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Author Notes: I'm a fan of our original flag cake here at Food52, but I don’t always love turning the oven on around the 4th of July. Ice cream cake to the rescue! We used vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry ice creams for a cake that will taste as good as it looks. Three cheers for the red, white, and blue! —Erin McDowell
Makes 8-10 servings
- 2 quarts vanilla ice cream
- 2 quarts strawberry ice cream
- 1 quart blueberry ice cream (this one is really nice and blue: https://food52.com/recipes/30270-blueberry-ice-cream)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Have ready the outer ring of a 9 inch springform pan. Ideally, it should be 3 inches tall. If it isn’t, make an extender “ring” out of parchment or wax paper and secure it to the upper edge of the pan with tape.
- Place the prepared pan on a small baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Make sure it fits (easily) into your freezer, you’ll be in and out a lot.
- To get even layers, it’s a good idea to use an ice cream scoop so you can count the number of scoops for each layer, then repeat those when you do the next. I use a medium ice cream scoop to dollop 9 scoops of ice cream into the base of the prepared pan, then use a small offset spatula to spread the ice cream into an even layer. Freeze until firm, 20-30 minutes.
- Scoop the same number of scoops of strawberry ice cream over the firm vanilla layer, and spread into an even layer. Freeze until firm, 20-30 minutes.
- Repeat this process, making another layer of vanilla ice cream, then freezing until firm. Repeat with the strawberry ice cream, and freeze until firm.
- Next, you need to make a ring of bluberry ice cream around the outside, leaving the center empty for additional vanilla and strawberry layers later. The best way to do this is using the outer ring of a smaller springform pan (ideally 6 inches). But you can also just make a temporary border out of tinfoil – use it to keep the center bare while you put a blue ring of ice cream around the outer edge.
- Scoop the blueberry ice cream into the pan, and spread into an even layer – you want the ice cream only around the outside edge, about 2 inches wide, and almost doubly as tall as your previous layers (for example, I used the same number of scoops for the base layers as I did for the blueberry ring). Freeze until firm, 20-30 minutes.
- When the blueberry layer is firm, gently pull away the guide – you may need to apply a small amount of heat (your kitchen torch is handy here, warming it up with your hand or a warm kitchen towel works well too) to get the guide to pull away cleanly.
- If the cake needs to be chilled again, chill it until firm. If not, apply another layer of vanilla, this time just inside the outer blue ring. You’ll need less scoops (I used 4) – keep track of the number so you can repeat it with the final layer of red. Freeze until firm, 20-30 minutes.
- Add the final layer of strawberry, using the same number of scoops you did for the vanilla in the last step (I used 4). Freeze until firm, 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Remove the outer paper ring, if using. Lift the cake up (including the springform ring, and peel the parchment paper that was covering the pan away from the base of the cake.
- While the cake is still in the mold, transfer to a cake stand or platter.
- To remove the main cake ring, you’ll need to apply a little heat. Again, you can use a kitchen torch (the best!) or a towel warmed in very hot water (wrap it around the ring and let it sit for 10-15 seconds, repeat as needed). Once the ring is warmed, loosen the springform buckle, then slide the ring up and off the cake. Return the unmolded cake to the freezer.
- Make the whipped cream frosting: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream and powdered sugar to medium peaks. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Frost the finished ice cream cake generously with whipped cream. Freeze for 15 minutes again before slicing and serving.
More Great Recipes:
Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts