Recipe: Melted Ice Cream Cake (Funfetti Cake + Birthday Cake Ice Cream)

This whole thing started a few weeks ago the morning after a girls night with my best friend from home. We’d gotten Ben & Jerry’s, eaten a few heaping spoonfuls, and the still mostly full pints were languishing in the freezer. I wasn’t really too excited about having them stick around, but I certainly wasn’t going to toss them, so I started thinking up ways to use them. “There’s gotta be a way to use melted ice cream in some sort of baked good”—that was my first thought. And then “cake!” One of the pints was red velvet cake, so I got this grand plan to use red velvet cake mix with the red velvet ice cream and make super red velvety red velvet cake. I found this recipe from the blog Cookies & Cups to work off of (because I wasn’t quite sure how to pull this off) and was all set to make it, but I ended up pushing it off while I spent a week in Memphis with my boyfriend. I told him about my plan and he suggested funfetti cake with birthday cake ice cream (because he loves cake-flavored frozen treats), so I promised to make him that instead of my red velvety red velvet and send it to him for Easter. The cake turned out pretty well—fairly moist, tender, and very very cake-flavored. It was actually quite sweet, but definitely tasty. In the future, I would plan to use a more subtle cake base (vanilla or chocolate) and try a fun flavor of ice cream (I’m dreaming of a strawberry-chocolate cake, mint-chocolate cake, or peanut-butter chocolate cake—yum!). This was pretty easy to make and pretty fun too. Since I’m mailing the cake, I decided to top it with a glaze rather than icing, since glazes hold up a little better. A generous spray of sprinkles completed the cake and made it perfectly fun and colorful for Easter.

Yields: 1-2 cakes, depending on what type of pan you use (I used two, 9 in. pans); approx. 12 servings (according to the cake mix package)
Prep. time: 5-10 minutes
Baking time: Varies (depending on the type of pan you use)
Difficulty: Easy

For the cake

  • 1 box of cake mix (approx. 15-18 oz.)
  • 1 pint (approx. 2 cups) of ice cream, melted (use this in place of the water and oil required for the boxed mix)
  • 3 eggs
  • Cooking spray to grease the pan

For the glaze
  • 1/4 cup milk (2%)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Sprinkles (if desired)
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Lightly grease the pan(s) you plan to use for the cake. In the bowl of a mixer, add the cake mix, melted ice cream (ice cream should not still be solid and/or frozen…it should be totally or mostly melted), and the eggs and beat on medium speed until well-blended. Do not add the oil or water required for the mix—the melted ice cream acts as a substitute for these. The mixture should look creamy, fairly thick, and smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake according to package instructions (different pans take different amounts of time). Be sure to check the cake a few minutes before it’s done (my cakes were in 9 in. pans and were supposed to take at least 29 minutes to bake, but they ended up taking almost 7 minutes less than that). Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, then finish cooling on racks. 
Heat a small pot over low heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar and whisk until well-blended and smooth. Cook until smooth and warm. Remove from heat and pour or drizzle over cake. If you want to add sprinkles, add them while the glaze is still wet. You can also use a prepared icing or make your own and use this in place of a glaze.
My boyfriend and his friends, having seen pictures, are calling this “metacake” and “cake-ception.” Love it.
Melted ice cream cake is a fun twist on traditional cake and, because you’re just using boxed cake mix, it’s super easy to make. You can mix and match endless flavors to create exactly what you’re craving. I highly recommend sticking with a basic cake (chocolate, yellow, white, or vanilla) and picking a fun ice cream flavor, thought this birthday cake ice cream-funfetti cake combo was definitely fun. 

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