I know, I know. It’s October, and you’re getting emailed an ice cream recipe? Unfortunately, here in Alabama, it’s still 50 shades of uncomfortable hot outside, so in lieu of another recipe that requires you to fire up the oven I wanted to share a simple no-churn peanut butter caramel ice cream that is only 5 ingredients and can be made in the comfort of your air conditioned kitchen. Honestly, it sounds more than a little delicious to me, so grab a spoon and let’s dive in.
What did we do before no-churn ice cream? Were we all just buying ice cream from the store? Using one of those old school hand-churning barrel devices? Were we simply not eating frozen desserts at all? I don’t want to live in a world where no-churn isn’t an option, and this peanut butter caramel ice cream situation is approximately 99% of the reason why. With a creamy peanut butter base, a salted caramel swirl, and chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs sprinkled throughout (yes, I went there), this ice cream is my sweet and salty dreams come true. Anything boasting a peanut butter and caramel combo is basically food seduction to me, and throwing it all together into an easy frozen treat is maybe the sexiest idea I’ve had all summer fall. Let me tell you how to make it.
No-churn ice cream is typically made by combining freshly whipped cream and a can of sweetened condensed milk. Don’t ask me to explain the wizard science behind this concoction, but somehow these two ingredients combined create pure magic. For this peanut butter caramel ice cream, we add a good bit of creamy peanut butter to the sweetened condensed milk before folding it into the clouds of cream. Once incorporated, we have a delicious peanut buttery mixture that would be good enough to enjoy all on it’s own but we don’t stop there. Instead, we swirl in warm drizzles of salted caramel sauce and sprinkle in crumbled chocolate sandwich cookies, so each bite is brimming with rich flavors and nibbles of crunch. I like to spoon my prepared ice cream into metal loaf pans to firm up in the freezer, but any plastic Tupperware or freezer-safe dish works just fine. If you’re like me, you’ll likely end up eating a good bit of the ice cream before it even makes it to the freezer, and there’s no judging that either. It’s just that good.
If you need help in the homemade caramel department, be sure to check out my tutorial here. I like to keep a jar in the fridge for emergency (aka ice cream) situations. In the future I plan to do a mini tutorial describing how to create your own no-churn flavors at home, because the possibilities are endless. In the meantime, check out the recipes that are already on my site at the links below. Happy baking, err, ice cream-ing, and be sure to pop by next week for two new recipes!
If you like this no-churn peanut butter caramel ice cream you should try:
This 5 ingredient no-churn peanut butter caramel ice cream is loaded with salted caramel sauce and chocolate cookies, and requires no ice cream machine!
2 cups (480 gm) heavy whipping cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup-1 cup creamy peanut butter (see notes)
12 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
1/4 cup prepared caramel sauce
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and peanut butter. Fold half of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture and then fold the remaining whipped cream and crushed cookies into the mixture. Layer 1/4 of the mixture into the bottom of a large loaf pan or ice cream container and drizzle on some of the caramel sauce. Repeat this process three more times and then use a knife to swirl the caramel and ice cream together. Freeze until solid and enjoy!
One cup of peanut butter will make for an intensely peanut buttery ice cream. The flavor is delicious but it is more difficult to fold together and you will find that the ice cream freezes more firm. 2/3 cup of peanut butter will yield a more mellow flavored, softer ice cream. Find the balance that works best for you!
We’re totally in it- the thick of summer. A time for short shorts and frozen beverages. The days that smell like coconut sunscreen and salty hair. We’ve been indoor cats this summer, spending most of our daylight hours swaddling our new little babe in muslin and morning light, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy some of the best these months have to offer. In an effort to settle into the summer spirit, I’ve made a super tasty frozen treat that I think captures summer flavors at their finest: blueberry mascarpone ice cream. Let’s dive in.
Ice cream is always a favorite of mine. I love the variety of flavors and textures you can achieve and adore having a dessert that keeps in the freezer. Here, a creamy and mild vanilla mascarpone base is swirled with a quick stovetop blueberry sauce and little crumbles of Biscoff cookies. The end result is a flavor and texture that reminds me of a fruit crisp topped with loads of ice cream, aka, absolutely delicious.
To make this blueberry mascarpone ice cream, we start with the ice cream base. Milk is warmed and whisked into egg yolks and sugar before the whole mixture is cooked together. Mascarpone cheese and a pinch of salt is added next, and the creamy mixture is allowed to chill until it is room temperature. Chilling the mixture prevents overchurning and also makes for a creamier bite. The blueberry sauce is nothing more than fresh berries cooked down on the stove with sugar. Once the mixture is thickened and the berries have burst, remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
This blueberry mascarpone ice cream can be churned in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mine usually takes about 20 minutes to whip up. Once it’s thickened to the consistency of frozen yogurt, turn your machine off and begin layering the mixture with swirls of the blueberry sauce and cookie crumbles. I like to store my ice cream in metal loaf pans, but any freezer-safe container will work. It won’t last too long anyways- it’s too delicious!
If your July has yet to include an oversized scoop of homemade ice cream, I hope you’ll give this blueberry mascarpone ice cream a whirl. It’s among some of my favorite treats I’ve enjoyed this year, and I think you’ll love it too. Happy Tuesday and enjoy!
If you like this blueberry mascarpone ice cream you should try:
This blueberry mascarpone ice cream feature a blueberry stovetop sauce and a biscoff cookie crumble in a vanilla bean mascarpone cheese base!
For the ice cream base (adapted from Daniel Humm):
2 cups (480 gm) whole milk
4 large egg yolks
¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup sugar
2 ounces of crumbled Biscoff cookies (graham crackers or crunchy oatmeal cookies can be substituted in a pinch)
To prepare the ice cream base:
Combine the milk and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, combine the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a bowl and whip with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Once the milk mixture has come to a simmer, carefully add 1 cup of the warm milk into the egg mixture in a slow and steady stream, whisking all the while, over the course of 30 seconds. Don’t add it all at once or you’ll risk scrambling the eggs. Once the milk has been added, pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk and cook over medium-low heat while stirring constantly until the mixture barely thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 4-5 minutes). Don’t let the mixture boil. Pull the saucepan off the heat and whisk in the mascarpone and salt until incorporated.
