French Strawberry Cake

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of a very special person, Pete’s mom Ginny, over a delicious Italian restaurant lunch and had a wonderful time.

But a birthday just isn’t a birthday without a special cake, so I decided to make a dessert that we could have back at Ginny’s afterwards.

There were only four of us, and not wanting a lot of leftovers, I looked for a single layer cake recipe. With spring FINALLY having sprung in Minnesota, I wanted something fresh and bright in keeping with this new season. Seeing beautiful strawberries at the store, I looked in that direction and found a recipe for French Strawberry Cake, a variation of the classic French Apple Cake.

Exactly what I was looking for, not too big, bursting with spring flavors, and suited for a special occasion. Accompanied by lightly sweetened whipped cream, it was just right, and a cake I will definitely make again. In fact, now I’m wishing we had lots of leftovers!

Fast and easy enough to whip up on whim, but with an almost custard-like center and a sugar-topped crunchy dome, it has a fanciness that elevates it above an everyday cake. Enjoy!

French Strawberry Cake

Adapted from this Foodtastic Mom recipe

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, plus extra whole berries for garnish

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

1 ½ tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch spring-form pan with removable sides.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing just until combined after each addition.

Fold in all but about 1/3 cup of the sliced strawberries. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Arrange the rest of the sliced strawberries evenly on top of the batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar.

Bake until the top is golden and the center is set, about 45 minutes.

Let the cake cool completely in the pan. If using a pan with removable sides, run a butter knife around edges and release sides. If in a cake pan, run a butter knife around edges, invert cake onto a plate and turn over onto a serving platter.

Just before serving, place cream and powdered sugar in the chilled bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for several minutes, until soft peaks form.

Slice cake and serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a whole strawberry. Makes six servings.


Red Wine Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

With fresh berries being in season, the time is now for this pretty cake, which actually falls into the category of “naked” cake with its exposed layers and minimal amount of frosting (this was a new term for me and my first “naked” cake).

Given the July birthday boy and girl’s suggestion of a buttercream frosted cake for this month’s office birthday treats, I perused many recipes looking for something rather elevated from your typical cake and frosting. After changing my mind a few times, I settled on Red Wine Velvet Cake from the always solid Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. And she’s got a new cookbook coming out soon—I’m so excited!!

With three 9-inch layers, it’s a good sized cake, one that I knew would easily feed my sweets-loving office mates. After making a few cakes lately in the 9-inch pans, a two-layer 8-inch cake seems so tiny! And you can cut slimmer pieces when you have three layers and still feel like you get a big piece of cake. Yes, please!

I followed the cake recipe exactly, but switched up the topping/frosting a bit. Liking the fact that mascarpone cheese was called for in the original cake topping, but heeding the request of buttercream, I decided on a mascarpone buttercream—the best of both worlds. It’s easily one of the most delicious frostings I have ever tasted, and not over-the-top sweet.

The addition of the berries was mine after scrolling through an endless number of beautiful “naked” cakes on Pinterest. Wait until just before serving to add them though. Enjoy!

Red Wine Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

From The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

16 tablespoons (225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pans

2 3/4 (345 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

2 cups (380 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups (475 ml) red wine (any variety—I used a blend)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups (115 grams) Dutch cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

Fresh berries for garnish

Mint leaves for garnish

Powdered sugar, for dusting the garnish

Mascarpone Buttercream Filling (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease three 9” round cake pans with butter or non-hydrogenated shortening. Line each pan with a round of parchment paper and grease the paper. Dust bottom and sides of pan lightly with flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs and beat well, followed by the red wine and vanilla extract.

At this point the batter will look like a somewhat mottled mess, but don’t worry. Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until mostly, but not quite combined. Remove the bowl from your electric mixer and continue to stir with a rubber spatula until fully combined.

Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans and smooth the batter with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean.

Cool the cakes on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn each cake out onto the rack to cool completely and remove parchment. Once cakes are cool, if the tops are domed, you can use a long serrated knife and cut horizontally to remove the dome. The cake scraps make for a nice snack while you prepare the frosting. If making ahead, you can wrap the cooled cakes in plastic and foil and freeze.

Mascarpone Buttercream Filling (From this Southern Living recipe)

1 pound powdered sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature

Beat sugar and butter on medium-high speed until thick and creamy, about 4-5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add mascarpone and mix on low speed just until combined. Do not overmix or the mascarpone will start to break down and the frosting will become too thin.

