This ice cream cake is my family’s most requested birthday cake for the last few years. For families with allergies or those concerned with the chemicals put in packaged food, “safe” ice cream cakes are impossible to find! We have been unable (luckily) to eat most packaged foods for the last 12 years because of my oldest son’s allergies and my “never” list for chemicals added to foods that need labels.

I don’t know how regional this is, but for those of us growing up in Westchester, NY, Carvel cakes were a birthday staple in the 80s/90s. I had looked around for safe ice cream cakes for years before I started making my own. I would NEVER go back to store-made again. My husband who is a Carvel ice cream cake super fan now prefers mine to the famous one that has ingredients no human should consume.

This is what a website description of the Carvel Cake says:

Ice Cream And Chocolate Flavored Crunchies: Milkfat And Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Bleached Wheat Flour, Water, Corn Syrup, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Alkali Processed, Palm Oil, Colored With (Caramel Color), Chocolate Liquor, Mono And Diglycerides, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Cocoa, Polysorbate 65, Wheat Gluten, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Polysorbate 80, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda, Carrageenan. Whipped Icing: Water, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Sugar, Dextrose, Corn Syrup, Sodium Caseinate, Artificial Flavor, Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Soy Lecithin, Polysorbate 60, Soy Protein Isolate, Carbohydrate Gum, Salt, To Preserve Freshness (Potassium Sorbate), Xanthan Gum, If Decorated With Colored Icing Or Gel.

May Also Contain: Modified Cornstarch, Carrageenan, To Preserve Freshness (Sodium Benzoate), Citric Acid, Artificial Colors (Blue 1, Yellow 5, Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 6). If Product Contains Confetti: Sugar, Rice Flour, Palm Kernel And/Or Palm Oil, Corn Starch, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin, Colored With (Titanium Dioxide), Artificial Flavor, Artificial Colors (Yellow 5, Red 3, Yellow 6, Blue 1). If Product Contains Sprinkles: Sugar, Corn Starch, Palm And Palm Kernel Oils, Dextrin, Soy Lecithin, Confectioner’s Glaze, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Carnauba Wax, Artificial Colors (Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 3, Red 40, Blue 1). If Product Contains Fudge: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Nonfat Milk, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Sugar, Water, Cocoa Alkali Processed, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Disodium Phosphate, To Preserve Freshness (Potassium Sorbate), Mono And Diglycerides, Artificial Flavor, Natural Flavor. Contains: Milk, Wheat And Soy. Manufactured On Shared Equipment With Eggs, Peanuts And Tree Nuts. Any Personalized Inscriptions Or Decorations Added Outside The Manufacturing Facility May Contain Potential Allergens.

No, thank you…

The key to the perfect ice cream cake depends on your tastes. I let the birthday boy/girl choose their flavors, but if you are going for the classic flavor of a childhood ice cream cake I would suggest Alden’s Organic Cookies & Cream with Alden’s Organic Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Like everything you cook, the quality of the ingredients make the dish. That top middle picture is the most recent version I made for my baby’s 10th birthday. She requested a three layer, Cookies & Cream on the bottom, Mint Chocolate Chip in the middle and Chocolate Chocolate Chip on top. It was the best one ever.

-Freezer safe container. A 10″ cheesecake pan serves about 10 people. You can use any container that is freezer safe as you will line it with parchment paper. Adjust ice cream amounts to fit your pan.
-Parchment paper.
-Large, strong, flat-ish spoon.
-Offset spatula.
-Serving plate/sharp knife/serving utensil.

3 quarts- highest quality organic ice cream (1.5qts each if using 2 flavors)
1 pack Newman’s Own Organic Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, broken into chunks. (You can probably find these in a GF version if needed.)
Your favorite chocolate syrup
1c whipping cream
2T vanilla sugar
Decor of your choice

1. Line the pan that you are using with parchment paper, making it as smooth as possible. Take out of the freezer the ice cream flavor that you intend to have as the top layer of the cake. Leave out until the consistency of soft serve, about 30 min. depending on your kitchen temperature.
2. Line the bottom of the pan with the softened ice cream and flatten with offset spatula. About 1 inch if using three flavors, about 1.5 inches if using 2 flavors.
3. Drizzle lightly with the chocolate syrup, then place a layer of cookie chunks, then another drizzle of chocolate syrup. Place in freezer until hardened. Meanwhile (or when you are ready to make the next layer), take the next flavor out of the freezer to soften.
4. For a 2 layer cake, place the next ice cream flavor, smooth with spatula and freeze until just before ready to serve. If making 3 layers, repeat steps 2 & 3, then 4.
5. When ready to serve: Make the whipped cream. In a cold bowl with a cold whisk and cold cream, beat the cream until almost as think as you like it. Add in the sugar and beat to the whipped cream texture that you like. If you prefer you can use a stand mixer or hand beaters, but they go super fast, so be sure not to over-whip your cream.

When putting the whipped cream on the cake, take out the cake at the last minute. Place it upside down on the serving plate and carefully peel the parchment paper off of the ice cream, making sure not to leave any behind. Place a very thin layer of whipped cream on the top of the cake, then do the sides. It hardens very fast on the ice cream so move with urgency. When you are ready to decorate, place another thin layer on top and quickly decorate before the cream hardens. Serve immediately or place in the freezer until everyone is ready to sing Happy Birthday!

I know your family will love this. You might not notice immediately, but when you remove all of the chemical junk from your diet you will start to feel healthier and your kids will be healthier for their whole life if they are only eating real food! This is one way that you can keep eating really delicious treats, that don’t make you feel like you are sacrificing in your life, without impeding your health.

Let me know your favorite ice cream cake flavor combinations!

About Julie Parkis

About Julie Parkis

Mom, MBA, Yogi, CIA grad and food enthusiast looking to share knowledge of food/cooking and general wellness information.

I am happiest in the kitchen with people who love food as much as I do!


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