Strain the custard into a gallon-sized plastic bag and seal it. Place the bag in a sink filled with ice and cold water to help the mixture chill quickly. Alternatively, you can strain the mixture in a bowl and allow it to chill more slowly in the fridge. Once the mixture has chilled, process the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, usually about 20 minutes. Once prepared, spread the custard into a loaf pan alternating with drizzles of the blueberries and crumbled cookies. I like to do three separate layers of custard and top each with a hefty amount of blueberry sauce and cookie crumbles. Swirl gently with a knife and then allow to freeze completely in the freezer. Enjoy!
To prepare the filling:
Combine the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat to cool completely prior to use.
Wow. A ton has happened since we last spoke. We basically have a lifetime’s worth of stuff to talk about, so get ready to hear all about it in the coming weeks. For now, I’ll give you the reader’s digest version, and then we’ll dive into these brownie ice cream sandwiches. Here’s a quick close-up to awaken your tastebuds:
Last Monday, July 1, we had a baby! Remember me going on and on about being pregnant with our third child, a baby girl? Well, we had the baby, and it turns out HE’S A BOY. Yep. A boy. Who knew an ultrasound at 20 weeks (in 2019, no less) could be wrong!? Well, we are overjoyed, shocked, and ridiculously blown away at the turn of events and have been spending the past week and a half getting to know our little guy, Charlie. Everyone is healthy, Aimee and George are thrilled to love on a bitty brother, and we’re all getting at least 6 hours of sleep which is worth a set of praise hands all on its own. I can’t wait to introduce you all to him a bit more, but for now I’ll just share a couple of photos my friend Jesse of Dreamtown Co. took of the baby’s arrival.
On to the second cutest thing in this post: brownie ice cream sandwiches. If you ask me, brownies are always best served a la mode. While I’ve long enjoyed the frozen supermarket version of brownie ice cream sandwiches, I really felt like we needed to explore a rich, ultra-chocolatey homemade version. What we finally landed on is nothing short of fabulous.
Here we have a chewy, soft-baked brownie layered with a huge schemer of no-churn cookies and cream ice cream.The brownie is rich and pretty dense, so to keep it chewy once frozen be sure to not overbake it. The ice cream is a cinch to make and contains little more than whipped cream, chocolate sandwich cookies, and sweetened condensed milk. We whip it all together until it becomes thick and cloud-like and then spread it in on top of half of the brownies. The second half of brownies is pressed on top and left to freeze together until solid.
There’s a few ways you can cut these brownie ice cream sandwiches. You’ll notice for the photos I opted to use a 2-1/2″ biscuit cutter, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing that. I found it much easier to trim out pieces with a chef’s knife and was able to maintain a more manageable portion size that way as well. If you like the cute circles- go for it! Just keep in mind you’ll have little scraps from the cut-out rounds leftover. After trying it both ways, I totally prefer to cut small rectangles.
You definitely need to give these brownie ice cream sandwiches a try before the summer is up. They’re incredibly tasty and a delicious treat to add to your summertime dessert repertoire. Give them a try and let me know what you think! In the meantime, thank you for your prayers for baby Charlie and our new family of five. I can’t wait to introduce you more.
If you like these brownie ice cream sandwiches you should try:
These brownie ice cream sandwiches are chewy brownies filled with no-churn cookies and cream ice cream!
For the brownies:
1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter
5 ounces dark (I use 70%) chocolate
1–1/4 cups (250 gm) sugar
½ cup (100 gm) brown sugar packed
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140 gm) all-purpose flour
1 cup (85 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional, see notes)
For the ice cream:
2 cups (480 gm) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
18 (210 gm) chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos), chopped
To prepare the brownie layers:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two quarter sheet pans (or two 9”x13” pans) with foil that extends up the sides and grease with baking spray. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, gently heat the dark chocolate and butter, stirring regularly, just until barely melted. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the sugar and brown sugar. Whisk in the eggs and the vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly between the two pans and bake in the preheated oven for about 11-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted only comes out with a few moist crumbs. Set aside to cool completely.
To prepare the sandwiches:
Once the brownie layers have cooled, flip them one layer out of the pan. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in the sweetened condensed milk and cookie crumbs. Spread the thick filling on top of the brownie layer still inside the prepared pan. Smooth the top as much as possible and then place the second brownie layer directly on top. Gently press down to adhere, but avoid squishing the ice cream out the sides. Place in the freezer to freeze completely, about 6 hours. Use a 3” cookie or biscuit cutter to trim out sandwiches or use a chef’s knife to cut square. Keep frozen and covered until ready to eat!
The chocolate chips in the brownies will freeze FIRM. It is vital you use mini chips or skip them all together or you’ll risk breaking a tooth. 🙂
I used a biscuit cutter to trim out these sandwiches but FAR PREFER to slice into skinny rectangles. It’s much easier!
Hi friends! In honor of Memorial Day and the coming summer days, I wanted to bring you a frozen, warm weather treat that I can’t believe I’ve lived 30 years without: CREME BRÛLÉE FROZEN CUSTARD. Yes, this dessert tastes like a cold and creamy version of the classic French dessert, and while making homemade ice cream can be a task for beginners, it’s a process worth learning. This custard is mind-blowing delish, and if you like creme brûlée you’re going to love the scoop on this one.
I traveled to Orlando this weekend for my sister’s high school graduation. I was 13 when she was born and we have spent the majority of our lives living in different states, but by some stroke of luck we’ve wound up being family that loves each other like friends. She will be moving to Alabama this fall to go to my alma mater, and I’m honestly so excited that I may strike a sorority pose and go back to college myself. (Okay, okay, I’m kidding but only a little.)
All of her transitions and big life moments are making me nostalgic and incredibly aware of my age and the phase of life I’m in. There’s a part of me that really misses the freedom, spontaneity, possibility of those college days, but on the other hand, thank God I’ve found myself in a season that feels grounded and safe. I don’t know if 18 year old me would have mapped out the life I’m currently living, but wow… I have a lot to give thanks for.
Like this creme brûlée frozen custard. 18 year old Kate didn’t know how to make custard. She couldn’t afford an ice cream machine or discern the difference between a frozen custard and a push-pop. If we’re being honest, she probably couldn’t even spell creme brûlée. My late 20’s brought about an extra 10 pounds, 100 grey hairs, and a whole lot of extra responsibilities, but it also reinforced a firm foundation in the art of frozen dessert… hallelujer.
