Simple Ice Cream Cake With Coloured Cream

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!

RELATED: Harry’s Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

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

Harry’s Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

Nothing beats homemade ice cream. Lawrence Harris, creator of Harry’s Ice Cream, shares his best homemade ice cream recipe and how to come up with winning flavour combinations every time

Having a good base recipe is the backbone to creating scrumptious ice cream, and Lawrence recommends bringing it back to basics – no need for thickeners or emulsifiers, just use good quality ingredients.

Makes: 1 litre of ice cream

Equipment required
Ice cream maker
Temperature gauge
Double saucepan

300ml pure cream (at least 35% butter fat)
300ml full cream milk
175gm sugar*
3 medium egg yolks**
Your pick of mix-ins such as honeycomb, nuts, chocolate, pieces no larger than a 10-cent piece (refrigerated)


1. In a double saucepan on a low-to-medium heat, add the cream and milk and heat to 40 degrees.

2. Add the sugar and eggs and whisk continuously until the temperature reaches 80 degrees. Remove from the heat and put the bottom of the saucepan in a bowl of ice water to prevent the mixture heating further.

3. Let the mix cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to 4 degrees.

4. When you’re ready to make your ice cream, remove the freezer bowl from the freezer and assemble your machine. Turn the machine on first then pour in the mixture.

5. The ice cream will take 15 to 30 minutes to thicken (depending on the machine). Add your choice of mix-ins after about 12 to 15 minutes when the ice cream is just beginning to solidify. Once churned, the ice cream should hold its shape when scooped with a spoon.

6. Once the ice cream churning process is complete, transfer the mixture immediately to a freezer-safe container and put it in the freezer. Freeze until your desired consistency, or until ready to serve.


* If you’re adding a very sweet mix-in such as white chocolate or honeycomb, consider reducing the amount of sugar in the base mix to ensure the end product isn’t overly sweet.

** You can add two extra egg yolks if you prefer a more custard-like ice cream.

What’s your all-time favourite ice cream recipe?

How to Make Perfect Ice Cream

Thinking of making your own ice cream this summer? Lawrence Harris, creator of Harry’s Ice Cream, shares his tips for making the best homemade ice cream and how to come up with a winning flavour combination every time.

Lawrence knows a thing or two about creating delectable ice cream flavour combinations – Passionfruit Pavlova, Sticky Date Pudding and Raspberry Cheesecake are currently on the production line in his artisan ice cream factory in Brunswick, Victoria. While there is no winning formula to creating delicious ice cream flavour combinations, Lawrence recommends following these simple rules of thumb.

1. Keep it simple
Keep it simple with a maximum of three additions; you want to be able to taste each element.

2. Beware the sweetness
If you’re adding a very sweet mix-in such as white chocolate or honeycomb, consider reducing the amount of sugar in the base mix to ensure the end product isn’t overly sweet.

3. Complimentary flavours
Think about each flavour on a plate and consider if they complement each other – match flavours that have a natural affinity to each other or reflect an existing dessert that works well.

4. Ice ice baby 
The freezer bowl you’re using should be completely frozen before starting the process – put it in the freezer for 24 hours prior.

5. Size matters
Mix-in ingredients and flavours should be no larger than a 10 cent piece.

Gelato Messina’s Salted Caramel Gelato Recipe

Australia’s best gelato shop Gelato Messina in Sydney’s Darlinghust shares their best-selling salted caramel gelato recipe from their beautiful new cookbook Gelato Messina. This salted caramel gelato is silky smooth with an addictive sweet-salty balance.

Gelato Messina, by Nick Palumbo. Hardie Grant Books, RRP $39.95

Makes: 1kg


650 g milk
120 g cream
145 g sugar
45 g skim milk powder
35 g dextrose
5 g stabiliser
4 g salt


1. Put the milk and cream in a double boiler over a medium heat.

2. Put the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir in 30 g water to make a slurry. Put the pan on the stove over a medium–high heat and let the sugar caramelise. There’s no need to stir, just let it do its thing. The sugar will start to bubble after 5 minutes or so and then 2 or 3 minutes later it will start to colour. When the caramel is a dark toffee brown, remove the pan from the stove — the sugar will be around 160°C to 180°C.

3. Meanwhile, put the remaining powders in a bowl and mix until combined. When the milk and cream hit 40°C, whisk in the powders and bring the mixture up to 65°C. Keep the mixture at 65°C for 30 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes.

4. When the caramel is ready, slowly, SLOWLY pour the caramel into your hot milk mixture. Make sure that the mixture in your double boiler is above 65°C, as the hotter the mixture, the less the temperature differential between the mix and the caramel, reducing the chance of getting splashed with hot caramel. Under no circumstances should you combine the caramel with cold mixture. You can add the caramel at any time while your mixture is sitting at above 65°C for the required 30 minutes. When you have added all the caramel, give it a good mix with a stick blender.

5. Transfer the mixture to a stainless steel bowl and place in an ice bath; chill to 40°C. Cover tightly with foil and put in the freezer, stirring every 10 minutes or so until the mixture drops to 4°C, then place in the fridge and let it age for 4 hours.

6. Turn on your gelato maker so it begins the freezing process.

7. Using a stick blender, blend the mixture for 1 minute, then pour into the gelato maker.

8. Once the mixture reaches –4°C, scoop out the gelato and transfer to a pre-cooled stainless steel bowl, cover tightly and immediately place in the freezer.

9. The gelato should be served within 2 to 3 hours after placing it in the freezer, or when it reaches –12°C. If it goes below –15°C or is left in the freezer overnight, the texture will be compromised. The serving temperature of the gelato should be around –11°C to –13°C.