Double Chocolate & Banana Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

Here’s the thing about four-year-olds: They are clever, they are charming, and they let you get away with nothing! Nothing at all, really, such as missing and not baking cakes for their toys’ birthdays. Yep. But, as you may have guessed, I am very open to the idea, and felt simply terrible that I forgot dear Clementine the Monkey’s birthday. Bad mommy. Bad. When Reese explained that it was Clementine’s birthday, and that we forgot to bake her a cake, I asked her what kind of cake would she want. She replied, “She’s a monkey, mommy, so banana, ice cream, and sprinkles, of course!” I simply couldn’t argue with that logic.

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The good news for Clementine (and my girls) is that I’ve been wanting a reason to try making an ice cream cake, and I thought this seemed to be the perfect occasion. I found a fun and easy no-bake recipe for a round two-layer ice cream cake, and gave it a whirl. I was pretty enamoured with the concept: ice cream, a chocolate cookie crust, a ganache shell, and no-bake. Well, it was no-bake until I decided to replace the middle layer with my favourite brownie recipe, but it’s not necessary to make this cake yummy.

I did love the chewy brownie center, and I loved the idea that the possibilities for ice cream cake are endless: you can add almost anything you can dream up, and chances are it will take great inside an ice cream cake. Next time I would be tempted to create homemade ice cream for this cake, but a premium ice cream (they freeze well) worked well. You definitely could use homemade, if you enjoy and have time to make your own.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

The original recipe was peppermint, but we assumed that Clementine would want no part of that, so I went with a premium vanilla ice cream mixed with some frozen banana puree (any reason to use my food processor excites me). It was really a pretty simple way to go, but I wanted to avoid filling it with candy (although you definitely could, and it’s safe to say that I will too in the near future), and I wanted something classic and not too sweet. It was a success!

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

After an entire night of freezing, it was finally ready to go, and the kids eagerly awaited their slices. Is it just me, or does Clementine have that cake in an unrelenting stare-lock?

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Neve was definitely ready for cake. But, then again, she was born ready.

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And smiles for Daddy (I’m pretty sure that those expressions of adoration are exclusive to him) while they waited ever-so-patiently.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

It was so yummy, but I have to tell you this was the most difficult treat I’ve ever photographed. As you can imagine, it started to melt pretty quickly and the window for photography was small. Good thing it tasted so good.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday Dear Clementine

Happy Birthday to You

Here’s the recipe for the no-bake version. If you would like to try it with the brownie, you can simply omit step two and replace with your favourite brownie baked in an 8-inch round pan and chilled. I’ve included the recipe for my all-time favourite brownies below (I highly recommend making them anytime, actually) adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. Actually, I’ve been making these incredible brownies for several years now, and they are one of the most requested things I bake. I believe that using premium chocolate is the key.

Double Chocolate & Banana Ice Cream Cake

Yield: One 9-inch, 2 layer cake. Serves 12

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 8 oz. (227 g) premium bittersweet (extra dark) or semisweet (dark) chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick)(115 g) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 packages chocolate wafers (382 g) or 382 g of Oreo cookie crumbs
  • For the Filling:
  • 7 cups of premium vanilla ice cream, slightly softened (or you can use homemade banana ice cream, and eliminate the addition of bananas)
  • 3 large bananas, frozen
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) whipping cream (heavy cream, 35%)
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) light corn syrup
  • 6 oz. (170 g) premium bittersweet (extra dark) or semisweet (dark) chocolate, finely chopped
  • Sprinkles, optional

