Get Busy Get Better: Ice Cream Cake


Lily turns 11 this week. Her slumber-birthday-party was last night. My sentences are short because I’m still in shock from all the ruckus. The shenanigans. The giggles, and the screams, and the make-up makeovers, the hula-hooping indoors, the purple silly-string, the TRUTH OR DARE (lets just say that at 11:45PM six girls stumbled into our bedroom doing the chicken dance). All the lip gloss.

Despite the state of our house this morning, it was a beautiful thing to watch my little girl on the brink of young-womanhood and all her friends adventuring there with her. I have never before witnessed such illustrious living examples of humans on the cusp between childhood and adolescence. They teased each other about crushes. They checked themselves in the mirror. They played hide n’seek. They hula-hooped (INDOORS). They played “store” in the morning and took on roles as shop-keeper, receptionist, FBI agent…It was fabulous and entertaining and fascinating and frightening.

And, most importantly, the cake was delicious! It all started because Lily decided, on her own, that she wanted an ice-cream cake from Baskin Robbins. This one:

It looks good, right? It probably is really tasty, but it’s $22 for the smallest little taster of a cake, which seemed silly. Also, as much as I love the nostalgic taste of BR, the cakes sometimes taste like plastic. Some people are into that. I was just thinking maybe, for less than $22, I could make something that tasted like not plastic. I posted a reveal on instagram:

Since then, I’ve received a number of requests: how did I do it?!  And I was all, “I’ll post about it tonight!” So here it is, the ice cream cake, a la magpie (also maybe my first ‘how to’ and cooking/baking post…just bear with me.)

1. Things to know and things you need

  • 2 8×8 baking pans
  • 1 cake mix from a box (It gets frozen, guys, so no need to go all show-offy and make one from scratch.)
  • all the ingredients necessary to make said cake (eggs, oil, water, oven at 350 etc etc. )
  • 1/2 gallon of ice cream for your main flavor; Lily chose mint chocolate chip
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (or any other flavor you choose because I am not the boss of you) for frosting, kept soft so you can spread it like frosting
  • frosting for decorating, if you so choose.
  • plastic wrap
  • candles, if its for a birthday, but that’s your call.

1. Step One: Bake the cake as directed on the box, using 1 of the 8×8 pans.

Mine baked perfectly and also domed up (is that what its called when it rises in the middle? I just made that up.) So I used a bread knife to level it off.

2. While the cake is baking, take plastic wrap and line the inside of the other 8×8 pan. With a huge spoon or scooper or spatula, totally fill it with the ice cream you’re going to use as the middle of the cake. Then stick that pan of ice cream into a level surface in your freezer.

I do not have a picture of this step! Total food blog fail.

3.  when the cake has cooled, use a bread knife to slice the cake in half horizontally. Now you have TWO 8×8 cakes.

4. remove the frozen ice cream brick-cake from the freezer and slowly get that ice cream to pop out (that’s where the plastic wrap comes in as a helpful modern invention.)

5. use the softened vanilla ice cream as a “glue” to stack all the 8x8s into a cake

Also, please note: make sure the pan/plate/platter on which you are making this ice cream cake fits into your freezer! We had a few mishaps in this department.

6. Now comes a rather tedious part, and the only part that might make this project feel like it’s taking DAYS.

Every 15-20 minutes, pull the cake from the freezer and “frost/ice” it with the soft vanilla ice cream that you’re using like frosting.

And then put it back in the freezer! And then do it again! And again!

7. For my final frosting layer, I mixed about a cup of vanilla ice cream with a cup of frosting from a tub:


8. After one more 15-minute super freeze, I added the final touches


And then it was back into the freezer until it was time for candles and wishes and singing. Overall, I feel pretty proud that I can put it on my list of abilities. (That’s not actually a list I have anywhere. Maybe it’s time for one.)

I hope this didn’t bore anyone to tears, and I hope those who wanted to know how I did it now feel like they can do it too! Send me a photo of your own ice cream cake and I’ll put it on the magpie instagram to share!



(Note: Baskin Robbins, Betty Crocker, and Fresh & Easy did not sponsor this post, nor do I suggest you use their products just because I did for this one recipe this one time.)

eve     Magpie House
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