ice cream, ice-cream cake, cakes, cake alternatives, kids cakes, kids birthdays, easy cakes, simple cakes

Ice cream cakes are awesome, especially if you’re not much of a cook. You can make them for desserts or parties and they cost a fraction of store-bought cakes. All you need is a tub of ice cream (whatever size and flavour) whipped cream, food colouring, sandwich-sized zip-lock bags (if you want to try piping) and a serving platter which will fit into the freezer. Kids love it and most dads will even go back for seconds!

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To prepare the “cake”, take the tub of ice cream out of the freezer and have your platter ready. Put some warm water in the sink and place the ice cream tub in the water for 20-30 seconds at a time, lid off. You want the edges of the ice cream to melt slightly so it will slide out of the tub when you flip it. If you try to flip it and it stays put, it will need more time in the water. You might need to help it out with a spatula or knife.

To flip it, place the platter on top of the tub where the lid would sit. When the edges have melted slightly, the ice cream will slide out. Try not to get the platter or cake wet as this will turn to ice. The edges might look a little messy, but don’t worry, the cream covers it. If it’s really bad smooth the edges but don’t be too fussy. Quickly place it back into the freezer to harden before decorating. This can be done when the ice cream is hard enough to sustain it’s shape and texture while it’s out of the freezer.

While this is happening, whip up a large bowl of cream, separate it into several smaller bowls and add a different food color to each. The more colors the more applications, so it can be as complicated or simple as you like. Mix the colour in well and set the cream aside until it’s time to decorate. Either leave it in the bowls if you want to flick the cream on or load it into individual zip lock bags if you want to pipe it.

If your unsure of your ability to pipe cream or just prefer not to, get a spatula, flick the cream onto the middle of the cake and gently smooth it toward the edges. Don’t aim for a super smooth finish because ice cream and cream are a difficult combination to work with.

You will need to apply the cream rapidly before your cake melts. You can apply a single colour or several, depending on what you want and how creative you want to be. This is also when you add other condiments like, smarties, hundreds and thousands or even try a drizzle of melted Nutella! YUM! The results can be quite stunning when it’s done with a bit of flair.

If you do want to try piping, snip a small hole in the bottom of the cream bag and test it to the side of the cake. This gives you a feel of how it flows. When you are ready, squeeze the bag and pipe the cream onto the cake. Make whatever design you like or apply it randomly. Lines are fairly easy so pipe cream around the edges of the cake and work your way toward the center.

Tip: If you see the ice cream beginning to melt as you apply the cream, replace it back into the freezer before adding the next colour. This can be done as many times as required.

When you are finished decorating, place your decorated ice cream cake back into the freezer and wait for the cream to freeze. It will have an unusual texture, but compliment the ice cream. This indicates that it’s ready to serve and enjoy. If you have some left, place it back into the freezer before it melts and you can enjoy it another day.

Image via punchbowl.com