I love ice cream, and I love cake, but I have never really cared for ice cream cakes. I mean, they just don’t make sense. Cake tastes best at room temperature, not frozen. And I prefer not to eat my ice cream with a fork. Plus, the ice cream makes the cake soggy, and soggy cake is just sad. But, there’s a simple solution! A (not quite) ice cream sundae cake. This cake can be eaten at room temperature and tastes a lot like an ice cream sundae. It’s also a lot easier to transport during the hot Texas summer.
This recipe came about by accident. I was experimenting with vanilla buttercream recipes, and this one tasted a lot like vanilla ice cream. I thought, who not frost a cake, top it with chocolate ganache, whipped cream, and cherries, and make an ice cream sundae in cake form? So I did. And it was yummy. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. I have yet to find a better one, but if you know of one that I should try, please let know.
Ice Cream Sundae Cake
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
makes one 2 layer 8 inch round cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
To make the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 2 8 inch pans with parchment paper.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer.
3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. With the mixer still running, add the coffee slowly until just combined.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 lined pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.Let the cake cool for 10 minutes on wire racks before removing from the pans. Gently run a palette knife around the edges and invert the cakes onto racks. Turn the cakes over so that the tops are up to finish cooling completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting/Filling:
2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on medium until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the powdered sugar and salt and turn the mixer on low until lightly combined. Turn the mixer to medium and whip for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and the heavy cream and continue to mix until combined.
adapted from Martha Stewart
3 1/2 ounces chopped chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1.Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.
2.Heat the cream on the stove until it just begins to boil. Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate. Add the butter and stir together until glossy. Let the ganache cool slightly before pouring over the cake.
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Whipped cream of additional frosting for piping
To Assemble the Cake:
1. Place one layer of the cake on an 8 inch cake board. Place 1 cup of the frosting on top, and spread evenly with a palette knife. I like this one. Add the chopped pecans and mini chocolate chips.
2. Place the other cake layer on top (face down), and crumb coat the cake. Place a generous scoop of frosting on the top of the cake, and spread evenly across the top of the cake. Work your way around the sides until the entire cake is covered with a thin layer of frosting. I find that a turntable is helpful when frosting a layer cake. Let the crumb coat set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
3. Once the crumb coat has set, spread a thicker layer of frosting on the top and sides of the crumb coat to create a smooth finish. Put the cake back in the refrigerator while you make the ganache. Pour the ganache over the cake and add the sprinkles. Let the ganache set before decorating with additional frosting and cherries.