This creme brûlée frozen custard gets its taste from its eggy vanilla bean custard base and the crackly bits of burnt sugar crisp that are scattered throughout. Over time the sugar in the crisp breaks down and dissolves, causing those bits to turn into a thick syrupy swirl that is BEYOND. The taste unmistakably reads “creme brûlée,” and if you’re a fan of the original dessert you’re going to love it.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have an ice cream machine this creme brûlée frozen custard is not for you. I can’t recommend a method of preparation that will yield equally delicious results, so maybe just borrow a machine from a friend of invest in an inexpensive one like this! I inherited my machine from a dear friend who understood the concept of “sharing is caring,” and it has been one of the more useful pieces of unnecessary kitchen equipment I own.
I hope you’ll give this creme brûlée frozen custard a try this Memorial Day weekend and let me know what you think! I’ll be sharing a second recipe later this week so stay tuned!
If you like this creme brûlée frozen custard you should try:
This creme brûlée frozen custard has swirls of toasty burnt sugar bits and a creamy mouthfeel just like the original dessert!
For the custard:
2 cups (480 gm) heavy whipping cream
1 cup (240 gm) whole milk
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
For the burnt sugar crunch:
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup (200 gm) sugar
¼ cup (60 gm) water
½ teaspoon baking soda
To prepare the custard:
Combine the cream and whole milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, vigorously whisk or mix with a hand mixer on medium speed the eggs, yolks, and sugar until the mixture has started to turn pale and thicken slightly. Don’t whip to the point that it becomes bubbly or frothy.
When the milk is done simmering, slowly pour one cup of the mixture into the egg, whisking vigorously the whole time. Don’t dump it in all at once or you’ll risk scrambling your eggs! Once the milk has been incorporated, carefully pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir to combine. Gently cook over low heat until the mixture has thickened slightly enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 2 minutes) and then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove any clumps that may have formed and then place the entirety of the mixture into a large plastic bag. Fill the sink or a large bowl with icy water and place the plastic bag directly into it to chill the mixture quickly. While you wait for it to chill, you can begin making your burnt sugar crunch.
To prepare the burnt sugar crunch:
Liberally butter a half sheet pan with rimmed sides that is lined with a full sheet of foil.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the sugar and water over medium heat, stirring together occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture gets hot enough it will begin to bubble. Increase the heat to medium-high and avoid stirring it any more. You can gently swirl the pan occasionally to keep the mixture from burning in one spot. Continue cooking over heat until the mixture turns amber colored, about 10 minutes. It may barely begin to smoke. Remove the pot from heat and carefully whisk in the baking soda quickly. Dump the mixture out onto the pan and barely spread it out with a spatula. Don’t overwork it though as this will deflate all the bubbles. Allow the mixture to cool completely prior to breaking and using in the custard. You’ll want to make the crunch within a day of processing the yogurt and keep it in a sealed bag as the crunch will absorb moisture from the air and get chewy/sticky over time.
To finish the custard:
Pour the chilled custard in a prepared ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It takes about 15-20 minutes in my machine. In the last 5 minutes of processing, crush about 2/3 of the burnt sugar crunch into small, sandy pieces and pour into the custard. Make sure it is well incorporated. I like a majority of my crunch to be fine and sandy with a few 1/8-1/4” pieces throughout. Once the custard is finished, place in a freezer-safe container and freeze until frozen! Enjoy!
Look, I’m just going to say it: we have it really, really easy these days. In a world full of iPhones and Uber and meal delivery services, I’m pretty sure we’ve got it made in the shade.
Every once in a while, I find myself getting caught up in a bad case of “First World Problems.” Though they’re merely minor inconveniences that typically pop up when someone has hacked onto my Netflix or my online purchase isn’t eligible for free two-day shipping, it does sometimes blow my mind how modernized life has become even the time since I was a kid. Back then we still had to flip our tape cassettes in order to listen to side B. We had to blow into the Nintendo to get it to work. We had to know how to read a paper map when we went anywhere. The world has evolved so much over the course of my lifetime, and lucky for us, sometimes those changes are just downright delicious.
Case and point: this no-churn sugar cookie ice cream.
Can you imagine our forefathers trying to whip up something like this? They’d spend hours breaking ice, churning ice cream, making natural dyes for sprinkles. Instead of 10 minutes, a treat like this might take them all day, and I guarantee it wouldn’t taste as good. So thank you, America, for giving us just enough conveniences to make this life super yummy, festive, and fabulous. I’ll take a busted Netflix account if it means the opportunity to make homemade ice cream in a flash. So let’s get to the run-down on this no-churn sugar cookie ice cream.
As it’s name implies, this frozen treat tastes like a sprinkle sugar cookie and requires zero ice cream machine to make it. Like my other favorite no-churn ice creams, we use sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream to make the base for this ultra-creamy treat. To give it that authentic sugar cookie dough flavor, I’ve included chunks of eggless sugar cookie dough, a hefty helping of clear vanilla extract, and an abundance of sprinkles for flavor (and decorative flair, obviously).
To make this no-churn sugar cookie ice cream, we start by whipping cream. Heavy whipping cream is transformed in the bowl of a stand mixer into a fluffy cloud of dairy that we fold into a single can of sweetened condensed milk. Clear vanilla extract and rainbow sprinkles are added to the mix along with tiny chunks of cookie dough. To make the dough, we cream butter with sugar, add a smidge of flour, vanilla, and baking powder for flavor, and follow that with even more sprinkles. Truly, this is a seriously festive treat.
The mixture freezes up into a soft and creamy no-churn sugar cookie ice cream that will keep in the freezer for a few weeks. Whenever I make this, I typically find myself hovering over the freezer drawer for five minutes at a time, devouring spoon after spoon of sugar cookie goodness. It’s just really hard to stop.
Waste no time getting around to making this no-churn sugar cookie ice cream! It’s a simple treat the whole family will enjoy, and it literally couldn’t be any easier. Enjoy!
If you like this no-churn sugar cookie ice cream you should try:
This no-churn sugar cookie ice cream is loaded with chunks of eggless cookie dough, sprinkles, and that yummy birthday cake flavor! Read more about the how-to for this simple treat here!
