I told myself I wouldn’t do cliche food blogger things like post cakes on my birthday, but the reality is, summer is coming to a close, and my editorial calendar told me that ice cream cake needed to come before stuffed eggplants (a family recipe!).
But this is not my birthday cake. In fact, it was out of the house before my birthday, and I’m not actually going to have a birthday cake because I usually don’t. Last year we were traveling and I think we had ice cream in our hotel, and the year before, we made Key Lime Cheesecake. I can never decide on a cake flavor. So I’m thinking my birthday dessert will be a last minute decision later today between ice cream or frozen yogurt, making a quick batch of baked doughnuts, or blueberries.
Anyway, let’s talk about cookie dough ice cream cake and how crazy easy it is to make and customize. First, you start with your favorite cake recipe. For the cake in the photo, I made 1 1/2 times my white cake recipe because I wanted three layers and a very tall cake. Because I can. I also debated making one layer chocolate cake, but naptime ran a little short so it was easier to whip up a single batch of batter. Speaking of which… I baked one layer in my 8×2″ cake pan, and the other two layers in my 8×4″ cake pan. All baked, as you can see, but the deeper pan took a little over an hour. This is totally normal and standard for deeper pans with just about every cake recipe ever, but if you have the extra 8″ round and can bake the three layers individually, you’ll save yourself a little baking time.
I made the egg free edible cookie dough the day before I assembled the cake and stored the rolled balls in an airtight container way in the back of the refrigerator. It had to stay in the back of the refrigerator because it’s GOOD! So easy to make, and once it’s rolled into little balls, so easy to pop into your mouth. They were the perfect addition to this ice cream cake recipe, making it feel very “from a specialty ice cream shop” and not homemade. I’ve included the recipe for the egg free edible cookie dough along with the instructions for the ice cream cake assembly.
There are three secrets to assembling a perfect ice cream cake.
- Be patient and let your ice cream soften 15 or so minutes so it’s somewhat spreadable.
- Chill your cake layers before assembly.
- Create a “mold” around your cake using clean acrylic sheets. I have a pad of polyester drafting film that I keep on hand to cut stencils and create guides, and I just taped together some of these sheets to fit around the bottom layer of cake. Having this cylinder mold around the cake allows you to spread the ice cream cleanly and press the layers together to create relatively smooth sides on the cake without a single bit of frosting. That’s very important if you’re looking to replicate the “naked cake” look I created here, and it just makes frosting easier in general.
To frost your ice cream cake, use a whipped cream frosting. Buttercream frostings are not good for ice cream cakes if they are being made in advance because butter cracks in the freezer and you don’t want a hard ice cream separating from the cake when you are cutting and serving. A whipped cream frosting with a little bit of stabilization will hold up to a few days in the freezer without splitting, so you’ll be able to make your cake in advance and serve later. There are many ways to make stabilized whipped cream frosting, the most reliable involving gelatin, but since this cake will not be sitting out at room temperature a few hours, I stabilized it just a bit by using powdered sugar (which contains cornstarch) to sweeten.
Assembling the cookie dough ice cream cake was a breeze! Cake, half my ice cream, a few cookie dough balls, another layer of cake, the rest of the ice cream and some more cookie dough, the last layer of cake, and back into the freezer. When I was ready to add the finishing touches I removed the cake from the freezer, whipped up my whipped cream (get it? :-p ), removed my mold, filled in any gaps on the side with whipped cream, spread some whipped cream on top, added decorative accents and even more cookie dough, and that’s it! The greatest cookie dough ice cream cake in the history of my kitchen, this month. All 5 days into it.
- 3 layers of your favorite cake recipe, baked, leveled, and chilled
- 1.5 quart container ice cream (I used chocolate chip)
- 1 batch of edible cookie dough (recipe below)
- 1 batch stabilized whipped cream (recipe below)
Edible Cookie Dough
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 c packed light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 c mini chocolate chips
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
- 4 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Make the cookie dough balls by beating the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips and stir until a dough forms. Mix in the chocolate chips. Roll into balls and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until needed. Will keep up to 5 days.
Assemble the Cake:
- Place the first layer of chilled cake on a cake board and fit your "mold" around it. Spoon in half the ice cream, trying to distribute as evenly as possible, and add some of the cookie dough balls. Top with the second layer of cake and press down very gently. Repeat with the other half of the ice cream and the last layer of cake. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and return to the freezer to allow the ice cream to firm up again, about 30 minutes.
- To frost the cake, make the whipping cream by pouring your heavy cream into the chilled metal bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Slowly increase the mixer speed to high. When soft peaks start to form, stop the mixer. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip a few seconds longer until you have firm peaks.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and remove the mold. Use the whipped cream to fill any gaps in the sides of the cake and cover the top. Use extra whipping cream for decorative accents if desired. You should have enough whipped cream to lightly frost the entire cake if you'd prefer.
- Decorate using mini chocolate chips, the remaining cookie dough, and whipped cream as desired.
- The cake can be made a day in advance and stored in the freezer in a box. Remove 10 minutes before serving to allow the ice cream to soften for cutting.