ice cream cake with toasted nuts & caramel sauce

This is, without a doubt, the easiest answer to any celebratory cake I’ve ever run across – birthdays, anniversaries, anytime you want to make a scene. And because summer is often packed with scene-stealing opportunities, I thought it timely to share my go-to scene-stealer. I do kick it up a notch with a delectable crust and a few extras like caramel sauce and toasted nuts – but it’s the method that needs to be the take away lesson here. We’re talking 2 tubs of ice cream (read the label, no need to go toxic, or better yet make your own), softened and smushed into a cake pan over a cookie crumb crust, with a little something between ’em and, if the occasion warrants it,  bring on the bling like a drag queen pushin’ vodka!

ice cream cake/feature 1

I use a springform pan only because, with a flick of my finger, I can free my creation like East & West Germany – 2 round cake pans will work just as well, just line the pans with plastic wrap for easy removal.

The mere mention of a store-bought ice cream cake (let alone ice cream) ever again, will sound blasphemous, boffo and just down right bonkers – and if you’re still clinging to the fence on this one – read the label of your next frozen concoction – ’nuff said.

And a quick word about the caramel sauce – it’s violently hot (like the Middle East), it steams (like George Carlin on most everything, and that’s why we love him) and it needs your undivided attention (like a baby learning to swim) – so go in armed with a little know-how and you’ll be pouring caramel sauce on a lot more than ice cream!

click here to jump down to the ice cream cake with toasted nuts & caramel sauce recipe

caramel sauce

1. First, put the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot to start the caramel sauce – and if you’re not making caramel sauce, jump down to picture #12 to carry on with the crust and the cake..

caramel sauce

2. Start stirring when the sugar begins to melt.

caramel sauce

3. Using a whisk, start whisking madly when it begins to liquify.

caramel sauce

4. It’s getting there – you’re looking for amber.

caramel sauce

5. Get ready to add the butter.

caramel sauce

6. Amber has entered the building – add the butter, and beware – it will rise up!

caramel sauce

7. Next, in goes the whipping cream – more rising.

vanilla/almond extract

8. Add the extract(s).

caramel sauce

9. Continue whisking madly until it looks like this.

caramel sauce

10. Pour it in a mason jar, for now or later.

caramel sauce

11. Niiiiiice!


12. Get your chocolate wafers ready to rumble.

ice cream cake 2

13. Start the rumble – turn ’em into crumbs in the food processor.

ice cream cake 3

14. Melt the butter.

ice cream cake 4

15. Whiz it in with the cookie crumbs.

ice cream cake 5

16. Pour it into a springform pan.

ice cream cake 6

17. Using a glass, press down into an even layer.

ice cream cake 8

18. When it’s nice and even, put it in the freezer while you prep the ice cream.

ice cream cake 9

19. Soften the first flavour in a bowl and when it’s spreadable, pile it onto the ice cream cake 10

20. Pour a healthy layer of caramel sauce over the ice cream.

ice cream cake 11

21. Keep pouring until the ice cream is completely covered – move it around with a spatula if need be.

ice cream cake 12

22. Toast and crush a couple of cups of nuts – a walnut, almond combo is nice.

ice cream cake 13

23. Sprinkle over the caramel sauce.

ice cream cake 14

24. Until completely covered. Return the pan to the freezer while you work on the next layer of ice cream.

ice cream cake 16

25. Put the next flavour in a bowl and work it with a spoon until it’s spreadable, just like the first layer.

ice cream cake 17

26. Lay it on the nut layer and start spreading.

ice cream cake 19

27. Until it’s completely covered.

ice cream cake 20

28. Swirl a little design on the top before covering in plastic wrap.

ice cream cake 22

29. And foil before returning to the freezer for a couple of hours.

ice cream cake feature

30. Remove from the freezer a good 30-60 minutes before serving and when you do – ooey, gooey, goodness!

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