ice cream cake with chocolate and caramel
Last Saturday was my husband’s birthday. It wasn’t a milestone birthday or anything, but the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to up my game when it comes to his birthday. Yes, this ice cream cake has something to do with that, but there is definitely more to the story. You see, I tend to completely blow it when it comes to planning big, elaborate celebrations or surprises, but my husband…well, he is the king of big surprises. For example, for my 30th birthday, he took me (and our kiddos) on a surprise trip to Niagara Falls. This involved getting the kids passports (and getting me to agree to get the kids passports without knowing we were planning a trip to Canada).
Every detail of the trip was planned from the hotel, dining, transportation and birthday spa treatments for me while we were there. Yes, I was totally and utterly spoiled for a week, and it was amazing.
Now, let me tell you how his 30th birthday went. It was 4 years ago, and I was a week and a half out of having my second C-section so I was still unable to drive a car. I was sleep deprived, in a total fog from taking care of a newborn and a barely 2 year old and I didn’t have enough energy to take a shower, let along make any sort of birthday plans. So, what he got for his 30th birthday was a store bought cake that my mom had to drive me to the store to get. Yeah, it was one for the record books.
Now, that wasn’t my best work, but I like to focus on the fact that we had our new healthy, little baby girl and really that was the most important thing. Way more important that homemade cakes and birthday surprises.
Even so, it doesn’t make me feel much better about it, but I have also realized that the big birthday surprise, might just not be my thing. Everything I try, it doesn’t go well. So, this year, the kiddos and I teamed up to plan a nice day, nothing crazy over the top, but a day that the kids helped plan and we enjoyed as a family to celebrate my husband’s birthday.
We started having daily meetings in the car on the way to school, planning birthday gift ideas and birthday cake ideas. We decided on dinner out at our favorite local, Italian restaurant and a homemade ice cream cake which was a compromise between the Buddy’s favorite ice cream sundae and the Baby’s idea of having an ice cream sandwich.
This ice cream cake was a breeze to make, with layers of vanilla bean, caramel cookie crunch, and dark chocolate chip ice creams in between graham crackers, fudge and caramel sauce. The results were much more than I expected. The cool ice cream softened the graham crackers until they took on a soft, cake-y texture. And don’t forget about the fudge and caramel…OH, the fudge and caramel…
While it wasn’t a trip to Niagara Falls, but it turns out that this ice cream cake, dreamed up and made by his little kiddos, was all he ever wanted. And I love him even more for that.
Happy (Belated) Birthday!
Ice Cream Cake Recipe
Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Spray a metal loaf pan with non stick spray. Line the pan with plastic wrap, leaving overhang on all four sides.
Spread softened vanilla ice cream in the bottom of the plastic lined loaf pan. Top ice cream with 1 layer of graham crackers. Using an offset spatula, spread the fudge sauce on top of the graham crackers. Freeze pan for 15 minutes, and place caramel ice cream on the counter to soften.
At the end of the 15 minutes, remove loaf pan from freezer and spread softened caramel ice cream on top of fudge layer. Line ice cream with graham crackers and spread 1/4 cup of caramel sauce on top of crackers. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt, place pan in the freezer and remove dark chocolate ice cream to the counter to soften.
After 15 minutes, remove pan from freezer and spread chocolate ice cream on top of the caramel layer. Top ice cream with the last of the graham crackers. Freeze pan for an additional 15-30 minutes.
Remove cake from freezer and turn out onto platter, using plastic wrap to was it from the pan. Remove the plastic wrap and spread the cake with remaining caramel sauce. Slice cake and serve immediately. Extra cake can be stored covered in the freezer.
This looks gorgeous. Simple, perfect.
Happy late birthday to your hubs! This ice cream cake looks like the perfect way to celebrate any fun occasion. I’ve never made an ice cream cake at home and now I’m thinking I need to start doing this…like all the time! Hope you had a fun weekend.
This looks great! I love the progression of the pictures as it melts (and gets eaten).
Thank you so much, Mallory! I’m glad you stopped by!
I love this post. And I’d love to know how your husband managed to get the kids’ passports without you knowing you were going somewhere! Ha! This ice cream cake looks seriously to die for. It sounds like BOTH you and your husband are very lucky to have each other. 🙂
LOL, it is a crazy story! I have this thing where I listen to John Tesh when I put the kids to bed at night (he’s on the radio and I can’t help absorbing what he says – although my family and friends endlessly tease me about it. Seriously, constantly teasing me). Anyway, I’m always saying, ‘well..ya know…Johnny T said this…’ and then my husband rolls his eyes and teases me about it. Well, to get me to agree to get the passports, he told me that he heard on John Tesh that it was a good idea to have passports for your kids even when you travel domestically. Just a form of identification – safety and all that. Well, I didn’t question it (because I’m paranoid like that as well as a total sheep when it comes to listening to John Tesh) and went and got the passports. I’m such a sucker 😉 Anyway, it was an amazing trip and it’s a story we will laugh about forever, I just know it! Anyway, Thanks for stopping by and I’m so glad you like the looks of the cake! It was amazingly good and so simple to make!
This is such a gorgeous post Em!!! Love everything, from the story to the photographs to the drool-worthy recipe. Haha, I am a terrible surprise birthday planner. I get so excited that I can’t wait to tell the person everything that I’ve gotten up to…! Aaron can read my ‘excited face’ every time 🙂 The trip your husband planned sounds amazing. I’m even more amazed that he completely pulled it off as a surprise! So glad that you’re both traveling through this life together. Glad that he loved this cake. You’re beautiful inside and out my dear! xx
This is such a great idea. Looks wonderful!
This ice cream cake is making me drool and the pictures are incredible!
It’s okay–at least you weren’t going so crazy doing your work that you managed to forget about a loved one’s birthday until erm, maybe 10 PM that night. Eheh! Next year I’m upping the ante to make amends and dumping an entire party-size pail of softened ice cream right on top of those graham crackers you have listed here. Because MORE IS BETTER AMIRIGHT 🙂 just kidding, this looks absolutely gorgeous as is! I’d love to pair this with some homemade cookie butter ice cream. Glad I could stumble here while I was checking my posts on Foodgawker 🙂 cheerios and happy belated to the hubs!
it looks amazing!
Holy cow! Your husband really IS the king of surprises! That’s amazing. And this cake is amazing! I love the story behind the cake and how your kids contributed the ideas. This sounds wonderful!
Those layers look perfect. I’m sure my kids would devour it!