A great birthday cake should be just as memorable as the occasion that you’re serving it on. After all, a birthday cake only gets served once a year – you need to make it count! Cupcakes and layer cakes are popular choices for celebrations, but I happen to be partial to ice cream cakes. Ice cream cakes are a rare treat that are easy to make at home and are definitely worthy of becoming a birthday cake. This Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Cake is definitely worthy of a special occasion.
The cake has a fantastic combination of flavors and textures to it, from the creamy ganache covering the exterior of the cake to the crisp waffle cookies at the center. It is elegant and, while it does have several components, it is actually quite easy to assemble! The cake starts out with a chocolate sponge cake. The sponge cake isn’t as rich as some chocolate cake recipes, but it is very flexible, which makes it a perfect choice for a cake like this one, which requires a bit of sculpting! The cake is cut into several rectangles so that it can line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan. Once the cake slices are in place, the center is filled with mint chocolate chip ice cream and a layer of Bahlsen Waffeletten cookies, which are chocolate-dipped rolled cookies made from very thin Belgian waffle wafers. The cookies add a great look and texture to each slice of the cake, and add a hint of waffle cone flavor to the ice cream filling. One last slice of cake is placed over the top of the ice cream filling to hold everything firmly in place.
This is, by far, better than any of the birthday ice cream cakes that I ever had has a child, even though I had quite a few mint chocolate chip ice cream cakes in my day. The combination of rich ganache, fluffy cake, creamy ice cream and crispy cookies is just about heaven!
The ganache glaze will start to set up as soon as you pour it onto the frozen cake. I glaze the cake on a cooling rack so that excess ganache (you can save it for a treat later!) will run off the sides and not pool around the cake. You can store the cake in the freezer once it is glazed, if you want to prepare it in advance, but otherwise you can simply transfer the freshly-glazed cake directly to your serving platter. Garnish the cake with extra Waffeletten cookies or top it with candles, if you decide to bake this up for a birthday celebration of your own!
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Cake
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
Filling and Topping
12 Bahlsen Waffeletten (or similar) cookies
approx 6 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream
4 oz heavy cream
4 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 oz milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 10×15-inch roll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until sugar is dissolved and mixture has doubled in volume. Stir in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the water and the vanilla extract. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the water and the remaining flour mix.
In another large bowl, beat egg whites until they are very foamy. With the mixer on high, gradually blend in remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until the egg whites hold soft peaks. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
Pour cake batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 11-15 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Peel back parchment paper and allow cake to cool completely.
Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap.
Cut pieces of the chocolate cake to fit the bottom, sides and the top of the pan. If you find that you need to mix and match sizes, the best pieces to fudge the shape are the edges.
Place the bottom and size pieces into place. Fill the cake cavity half way up with ice cream and spread into an even layer. Place three rows of four Waffeletten cookies each into the ice cream, then fill the pan almost to the top with the remaining ice cream. Place the top piece of cake into place, wrap the pan firmly in plastic wrap and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.
When cake is frozen and you are ready to serve, prepare the ganache glaze.
In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer.
In a medium bowl, combine dark and milk chocolate. Pour simmering cream over the chocolate and stir gently with a spatula until the chocolate melts. If necessary, reheat mixture in 10-15 second intervals in the microwave if the chocolate does not melt completely. Allow ganache to cool and thicken slightly, about 10-15 minutes.
Pour ganache over the cake, using an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer on the top and sides. Ganache will set in 1-3 minutes. Place cake onto cake plate and serve immediately, using a sharp knife to cut slices.
Leftovers can be stored in the freezer.