Many of my friends, family, and fans have encouraged me to go to culinary school, or start a baking business, and my father and I often plan lavish menus for our imaginary restaurants after a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives marathon. As much as I would love to have a job where I baked to heart's content everyday I am too picky of an eater for that. Whether it be from allergies or general distaste there is a long list of foods that are just not palatable to me. Strawberries are one of the foods that I am allergic to, it just so happens that my oldest niece loves them. Go figure. For her 5th birthday this year ("I'm a whole hand old, Auntie!") I quizzed her on what kind of cake she wanted me to make for her and she was firm with her demand for a strawberry ice cream cake. Pretty ambitious for a 5 year old, but she does take after her Auntie. I looked at many recipes for this one, and decided that I would create my own...who knew it would be such a hit. It looks deceptively simple from the outside covered in Cool Whip and halved strawberries but the inside contains a beautiful surprise. Now that I have mastered the delicate art of ice cream cakes there are all kinds of varieties I am dying to try, I will just have to find the occasion. The fact that I have once again paid my electric bill before it was due is not necessarily the kind of celebration that calls for ice cream cake.
Strawberry Ice Cream Cake
2 boxes of French Vanilla cake mix (cheating, I know)
1 pint of strawberry ice cream
1 large tub of Cool Whip
1 carton of strawberries, halved
For the ice cream center simply thaw the pint of ice cream and pour it into a wax paper lined pie pan to re-freeze. I made mine a little more decadent by adding extra chopped strawberries and chunks of plain cheesecake to the thawed ice cream before re-freezing it, feel free to follow my example! Many recipes suggested letting the ice cream freeze in its new mold anywhere from 4 hours to overnight, the choice is up to you. Meanwhile, bake the two cakes according to the directions and allow them to cool sufficiently. I found that popping my cakes in the freezer for 30 minutes really helped the cooling process. After the cakes have cooled trim the tops so you have an even surface to work with and simply layer the cake, ice cream, and more cake until they all fit perfectly. Because of my time constraints I allowed my cake to freeze over night before I had the chance to ice it, and it proved to be the best idea so far. It was so easy to spread the Cool Whip over a frozen cake, not having to fear any stray crumbs messing up your frosting job. My beautiful niece then helped me decorate her cake with strawberries and it turned out perfect, everyone loved it!