To assemble, place a cake layer on a cake stand or platter and frost the top with 1/3 of the buttercream. I found this easiest do by fitting a disposable piping bag with a ½ inch plain piping tip and making a generous piped edge around the perimeter and then fill in the center and spread with an offset spatula for an even frosting thickness. Repeat with the other two layers. Swirl the frosting on the top layer to make it pretty.

Store cake in the fridge, removing about 30 minutes before serving. Right before serving, top with a pile of berries and place some around the sides of the cake too. Stick a few mint leaves in as well. Sift powdered sugar over the berries right before cutting the cake (it tends to eventually dissolve on the berries, so don’t do it until the last minute).

Cut into somewhat thin wedges and serve (with three layers, your pieces don’t need to be large). Makes about 16 servings.


Tiramisu Cupcakes

When I asked our three February birthday people at the office what they’d like for the monthly party, two deferred to the third, who responded “anything chocolate or coffee/chocolate.” That sent me in search of recipes and I settled on King Arthur Flour’s Tiramisu Cupcakes, plus a couple other coffee/chocolate treats, but the cupcakes were the stars.

Who doesn’t like a boozy dessert? Tiramisu, but in the form of a cupcake—a very vanilla cupcake, with a Kahlua espresso soak and a creamy amaretto mascarpone frosting dusted with cocoa. Yes, please! Homemade tiramisu without the need to hunt down a decent package of lady fingers (or figure out how to make your own!).

The recipe reviews are what sealed it for me—they were all great. And they were right. These are a special cupcake. Unique with the “soak” that provides that boozy bite in the middle of a really vanilla cake, and the frosting—oh, the frosting! A not-too-sweet, whipped cream-mascarpone cheese mixture spiked with amaretto (almond liqueur). Wow!

The original frosting recipe called for Instant Clear Jel, which, conveniently, you can order from King Arthur Flour. It’s actually modified food starch, which is chemically processed and not something I want in my food, so I used less processed corn starch. It still keeps the frosting, which contains a lot of whipped cream, from deflating. Arrowroot powder might work as well, but I didn’t want to chance it. Next time I make these at home, I’ll try it and will update the recipe if results are good.

Don’t skimp on the soak. After making a smaller test batch, I told myself to use more of the soak mixture. When I made the larger, “for real” batch, I thought I had used more of the soaking liquid (brushed each cupcake many, many times), and I was worried it was too much liquid (afraid they’d be soggy), but the cupcakes could have used even more of it, so be generous.

Keep in mind that because the alcohol in both the soak and the frosting isn’t cooked off, these should be adults only cupcakes. And all the adults at the office birthday party gave them rave reviews. Enjoy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Tiramisu Cupcakes

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, room temperature

3 large eggs, room temperature

3 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

3 tablespoons coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua

2 tablespoons espresso powder

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup hot water

2 cups heavy cream

4 teaspoons corn starch 2/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature

Unsweetened cocoa powder, to dust tops of frosted cupcakes.

To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk into the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again, to be sure everything is incorporated.

Scoop the batter into paper-lined cupcake pans. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place the pans on a rack for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the cupcakes out and return them to rack to cool completely.

To make the soak: Mix the espresso powder, liqueur, and sugar into the hot water.

Using a fork, poke the tops of each cupcake two or three times. Sprinkle or brush a small amount of the soak over each cupcake, and allow it to soak in. Repeat until virtually all the liquid is used.

To make the frosting: Beat the whipping cream until medium peaks form.

Whisk together the powdered sugar and corn starch and slowly add to the whipped cream, along with the amaretto.

Gently and briefly whisk in the mascarpone cheese by hand until the frosting is thick and creamy (this shouldn’t take more than 4 or 5 passes with the whisk); more than that and the frosting will get grainy.

Pipe the frosting over the cupcakes, then dust with cocoa. Keep refrigerated. I think the cupcakes taste best if they are removed from the fridge about 1/2 hour before serving.

Yield: 18-24 cupcakes (I got 18, but the original recipe said 24).

Mom’s Baklava

Way back when I was in high school, my mom made a mysterious dessert with a funny name that was unlike anything that had ever graced our kitchen . Dessert nirvana I tell you. But wait, it was full of walnuts, how could that be? I don’t like walnuts; at least not the big chunks found in brownies, fudge or cookies. Odd how you can dislike something when it’s one size, but fall in love when it’s chopped finely, mixed with cinnamon and sugar, suspended between butter-soaked, paper thin layers of pastry, and infused with golden honey. Swoon.

