I thought the 16th birthday of someone who really likes Moose Tracks ice cream would be a great time to try to make my first ice cream cake. I used store bought cake mix and frosting to cut down on the intensity of the experience since I thought this could be a bit labor-intensive. As much as I love making homemade buttercream, I wanted to just be able to focus on assembling the cake. Be prepared for a slightly messy assembly, but totally worth it!
The timelines in the recipe are kind of important, especially because the ice cream needs time to soften, re-freeze, and will soften again a little as you’re assembling the cake (and therefore needs to re-freeze again). I took it right out of the freezer to cut it, with no time for ice cream softening, but I did warm the knife up with hot water before cutting the cake.
Moose Tracks is a registered trademark of Denali Flavors, Inc. I used their brand ice cream in the recipe.
- 1 box devil’s food cake mix (plus ingredients the box says you need – usually vegetable oil, a few eggs, and water)
- 1 gallon package Moose Tracks ice cream
- 2 containers vanilla frosting
- 1 container chocolate frosting
- 1 container ready to use chocolate curls or chocolate sprinkles
Remove ice cream from freezer until it’s softened enough to be able to spread around a pan. The ice cream will be made into the circle for the cake using a springform pan. Line the bottom of the springform pan with wax or parchment paper (otherwise, the ice cream might come apart when you try to transfer it to the cake later).
Spread the ice cream in an even layer in the springform pan, over the parchment or wax paper.
Transfer the springform pan to the freezer to let the ice cream re-harden.
Meanwhile, prepare the cake according to the package instructions. Bake it in two round layers, using pans the same size as the springform (mine were 9″). Tip: Use Wilton Bake Even Strips around each pan so the cakes bake flat instead of dome-shaped. Allow the cake to cool completely.
Once the cake has completely cooled, remove each piece from the pan. Make sure to assemble the cake on a dish that fits in the freezer.
Place the first layer onto your assembly/serving surface. Remove the ice cream from the freezer. Open the springform pan. Flip the ice cream over and place it onto the cake. Peel the wax or parchment off of the ice cream.
Place the second layer of cake on top of the ice cream layer. If the ice cream seems really soft or a little melty at this point, return the cake to the freezer for 15 minutes or so. Melty ice cream is hard to work with when you go to frost the cake.
Frost the cake using the vanilla frosting. Using a piping bag, pipe the chocolate frosting around the edges of the top. You can also pipe some along the edges of the bottom and add some chocolate frosting star or other shapes to the sides, if desired. Add chocolate curls or sprinkles. Return the cake to the freezer until you’re ready to serve it.