a special request. [vanilla custard cake w. strawberry & vanilla ice cream, strawberry compote & whipped cream frosting]

August 4th, 2011 by | comments

Last week, the extremely sweet and talented singer/songwriter, Colbie Caillat, asked me to bake an ice cream cake for a birthday party. I gladly accepted the offer.

Since I’d never made an ice cream cake before, I relied on trial and error, baking a couple of different cakes. I combined components, techniques and recipes from various sites/chefs and came up with this delectable vanilla custard cake with strawberry and vanilla ice cream, strawberry compote and whipped cream frosting.

I created a few fondant pieces for the cake–the Chicago Bears logo and some decorative circles. This was my first time working with the gum paste, so the result was not as perfect as I’d hoped; however, now that I have a tub of fondant in my pantry, I’ve got plenty more to use for practice. :)

Italian custard cream recipe:

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup cake flour

5 extra large egg yolks

2 tsp. salted butter


In a medium saucepan, bring milk and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat. In a bowl, combine sugar, flour, and egg yolks.

Remove  warm milk mixture from the heat, then take one cup of the mixture and slowly pour it into it to the sugar/flour/egg mixture in your bowl. Whisk vigorously, to prevent curdling, then add everything back into the pot with the remaining milk/vanilla mixture. Using a hand mixer or whisk, whip for 1 minute. Add the butter and whip for another 2 minutes.

Store custard in the refrigerator for at least six hours.

Vanilla cake recipe:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

2 cups sugar

2 cups of the Italian Custard Cream mixture (recipe above)

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

4 extra large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup whole milk

1 pint Haagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream, slightly thawed

1 pint Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream, slightly thawed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 9×13″ pan (with deep sides) with butter, then place piece of parchment paper to fit just inside the pan. Butter top of parchment paper as well. Sprinkle flour around the pan, making sure the bottom and all sides of the pan are covered. Hit the edges of the pan on a hard surface then dump, to remove excess flour.

Combine flour, custard cream, sugar, oil, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Continue mixing, adding one egg at a time until combined. Add the milk. Mix batter for about 2 minutes total, as not to over beat.

After thoroughly combined, divide the batter between two 9×13″ pans. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until cake bounces back at the touch of a finger.

If using one 9×13″ pan (as I did), bake one cake at a time. Once the first cake layer is baked, remove from the oven and let cool completely. Pop cake out onto a cookie sheet or separate pan and place in the freezer. Bake second cake layer. Once done, remove cake and let cake cool completely. Place second cake layer in the freezer.

* Custard and cake recipe from the Cake Boss.

Strawberry compote recipe:

6 pints strawberries, cored and stemmed

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 vanilla beans, split and scraped


In a 4-quart saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Add the vanilla beans and cook over low heat until the liquid begins to thicken, about 45 minutes. Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes more, stirring. Remove from the heat and cool.

Pictured above: Leftover strawberry compote, to drizzle on top of cake

Cake assembly directions:

Remove vanilla and strawberry ice cream from the freezer 15 minutes before layering on cake, to let thaw.

After 15 minutes, remove the cake layer in the 9×13″ pan from the freezer (once hard enough to work with). Cut piece of parchment paper to wrap around the sizes of the cake, since cake will decrease in size a bit after baking. Pull parchment tight around the cake. This will help keep the ice cream in place.

Spread vanilla ice cream on half of cake, then strawberry on the other half. Add whole strawberries from the compote, as well as a little bit of the strawberry liquid on top of the ice cream.

Remove second cake layer from the freezer and place on top of ice cream and compote. Make sure parchment paper is still hugging the sides of the cake. Place layered cake in freezer and let chill for a few hours.

Whipped cream frosting recipe:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Place heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed, gradually adding the confectioner’s sugar, until stiff shiny peaks form (don’t overbeat.). Blend in the vanilla.

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