27 April 2011

happy birthday ice cream cake

my mom turns sixty in two days and we're having a family dinner tonight (at babe's - my favorite!) to celebrate. i'm in charge of the cake this year and i'm sticking with tradition.

my mom has been making (at her children's request) an ice cream cake for birthdays for at least twenty years. the recipe comes from a church cookbook, which are the best, really, and i thought i'd share it with you today. it is easy peasy to make and tastes amazing, especially in the summer.

here's what you need:

1 stick of butter or margarine
24 "chocolate and cream cookie sandwiches" (we all know what that means)
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (it really is best to buy the cheap store brand ice cream that comes in a rectangular box. you'll see)
hot fudge sauce (or caramel sauce)
8 oz. whipped topping (again, we know what that means)

start off by pulsing the cookies through a food processor until they reach a coarse sand-like consistency. set aside.

in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the stick of butter (or margarine) and pour into the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan.

setting aside 2-3 tablespoons, gently, but firmly, press the cookie crumbles into the butter. you want the butter to permeate the crumbles to form a deliciously hard bottom shell.

pull the ice cream out of the freezer and open the box on all sides. this is why the store brand works best - it is easy to access and cut.

starting lengthwise, cut 1" slabs of the ice cream and place on top of the cookie crumble base. as you near the edge of the pan, begin to cut width wise to fill in the small gaps.

use a spatula to smooth the ice cream layer. i usually put the pan in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up before the next step.

while the ice cream is firming up, melt the hot fudge sauce in the microwave. generously drizzle the top of the ice cream layer with the chocolate. you could mix chocolate and caramel here. that would be awesome. again, i usually put the pan in the freezer for a few minutes before the next step.

spread the whipped topping over the chocolate sauce and get carried away with making pretty waves with your spatula.

sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbles over the top of the whipped topping and you're done! if you want to get fancy, you can do some more artistic flecking with the chocolate sauce. i attempted this and it looked not so great. i covered it with more cookies. who's going to complain?

it's definitely not the healthiest cake, but i'm sure you could make substitutions for almost everything. i'm used to making it exactly as my mom did in the 1980s, so i'm hesitant to try new things, but let me know if you do!

i'm off on vacation tomorrow morning. my sister and i are taking my mom, her sisters, and a lifetime family friend to fredericksburg, texas, where we've rented a 1905 pioneer limestone homestead for the weekend. there'll be lots of cards, wine, laughing, and shopping. i cannot wait!

if you've been to fredericksburg before, do you have any winery suggestions? we're going to have a day devoted to wine tastings and have only narrowed down one definite location.

be good and have a great weekend!


  1. thanks for the recipe, megan! i'm going to have to try it once it stops snowing here... :)

  2. This looks delicious! I love "icebox" cakes. I'll have to try this one. Happy birthday to your mom!

  3. I'm currently employing a ginormous amount of willpower in order to keep myself from dashing to the store and buying the necessary supplies to make this cake.

    Happy Birthday to your momma, and thanks for the recipe!

  4. Holy yum. And what fun! I hope you have an absolute blast in Fredricksburg and in that adorable house.

  5. Om Nom Nom!!! That looks yummo! Take pics of your ladies retreat! Have fun :-)