For the sugar cookie dough:
¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon clear vanilla extract
½ cup (70 gm) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
For the ice cream:
2 cups (470 mL) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons clear vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup rainbow sprinkles
To prepare the sugar cookie dough:
Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed with a hand mixer for one minute. Add the clear vanilla extract and stir to combine. Add the flour and stir on low speed until the dough almost comes together into clumps. Add the sprinkles and stir just to combine. Set aside in the fridge while you make the ice cream.
For the ice cream:
Whip the heavy whipping cream in the bowl of stand mixer on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Add the clear vanilla extract and continue whipping just until stiff peaks form. Fold the condensed milk into the whipped cream and add the sprinkles and the crumbled cookie dough when the milk is almost combined. Spread the mixture into a loaf-pan or freezer-safe container and allow to freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.
The summer is in full-swing, and to keep you cool during these sweltering months, I’ve got a semi-homemade frozen treat that literally makes my mouth water just thinking about it: chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. Chewy, sweet and salty chocolate chunk cookies filled with the ice cream of you choice, these bad boys have your name written all over them.
We’ve spent the past few weeks in the sun with salty hair and bellies full of watermelon and frozen cocktails. Enjoying the beach with children is an activity I would more closely identify as “work” over “vacation,” but doing so with friends that feel like family make the effort worth it. My kids are slowly gaining a healthy respect and love for the water, and I have loved the opportunity to watch them experience new things for the first time.
I’m realizing there’s a lot of things you take for granted when you go to the beach without children for most of your life. In fact, it wasn’t until I had two overheated toddlers plastered to my sweaty thighs that I realized just how oppressive the summer heat can be. There’s sunscreen in their eyes, life jacket-induced wedgies, and never enough juice boxes to go around. The sun’s too hot, there’s sand in their pants, and somehow everyone in the water has a near-drowning experience. By the end of the trip, mom needs another vacation. #firstworldprobs
As a reprieve, I’ve retreated to the lake so that my mom can play grandmother to my babies and I can get some real R&R over the holiday week. To celebrate, you had better believe we’re noshing on these chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. These frozen treats (and a few bottles of rose) are the reason I’ll be staying sane (ok, and five pounds over my usual body weight) for the remainder of the summer.
The key to these chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches is the cookie. In order to keep this dessert as simple and stress-free as possible, we need to be able to assemble and freeze them in advance. So I’ve made this recipe to be just barely soft and chewy when frozen so that you can enjoy the goods without fussing in the kitchen all week long.
Like most cookies, we start these by creaming butter and sugar. These have a high percentage of brown sugar for extra chewiness. Next comes vanilla and eggs which get stirred in until combined. Finally we add the dry ingredients and the chopped chocolate. Be sure to use finely chopped chocolate so that you don’t bite into any huge hunks of chocolate once they’re baked! While I love huge chunks in normal cookies, I don’t want to be held responsible when you crack a tooth on a giant frozen piece of chocolate. So just chop it. These cookies get baked just until the edges are set and they still appear slightly underdone.
Once the cookies are completely cooled, sandwich a big scoop of ice cream right between two of them. I prefer classic vanilla and chocolate ice cream, but caramel, cookies and cream, or even chocolate chip would be a great addition here. It’s your pick!
Stay extra cool for the remainder of this month. These chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches are the ticket!
If you like these chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches you should check out:
These chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches have homemade thin and chewy chocolate chip cookies and are filled with ice cream of your choice! You can assemble and freeze these in advance to have tasty treats on hand in the freezer!
Total Time:25 minutes
1/2 cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 gm) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (70 gm) sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1–1/4 cups (180 gm) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 ounces) finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (your choice)
Ice cream of your choice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
Cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar with a mixes on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing to incorporate. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir on low just until combined. Add the chocolate and fold to incorporate.
Roll 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the outer rim of the cookies are set, starting to bronze, and the inside of the cookies still look slightly underdone. If your cookie dough balls look shiny and greasy or if you know you used butter that was too soft, allow the dough to chill in the fridge briefly, about 20-30 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely (you can speed this process up in the freezer!) prior to filling with 1/3-1/2 cup sized scoops of ice cream of your choice. Freeze or eat immediately. You can store these wrapped in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Chopping the chocolate finely is really important here! You don’t want to bite into big chunks of chocolate when the cookies are frozen. Also, using chopped chocolate instead of chips is important as the chips are designed to not melt well.
There are some things that are just better off together. Take for instance peanut butter and jelly or popcorn at the movies. Likewise, cheese tastes best with wine, Justin is stellar with Selena, and jeans are always perfect with a good-fitting white tee. I have a lot of opinions about things that go well together, particularly as it pertains to food, and today I’m sharing with you a dessert featuring my favorite match made in heaven: cake and ice cream. Today’s baked Alaska dessert is a winning combination stuffed with the Bonnie and Clyde of sweets, so let’s dive right in!
Okay, I already know what some of you are thinking. “What is a baked Alaska?!” I hear you. Brett spent a solid month rolling his eyes at the name of this dessert, so if it’s new to you too, join the club. Baked Alaska is a classic frozen dessert with alternating layers of cake and ice cream coated in a toasted meringue. I’m not sure who came up with this little icy dream, but I’d love to give them a hug and a high five because it is delicious. I think you’ll like it too.
This recipe for baked Alaska comes from Jessie Sheehan’s new book, “The Vintage Baker.” Featuring loads of throwback mid-century recipes updated for modern tastes, Jessie’s book is filled with baked goods that will remind you of days of old and will leave you feeling seriously hungry. Although I was really interested in a ton of the recipes from her book, I opted to test out the baked Alaska first, and I am thrilled to share it with you today!
To make the baked Alaska, we start with the cake. A dark cocoa cake is baked in a thin layer at the bottom of a 9″x13″ pan. After cooling, the cake is cut into three equal-sized rectangles, sized to fit into a standard loaf pan. A layer of plastic wrap lines said pan before alternating layers of the cake and store-bought ice cream are stacked inside of it. Once the pan is filled to the brim, the cake is covered with plastic wrap and heads back to the freezer to firm up solid.
When the baked Alaska is frozen, we whip up a simple meringue made from egg whites and sugar. The frozen cake is inverted onto a prepared plate and the whole thing gets coated in a layer of fluffy meringue. To finish off the dessert, we toast the meringue with a kitchen torch (or briefly in the oven) until the whole thing is golden brown. Baked Alaska, although seemingly complex and difficult to make, is actually a semi-homemade treat that nearly anyone could achieve!
