Cake-less Ice Cream Cake
My dad loves ice cream. And, as his very needy and often demanding daughter, I will jump at the chance to do something nice and show my appreciation for him. It’s the least I can do, considering every other week I ask him to clear his weekend plans to take photos and draw cartoons for this very blog. The poor man’s backyard landscaping will probably never get finished because of me and my never-ending list of requests.
But back to my dad's love of ice cream. With Sunday being Father’s Day it only made sense that I would make him some kind of extravagant ice cream dessert. My lofty visions of creating pints of handmade ice cream, each flavor somehow representative of my dad, quickly plummeted to reality when I learned that a mere 35 people were coming to our family’s celebration. Creating enough ice cream to feed such a crowd would be incredibly expensive and require days off of work. A quick mental scan of other ice cream-based desserts came up short - a semifreddo would be too delicate for the potentially relentless heat of summer’s first day. Sundaes would require too much work during the party. What was I to do?
It turns out that all I needed was a little imagination and a loaf pan. The result was a cake-less ice cream cake (actually two) that not only thrilled my dad, but perfectly fit the bill for serving a big group.
What’s great about the cake-less ice cream cake is that it is super easy to make; all that is required is a little prepping the day before the big event. Even more, this is a dessert with which you can get really creative - use whatever flavor combinations of ice cream and toppings you want. Let your Pinterest-ing self go crazy and cover the cake with sprinkles, or, class it up with chocolate curls and candied nuts. It’s up to you, and the options are endless. This time I went with two of my dad’s favorite flavor combinations - chocolate and caramel for one, and orange and vanilla à la the 50/50 Bar for numero dos.
I may be old enough to pay taxes and bring dessert to the family party, but I will always need my dad. And the cake-less ice cream cake was just the way to show how much I appreciate him. Thankfully, he loved it. Which I really hope he keeps that in mind when I text him in a few minutes, asking for a cartoon to add to the top of this post...
Cake-less Ice Cream Cake Recipe
1. Line an 8"x5" loaf pan with plastic wrap. Make sure there are at least a couple of inches hanging over the edges of the pan
2. Set out flavor #1 so that it softens a bit. You don't want it completely melted, but you do want to be able to spread it easily. If you are doing a sauce layer that needs to be warmed, do that now. You don't want it to be piping hot, just spreadable.
3. Measure out 2 cups of flavor #1 and spread it into the bottom of the pan. Make sure the press the ice cream into the corners of the pan. Give the pan a few solid taps on the counter top to help make sure the ice cream settles even across the bottom.
4. If you are doing a sauce and/or crunchy bits layer, quickly spread that on now.
5. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 with flavor #2.
7. Repeat step 3 with flavor #2.
8. The loaf pan should now be filled with ice cream. Sprinkle the top with cookie crumbs, crushed ice cream cones, sprinkles - whatever you want. Just give it a nice little crust, pressing gently into the loaf.
9. Cover the top with plastic wrap, and put back in the freezer.
10. To serve, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and invert a plate on to the loaf so that the cookie crust is touching the plate. Flip over the plate and loaf pan. Lift the loaf pan off of the plate and remove the plastic wrap.
11. If you are pouring any sauce over the top, do it now. Serve immediately.
A few notes:
- I recommend making the loaf at least one day before you intend to serve it, but you might be able to get away with making it 4-6 hours in advance.
- If you are pouring any sauces over the top for the final presentation, do not make the sauce super hot or your whole loaf will melt. That would be so sad.
- If you only want to do two flavors, I would recommend doing three cups of each flavor.