My son John celebrated his 5th high school reunion last weekend. Since several of his classmates no longer live in the area, five of them stayed with us for the weekend. This gave me the perfect opportunity to try out a new dessert recipe on a captive audience. I decided to make a version of an ice cream cake I had seen on allrecipes.com which used ice cream sandwiches as the base. It ranks as one of the fastest and easiest desserts I’ve ever made. You can’t go wrong with ice cream sandwiches, more ice cream and chocolate syrup!
Making this ice cream cake brought back the memory of my daughters’ 13th birthday. Because it was a milestone birthday, they were each allowed to invite five of their friends for a birthday sleep-over. On the day before the party, however, my preparations were sidetracked when my son John woke up in pain that morning unable to go to school because he had injured his thumb in gym the previous day. It was very swollen and black and blue, so off we went to see the doctor who then sent us to the hospital for x-rays. It turned out to be a bad sprain, and the doctor there put a splint on it. I had lost half the day at this point; and, on the way home from the hospital, I squeezed in one of my errands, picking up the girls’ ice cream birthday cake at Dairy Queen.
John was still in a lot of pain and not in a good mood as we drove home. When we got there, because I needed to tend to him with lunch and a little mom TLC, I hurried downstairs to the refrigerator in our basement and distractedly put the cake on the top shelf of the refrigerator (not in the freezer where it belonged). The next day, three hours before the party, I went downstairs to get something out of the fridge. I glanced at the cake box which had a clear cellophane top and noticed that the cake was as flat as a pancake. The next thing I noticed was that the entire bottom half of the refrigerator was coated with chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Now, I am embarrassed to say, I still did not realize that I had screwed up! I started yelling , “Roger, the power must have gone out! Oh no—is the rest of the food ruined?”
Roger, Sara, and Amy came running downstairs. All three of them took one look and knew immediately what was wrong. The girls said, “Mom, the cake belonged in the freezer, not the refrigerator!” Oops. Talk about having egg or, in this case, ice cream on your face! I had no time to clean the refrigerator. I just shut the door and raced upstairs to call Dairy Queen. I managed to get another cake decorated with their names just in time before the 10 teeny boppers arrived for the party. Phew…
Since that day, I can’t look at an ice cream cake without remembering what that refrigerator looked like with all that melted ice cream from top to bottom. I take some small comfort in thinking that I couldn’t be the only person who has ever been that distracted. (Right??) Needless to say, this ice cream cake was stored properly in the freezer and enjoyed by all.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
- As many ice cream sandwiches as it takes to make one (or two if you desire) layers in the size pan of your choosing.
- As much ice cream (any flavor) as you choose to layer either under or over (or both) the ice cream sandwiches
- Chocolate Syrup (won’t really freeze) or Hot Fudge (which you’ll need to microwave in order to spread but will harden in freezer)
- Optional – Put any of the following either between layers or mixed in with the ice cream: chopped nuts, chocolate chips, toffee bits, peanut butter chips, chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups, sprinkles, chopped Oreo cookies, etc.
Because I was making the ice cream cake for a large number of people, I decided to use a 9×13 pan. The comments I read on the allrecipes posting complained of either having too many ice cream sandwiches left over or not enough. Obviously, depending on the manufacturer, the size and shape (round, rectangular) of the ice cream sandwiches vary. I bought a brand manufactured by Dean’s which came 12 to a box and were rectangular in size. I bought two boxes because I knew the extras wouldn’t go to waste.
It took almost an entire box of 12 sandwiches to cover the first layer in the 9×13 pan. When I laid them all out, I had 3/4 of one sandwich left—which I promptly ate, of course!
I followed the solid bottom layer of the ice cream sandwiches with a layer of cookies and cream ice cream. I then drizzled Hershey’s special dark chocolate sauce over the ice cream. I then repeated the ice cream sandwich layer and the ice cream. It couldn’t have been easier. I just popped it into the freezer and served it with whipped cream and additional chocolate syrup as well as caramel syrup.
The cake obviously lends itself to all kinds of creativity, so let your imagination be your guide as to incorporating nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, etc. I have decided that the next version I make is going to have a single layer of ice cream sandwiches in the middle of two layers of vanilla ice cream with chopped up Oreo cookies mixed into the ice cream. Of course, there will be fresh whipped cream and hot fudge on the side. Without six young men around to help handle the calories, I’m going to downsize to a 9×9 pan though!
Source: Adapted from an allrecipes.com recipe