Congratulations to Jessie on the release of her new book! Give this baked Alaska a try and let me know what you think! This is the perfect treat to wow with at your upcoming summer shindigs. Happy baking and stay tuned for another recipe coming later this week!
This recipe for baked Alaska features layers of homemade dark cocoa chocolate cake and store-bought ice cream. The whole thing is coated in toasted French meringue, making this is a show-stopping summertime dessert.
For the cake:
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 gm) all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons (30 gm) dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup (100 gm) packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
Rounded ¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1–1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
½ cup (120 mL) buttermilk, at room temperature
½ cup (120 mL) boiling water
1–1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
3 pints (1.4 liters) ice cream such as strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup (200 gm) granulated sugar)
To prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-by-2- inch pan with nonstick cooking spray or softened butter, line with parchment paper, and grease again Line a 9-by-5-by-3 inch loaf pan with a piece of plastic wrap that hangs slightly over all four sides.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, and baking powder, and salt on low speed until well incorporated.
In a bowl, whisk together the yolks, vanilla, oil, and buttermilk until combined. With the stand mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
In the same bowl, combine the boiling water and espresso powder, add it to the batter in the mixer bowl and mix for 30 seconds on low speed until smooth.
Pour the batter into the larger, parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 14-16 minutes, rotating at the halfway point. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a moist crumb or two. Let cool completely and freeze for 30 minutes or up to 3 days, tightly wrapped.
Place the strawberry ice cream in the microwave on high power for 20 seconds, or soften it on the counter until it scoops easily but isn’t melted. Place the ice cream on the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the ice cream and use your hands to press it down into a flat, even layer.
Cut the cake into three 4-inc wide pieces. Place 1 piece of the cake over the strawberry ice cream and press down. Return the other two pieces to the freezer.
Soften the chocolate ice cream as you did the strawberry. Using plastic wrap and your hands, spread it into an even flat layer over the cake. Place another piece of the cake over the chocolate ice cream and press down. Repeat with the vanilla ice cream and the last piece of cake The last piece will be above the edge of the pan.
Freeze until hard, at least 4 hours, preferable overnight, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
For the meringue:
Whisk the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, at least five minutes.
Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and lift out the cake using the plastic wrap sling. Dip the bottom of the pan briefly in hot water if it has trouble releasing. Invert the cake onto a heatproof serving platter (the bottom layer is now the top) and generously cover the cake in meringue using an offset spatula or butter knife. Using a kitchen torch, if you have one, gently brown the meringue, or place the cake under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes, watching closely to make sure it does not burn.
Slice the cake with a long serrated knife and serve immediately. It is best the day it is made, but will keep in the freezer, lightly wrap in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
I’m having a great day. I’m talking extra whipped cream on your frappacino kind of day. An accidental sale at Madewell kind of day. A find a twenty dollar bill in the pocket of your old jeans kind of day. Listen, we don’t need a reason to celebrate around here, but darnit, if we did we would have it.
So what are we celebrating? For starters, Brett and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage! True, 5 years of marriage is nothing compared to 10, 20, or 50 years, but if you’re already married you know that most days it’s a miracle you made it past the first 12 months. Little victories, people, little victories!
Next, it’s my Mom’s birthday! This is the same lady who gave me life! The one who took care of me when I had the stomach bug and loved me through that whole year I had a big wart on my foot. My beautiful Mama is the most joyful, kind, servant-hearted human I know, and I love her so much that I could weep. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!) This year she celebrates that really special birthday that comes right after 49 and right before 51. I don’t feel bad about telling you her age because she’s a mega-babe and most of my guys friends from high school would confirm that. (You guys are gross, BTW.)
Finally, we’re celebrating my half birthday! Yes, I know it’s a bit narcissistic of me to celebrate something so insignificant, but for all the shade people typically throw at turning 30, I’d say it deserves a little love. The past 6 months have been nothing short of a learning experience, and I feel like I want to drop some knowledge on the cool things I learned in my newest decade. So here’s a short list of the very important (and not-so important) things that 30 has taught me:
It’s okay to lie about your age. Your babysitter, the shoe salesman, or that cute guy at the bar will not have a clue. BUT! If you’re 30 and rocking it, shout it from the rooftops. If you feel like 25, dance like you’re 24. And if you’re sexy and you know it, let everyone else buy in too.
Eating fast is a normal thing. Admittedly, this is not something I’m proud of. I’m actively working to slow down and enjoy my food instead of inhaling it like a Dyson Super-Vac. But if 30 (and motherhood) has taught me anything it’s that angry toddlers will wait for no one. That plate of leftovers will not eat itself. You dig?
Trends are weird. I’m not sure if it’s because I have a nosebleed section view of the fashion world or if I just have so little time to care, but what I do know is this: I recently saw a photo of Kim Kardashain wearing a pair of orthotic sneakers that are most commonly sported by the elderly population. Apparently these are cool. Thus, I know nothing.
Botox is your friend. It is not just for people who are dying to look like Joan Rivers or Carrot Top. It is not strictly reserved for desperate housewives who spend their weekends drinking chardonnay and seducing cabana boys. Botox will make you look like you, but with less wrinkles. I have been doing small treatments for almost year now, and is it worth every penny.
It’s not too late. This is my new motto for pretty much everything. As in, it’s not too late to learn a new language. It’s not too late to be a tennis player. It’s not too late to teach your husband how to load the dishwasher. There’s a first time for everything, and this old dog plans on learning lots of new tricks.
With that being said, it’s not too late. As in, it’s not to late to say you’re sorry. It’s not too late to make things right. It’s not too late to be joyful! Peaceful! Humble! Graceful! When the world tells you you’re someone you don’t want to be, prove them wrong. It’s not too late to be a new creation; it’s not too late to be the person you want to be.
Day drinking is totally acceptable. At 30, you’ve passed the college-age threshold where drinking beer instead of going to class is worrisome. If people judge you for cocktailing at noon, remind them that you’re a grown up. Do what you want.
As you get older, so do other people. This is hard. Watching the people you love age and struggle feels so unnatural. It feels unjust, out of place. I don’t really have any wisdom to shed on this, but sometimes things aren’t okay and that’s okay. If you’re hurting in this area, know that you’re not alone.
