Fried Ice Cream Layer Cake

This past Saturday I had a house full of food, family and little dogs running around in mini sombreros. It was a real hoot! My honey’s birthday fiesta turned out to be one for the books! We enjoyed a catered nacho bar and for the first time ever I put birthday candles on flan – which is not something I’d recommend because they immediately start wobbling to-and-fro (and that will make for a very fast rendition of “Happy Birthday To You”).

I whipped up baked churros with Biscoff and caramel dipping sauces, flan, and margarita pie cups. I’d also planned to make this fried ice cream layer cake, but ran out of time because I completely lost myself in a box of party decorations. Now, after making this cake, I’m lamenting my short attention span. I wish I could’ve shared! It’s so delicious and tastes just like the fried ice cream I remember eating as a kid.

This confection (from the bottom-up) begins with a moist cinnamon cake layer. It’s topped with a layer of vanilla ice cream and both layers are coated in a generous amount of dulce de leche. Crushed cornflakes and brown sugar are “fried” in a skillet with butter for a crunchy coating. It’s finished with drizzled honey, whipped cream and cherries on top, which is how it was always served at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

I hope you’ll give this a try for your next fiesta! It’s a substantial dessert with the cinnamon cake layer, and it hits all the right notes with true fried ice cream flavor. And, compared to my flan fiasco, it’s a little better at holding birthday candles upright. (Smile.)

Fried Ice Cream Layer Cake

[click for printable version]

Source: SprinkleBakes original recipe

Yield: One 9-inch double layer cake, 12-15 servings

Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes; total time with freezing: about 4 hours


Vanilla ice cream layer

1/2 gallon prepared vanilla ice cream

  1. Allow ice cream to soften slightly at room temperature.
    Pour ice cream into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer at medium
    speed until smooth and consistent.  Visual cue: 
    it should be very thick like a milkshake.  
  2. Line a 9×2-inch round cake pan with plastic wrap so that
    it overhangs all sides of the pan. Pour in vanilla ice cream and smooth with a
    rubber spatula. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the ice cream and
    transfer the pan to the freezer. Let chill until completely frozen, about 2
    hours or overnight (preferred).

Cinnamon cake layer

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup full fat vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup full fat sour cream

1/2 tablespoon ground (powdered) cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9-inch round cake
    pan and line the bottom with parchment.
  2. Beat together sugar and butter until lightened. Add the
    eggs one at a time, then increase mixer speed to high for two minutes or until
    batter is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, salt, baking powder and soda; beat
    for another minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stir together yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl.
    Beginning and ending with flour, alternately add the flour and yogurt mixture.
    Beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add
    cinnamon. Beat again briefly.
  4. Spoon batter into the pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or
    until the cake springs back when pressed in the center. Let cake cool in the
    pan for 10 minutes; turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Cover
    and transfer cake to the freezer; allow to chill until very firm about 1 hour.

Edit 6/2016: After making this again, I found that I had bunches of leftover cornflake toppings. You may consider halving the first 4 topping ingredients, or save the extra fried cornflakes in an airtight bag for sundae toppings.

Toppings/assembly

3/4 cup (6 oz.) unsalted butter

1 cup (7 oz.) packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups (about 8 oz.) crushed corn flakes

13.4 oz. can dulce de leche

1/2 cup honey

1 1/2 cups whipped cream

14-16 maraschino cherries

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add
    brown sugar and stir; raise heat to medium-high.  Stir occasionally. When mixture begins to bubble
    add crushed cornflakes and salt. Mix/mash ingredients together using a spatula.
    Fry topping for 5-6 minutes until mixture is lightly browned and fragrant.
    Remove from heat and spread mixture on a large baking sheet to cool completely,
    30 minutes to  1 hour.
  2. Remove the cinnamon cake layer from the freezer and frost
    the edges with some of the dulce de leche. 
    Holding the cake with a hand on each flat side, roll the edges of the
    cake in the fried topping until well covered. Place the cake on a serving
    platter and cover the top with more dulce de leche. 
  3. Remove the frozen ice cream layer from the freezer and
    unwrap.   Now for
    the messy part
    – if you have food service plastic gloves, I suggest you put
    them on now, or use two zip-top bags to cover each hand. Pick up the disc of
    ice cream and roll the edges in the fried topping (as before with the cake, but
    do not coat the sides of the ice cream with dulce de leche yet); do this
    repeatedly until the edges are completely embedded with flakes.  Place the ice cream layer on top of the cake
    layer.  Use the remaining dulce de leche
    to frost the sides of the cake and the sides of the ice cream layer, filling in any gaps between the two (do not frost the top of the
    cake with dulce de leche).  Hold the
    frosted cake (still on the serving plate) over the baking sheet of fried topping
    and press handfuls of the topping onto the sides of the cake. 
  4. Drizzle a little honey over the cake and press a handful
    of fried topping onto the top of the cake. Drizzle more honey and repeat with
    another handful of topping.  Repeat until
    all the fried topping is heaped on top of the cake.  End with
    a final drizzling of honey.  The edge of
    the serving platter will most likely be covered in fried topping at this point,
    so brush away the excess and tidy around the edges of the plate with a damp
    paper towel.
  5. Place whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a large
    star tip.  Pipe rosettes of cream around
    the top edge of the cake. Top each rosette with a maraschino cherry.
  6. Keep frozen until time to serve. Allow cake to soften
    slightly before slicing into pieces. 
    Freeze leftovers.
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Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

