Phew! I don’t even know where to begin with this one- ice cream cake? I had seen homemade ice cream cakes online before, but considering they were never quite my cup of tea (pun intended, but that’ll come later), it was never something I was really itching to try out myself.However, Saturday was Molly’s birthday, another good friend of mine. I had offered to write her name on Lola’s cake, but she said she wanted her own. Fair enough, I thought, I’d want my own cake too. Little did I know I’d be embarking on one of the most successfully unsuccessful cakes I’ve ever made.Here’s what happened: I asked Molly what kind of cake she wanted. She said she didn’t want chocolate, and was interested in an ice cream cake, and that it be “gourmet”. I asked her for specifics, but when she seemed unsure, I told her to simply give me some flavors to work with. All of the sudden I had earl grey, “any fruity flavors”, ginger, thin mints, and butter pecan. Oh, with cream cheese frosting. My head swirled trying to figure out how any of those would work. I decided the earl grey would go in the ice cream layer, because I already had a great recipe for it. I thought of putting lemon in the cake layers, because citrus and bergamot are a great pairing, but I had just done a lemon cake and wanted to try something else out. I asked my sister what she thought of adding a little ground ginger to the cakes- a swift no. I decided I would add in a tiny bit of this peach flavoring I bought in New York to the batter, with an earl grey layer in between to cake layers (I had found a delicate cream cake recipe that sounded like it would perfect) with cream cheese frosting. Simple enough, right?I was so wrong. I don’t know why I thought a borderline-chiffon cake would be appropriate to support an ice cream cake layer. As if that wasn’t going to be enough trouble, I messed up the layers themselves by dividing the batter into halves rather than thirds (I only wanted two layers), not thinking about the FOUR TEASPOONS OF BAKING POWDER IN IT, so they overflowed and sunk down a bit in the middle. Oh, and I forgot to add the peach extract. They were salvageable, but it made the cake assembly a good deal harder.As soon as I put the cakes in the oven, I realized I had forgotten my peach flavoring, and refused to stop at just the earl grey flavor. I tried to think of other options, when I remembered reading about a lavender-rosewater syrup in Sky High (yet again) that I knew I could brush on the tops of the cakes. So I ended up making a quick lavender syrup that I lightly coated the tops of the cake with (I was a little nervous about it making them too sweet).So then I’ve got my cake layers, my ice cream is freshly churned (yum) and I proceed to assemble everything. Despite all the problems, it still came together nicely, and constantly having to put the cake back into the freezer meant I had time to do both a crumb and top coat of icing, which was nice.
By the time I got to Molly’s house, I was just relieved to be done with the whole ordeal. Everything was fine, until we went to cut the cake and the ice cream layer was completely oozing out of the sides. And guess what? NO ONE CARED. BECAUSE THEY WERE BUSY EATING DELICIOUS CAKE.
So the moral of the story, for anyone who is at all like me (obsessed with detail, hates making mistakes, etc), is that when you bake people cakes, all they think is YAY I’M EATING CAKE. So chill (haha, another pun, and yes I do amuse myself). All-in-all, I made a lavender-scented earl grey ice cream cake with cream cheese frosting, and it was great. The end.
I’m not going to post the cake recipe, because I would not recommend it. However, I think this would be a much sturdier, equally delicious cake base.
You can use whatever ice cream you want, home made or store bought, but either way you should let it warm to a spreadable consistency before shaping into layers.
Makes one 8” triple layer cake
-2 layers cake of your choosing
-I liter of whatever ice cream you want
-Lavender syrup (recipe follows)
-Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)