So it happened. It seemed so far away, but now it has come and gone. My son turned 5 last week. Which means he will be heading off to elementary school in one short month and entering into kindergarten. Everybody always says it, but don't blink.
With aging comes opinions, so this year, I finally let my son pick his own birthday theme. He really wanted another pirate party, since last year was so fun, but I convinced him to pick something new. This year he picked the ultimate boy theme...superheros. In the spirit of choosing, we also let him choose what kind of cake he wanted. His choice, an ice cream cake with chocolate, vanilla, cherries and chocolate chips. Done.
Our family history of ice cream cakes goes way back to my husband's childhood. Well, maybe not "way" back, but just back to. He was never a huge "cake" fan and always wanted an ice cream cake instead. Leading to the creation of the Fields' Family Ice Cream Cake. This cake was a team effort, but turned out splendidly. Here's how we did it.
First you need, ice cream (2 gallons), butter (not pictured), chocolate sandwich cookies (a.k.a. oreos), maraschino cherries, chocolate chips (not pictured), M&Ms, food processor (not pictured) and a springform pan (not pictured).
We start with the bottom and most delicious part of the cake, the chocolate cookie-butter crust, yum! Pulse 25 chocolate sandwich cookies in a food processor until they are coarsely crumbled.
Next, combine 4 tablespoons of melted butter with the chocolate cookie crumbles. My husband used a fork to mash them together and break down the larger crumbles.
When the cookie crumbles and butter are thoroughly mixed, then flatten the mixture into the bottom of springform pan.
As the crust hardens, pull the ice cream you wish to use as your first layer out of the freezer to melt. You want the ice cream to be softened so that it is easily spread into the pan. When the ice cream is softened, scoop out enough ice cream to fill half of your springform pan. My husband used about 2/3 of the gallon of ice cream in a 10 inch springform pan.
Place the pan into the freezer so that the first layer of ice cream hardens, about an hour. While the first layer is freezing prepare the filling. For this cake we chopped an entire jar of maraschino cherries. Originally my son wanted vanilla/cherry ice cream, but all I could find was black cherry ice cream and the red of the maraschino cherries just screams superhero to me.
Before you get ready to assemble the filling, take the second gallon of ice cream out of the freezer for softening. After the first layer is nice and firm, evenly place the filling on top of the ice cream like this...
My son also requested mini chocolate chips, so we added some mini chocolate chips too.
Next place the second flavor of softened, ice cream on top of the filling. Again, my husband used about 2/3 of the gallon of ice cream. Then place the cake back in the freezer so that the ice cream can harden again. (Sorry, no picture of the chocolate layer. I don't know what happened?)
The rest of the cake can be topped however you wish. We decorated ours superhero style, which I'll tell you about in a minute, but I'd imagine a whipped topping would also be very nice or my husband made a delicious chocolate ganache on my birthday ice cream cake last year- soooo delicious).
While I waited for the second layer to harden. I laid out M&Ms in the shape of the superhero emblem. I used the cardboard leftover from a frozen pizza that was roughly the same size.
When the ice cream cake top layer was firm, about an hour, I transferred the design onto the top of the ice cream cake. This was a little tricky because the cake started melting and the M&M's started sliding down into the ice cream so I had to put it back in the freezer a couple times during the transfer for re-freeze.
I put the cake back in the freezer to harden overnight. Before singing "Happy Birthday," cutting and serving I decorated the cake with superhero figurines that I found at the dollar store. And of course I added a number 5 candle.
Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a store bought ice cream cake. I would never turn down a slice of Coldstone ice cream cake or an ice cream cupcake for that matter. However, it's pretty special to make one exactly to your kiddo's specifications for their special day.