Ice cream cake is universally loved. When the powers of ice cream and the powers of cake combine, they create something so wonderful that it’s only natural to enjoy each bite with awe. It’s the perfect any occasion dessert that satisfies both ice cream fanatics and cake lovers, who meet it with equal enthusiasm.
The only trouble with premade ice cream cakes is that you’re unable to control what’s in them. This can be an issue if you have a particular palate, a dietary restriction, or a food allergy. Thankfully, you don’t have to confine yourself to the options in the grocery store freezer section. Making your own ice cream cake allows you to put the culinary power in your own hands.
What Is Ice Cream Cake?
Ice cream cake is a dessert that incorporates both an ice cream component and a cake component. It’s the best of both worlds, so there’s something for everyone to love. The cake can either be configured as a layer of ice cream sandwiched between two layers of cake, or a layer of cake sandwiched between two layers of ice cream. You might even choose to forego the cake altogether, instead making a center layer out of something delicious and crunchy.
What Is The Best Kind of Ice Cream Cake?
The best kind of ice cream cake is one that everyone can enjoy, and ice cream cake as it comes from the box may not be the best choice for many people. It’s likely to contain dairy and other allergens that vegans, people with food allergies, and those trying to be mindful about what they eat can’t enjoy.
Traditional Ice Cream Cake’s Lack of Nutrition
A one-inch slice of a popular ice cream cake contains 42 grams of added sugar. Everyone wants more than a one-inch slice of cake, making it hard to enjoy a satisfying portion without negatively impacting your health.
These cakes are also made with loads of dairy. They often contain gluten in the cake layer as well as soy derivatives. Some may contain eggs, and certain flavors will contain nuts. Even if everyone you’re serving doesn’t have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, you’ll find that the vitamins and nutrients on the label leave much to be desired.
Making A Better Ice Cream Cake that Everyone Will Love
Ice cream cake can just as easily be made without any of the eight major allergens. With the right ice cream and the right cake layer, you can make an ice cream cake that’s so delicious and so nutritious that a second helping might actually be a good idea. Who doesn’t want a cake that can effectively fuel their body? It’s the perfect excuse to eat dessert.
It Starts with the Cake Layer
The best and easiest configuration for the cake-to-ice cream ratio is to do two layers of ice cream and one layer of cake. That way, when you use the right ice cream, you’re getting more nutrition out of the fruit that it contains, rather than the gluten-free flour or grains that make up the cake layer.
If you aren’t much of a baker, you can grab a box of gluten-free, vegan-friendly cake mix and prepare it according to the package instructions. Baking can be a little tricky, and no one will blame you if getting the cake made correctly and efficiently is closer to the top of your priority list than learning to bake just for one recipe. There’s always a workaround to save you time.
If you’re comfortable in the kitchen, you can make your own cake layer with non-alkalized cocoa powder, coconut sugar, gluten-free flour, vegan butter substitute (or coconut oil), flax eggs, and applesauce. Any vegan and allergen-friendly cake recipe will work just fine. Just make sure you cut the cake down to a one to two-inch height after it’s baked.
Or -- here’s an even better idea: Don’t bake anything at all. Instead, get a bag of puffed quinoa, puffed amaranth, or puffed oats. Line your cake pan with parchment, leaving enough hanging over the sides to easily remove its contents. Spill in your puffed grains, creating a layer between one and two inches high.
Melt 70% to 90% cacao on low heat in a saucepan until it becomes a liquid. The higher the percentage of cacao, the lower the percentage of sugar. If you prefer to control the sweetness, use 100% cacao and add in coconut sugar or maple syrup as needed.
Then, slowly incorporate the melted cacao over the grains, stirring and tossing as you go. Once it looks like the grains are thoroughly coated, put the pan in the freezer for a few hours. This will help the layer to solidify. Then, lift it out and set it aside. If it crumbles, don’t worry. It’s still going to work perfectly.
The Ice Cream Layers Are Easy
Once your cake or grain layer and the pan have fully cooled, you can use the same pan to make your ice cream cake. Depending on the size of the pan, you’ll need one to two pints of ice cream per layer. You can keep these the same, but it’s a lot more fun to mix it up. How about one layer of chocolate and one layer of matcha green tea?
You can use any of Snow Monkey’s plant-based ice creams. These ice cream alternatives are made of fruit, seeds, maple syrup, and antioxidant-packed superfoods. Plus, they’re all free from eight major allergens, making any pint a safe bet.
Lay down your first layer of ice cream in the pan, smoothing it down with a spatula. Two inches of ice cream is plenty. Then, set your cake or grain layer on top. If your layer crumbled, that’s fine—just evenly sprinkle it on. Lastly, add another two-inch ice cream layer on top, smoothing again with a spatula. You can top your ice cream cake with chia seeds or pumpkin seeds for extra crunch. No one will say no to sliced fruits or cherries as a garnish.
Then, freeze the cake for at least six hours to help it solidify. It will be easy to cut and serve after dinner.
Making the ultimate ice cream cake is a lot easier than you might think. Making a healthy ice cream cake is just as simple. Making mindful choices about powering your body is a no-brainer, especially when it doesn’t require any additional effort to make a few swaps for better ingredients. Providing yourself with intelligent fuel is the smartest way to eat.
That’s why Snow Monkey plant-based ice cream is the most important guest at your dessert table - with or without any cake. Snow Monkey is delicious and satisfying enough to be a dessert, but nutritious enough to be a breakfast. Anyone who says eating ice cream for breakfast is a bad idea has clearly never heard of Snow Monkey.
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