Ice cream cakes, like graham crackers and puff pastry, are not something that most people thing about making. They’re something that most people think about buying, and when they do run down to the local ice cream shop (whether it’s a chain, a grocery store or a familly-owned place), they’re buying the cakes for the look of the overall dessert and the taste of the ice cream, not of the cake. Ice cream cakes – like the one I made pictured above (recipe here!) – are really quite easy to make at home and, while they do take a bit longer than a regular layer cake in terms of lead time, they are not difficult at all to put together.
The best way I’ve found to make an ice cream cake is to choose your pan size (the same as the cake) and, the day before you want to assemble/bake the cake, line it with plastic wrap. Soften some ice cream and spread it into the prepared pan, then freeze until the ice cream is firm. The plastic wrap can then be removed from the pan and the ice cream layer can be wrapped and stored in the freezer while you bake the cake. When it comes time to assemble, just place the frozen ice cream layer between you cake layers and proceed to frost as normal.
Just don’t forget to save room in the freezer for the finished cake, because this isn’t the kind of dessert that you can stick in an airtight container and leave on the counter!