OMG! This is a perfect cake for summer. I thought fried ice cream was a product product of Asian american influences.
ANyway I really need to make this, you are so creative

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
8 years ago

Oh just stop it, looks so so goood!!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
8 years ago

Haha, thanks Belinda! I think you're right, but there's all kinds of claims to how it originated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fried_ice_cream

xo
h

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
8 years ago

A wonderful cake! That topping is exquisite.

Your pug is such a cutie pie!

Cheers,

Rosa

Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen
Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen
8 years ago

I'm in awe of your creativity! This is totally amazing. Growing up we went to "Chi Chi's" for our birthdays and they had fried ice cream. It was always my absolute favorite part of the meal. This looks outstanding.

Tieghan
Tieghan
8 years ago

THIIS IS INCREDIBLE! What a genius idea!

Heather
Heather
8 years ago

This turned out terrific! "Fried" ice cream was one of those childhood mysteries for me! I think you've outdone Chi-Chi's on this one and taken it up to another level! Speechless on the mini sombreros. Ole!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

Ohhhh nooo you didn'tttt. Amazing!

Wenderly
Wenderly
8 years ago

What a delightfully fabulous fiesta! I love everything from the fried ice cream cake to the fun party decorations.

Oh and the mini sombreros?

I want one. 🙂

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Oh darn it, I've just gone on a diet Heather and you post this!
x

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

This is too awesome for words! Really it looks fabulous! I just need some kind of occasion to try it on 🙂

Sarah | The Sugar Hit
Sarah | The Sugar Hit
8 years ago

I think everyone has a great memory of deep fried ice cream from when they were a kid! I love this non-fryer take on the idea.

Nessa
Nessa
8 years ago

Yum! This looks divine 🙂

ThisGirlBlogs
ThisGirlBlogs
8 years ago

Fried icecream?! … Yes please! A gorgeous looking cake 🙂
http://www.thisbakergirlblogs.com

Nila @ The Tough Cookie
Nila @ The Tough Cookie
8 years ago

Hi Heather,

This looks amazing! One question though: how long can you keep this cake in the freezer before serving? Won't the cake part become too icy if the cake is placed in the freezer for too long?

By the way, love the pugs with the little hats!

xoxo

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
8 years ago

Whoa. Friend, you rock my world!

meghan silva
meghan silva
8 years ago

This must taste so very good , so yum .

Nina @ ambrosia
Nina @ ambrosia
8 years ago

Ahhhh this cake has become a slight obsession of mine, it looks beautiful!

Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier
Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier
8 years ago

You're my hero

claire
claire
8 years ago

Despite finding cups a nightmare to convert (PLEASE embrace metric -absence of g. weights is sole reason I don't buy your book!) this cake is SO TOTALLY my cinnamon-loving brother in summer I can't not treat him to it. As from UK, we haven't grown up with fried ice cream in any form, but who could argue with those flavours, eh?

Allie | Baking A Moment
Allie | Baking A Moment
8 years ago

Omg, pug in a sombrero, too cute! Love the cake too, such a clever concept. 😉

a
a
8 years ago

Wonderful cake, very beautiful!!
Kisses

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

I'm not usually a huge pug-person (if that's a thing lol) but your dog, especially in that hat, is SO cute!

Tasbih
Tasbih
8 years ago

Looks incredible! I can't wait to make this cake! My only concern is how the texture of the cinnamon cake layer becomes after it gets frozen…Does it stay soft or does it harden?

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

This is amazing… growin gup I loved fried ice cream

Colette (Coco)
Colette (Coco)
8 years ago

Mexican Fried Ice Cream in a Cake…that's what I want for my birthday!

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Thank you for sharing this!!! My hubby's favorite dessert is fried ice cream. Can't wait to make this for his birthday! He's going to love you!

Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers
Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers
8 years ago

This cake looks amazing!! And your pups in sombreros? OMG. The best.

Celestine
Celestine
8 years ago

I love the puppy pics (as always). How adorable!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

No, no, and oh no, you didn't! I LOVE fried ice cream and once set my entire stovetop on fire trying to fry it. Oops. But IT WAS WORTH IT. And now I can't wait to make this while keeping all of my parts intact–thank you for this safe option! Heh.

Li
Li
8 years ago

This is amazing. I absolutely need this for my next birthday cake.

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

This is so festive, I love it!

Nicole
Nicole
7 years ago

There used to be a Mexican restaurant in my nearby city that I use to go to when I was a teenager. They had the BEST fried ice cream! I haven't been able to find their version of the dessert anywhere. This recipe sounds like the one! The addition of the spice cake sounds heavenly! Can't wait to make it! Pinning!