Be teachable. For example, when my husband tells me I’m wrong, my instincts tell me to yell back, “SHUT UP, YOU’RE WRONG. YOUR MOM IS WRONG. YOUR FIRST NAME IS WRONG!” Instead, 30-1/2 years are telling me to respond by listening with patience and kindness. Something along the lines of, “You’re probably wrong, but feel free to explain your point of view.” Like I said, be teachable. I have a lot of room for growth in this area, but I’m told that acknowledgement is the first step.
Life is short. Eat dessert first. I learned this early on in life, but at 30, I’m embracing it. Let’s start living this truth with a slice of strawberry icebox pie.
This strawberry icebox pie is the bomb.com for about a hundred reasons. It’s completely no-bake; also, it can be made ahead in less that 30 minutes. and it tastes like a fluffy, frozen heavenly cloud. If that’s not reason enough to make this strawberry icebox pie forevermore, then 30 has taught me nothing.
To make your own strawberry icebox pie, we start with the crust! Graham crackers, pecans, brown sugar, and butter get a quick whiz in the food processor until a wet sand consistency comes together. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan and set it aside while you prep the rest of the pie.
For the filling, frozen strawberries are pulsed to icy slush and added to a smooth mixture made of whipped cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Once the berries have been added, fresh whipped cream is folded in to give the mixture some body. Essentially, we’re making thin no-churn ice cream here, one that will take on the semblance of an ice cream pie once frozen. Pour the mixture over top of the prepared crust and place the whole thing in the freezer to set up completely.
Covered with a piece of foil, this strawberry icebox pie will keep for several weeks, but I can promise you’ll want to dive in sooner than that. This is a really simple frozen treat to make, but it’s also highly adaptable too! You can sub in frozen raspberries, blueberries, or even peaches for the strawberries. Just pick your poison and enjoy.
I’m sharing this strawberry icebox pie with a number of other bloggers who think #strawberriesarethejam. Thanks to Becca, Ruth,Annie, and Joy for making this a fun collaboration. Please check out their sites to get links to a number of other strawberry-filled recipes! Thanks for celebrating with me today, and I hope you enjoy this strawberry icebox pie!
If you like this strawberry icebox pie, you should check out:
This strawberry icebox pie is a creamy, frozen dessert that is make head, simple, and requires less than 30 minutes of prep time. A sweet and salty crust, sweet and creamy filling, and tart fruit makes the most of this warm-weather treat that a crowd can enjoy!
For the crust:
9 (140 gm) graham cracker sheets
¾ cup (80 gm) pecans
¼ cup (50 gm) light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
16 ounces (450 gm) frozen strawberries
1–1/4 cup (300 gm) heavy whipping cream
1– 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 ounces (110 gm) cream cheese, at room temperature
Extra whipped cream or fresh strawberries for serving, if desired
To prepare the crust:
Combine the graham crackers, pecans, light brown sugar, and salt in a food processors or blender and process until the crackers are in crumbs and everything is well combined. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and stir in the butter to combine. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a 9” springform pan and set aside while you prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling:
Set the strawberries out at room temperature while you prepare the whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, use a whisk/whisk attachment to whip the 1-1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks have formed. Set aside. Process the frozen berries in a food processor or a blender until they have been reduced to a thick icy slush. Some larger (1/8-1/4”) chunks will still exist. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. If the cream cheese will not incorporate, it could be that it is too cold, so set it out at room temp until you can cream the two together. Beat the berries into the cream cheese mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then fold in the whipped cream. The mixture will still be a little loose, but be sure to not overwork it. Pour the mixture on top of the prepared pie crust, cover the pan with a sheet of plastic wrap, and place on an even surface in the freezer until solid, about 6 hours or overnight. Once frozen, set out 10 minutes at room temperature prior to slicing. Serve with additional whipped cream or fresh berries, if desired.
Y’ALL. It’s already here, and I’m so excited that I could almost pee my pants. We’re celebrating something way better than Christmas morning, the first day of school, or even a second date with a major hottie, because today marks the beginning of MONTH OF CHOCOLATE.
Do you guys remember all the chocolate shenanigans we partook in last year? There were homemade chocolates and a white chocolate layer cake. There was a hazelnut mocha cream pie and two minty desserts: sandwich cookies and a mint brownie ice cream cake. We played with cocoa powder and dark chocolate bars, mini chocolate chips and fudgy ganache. Basically it was a sticky-sweet month of decadent chocolate desserts, and those few short days were so glorious that it had to be a tradition in the making. So people, today we start the second annual #monthofchocolate, and yes, it’s okay to cry real tears of joy. I know I am.
Before you get too hot and heavy on all this chocolate business, let’s chill out with one of the best homemade ice creams I have ever had the pleasure of shoveling down my gullet. It’s turtle ice cream, a rich and creamy chocolate ice cream swirled with toasted pecans, hot fudge sauce, and salty-sweet caramel. Perfectly sweet with just a teensy bit of crunch, and every bit as decadent as a chocolate ice cream should be. Let’s chat about how to make it.
For the best turtle ice cream, we need the best sauces to mix into it. To make my favorite homemade caramel, we cook sugar and water in a saucepan until it has bronzed to an amber hue. Next, warm cream is added to transform that caramelized sugar into a gooey sauce. Once combined, the caramel is finished with a bit of butter and a helping of salt.
My favorite hot fudge sauce is even easier to make. Cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and chocolate are melted together in a saucepan until boiling. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes and then add the butter, vanilla, and even more chocolate. Allow both sauces to cool before adding to your ice cream, or, better yet, make them a day or two in advance. They will keep well in the fridge.
The base for this turtle ice cream is adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer’s genius recipe. Cream, milk, and evaporated milk are cooked with sugar and corn syrup until boiling. Cocoa powder is added next, followed by a cornstarch slurry that will thicken up the turtle ice cream. Continue to cook the mixture until thick and bubbly, and then add the remaining ingredients: chopped bittersweet chocolate and salt. The mixture needs to chill completely before we attempt to process it in the ice cream machine, so to speed up the process, I like to use Jeni’s ice bath method. Pour the hot cream mixture into a gallon-sized plastic bag and fill the sink or a giant bowl with ice water. Submerge the plastic bag in the icy water to cool the mixture in about 30 minutes. Once completely chilled, the mixture is ready to be processed in an ice cream machine.
