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Make an Ice Cream Birthday Cake

Jun 17, 2014

by Heather Baird handmade and vintage goods

Come summer, ice cream cake is a festive and refreshing  dessert and a fitting treat for those with summer birthdays. These cakes can typically be found at specialty ice cream shops and maybe even at the grocery store, but most lack scratch-made flavor (and have a hefty price tag to boot!). Lucky for us, it’s easy and economical to make one at home, and it’s fun to customize with your favorite flavor of ice cream.

This confetti cake is party-ready with rainbow sprinkles inside and out. A thick layer of birthday cake ice cream is sandwiched between two soft layers of yellow confetti cake and then the entire cake is covered in light whipped cream frosting. A spring-form pan will make for easy removal of the frozen ice cream layer, but if you don’t have one, you may choose to line a regular 9-inch round cake pan with plastic wrap before you pour the softened ice cream into the pan.

A pastry comb was used to give the sides of the cake a decorative stripe. This step is optional, but gives the cake a professional ice cream parlour appearance. You can find pastry combs inexpensively online.

You will need:
Cake layers
1/2 gallon birthday cake ice cream or other choice of ice cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

Whipped frosting
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup assorted sizes and shapes of rainbow confetti sprinkles


Allow the ice cream to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften. Pour the ice cream into a 9-inch spring-form pan and spread it evenly into the bottom. Freeze the layer until solid. Allow it to remain in the freezer while you prepare the remainder of the cake.


For the confetti cakes, begin by creaming the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.


With the mixer running on low speed, alternately add the flour and milk into the mixing bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the rainbow sprinkles.


Grease two 9-inch round baking pans and line the bottoms with parchment; divide the cake batter evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on wire racks.


When the cakes are done, remove the ice cream layer from the freezer. Wrap the outside of the pan with a tea towel that has been soaked with warm water. This will help the cake release from the sides of the pan.


Run a knife between the ice cream layer and the side of the pan, then unclip and remove the spring-form collar. Place a cake layer on a serving board or cake stand.


Invert the ice cream layer on the spring-form base on top of the cake layer. Place a tea towel warmed with hot water on top of the base and gently coax it away from the ice cream layer with an off-set spatula.


Top the ice cream layer with the second cake layer. Place the cake in the freezer while you prepare the frosting.


Place the heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and beat it on high speed until it begins to thicken. Gradually add the sugar and beat until very thick, about 3 minutes.


Transfer 2/3 cup whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip; frost the cake with the remaining whipped cream.


Run a pastry comb around the outside edge of the cake to create decorative ridges.


Pipe stars of whipped cream around the top edge of the cake with the reserved frosting in the piping bag.


To cover the bottom of the cake with sprinkles, place the cake on a cake stand with one side just overhanging the edge of the stand. It’s important to use a cake stand with a sturdy base so it doesn’t teeter over under the cake’s weight. Place a large baking pan underneath the cake stand and toss on sprinkles, allowing the excess to fall into the pan. Turn the cake and repeat until the entire bottom 1/3 of the cake is covered in sprinkles.


Use larger sprinkles to garnish each star piped on top of the cake.


Place the cake in the freezer until the icing is firm, then cover with plastic wrap. Store the cake in the freezer until ready to serve. All photographs by Heather Baird.


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