Instructions

    For the Crust:
  1. In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Stir gently with rubber spatula to make sure it is completely smooth and remove from heat.
  2. While chocolate and butter are bring warmed, grind chocolate wafers in food processor until fine crumbs (unless you are using store-bought cookie crumbs). Gently stir cookie crumbs into warm chocolate and butter mixture until just combined.
  3. Set 1 cup (240 ml) of the mixture aside, and press remaining crumbs onto the sides and then the bottom of a 9-inch round with 2-3/4" sides springform pan. Place in freezer until firm.
  4. For the Filling:
  5. Remove frozen bananas from freezer about for about 30 minutes to soften, then puree in food processor. With a wooden spoon, stir banana puree into vanilla ice cream (or, if you're using homemade banana ice cream, omit step 1-2). You will want to work fairly quickly so the ice cream doesn't become too soft.
  6. For the Glaze:
  7. Melt cream and corn syrup in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to bubble.
  8. Pour over chocolate and whisk gently in circular motion, until smooth. Let cool for about 45 minutes.
  9. Assembly of the Double Chocolate & Banana Ice Cream Cake:
  10. Spoon half of the ice cream into the frozen crust and spread evenly with an offset palette knife (you will want to place the bowl of remaining ice cream into the freezer while you work on the first half).
  11. Sprinkle and gently press the reserved crumb mixture on top, followed by 1 cup of the cooled glaze. Freeze for about an hour.
  12. Place remaining ice cream on top and freeze for about 4 hours.
  13. Warm bowl of glaze over simmering water until it has thinned, but not too warm. Spread over top of ice cream with the small offset palette knife. Sprinkle with desired decorations while glaze is still wet. Freeze overnight.
  14. Loosen sides of cake with a small knife between pan and cake, then release from springform pan, and place on plate or platter.

Notes

Best sliced when chilled and best enjoyed room temperature, warm, chilled, or even frozen.

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[ice cream cake recipe adapted from Bon Appetit]

Rich & Classic Chocolate Brownies

These rich and chocolaty brownies melt-in-your mouth, and are best enjoyed with no frosting, but only a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Ingredients

  • 6-1/2 oz. (185 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1-1/2 sticks (173 g) unsalted butter
  • 1-2/3 (332 g) cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. For use in the ice cream cake, line an 8-inch round pan (or, if you're making these apart from the Ice Cream Cake, you can use a 13 x 9-inch baking pan) with parchment paper (leave some overhang for easy removal).
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a small pot of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove bowl from the heat, and add the sugar, stirring until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Stir in the eggs, vanilla, and salt, and mix until thick and smooth.
  4. Spread the batter among your pan evenly with a small offset palette knife and bake until the surface of the brownie is cracking and flaky, about 30 minutes.
  5. The center of the brownie will still be soft, and you may feel that they aren't quite done, but they will solidify a bit more during cooling. The result is a melt-in-your mouth texture.
  6. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Chill in pan, then remove using parchment overhang.
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[brownie recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook]

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • If you decide to do a brownie layer, you can bake your favourite brownie in an 8-inch round pan lined with parchment paper (you will want the brownie layer to be no more than 1″ high. Cool and chill in pan, then remove from pan and place over first ice cream layer, pressing down gently, and continue with Assembly step 3.
  • The flavour combinations are absolutely endless for this dessert! Substitute any of your favourite ice cream flavours, add a layer of caramel, add some cheesecake bits, add chunks of candy — anything you can think of!
  • This cake is best sliced carefully with a sharp, hot knife as it is quite hard when it comes out of the freezer.

Good luck & enjoy!

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Comments

  1. Yasmin says

    This post has put the biggest smile on my face: it’s got adorable kids, chocolate, ice cream, a surprise brownie center (what a fabulous idea) and such a sweet story (God, kids are the cutest little nutters!)
    Although you mention it was difficult to photograph, you’ve captured it so well. It looks mouthwatering! Wonderful post.

  2. Natalie G. says

    I’ll have to remember this one if my daughter Ali’s favorite stuffed monkey, Curious George, has a ‘surprise’ birthday one of these days… :) Your children are gorgeous. Love the pictures of them in this post.

  3. laura says

    i love your blog! your kids are the cutest (:
    since we’re on the topic on ice cream cakes, i wanted to tell you that i make one that i think you would love. i make vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream and then do neapolitan layers with a brownie bottom. so yummy and it looks beautiful!

  4. says

    I wish I wish u had posted this a few weeks back when i looked for icecream cake on your blog for our anniversary. Never mind i’m sure I will find a reason to make it. That brownie from hummingbird is fav fav brownie recipe as well and when I started reading your post I was already thinking I’m making that brownie until u stated it was same recipe! I actually bought the whole cookbook based on my love for this brownie :-)

  5. Liz N says

    Rosie, I cannot wait to try your brownie recipe. The photos are amazing and delightful. My favorite photo is the one of Reese consoling Neve. What a tender moment you captured!