You can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to freeze the ice cream base into a chocolatey oasis, but for reference, my machine usually requires 20 minutes. Just whiz it in your machine until it is the consistency of fro-yo and then layer in your ingredients. I typically add a quarter of the ice cream to a loaf pan or ice cream container and then sprinkle on the pecans. Drizzle spoonfuls of each sauce in next, and then repeat the process until all of the ice cream has been sauced up. Swirl it all together with a knife and then freeze the container in a cold part of your freezer for about 6 hours, or overnight.
This turtle ice cream is a sweet and salty tribute to chocolate, the perfect way to start the #monthofchocolate festivities. Be sure to pop by here every week for the rolls, bars, and other delightful confections that you won’t want to miss out on. Give this turtle ice cream a try and let me know what you think! HAPPY CHOCOLATE DREAMING, Y’ALL!
If you like this turtle ice cream you should check out:
This turtle ice cream has a creamy chocolate base, toasted pecans, and swirls of hot fudge and salted caramel sauce. Sweet, salty, nutty, and delicious.
1 cup (240 mL) whole milk
5 teaspoons cornstarch
3 ounces (85 gm) bittersweet chocolate
¼ teaspoon salt
1–1/2 cups (360 mL) heavy whipping cream
1 (12 ounce) can regular evaporated milk, not nonfat
¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
¼ cup (80 gm) light corn syrup
1/3 cup (25 gm) cocoa powder
1/3 cup (30 gm) toasted pecans, finely chopped
¼ cup hot fudge sauce, melted but not too hot
¼ cup salted caramel sauce, melted but not too hot
Combine two tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ice cream, but re-stir this mixture occasionally. Chop the bittersweet chocolate and place in a medium sized mixing bowl with the salt. Make an ice bath in a large bowl or your kitchen sink big enough for a gallon-sized plastic bag.
Combine the remaining milk, whipping cream, evaporated milk, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium sized (at least 4 quart) saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring regularly. Add the cocoa powder and whisk to combine, continuing to cook for an additional 4 minutes. To mixture will foam and bubble up, so be sure to keep stirring to keep smaller pans from overflowing! Pull the pan from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Place back over heat and continue to cook, stirring with a spoon or a spatula, for about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Slowly drizzle the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and salt, stirring regularly. Once all is combined and smooth, pour the contents of the bowl into a gallon-sized plastic bag. Place the sealed bag in the prepared ice bath and allow to chill until cold.
Once the mixture is chilled, pour the contents of the bag into a prepared ice cream processing machine. Make sure that your ice cream bowl is adequately chilled. Process the ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions until thick and fluffy, like the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Spoon ¼ of the ice cream into a loaf pan or a container large enough to freeze the ice cream in. Drizzle with ¼ of the hot fudge and caramel and sprinkle with pecans. Repeat this process 3 more times until all the ice cream, sauces, and nuts have been used. Use a knife to swirl in the mix-ins and cover your loaf pan with a sheet of foil. Place the pan in the freezer to firm up, about 6 hours or overnight. Allow the ice cream to sit out for 5 minutes prior to scooping and ENJOY!
Before we dive in to today’s hot fudge sundae cake, I need your help. I’m reaching out to you, human to human, desperately in need of encouragement, advice, whatever you’ve got for me.
You see, I recently decided to branch out beyond my usual arsenal of dinner recipes. I had grown comfortable with simple dinners of a lean meat, vegetable, and starch, and wanted to start experimenting with new recipes and flavors. It seemed realistic to incorporate one new recipe into our weekly rituals, so I made that my goal and started cooking new things.
Like most new ventures of my naive adulthood, I began this quest with grandiose expectations. I saw my family sitting around the dinner table, happily slurping bowls of Vietnemese pho. Aimee operates her chopsticks with age-defying precision and George requests extra pickled onions. No one picks through their food, complains, or asks “what’s for dessert” because they’re entirely enamored with their super-authentic, made-from-scratch meal. “And honey, is that a new dress? You look almost as ravishing as this bowl of noodles!”
There’s other nights too, ones where Brett suddenly develops a deep appreciation for mushrooms and we dive into hearty dishes like creamy polenta with braised beef cheek and chanterelles. Aimee and I pick herbs from our garden for spicy fish tacos and even spicier red curries, margaritas and mango lassies entirely optional.
In theory, it all works. I shop for groceries, sweat over the stove, and people enjoy the food. It should be a given, right?
Wrong. Instead, dinnertime is a personal beating, a full-blown assassination of this mother’s morale, as not one but three pairs of eyes stare at their dinner with disgust and despair. There’s no tofu meatloaf or fried frog legs on the table- just a simple meal of (what I wrongfully assumed to be) dinnertime basics- things like broccoli, chicken, and quinoa. You’d think I was serving a whole human head with a side of gun powder and hand grenades. Brett pushes his food around and proceeds to ask 125 questions about the preparation of the ingredients on his plate. Aimee goes to time out twice during dinner and has to be hand-fed broccoli florets in order for her to consume her second and third bites. The floor around George’s highchair is covered with food, a million little quinoa granules that someone (read: Mom) will have to clean up after suffering through this God-forsasken meal. What even is this?
So here I am, attempting to nourish my family with delicious and interesting food with absolutely zero luck. Everywhere in the media, writers and doctors and mommy bloggers go on and on about the importance of incorporating wholesome food and unique ingredients into everyday life. Gweneth Paltrow write a 550 word think piece on the necessity of beet roots while Ina Garten laughs in the face of store-bought chicken stock, but I’m over here just trying to get my kids to eat anything besides yogurt-covered raisins. Even my own mother, a saint in her own right, sends me a box of tools I need to prepare kefir water, because not only is it essential for gut health but what kind of mother would I be if my children drank filtered refrigerator water, and who cares that you’ve killed every house plant you’ve ever owned because feeding organic cane syrup to this jar of fermenting water is the only means by which your family will survive! I ask you, HOW I AM SUPPOSED TO KEEP ALL OF THESE THINGS ALIVE?!?
How do you do it, Moms? How do you feed your family well? And please don’t write to me about how simple your toddler’s vegan diet is or how you hand-mash your infant’s acorn squash that you grew in your 15-acre organic garden, because honestly, I might institutionalize myself. I want to hear it from the moms who have to will themselves not to order pizza every night. I want to learn from the moms who have to bootstrap it, night after night, just to encourage a diet from their family that expands beyond brown-and-serve sausage links and applesauce squeeze packs. What is our plan for feeding our family well when everyone at the table (self included) is crying? When hotdogs and Kraft singles seem like the easier path to follow?
