My third variation on a birthday cake recipe takes the classic birthday dessert plate of cake and ice cream together in a fun, tasty, refreshing treat: ice cream sandwiches. There is something both comforting and nostalgic about biting into a triple-layer of soft chocolate and ice cold cream. The goodness of these little birthday desserts is that they are grain and dairy free.
I couldn't decide between ice cream flavors, so I went ahead and used both mint chip and chocolate peanut butter. My distinguished panel of tasters (hi, family!) thought both were delicious and had a hard time selecting a favorite. Chocolate lovers tend to prefer the sandwiches containing chocolate peanut butter ice cream, but believe me that both hit the spot on a warm day.
I envisioned taking these cute cupcake-sized desserts on a fourth of July picnic. With my sweet girl, we created a sweet and sunny picnic in our backyard. It was a treat for both of us to get dressed up, put on some red lipstick, and sample the goodies.
We packed up our suitcase with sweets and headed outside.
For a little girl who usually doesn't love posing for the camera, it was fun to see her get into character and even more fun to apply mascara and lipstick (her first time). I can see many more photo shoots in her future!
And if bite-sized isn't big enough when your birthday rolls around, then go ahead and make a gigantic ice cream sandwich in a cake pan! Why not?!
Ice Cream Sandwiches (really just chocolate cupcakes with ice cream sandwiched between layers!)
makes 16 sandwiches
3 1/2 C. blanched almond flour
3/4 C. cacao powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. honey
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
8 TBS butter, softened
1 quart ice cream, any flavor (see below)
For the cupcake layer:
Preheat oven to 350F. Thoroughly oil two cupcake pans.
Using a metal whisk, combine almond flour, cacao powder, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer until well-mixed.
Add honey, eggs, and vanilla to bowl. Then, using the paddle attachment of stand mixer, combine on medium speed until wet ingredients are incorporated into dry.
Finally, add the softened butter and combine on medium speed until fully incorporated.
Pour mixture into prepared cupcake pans, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, using the edge of a small spatula, loosen cupcake around edges until you can feel it release completely from pan. Carefully remove onto wire rack to cool completely.
For the ice cream layer:
Ice cream layer suggestions...
Mint Chip Ice Cream by Danielle at Against all Grain
Double Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Swirl by Danielle at Against all Grain
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt by moi :)
Line two cupcake pans with plastic wrap. You can either use one big sheet and push down to layer inside each cup, or cut small plastic wrap squares for each cup.
Scoop out approximately 1/4 cup of ice cream into 16 cupcake slots. Press down to flatten and spread out, filling bottom of cupcake slot. Wrap entire cupcake pan tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap and place in freezer until ice cream is hard.
To assemble sandwiches:
Remove prepared ice cream in cupcake pans from freezer. Slice each cupcake in half horizontally. Place a disk of frozen ice cream on bottom layer of cupcake and sandwich with the top layer. Serve immediately or wrap tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and store in freezer until serving time.
To create a large ice cream cake, simply pour batter into two prepared six-inch cake pans and cook for 25-30 minutes at 350F. For ice cream layer, line two six-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and fill halfway with ice cream. Freeze as directed above. Slice cake in half, sandwich ice cream between. Serve immediately or double-wrap and freeze until serving time.