  6. says

    How ridiculously adorable this post is… I can’t begin to express how happy this made me. The cake is stunning, but those girls just look so freakin’ happy and that brought a huge smile to my face

  7. says

    This is one of the most cutest post I read today … Your girls are so so so adorable and that Clamentine is one lucky monkey :) The cake looks gorgeous. I am so happy to find your blog.

  8. says

    I hope Clementine was appreciative:)

    I’ve only made an ice cream cake in a bowl before, lining the bowl with cake pieces, and then alternating layers of ice cream on top of that and inverting the final product. This looks more difficult… did the banana puree help keep the ice cream in place a bit longer as it melted?

    • says

      Emma, I found it to be pretty quick & easy, but I was sure to work fast with the pulling the ice cream out just a moment or so before adding then banana puree (make sure you use almost-frozen bananas). Once it was pretty much mixed in, I took half to spread into the cake, while the other half was back in the freezer. Good luck!

  9. says

    This ice cream cake is perfection! I’ve got to make it before the summer’s end. Perhaps with roasted banana ice cream and some coconut in there? Wow.

    I must admit, your girls might just be sweeter than the dessert, though! :)

  10. says

    Love love love it!!!

    Tanks for bringing so mutch love and inspiration with your blog!! Today I made my very own sprinkles cake and i Loved it!!

    Sending you a hug from Sweden

  11. Liz says

    Happy Birthday to Clenentine!

    Saw the pictures in Flickr and had to go straight to the post, Rosie!

    These shots are great – really colourful, and this cake looks amazing! All the cute little monkeys at the party must have had a great time!
    Lizxxx

  12. says

    This is one rare occasion when your always-fabulous creations were actually outshone — by your super-adorable daughters and Clementine, too, of course! Wonderful post as usual, though. Am definitely bookmarking your brownie recipe!

  13. says

    Hello ! The cake is really impressive and your girls are extremely cute.
    I just wanted to ask, maybe I misread or misunderstood, at which moment do you glaze the sides of the cake ? If the cake is still in the springform, you can only do the top, so do you glaze the sides at the last minute, just before serving, when the cake has been released and the last layer has been frozen? I don’t have that much experience, so I am a bit confused… thanks !

    • says

      Hi Amanda! The sides of the cake are actually the chocolate/crumb mixture that is pressed into the pan and set in the freezer, so once the springform pan is removed, it’s already hardened as sort of a shell. I hope that helps!

  14. Sydney says

    This cake looks delicious and I plan on making it when we’re in the dead of winter in need of some summer fun!

    Your girls are adorable, by the way! You are blessed.

  15. Amy says

    Hi Sweetapolita! I’ve been following your amazing blog for a while now and decided to try out this ice cream cake for friends and family. I changed the recipe a little bit, like using homemade chocolate and vanilla ice cream instead of banana and adding an extra brownie layer on top without having the glaze on the sides. It was a success and everyone LOVED it! Even though it was a lot of hard work and was pretty sweet, it was definetely worth the effort. It was also my first attempt at making an ice cream cake since I am 15 and love baking a lot.

    Thanks so much Rosie for sharing your recipes and beautiful cakes! I am planning on baking another one of your cakes and look forward to reading more of your baking adventures with your cute cakelets. :)

  16. Alissa P. says

    When asked what theme my niece wanted for her second birthday, she replied “banana” (her favorite food.) We went with her theme and this was the perfect cake for the occasion. They cake was fantastic, except I had trouble cutting it with the brownie center. It was completely frozen solid.
    Any advise for next time?

  17. Followthedirections says

    I have not yet done this cake yet, but will later this month for a birthday. I plan to omit the frozen bananas. Does this mean that I should add the same amount of ice cream to compensate? I plan to use the Oreo crust option. Should I use the entire cookie or just the wafers? And- like the other poster wondered as well, is there a way to keep the brownie layer softer so it can be cut without destroying the cake?

  18. Anamika says

    I made this cake for my sons 6th month bday. Flavours are good. Base was a problem. Froze rock solid and couldn’t be cut through or removed when eating. Recipe needs tweaking.

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