For Kevin’s birthday this year, I made the last cake I’ll probably have time to bake for a long time. His side of the family came over for a celebration, and I wanted to make a cake with a lighter feel. I went with my favorite go-to chocolate cake recipe for the cake and added fresh strawberries and bananas in between the cake layers.
And instead of frosting, I went with a chocolate whipped cream after coming across the perfect recipe on The First Year. I also love the look of a naked cake, and tried to do something similar. However, I made the whipped cream a bit stiff so that it would hold up longer out of the fridge and it wasn’t as easy to spread.
When you want a whipped cream that will last longer, you should also freeze the mixing bowl and whisk you’re going to use in advance. With frosting, whipped cream, or any other recipes where texture is important and you’re adding lumpy dry goods to it, I also recommend sifting the ingredients to prevent lumps! Here’s the delicious chocolate whipped cream recipe as adapted from The First Year:
2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Place a metal mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the freezer. Add the heavy cream, and sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar into the bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 4-5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape. Don’t over beat!
Use on cakes, cupcakes, pies, hot cocoa, etc. Place leftovers in a container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
I recalled having Baskin-Robbins ice cream cakes on quite a few birthday celebrations for Crystal throughout the 10+ years I’ve known her. And any time she had a chance to bring dessert to a potluck, she brought ice cream cake. I thought it might be somewhat of a no-brainer to see if she’d want one for her birthday potluck a few weekends ago, but I wanted to make sure she’d be into it. This is literally the conversation we had verbatim:
Allison: hi friend, do you have room in your freezer if i made an ice cream cake for saturday?
The full recipe is a little long, so bear with me. I didn’t include the ice cream recipes, since I used store-bought ice cream on this cake. I don’t have an ice cream maker, but Dreyer’s Grand (not the slow-churned stuff!) has great consistency for spreading the ice cream. I will leave the links for the sauces that I made to shorten this post a bit. I used Brown Eyed Baker’s strawberry and pineapple sauce recipe, but I used Food Network’s Tyler Florence’s version for the chocolate sauce (I generally just don’t like using corn syrup).
Since we were expecting 25 people at the potluck, I made two cakes in a 9×3 springform pan and a small loaf tin for the second cake, using 1.5 the amount of the suggested ingredients. This ended up being a 5-day process, given my day job. I got nervous the ice cream would freezer burn being out that long, as I’ve had frequent freezer burn problems with my freezer. After lots of Googling, I found that using parchment paper helps prevent it. Each time I finished a layer that would be in the freezer overnight or while I was at work, I cut out a 9″ round piece of parchment paper to keep in contact with the top layer of ice cream or sauce. This recipe is just for one 8×3 inch springform pan’s worth of awesomeness.
1. Spray an 8×3-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Assemble the Crust: Combine the Oreo cookie crumbs with the melted butter, tossing until all of the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the banana slices. Place the pan in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
3. Assemble the Strawberry Layer: Top the banana layer with the strawberry ice cream. Use an offset spatula (or the back of a giant spoon) to spread the ice cream into a smooth, even layer. Place the pan back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
4. Pour the strawberry topping over the strawberry ice cream and gently spread so that it covers the entire ice cream layer beneath. Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until completely frozen. This is where I took a break and froze the cake overnight, so I put a layer of parchment paper down to prevent freezer burn.
5. Assemble the Chocolate Layer: Top the strawberry layer with the chocolate ice cream. Use an offset spatula to spread the ice cream into a smooth, even layer. Place the pan back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until firm and set.
6. Pour the hot fudge sauce over the chocolate ice cream and gently spread so that it covers the entire ice cream layer beneath. Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until completely frozen.
7. Assemble the Vanilla Layer: Top the hot fudge layer with the vanilla ice cream. Use an offset spatula to spread the ice cream into a smooth, even layer. Cover with plastic wrap, return the assembled cake to the freezer and freeze overnight. Don’t forget the layer of parchment paper!
8. Final Assembly and Garnishment: At least 1 hour (and no more than 12 hours) before serving, unmold the cake. To release the cake from the pan, invert the cake onto a plate or cardboard round the same size and wrap a hot kitchen towel around the cake pan, keeping it there for 30 seconds, or until the cake loosens and slide the pan off.
