Cool Whip, and let your crew decorate with sprinkles, sliced fruit, nuts, or any other sweet toppings you’ve got on hand.

Annie Wiles

Get Crust-Creative

To give your cake staying power, your ice cream will first need a little support. Pack crushed Oreos or graham crackers into a crust; mash homemade cookies into a base; start with a sheet of cake; get triple layers by using ice-cream sandwiches as your base; chase your ice-cream cake crust of dreams — just make sure it’s dense enough to support what’s on top.

Layer Up

The secret to warding off blob cake: layers. Whether you’re sticking to a single flavor, pairing sherbets with soft serves, or stacking your ice cream between brownies, layering is the key to keeping your cake’s form.

Pro tip: Stir your ice cream and let it soften a bit before molding it into your cake. Not only will this make your life easier, it’ll also help you create smooth, even layers.

Work Quickly (But Don’t Rush)

Unless you’re setting up shop in a deep freeze or doing your cake making in a yeti’s lair, you’ll need to work quickly when crafting your ice-cream cake to prevent melting.

That said, give yourself ample time — at least an hour — to complete your cake, as you’ll need to make many trips to the freezer as you let the ice cream set.

Pro tip: For something pretty that doesn’t tack on time, try adding fruit into your ice cream. Mix vanilla ice cream with raspberries, peaches, strawberries, pineapple, or whatever’s in season. The colors and shapes add a new element to your cake without requiring another layer.

Freeze, Then Freeze Some More

To help your cake keep its shape and definition, pop the cake into the freezer for about 15 minutes after adding each layer. When your layers are complete and you’ve applied your finishing touches, be sure to let it freeze overnight.

Pro tip: When it’s time to serve your cake, for a clean cut, run your knife under hot water before cutting a slice (or three).   

Go really over the top with your own homemade ice cream.

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