Yes, that dessert totally foreign to my adolescent self was baklava. Mom was so ahead of her time—making baklava in Fargo, North Dakota at a time when a Norwegian or Swedish treat was as exotic as they came. She doesn’t remember where she got the recipe, but I’m glad she did. It’s the best baklava I’ve ever tasted—no other version I’ve had has even come close over the years. Maybe it’s sentiment, but I doubt it; Mom’s baklava is just the best!

If you haven’t worked with phyllo (or filo) dough before, don’t be intimidated. It takes a little patience and diligently keeping the sheets of dough covered with a damp tea towel while you work with one sheet at a time, but it’s not difficult. Have everything ready and prepped before you open the package of thawed phyllo and you’ll breeze through this.

A bonus as desserts go, baklava has the super food factor with walnuts and cinnamon involved. It keeps unrefrigerated for about 5 days and I imagine it would freeze well. If you’re truly walnut averse (no matter how finely they’re chopped), almonds, pistachios or a combination of the two would work too. Enjoy!

Mom's Baklava

We’ve been making this recipe for decades and I have no idea of the source, so let’s just credit my mom, Annette, the best mom ever!

1 lb. (16 oz.) walnuts

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pound phyllo dough, thawed

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

12 oz. honey

Butter a 9×13″ baking dish and set aside.

Place walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until walnuts are finely chopped. Alternately, finely chop walnuts and mix with sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Trim phyllo to fit baking dish (mine just needed about an inch trimmed from the short end).

In the prepared baking dish, place 1 sheet of phyllo; brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat to make five more layers of phyllo; sprinkle with one cup of walnut mixture.

Place one sheet of phyllo in baking dish over walnut mixture; brush with butter. Repeat to make six layers. Sprinkle one cup walnut mixture over phyllo. Repeat layering two more times.

Over final sprinkling of walnut mixture, place a sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Repeat to make six layers.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

With a sharp knife, cut layers just halfway through, in strips about 1 1/2″ inch wide the long way. Then cut halfway through on the diagonal, to make diamond shapes.

Bake 1 hour and 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Shortly before removing pan from oven, in a medium saucepan, heat honey until hot, but not boiling. After removing baklava from the oven, spoon hot honey over it evenly. Cool in pan on wire rack at least 1 hour. Cover and leave at room temperature until serving.

To serve: With sharp knife, finish cutting through the layers. Transfer to a platter (can place each piece of baklava in a cupcake paper to make things a little neater). Makes about 24 servings.

Note: Keep phyllo dough under a damp, clean tea towel to prevent drying as you work with it.



Cranberry Lime White Chocolate Tart

In a serendipitous turn of events, I’m posting a Valentine’s Day dessert recipe an entire month early. But by no means should this delightfully refreshing tart be reserved for the February holiday—it’s appropriate any time.

This all started when a co-worker with a January birthday shared her preference for office birthday party treats as either “a chocolate peanut butter combination or something with fruit.” I debated making a decadent peanut butter cup cheesecake, but for a mid-morning party, that might be a little too rich. Then a recipe made years ago came to mind—a somewhat light tart with fruit in two forms, fresh lime curd and cranberries. Plus almonds are in the crust, so with the incorporation of cranberries, this should qualify as super food, am I right!?!

Decision made, and completely certain I owned the called for 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom (after all, I’ve made this before!), my search for it began. Even though it’s been almost 8 years since I last moved, there are a few things still in boxes and it had to be there if not in my kitchen. After digging through boxes several times with no luck, and not enough time to order one (even with Amazon Prime!), I had to go with my closest option, a heart-shaped pan with removable bottom. Thus, a Valentine’s Day dessert.

With the heart shape holding less than a round, I knew I would have extra of everything, so I made a cute little round version of the tart for Pete—because he’s such a sweetheart!

If you don’t have the 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom (the removable bottom is necessary to show off the sides of that pretty fluted crust), you can use a similar sized tart pan with regular bottom or improvise like I did and use a different shaped pan, but keep in mind you may need to adjust the amount of everything you put in that pan. I tried figuring out how to calculate the area of a heart so I could determine the ratio to the area of the 11” pan and that looked like too much work for me, but go for it if you’re so inclined!

The tart is quite a versatile dessert—you could play with the curd, making lemon instead of lime, or this time of year, be adventurous and go with blood orange, but then I’d cut the sugar to 1/3 to 1/2 cup. If you’re not big on cranberries, pick a different fruit that pairs well with the curd you opt for. Blueberries would be great with a lemon curd, raspberries or mango would suit the blood orange, etc. I love desserts you can tweak depending on preference or season.