I need the opportunity to throw in the towel for a minute. Instead, for now, I’ll make dessert. No one cries at the sight of a hot fudge sundae cake. Everyone wins when mom makes a dessert like this.
I came up with this cake last year for my mother. She’s a huge fan of Bruster’s hot fudge sundaes and that was the single request for her birthday. In fact, I made several personal phone calls to the kind people at our local Bruster’s because I just had to learn more about these illusive Dixie nuts that my mom wouldn’t stop talking about. I discovered that these ultra-desirable nuts were nothing more than finely chopped mixed nuts roasted with butter and a healthy helping of salt. Sidenote: Call me a child, but listening to my mother rave about how much she loved these nuts was giving me all the Michael Scott “That’s What She Said” feels. These are entirely inappropriate conversations to have with your parents and, okay, anyone over the age of 50. If your mother starts talking about Dixie nuts, do yourself a favor and just change the subject.
To make this hot fudge sundae cake, you need a baked package of brownie mix. We all know boxed brownies are actually delicious, so just cut yourself some slack, okay? The baked brownies are layered with a simple, no-churn vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce, and the infamous Dixie nuts. We coat the whole thing in an extra layer of the whipped ice cream, more fudge, and a few cherries on top because that what you do with ice cream sundaes, right? The beauty of this cake is that you can make it as easy as you need it to be. I love this recipe for homemade hot fudge sauce, but if you desperately need to simplify, just buy it from the store. Don’t want to make the no-churn ice cream? Buy a half-gallon of the real deal in the freezer section and no one will ever know. This hot fudge sundae cake should make your life infinitely better, not harder, so if at any point you find yourself crying into a pan of Dixie nuts, just abort the plan and eat the brownies straight from the pan. You have my permission.
I’m not going to jabber on and on about this hot fudge sundae cake, because I know you already have one foot out the door on your way to get the ingredients. If you, like me, have had a time of it this past week, throw a bottle of wine in your cart and tell your family they can order carry-out. You’ve got a hot fudge sundae cake to make. For extra help on assembling multi-layer ice cream cakes like this, check out this post. Enjoy!
If you like this hot fudge sundae cake, you should check out:
This hot fudge sundae cake is inspired by the ice cream shop specialty. A few layers of brownies, no-churn vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and salty buttered nuts.
Total Time:5 hours
For the brownies:
1–20 ounce box of Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix, plus the ingredients to prepare them with (see notes)
For the salted nuts:
1 cup unsalted mixed nuts, chopped (I use almonds, peanuts, cashews, pecans, or walnuts. Whatever you prefer)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
For the ice cream mixture:
1–1/2 cup (360 mL) heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (100 gm) sugar, divided
6 ounces (170 gm) cream cheese, room temperature
1–1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract can be substituted)
1 cup prepared hot fudge sauce (see notes)
Maraschino cherries (If desired)
To prepare the brownies:
Preheat the oven according to brownie package instructions. Grease two 6” round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper for easy removal from pan. Alternatively, you can grease one 9” springform pan, also lining it with a parchment paper round.
Prepare brownie batter according to package instructions. Divide the batter evenly between the two 6” pans or single 9” springform pan. Bake the brownies according to package instructions until done. Allow to cool completely. You can expedite this process in the fridge.
To prepare the salted nuts:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the chopped nuts, butter, and salt in a small bowl. Spread the nuts out on a small baking sheet and bake in the oven to toast, tossing every few minutes, until slightly darkened and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
To prepare the ice cream mixture:
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cold cream with a whisk attachment on medium-low speed until foamy. Add ¼ cup of the sugar and increase the speed, whipping until stiff peaks form. Remove the whipped cream to a separate bowl and store in the fridge until ready to use.
In that same large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl along the way as needed. Add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and vanilla and beat briefly to combine.
Fold in ½ of the whipped cream mixture until almost uniform. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until well combined, being sure to not overwork it. Store this mixture in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your cake.
To prepare the cake:
Remove both brownies rounds from the pan and remove the parchment liner from the bottom of one brownie cake. Line the sides of one of the 6” pans (or the 9” springform pan) with and acetate sheet (see notes) or a sheet of parchment paper barely longer than length of the diameter of the 6” pan, folded in half lengthwise to serve as long, reinforced sheet of parchment. Tape the acetate sheet or parchment to secure along the sides of the pan as needed.
If making a 2 layer 6” cake, place the layer of brownie with the parchment sheet still attached into the bottom of the prepared pan. Smooth 1-1/4 cups of the ice cream mixture evenly over top of it. Sprinkle with approximately ¾ of the nuts. Drizzle on 1/3 cup of hot fudge sauce.
Place the second layer of brownie on top of the fudge sauce. Smooth an additional 1-1/4 cup of ice cream mixture on top. Place the whole pan in the freezer and freeze until solid, about 6 hours. Place the remaining ice cream mixture in the fridge.
If making a single layer 9” cake in a springform pan, place the brownie into the bottom of the lined pan. Drizzle the brownie with ½ cup hot fudge sauce and sprinkle 2/3 of the nuts on top. Spread the ice cream mixture on top, reserving about 1 cup to frost the sides, if desired. Freeze in the freezer until solid, about 6 hours.
When ready to frost the cake, carefully remove the cake from the pan and pull off the acetate sheet. Use the remaining ice cream mixture to “frost” the cake. Drizzle the remaining hot fudge sauce on top and decorate the cake with any additional ice cream mixture, nuts, or cherries. Store the cake in the freezer and thaw 5 minutes prior to eating.
I prefer to use Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix, but you can use whatever standard box mix you prefer. It just needs to be enough to make an 8-9” pan of brownies.
I keep a jar of homemade fudge sauce in my fridge, but a store-bought fudge sauce is fine. See the link in blog post to check out the hot fudge sauce from Gourmet Magazine that I prefer.
To be sure that your cream cheese is soft enough, you can spread it out in an even layer on a plate and microwave briefly for about 10 seconds. This will help to ensure your cream cheese is soft enough to cream easily. Be sure not to melt your cream cheese though!
Be sure your hot fudge sauce is not too hot when assembling cake or you will melt the whole thing!
See the link in blog post for some notes on building naked cakes with acetate sheets.