Waste Not, Want Not: The Ice Cream Edition

We’ve all heard that you can’t refreeze ice cream, so once it’s all melted and liquid, you need to toss it, right? DON’T! That melted ice cream can be used for the most amazing cake ever, and it only has 3 ingredients. It’s very versatile, so you can use just about any cake mix and any ice cream you want. You should try to get matching cake and ice cream flavors, obviously, but if you can’t find a matching set of flavors for the cake, then you can use vanilla ice cream with a variety of different cake mix flavors. Also, for some reason it won’t bake up very well in any kind of cake pan except Bundt® pans.

The cake is simple, yet elegant, and can be glazed and garnished any number of ways for a variety of special occasions. It’s also really moist. Got a potluck to go to? This cake is perfect. It’s easy to do, and it comes out perfect every time. One word of caution, though: you need to melt the ice cream completely before you measure it. I often use Talenti® gelato because their carton is exactly the amount needed.

When you mix it, the batter will be much thicker than a standard cake mix batter should be, because of the addition of the ice cream in place of the water and oil usually called for. Just mix it like you would any other cake mix, and scrape the bowl a few times if necessary. When you go to put it in the pan, you’ll need to smooth the top and make sure it’s evenly distributed.

To start, you’ll need a 15¼-ounce cake mix of whatever flavor you prefer, 3 large eggs, and 2 cups of melted ice cream, in either the same flavor as the cake mix or vanilla. Beat it with a mixer at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Spray your pan really well with nonstick spray, and remember to spray the center part; many people forget to spray the center part of Bundt-like tube pans, so they stick. Bake it for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick, skewer, or cake tester comes out clean. Then you have to cool it in the pan for 30 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely. Glaze if desired, and serve. That’s it!

This cake freezes really well. Just slice it however you want, put each slice into a fold-flap sandwich baggie, and put everything into a labeled and dated gallon-sized resealable bag. Freeze it up to 3 months. To thaw, you can just leave a slice or two on the counter for about an hour or so, or you can unwrap a slice, put it on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave on high 10-15 seconds or until warm. They’re great for packing in lunches, too, right from the freezer. (Bonus: the frozen cake helps keep the rest of your lunch cool!)

You can plan ahead with this recipe, too. All you need to do is buy the ice cream, purposely let it melt, and portion it into 2-cup amounts. Put each portion into a 2-cup or larger glass or plastic lidded container (preferably with a screw-top lid to prevent leaking). Keep the portions frozen, then when you want to make the cake, take a portion out and thaw it. I’d stir it before adding it to the cake mix to make sure nothing has settled to the bottom of the container. Since the refrozen ice cream won’t be used for regular eating, it can stay frozen for at least a few months.

Take a look at the recipe below and let me know what you think. I always look forward to comments and suggestions from my readers.

Melted Ice Cream Cake

  • Servings: Makes 12-16 servings
  • Print
1 15¼-oz. pkg. cake mix, any variety

3 lg. eggs

2 c. melted ice cream*, any flavor

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Generously spray large Bundt® pan with nonstick spray and set aside. Beat together all ingredients with mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed (batter will be thick). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 30 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Glaze as desired. Serve garnished as desired. Store any leftovers covered at room temperature up to 1 week.

To freeze, place each slice in fold-flap sandwich baggie. Label and date 1 or 2 gallon-sized resealable plastic bags and place slices in bag(s). Freeze up to 3 months. To thaw, remove desired number of slices from freezer and set on counter 1-2 hours, or unwrap one slice and set on microwave-safe plate. Microwave 10-15 seconds or until warm.

*NOTE: Always melt the ice cream before you measure it.

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