Please note this is a recipe you’ll need to start a couple days before serving, but with a fairly small amount of hands on time. Most of the time involves chilling or cooling, so just plan a bit in advance. And this doesn’t have a rolled crust, you just press it over the bottom and up the sides of the pan—it’s so easy! Enjoy!

Cranberry Lime White Chocolate Tart

Adapted from this Bon Appetite recipe
Begin preparing the tart two days before you plan to serve it

Lime curd
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch

3/4 cup sugar

6 large egg yolks

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

2 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted, cooled

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cranberry Topping
1/4 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch

2/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons honey

One 12-ounce bag (3 cups) fresh cranberries or frozen, partially thawed

White Chocolate Cream

5 ounces white chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

White chocolate curls

For crust: Finely grind flour, sugar, almonds, and salt in processor. Add butter and vanilla; cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture just forms soft moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of 11-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Using thumb, press dough up sides to extend 1/8 inch above rim of pan. Freeze crust 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust until golden brown, pressing with back of spoon if crust bubbles, about 25 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

For lime curd: Whisk lime juice and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in sugar and yolks, then add butter. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture simmers and thickens, about 8 minutes. Strain into small bowl. Mix in lime zest. Cover; chill overnight.

For cranberry topping: Whisk 1/4 cup water and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan to blend. Add sugar and honey. Stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil. Add cranberries; cook until mixture boils and berries just begin to pop but still maintain shape, occasionally stirring gently, about 4-5 minutes. Cool completely (mixture will thicken).

For white chocolate cream: Stir chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water; whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Cool completely.

To assemble: Spread white chocolate cream into crust; freeze 15 minutes. Spoon curd over; spread evenly. Spoon cooled cranberry topping by tablespoonsful over, then spread carefully to cover completely. Cover and chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Carefully remove pan sides; transfer tart to a platter. Sprinkle white chocolate curls around edge of tart.

Grandma LaPalm’s Half Moon Cookies

Cookies and Milk
Half Moon Cookies take me back to my childhood; warm memories of visiting my grandma in upstate New York come flooding back. Grandma LaPalm lived in a beautiful house full of antiques and very big rooms (at least they seemed big back then) in a pre-World War II neighborhood that even had an old-fashioned corner store across the street. The house had such charm—a huge front porch, claw-foot bathtub, crystal candy dish on top of the console TV, a den full of wooden toys built by my grandpa, and a mudroom illuminated by a still-burning Edison bulb original to the house.

Frosted Half Moon Cookies

Frosted Half Moon Cookies

Meals at Grandma’s were always at the big round table in her cheery eat-in kitchen, never in the fancy formal dining room, which was just fine with my kid self. Next to the table was a hutch with canisters holding sweet treats, and more often than not, one of those canisters was filled with Half Moon Cookies. Big cakey cookies with half chocolate frosting and half vanilla; which side to eat first was always such a decision!

I’m not sure what made me want to bake up batch recently. Maybe the cooler weather gave me a hankering for something warm and comforting, like a visit to Grandma’s house. Enjoy!

Half Moon Cookies

Half Moon Cookies

Grandma LaPalm's Half Moon Cookies

  • Servings: 2 1/2-3 dozen cookies
  • Print
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ¼ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup sour milk (1 tablespoon vinegar with milk added to make one cup; let sit 5 minutes)

Chocolate and vanilla frosting, recipe follows

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with hand-held mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Alternately mix flour mixture and milk into butter-sugar-egg mixture, a third at a time, mixing well after each addition. When fully mixed, cover bowl and chill for at least two hours and up to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large baking pans with parchment. Using a medium cookie dough scoop (mine is size 30), drop scoops of dough about 2-3 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake for 9-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking, to bake evenly. Remove cookies to rack to cool.

While cookies are cooling, make frosting:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 2/3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, milk, divided

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Mix in the 1/3 cup milk and vanilla alternately with the powdered sugar until all is incorporated and frosting is smooth and creamy.

Removed about half of the frosting to another medium bowl. Beat in cocoa powder and an additional tablespoon milk.

Frost cookies on the flat bottom side, not the domed top side. Frost one half of each cookie with vanilla frosting. Frost the other half with chocolate, using a thicker swath with the chocolate.

Let cookies sit at room temperature until frosting is set. Cookies keep for several days if covered (or in Grandma’s cookie canister!). Makes 2 ½ to 3 dozen cookies.