Remove the parchment (and bottom of pan if using a springform). Top with a serving plate and turn the cake right side up. Return to the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
9. While the cake is in the freezer, make the whipped cream. Combine the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the cream is light and fluffy and holds a medium to firm peak, 2 to 3 minutes.
10. Just prior to serving, pipe the whipped cream into mounds around the outer edge of the cake, making sure the mounds touch so that no pineapple sauce leaks down the top. Place a maraschino cherry on top of each whipped cream mound.
11. Fill in the space in the middle with the pineapple topping and top with chopped walnuts. A hot, dry knife will yield the cleanest cuts. Dip your knife in a glass of hot water, wipe it clean with a towel, and cut a slice. Repeat between every slice. Store leftover slices in airtight containers (or covered with parchment paper and foil) in the freezer.
Note: If you are making homemade ice cream, your best bet is to time the assembly so that you can add the freshly-churned ice cream right onto the cake. It will be the perfect consistency. If you will be using already-made ice cream, put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before you plan to need it and then mix it really well with a spatula so that it is smooth and spreadable.
After work the day before the BBQ, I pulled the cake out of the freezer to check on it and saw this:
My dad had accidentally left two heavy WARM ice packs on top of the parchment paper layer of cake the night before, and the packs had melted the already soft ice cream and pushed it down, causing the top layer to get a little foamy and spill out the sides of the pan. My 4 days of work leading up to that had been ruined. I could only think of one thing to say, but it was already too late. After a good hour of wanting to take a wrecking ball to my kitchen, I calmed down tried to figure out how to salvage the cake. I re-froze the cake, and then scraped off as much as I could of the vanilla layer without breaking the chocolate sauce layer. I put another layer of parchment paper down and froze it for a few hours. I reapplied the vanilla ice cream layer, put another layer of parchment down and froze it overnight. The next morning, I made the whipped cream and piped it on to the cake, and filled the top with the pineapple sauce.
The cake layers definitely weren’t as perfect as I had hoped, but there was no time to start the cake over. Thankfully, Sho-Yu is definitely not a crowd to judge based on appearances as we tend to just inhale sweets however imperfect they may look.
I do think Crystal was a happy camper with the cake, and there were no leftovers which is always a good sign.
Being the meticulous direction-reader that I am, I purchased double the ingredients knowing I’d need enough for the shower as well as Leslie’s birthday.
However, I failed to notice that the recipe called for muffin tins, which are much larger than cupcake tins. So in actuality, I ended up having enough batter to bake 5 dozen upside down cupcakes. #fail
I found the cupcake recipe by doing a google search that led me to Family Fun’s recipe, and found a really simple recipe for dairy-free coconut whipped cream on The Kitchn.
The cupcakes had a great crumbly top thanks to the brown sugar and butter, and the cake was deliciously moist. The coconut whipped cream was mild enough to compliment the flavors in the cupcake – not too coconut-y nor to sweet.
Here’s the final product!
Congratulations to Crystal and Dave! Can’t wait to meet baby Preston and welcome him into the Sho-Yu family! Puahahaha…xoxo
My maternal grandfather (Grampa Bill) was in the WWII internment camps and didn’t have the luxury of receiving any dental care during that time. This unfortunately caused him to lose his teeth at an early age and he’s had to deal with wearing dentures for at least the entire time I’ve known him. He turned 92 last week, so we had a family dinner over the weekend. In his honor, I made a birthday dessert that he wouldn’t really have to chew – a no-bake banana cream pie. I’ll make one from scratch someday but it was a crazy weekend, so I made up an easy no-bake version.
I bought a graham cracker crust, instant vanilla pudding, and lots of bananas. After slicing the bananas and laying them out on the bottom of the crust, I smothered them with the prepared pudding and let it set in the fridge for about 3 hours. Once set, I just added some more banana slices on top and added whipped cream. Easy!
As you can see from the photo below, it turned into a sloppy mess once I sliced it… albeit, a tasty sloppy mess!