Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
This easy to make Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich Cake Recipe has become my kids’ most requested birthday cake, with three layers of frozen bliss!
Every year, my kids spend months deeply contemplating how they plan to celebrate their birthdays. The painstaking forethought put into whether they’ll have a small sleepover, or go to the movies with friends, and what kind of cake and snacks they’ll have, always amazes me.
This is serious business.
My youngest, Carson, just turned eleven years old.
It’s bittersweet to watch my tiny tornado of a man-child grow into adolescence. I miss his chubby cheeks, and endless desire to cuddle. Yet, it’s such a join to watch him mature and make responsible decisions.
He’s still vivacious and carefree, yet with a touch of wisdom blooming within.
After much consideration, he decided he wanted to take a few friends to the pinball museum for his birthday party this year.
Endless play of vintage pinball machines and other retro arcade games were the highest priority.
Yet the second priority was his birthday cake…
He told me it must be a Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich Cake, with rich chocolate cake layers, salted caramel gelato sandwiched in the middle, and decadent chocolate ganache over the top.
Over the top, being the key phrase here.
This was no surprise to me.
Actually this Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich Cake is a recipe I’ve now made several times with various ice cream flavors in the middle to suit each child and year.
Both of my kids are CRAZY over this cake, which is just fine with me, because it is so easy to prepare and requires no fancy decorating skills.
The key to making not just an okay ice cream cake, but a fabulous ice cream cake, is the cake batter itself.
This is not the place to fudge and use a cake mix. That sort of cake will firm up so much in the freezer that it’s hard to cut and enjoy with a fork. (Trust me, I’ve tried it!)
Instead, I made an old-school “hot liquid” style chocolate cake batter and added sour cream to the mix to provide a little more moisture and substance.
The result is a tender small-crumbed chocolate cake that freezes well, yet is soft and supple once thawed for a few minutes.
Once the cakes are baked, I wrap them individually in plastic and freeze the layers so they are hard and easy to assemble.
Then I use one of the cake pans to mold an ice cream disk to sandwich in between the cake layers.
Once assembled, pour simple glossy chocolate ganache over the top and let it run down the sides. A little messy is not always a bad thing!
Then the whole Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich Cake goes back into the freezer until it’s time to serve it.
Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich Cake is a sure-bet when making a birthday cake for anyone who loves chocolate… or ice cream.
In fact, your family may start asking for it every year, just like mine do!
Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot coffee
- 2 pints salted caramel ice cream or gelato
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 8 ounces dark chocolate
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup, for shine
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-9 inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray. Cut parchment paper circles to fit in each pan and press them again the bottoms. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend. Add the sour cream, eggs, oil and vanilla. Beat to combine. Then scrape the bowl, turn the mixer on low, and slowly add in the hot coffee. Beat until the batter is thin and smooth.
- Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes. Then flip the cakes out onto cooling racks, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.
- Meanwhile, line an 8- to 9-inch cake pan with plastic wrap. Scoop the ice cream into the cake pan and press down with a spatula to make a smooth solid ice cream layer. Place the ice cream layer back into the freezer to firm up.
- Once the cakes are cool, wrap each layer individually in plastic and freeze them until they are cold and hard to the touch, around 2 hours.
- For the ganache: Heat the cream until it nearly simmers. Then remove from heat and add broken chocolate pieces to the cream. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Then add the corn syrup and gently stir until completely smooth. (Whisking adds bubbles, so stir gently instead.) Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature before proceeding.
- To assemble: Unwrap the frozen cakes. Lay one cake on a cake stand then flip the ice cream layer on top of it and peel off the plastic. Top with the second cake layer and press down a little to level the cake. Use a flat spatula to smooth out the seams between the ice cream and cake all the way around the edges. Then pour the ganache over the top. Spread to the edges, if needed, to help the ganache drip over the sides. Freeze until ready to serve.