Homemade Dairy Queen Ice-Cream Cake

Cut cake
The August birthdays at my office are my boss Laurie’s and mine. There used to be a couple more, but as people have left and been replaced, we’re the only two (and now the year is nicely rounded out with at least one birthday each month).

As the office birthday party coordinator, I asked Laurie what she’d like for the celebration. She suggested I decide. Oh, the pressure! I hate making that kind of decision—the other birthday people are supposed to decide. But in years past, Laurie has several times requested Dairy Queen Ice-Cream Cake, so with my new found no-churn ice-cream making ability, maybe I could make a homemade version? Yeah, that’s the ticket!

There were several copycat versions out there, and I ended up adapting one from Browned Eyed Baker, whose recipes I’ve had success with before. My ice-cream, hot fudge sauce and whipped cream frosting are all homemade, but I drew the line at making homemade Oreos. That’s like trying to make your own Coca-Cola—it’s can’t be done.
Fudge Jar

Vanilla Ice-Cream

Vanilla Ice-Cream

The recipe may seem putzy and you do have to make it over the course of a couple days, but the actual hands-on time isn’t that bad—less than an hour total, so as long as you plan ahead, it’s no big deal.

One thing that bears mentioning, especially since my blog usually contains recipes that lean more toward the healthy side, this isn’t a dessert you should have often. It’s delicious and exponentially better than the Dairy Queen version that contains some not so natural flavors and ingredients, but it’s very rich and high in saturated fat, and best reserved for truly special occasions—like office or kids (both the young and old variety) birthdays and other events that merit a huge splurge.

Cake made of ice-cream!

Cake made of ice-cream!

The adult “kids” at this birthday party loved the ice-cream cake and all proclaimed it wonderful and much better than the one from that franchised shop down the street. Yay—success! I know you’ll feel the same when you indulge. Enjoy!

B-Day Cake

B-Day Cake

Slice 'o cake

Slice ‘o cake

Homemade Dairy Queen Ice-Cream Cake

Overall recipe adapted from this copycat Homemade Dairy Queen Ice-Cream Cake on Brown-Eyed Baker; Hot Fudge Sauce is also from Brown-Eyed Baker. Ice-cream recipes adapted from this previous blog post and Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Chocolate ice-cream layer:
2 cups heavy cream

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Hot Fudge Sauce/Oreo Cookie layer:
2/3 cup heavy cream

½ cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

6 ounces bittersweet (NOT semi-sweet) chocolate, chopped, divided in half

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

24 Oreo cookies, crushed (place in large plastic zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin)

Vanilla ice-cream layer:
2 cups heavy cream

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped cream frosting layer:
2 cups heavy cream

4 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Optional: Sprinkles or other cake decorations

Lightly butter sides and bottom of a 10-inch spring-form pan. Place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and lightly butter it. Set pan aside.

Chocolate ice-cream layer: Place bowl and whisk of your stand or hand mixer in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and add cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and cocoa powder. Whisk on low until cocoa is mixed in (so powder won’t fly all over). Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat until good and thick, about 4-5 minutes. Pour ice-cream into prepared pan. Cover and freeze overnight.

Hot fudge sauce/Oreo layer: In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low (enough to maintain a low simmer), and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla extract, until smooth. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before using (it will thicken as it cools).

Mix crushed Oreos into the sauce until well combined. Spread over the chocolate ice-cream layer and return to freezer for a couple hours.

Vanilla ice-cream layer: Place bowl and whisk of your stand or hand mixer in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and add cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Beat on medium high until good and thick, about 4-5 minutes. Pour ice-cream over fudge-Oreo layer. Cover and freeze overnight.

Before you prepare the frosting, 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, unlatch pan release, and slide the pan off. Remove the bottom of pan and parchment. Top with a serving platter and turn the cake right side up. Return to the freezer for at about 30 minutes.

Whipped cream frosting: Place bowl and whisk of your stand or hand mixer in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and add cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium high until fairly stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Reserving 2 cups of frosting; spread the remaining whipped cream on the top and sides of the cake, working quickly so that the ice cream doesn’t melt. (If the cake gets soft, just pop it back into the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes.) With the remaining frosting in a pastry bag with a Wilton #21 decorating tip, pipe a shell border around the top and bottom of the cake (my cake was pretty much the same size as the platter, so there was no room for a border around the bottom—next time I’ll use a larger platter). Decorate with sprinkles on top, if desired.

Return cake to freezer until ready to serve—should serve it within a day. Makes 12-14 servings.