What Is Ice Cream Cake? (Answered)

In the world of desserts, few treats manage to capture the hearts and taste buds of people quite like ice cream cake. This delightful confection is the marriage of two beloved desserts – ice cream and cake.

Below we will outline the components of a typical ice cream cake to help you better understand the makeup of this iconic dessert. You’ll also learn where to buy ice cream cakes, where they originated, and more.

Let’s get into the cool details of the ice cream cream cake!

Components of Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake With Neapolitan Ice Cream

Ice cream cakes are typical made with a cake base that is topped with a thick layer of ice cream. The ice cream layer is then commonly covered generously with toppings.

Here are the details of each typical layer of an ice cream cake:

  1. The Cake Base: The cake component of an ice cream cake can vary widely. From classic chocolate and vanilla to more adventurous options like red velvet or cookies and cream. The cake serves as a sturdy and flavorful foundation that can vary widely in thickness. Its texture contrasts beautifully with the creamy ice cream layers.
  2. The Ice Cream Layers: The star of the show, the ice cream layers, bring the cold, creamy goodness that defines this dessert. Classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla are popular, but the beauty of ice cream cake lies in its versatility. In reality, almost any flavor of ice cream can be used, but your options are often limited with store-bought versions.
  3. Frosting – Like traditional cakes, ice cream cakes often have a layer of frosting on their exterior surface. These cakes often use stabilized whipped cream as the frosting with ingredients like sugar and vanilla added for flavor. Traditional frosting isn’t typically used since freezing it creates undesirable textural issue.
  4. Tasty Toppings: To elevate the dessert, ice cream cakes often contain various toppings such as cookie crumbs, fudge swirls, or crunchy nuts. Toppings like whipped cream, chocolate ganache, and colorful sprinkles add the finishing touch for visual appeal, texture, and taste.

You can see an example of a homemade ice cream cake being made by the popular cooking channel, Preppy Kitchen, in the video below. While it is somewhat of a laborious process to make at home, the best part of homemade is the ability to customize the cake to your liking in terms of ice cream flavor, cake base thickness, toppings, customization, etc.

The Birth of Ice Cream Cake

The roots of the ice cream cake are believed to come from an English dessert called the trifle. This dessert was in trend during the mid-1700s, and according to Taste of Home, it was original made of layers of fruit, alcohol soaked sponge cake, and custard.

The trifle would go on to inspire another dessert called ice cream bombes. According to Food Timeline, this dessert was essentially ice cream that was molded into special shapes. The molds would occasionally contain layers of biscuits (sponge) on the mold bottom to form the base for the ice cream to sit on. These ice cream bombes are considered the first iteration of ice cream cakes.

Where To Buy Ice Cream Cake?

Ice cream cakes are widely available at ice cream shops and grocery stores. However, your options may be limited at certain stores. Check out our article on Where To Buy Ice Cream Cakes for a list of popular places to purchase this classic dessert.

Celebrating with Ice Cream Cake

Ice cream cake has become synonymous with celebrations, and its popularity as a birthday cake alternative is undeniable. The customizable nature of this dessert allows for personalization based on preferences and themes, making it a centerpiece at parties and gatherings.

However, ice cream cakes are not only reserved for birthday parties. For example, Ben & Jerry’s allows you to customize ice cream cakes for occasions like graduations, office parties, anniversaries, and holiday celebrations such as Christmas or Halloween themed cakes.

Of course, no one is stopping you from randomly buying one at the store and enjoying it without an occasion in sight. Most major grocery stores carry brands like Friendly’s, Oreo, and Carvel. Friendly’s even now makes single serve ice cream cakes that are sold in cups with lids down the ice cream aisle.

Final Thoughts

In the world of an abundance of sweet indulgences, ice cream cake stands out as a delicious and versatile creation that continues to captivate dessert lovers around the globe. Whether enjoyed on a special occasion or as a delightful treat on any day, the union of cake and ice cream creates a combination of flavors that is nothing short of extraordinary for many taste buds.