Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

It’s not much of a secret that I like to make ‘fancy desserts.’  The more bizarre, elegant, or involved something looks, the happier I generally am; however, for the annual pre-Christmas dinner at the in-laws, I wanted to make sure that there was a dessert that the kids would want to eat for a change.  Enter this Strawberry Ice Cream Cake, which ended up being my favorite dessert of the evening, too.

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:

1- 9 inch layer yellow cake

1/2 gallon strawberry ice cream, softened (NOT melted)

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

1 cup water, divided

2 tsp corn starch

1 tbsp sugar (to taste)

1-1/2 tubs (12 oz total) whipped topping

Directions:

The Cake Part:

The yellow layer cake can be any kind.  I just whipped up a boxed yellow butter recipe layer cake.  I baked half of it in a 9 inch round cake pan and baked the other half of the batter off as cupcakes for goodie baskets.

As you can see, I was making four recipes at once– I don’t recommend this method.  It makes for unentertaining levels of crazy.

Once you have the layer cake, slice it in half– the bottom half should be about 1- 1/2 inches tall.  Line the bottom of a  springform pan with the cake.

Make your life simple and use a 9 inch pan.  If you’re like me, though, and you only have a 10-inch pan, then just fill in the spaces with pieces from the top half of the cake– especially since you don’t really need the top half for anything special.  In fact, my top half is sitting in the pantry waiting to be made into parfaits!

The Ice Cream Part:

To soften the ice cream just leave it on the counter for a little while, or if you live in the South you can leave it on the counter for 3 minutes on a freakishly hot 79 degree December day.

When the ice cream is soft enough, drop heaping spoonfuls all over the cake,

and then smooth out the top.  A bent spatula works well for this– mine is wet because I just ran it under really hot water because it makes the ice cream melt enough to smooth it easily–

but a knife or the back of a spoon would work just as well.

If you think the next part will take you a while, then you should probably wrap the cake up at this point in plastic wrap and foil and stick it in the freezer.  I didn’t, but I like to live dangerously.

The Berry-Whipped Topping Part:

In a small sauce pan combine all of the frozen berries, 3/4 cup water, and sugar.   Gently cook over medium low heat until the liquid is simmering, and the berries are soft and starting to break down.   In a small glass, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of water and corn starch and stir that up to make a slurry.  Pour the slurry into the warm berry mixture.  It should gel pretty quickly.  Let it cook for a minute or two more, stirring as needed, then remove it from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Once the sauce is cool, remove approximately 1/2 cup of sauce, and set it aside.

In a medium-sized bowl (or the whipped topping bowl because you’re lazy like me), combine the remaining berry sauce and 8 oz (or 1 tub) of whipped topping together.

Spread the whipped topping mixture over the top of the strawberry ice cream.

The Freezing Part:

Once you’ve done that.  Wrap it all up tightly– several layers of plastic wrap followed by a few layers of aluminum foil– and stick it in the freezer overnight.

The Serving Part:

2-4 hours before serving, remove it from the freezer, unwrap it, and spread the remaining 4 oz (1/2 tub) of whipped topping all over the top.  Then drizzle it with the remaining reserved berry sauce.  I drizzled mine in a ring around the outer edge and then ran a knife through it.  Totally unnecessary, but pretty.

It would’ve been nice if I’d taken some pictures of that, huh?  I did this part at the in-law’s, and I didn’t even think to take a shot or two at the time.  I did manage to snag 2 slices to take home for a beauty shot.

Remove the outer ring of the springform pan, and the place the cake (bottom pan and all on a cake platter and stash in the ‘fridge until time to serve.

Then watch it disappear.

Yield: 12-16 servings

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