Anything is better when you make it into a cake – that could be my new motto in life.
And ice cream sandwiches are no different. Huge and scrumptious ice cream sandwiches stacked vertically create the best summer birthday cake imaginable. A nostalgic treat made so much better.
The gooey sweet ice cream is a perfect compliment to a batch of huge, warm, home baked cookies. Make this cake to celebrate any summer day – birthday or not. It is a recipe that will quickly become both a seasonal tradition, and one that is asked for all year long.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
To make the ice cream sandwich cake you will need;
- 2-3/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/4 cup (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chocolate chips (bittersweet or semi-sweet)
Double the recipe to produce six 6 inch cookies. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars to the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, stopping the mixer to scrape down the bowl and paddle when necessary.
Add the eggs and vanilla on low speed and mix until just combined, mixing gently and scraping down the bowl as needed until thoroughly blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 1/3 increments, mixing gently and scraping down the bowl as needed until thoroughly blended. Slowly add in the chocolate chips and mix gently until they are evenly distributed.
Place plastic wrap over mouth of bowl and refrigerate cookie dough at least 30 minutes to an hour.
Measure out about 415-420 grams of cookie dough onto a kitchen scale. Measuring out each ball of cookie dough ensures that each cookie will be about the same size when baked. Tip: place a piece of plastic wrap on the scale and zero the scale. Then add the cookie dough. Form the dough into a ball using the plastic wrap. You can wrap the dough (and not get your hands dirty!) and place in the fridge until it is time to bake.
Place two balls of cookie dough on a baking sheet, spacing them on opposite sides of the sheet to give them enough room to spread. Bake for 20-22 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back at the 10-minute mark. The cookies will spread and have slightly dark brown edges.
Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes, carefully transfer the cookies onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. You will end up with 6 large cookies approximately 6-6.25 inches in diameter. Place in a container with wax or parchment paper in between cookies, or wrap them separately in plastic wrap until ready to use.
To assemble the ice cream sandwich cake you will need;
- ice cream, in a few favorite flavors.
For our ice cream sandwich cookie cake, we created 3 layers of ice cream using mint chocolate chip, vanilla bean, and strawberry. We used 4 large cookies but feel free to use all 6 cookies in this recipe to create a taller ice cream sandwich cake. It may be harder to cut through the layers, but it will still look stunning.
For the bottom layer: take container of the first flavor of ice cream and let it sit at room temperature for only a few minutes to soften (but not too much! We learned the hard way). Position a cookie on a sturdy plate (that you can put in the freezer), flat side up; this will serve as your base. Scoop out a few scoops of ice cream and with an offset spatula, quickly spread and smooth out the ice cream almost to the edges of the cookie. The amount of ice cream you put is up to you; our ice cream layers were about 1″ thick. Wrap the layer in plastic wrap and place in freezer to harden, about 4 hours.
Repeat the above steps with the rest of the ice cream layers, building the cake and placing it in the freezer after each ice cream layer is applied. It doesn’t matter which side of the cookie faces up for the middle layers, just make sure the top and final cookie has the flat side facing down. You can fill in the spaces of the ice cream layers using an offset spatula to fill and smooth the edges. After the cake layers have been built, wrap the cake and allow it to set in the freezer overnight.
When ready to serve, let the cake sit out for a few minutes at room temperature. Be careful cutting the cake as the cookie layers will be hard; they will soften the longer they are out. Once the cake is softened and cut, be sure to eat quickly – it is ice cream after all!
(Photography by Althena Plichta for A Subtle Revelry. The cookie recipe was slightly adapted from Standard Baking Co. Pastries)