Oreo mint-chocolate-chip ice cream cake...and a birthday shout-out

My son is officially *9*!  I'm a bit shocked just thinking about it! 
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to my little guy!!
(I think he's now officially earned big guy status!)

I think a birthday is the ultimate reason for celebration and all the more so when it's a child's special day.  So it's time for another ice cream cake!  I've gotten into the habit of making some sort of ice cream cake for my son's birthday in the last few years.  They're easy to make (I keep it simple), delicious (because we're talking ice cream so you just can't go wrong), and perfect for summer - or near-summer - birthday boys and girls.
Oreo cookie crust, plenty of mint chocolate chip gelato and whipped cream frosting
I stick to basic flavors my son enjoys.  This year's ice cream cake is made with an Oreo cookie base, topped with homemade mint chocolate chip gelato, and iced with whipped cream.  It may be just a 6-inch cake but I packed a good quart of gelato/ice cream in there!  My boy likes ice cream and plenty of it!
Knowing that I'm not exactly deft at cake decorating, I was a little concerned about frosting the ice cream cake.  I used stabilized whipped cream, or whipped cream with some bloomed gelatin added, to make sure it would hold up and not separate.  I managed the stabilized whipped cream and I got through the frosting.  No one will say my homemade cakes don't look homemade!  The main thing is the birthday boy approved!  He took a look at my concoction after school and wanted to dig into it right away because "it looked so good" (yay!).  In fact, we actually did slice into this homemade birthday cake a bit early.  Since dad has to work late on the actual big day, we started the cake-eating early.
To be honest, it feels like we've been in birthday celebration mode for a while.  I think children's birthday celebrations always seem to stretch at least a week or more!  This year's celebration included an early birthday party two weekends ago with a group of buddies.  This year, my son opted for a noise-infused gathering: think bumper cars, arcade style games, capped off with pizza and ice cream cake.  Having a party outside of the house sure makes for easy clean-up!  The party venue doesn't allow you to bring any food except for a cake or cupcakes.  My son wanted the ice cream cake they serve there but I couldn't resist bringing a little something extra, even if it was totally unnecessary. I thought I'd bring mini cupcakes, and the birthday boy settled on yellow cupcakes with his favorite chocolate frosting.  I was surprised by his yellow cake selection but I suspect the cake was secondary to the frosting!  Here are some of those cupcakes...the one with the gold stars was special for the birthday boy:
Meanwhile, I think June rivals December for "busiest month of the year" status.  It's been a crazy month or so and I'm sure many of you can relate!  The school year wraps up very soon and I'm looking forward to a slower pace.  

My son and I decided many months ago that this year's birthday ice cream cake would involve an Oreo crust and mint chip ice cream.  He loves those two things and I wanted to try a whipped cream frosting to mimic all those ice cream cakes I enjoyed myself as a child.  

One day, not long ago, I saw a version of Oreo mint chip ice cream cake from Bakerella that reflected a lot of what I was thinking about for this year's birthday cake.  I filed that away and it served as a good drawing board for this though my version is a little different in that I used regular Oreos (instead of mint), homemade ice cream and stabilized whipped cream (instead of whip topping) to frost the entire cake.
The "naked" cake.  I used a 6-inch cheesecake pan, with a removable bottom, lining the pan with plastic wrap for easy removal
I used the mint chocolate chip gelato recipe from Ciao Bella that my son really enjoys.  In this case, I added 4 ounces of finely chopped dark chocolate and I tinted the ice cream with about 3 drops of green food coloring.
I'm not totally sure stabilized whipped cream was necessary for my ice cream cake but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry!  I think it depends on how quickly you plan to eat the cake and whether you'll be storing it for a few days or not.  I'd heard of adding a little bit of bloomed gelatin to whipped cream to stabilize it - in other words, to keep it from separating, and to avoid any "weeping" as my ice cream cake starts to melt.  

I started with a recipe that turned out to have odd proportions and instructions.  Luckily, I remembered that Kelly from Life Made Sweeter uses stabilized whipped cream in some of her cakes so I followed her directions.  It worked really well.  I gave the cake a quick crumb coat with the stabilized whipped cream, let it set about 5 minutes in the freezer, then gave it another good slick.
The large star tip and I are trying to be friends but we're still at the getting-to-know-each-other stage of our relationship.
To finish the decoration, I added some crushed Oreo cookies to reflect what's going on inside.  The green sprinkles are a little nod to the mint chocolate chip ice cream within and, more importantly, it's the birthday boy's favorite color. 

With the 9th birthday milestone, I can't help but think about the big 10 coming up next year.  Where on earth does the time go?


Recipe:

Oreo Mint-Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Cake
Cake inspired by the birthday boy and Bakerella, stabilized whipped cream recipe adapted from Life Made Sweeter and David Lebovitz

- For one 6-inch round cake - 

For Oreo Crust:
12 Oreo cookies
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Ice Cream Layer:
1 quart homemade mint chocolate chip gelato, or store-bought ice cream of your choice
(Using the recipe above, I stirred in 3 drops of green food coloring after straining the custard.  Near the end of churning, I added 4 ounces of finely chopped dark chocolate.  The consistency of the just-churned gelato is ideal for applying into the cake.)

For Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 teaspoons cold water
1 cup heavy cream, cold
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional toppings:
2 crushed Oreo cookies
Sprinkles

Line a 6-inch round cheesecake pan (one with a removable bottom) with a large piece of plastic wrap, leaving about a 2-inch overhang.  (Or use a 6-inch springform pan with removable sides and line the bottom of the pan only.)

Grind Oreo cookies in a food processor or small food chopper until fine.  Add melted butter to combine.  Turn crumbs into the prepared cake pan and press firmly and evenly across the bottom of the pan (I use the bottom of a glass).  Chill pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Remove pan from the refrigerator and top with the gelato/ice cream.  Use an offset spatula to pack the ice cream down and smooth the top.  Cover the cake with a piece of plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

To make the stabilized whipped cream, place gelatin and water in a small bowl and allow a few minutes for it to bloom/thicken.  Place the bowl in the microwave and heat at 5 second intervals until gelatin is dissolved.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.  Do not allow it to set.  Whip cream on high-speed in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Add sugar and vanilla when cream begins to hold its shape.  Once it starts to thicken, slowly beat in the gelatin on low-speed.  Whip on high-speed until stiff.

Remove cake from the freezer.  Remove cake from the pan by pressing down to remove the bottom and using the plastic overhang to pull out (or remove the sides of the pan if using a springform pan).  Remove plastic wrap and set cake on a serving plate (it's a good idea to freeze the serving plate as well).  Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream around and on top of the cake using an offset spatula.  Place cake in the freezer for 5 minutes to set.  Then spread and smooth another final layer of whipped cream over the cake.  You can place some of the whipped cream into a piping bag to decorate as you like.  Top with some crushed Oreo cookies and sprinkles, if desired.  Place cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set before serving.  



Mini Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

In case any one is interested in the mini cupcakes, I'm linking the recipes below. The yellow buttermilk cupcakes are moist and fluffy, and they pair really well with the super moist, smooth chocolate frosting.

Recipes

Yellow cupcakes - In this case, I baked the batter in miniature muffin tins and got approximately 40 mini's.  Bake until mini's are puffed, set, and spring back to the touch, approximately 12-15 minutes.

Chocolate buttercream frosting - This is probably my son's favorite chocolate frosting, and it's from our favorite chocolate cake.  I made half the recipe but ran out of frosting with the last half-dozen cupcakes so I'd recommend making a bit more.  I improvised by using a little Nutella, whisked together with some confectioners' sugar.  That makes a tasty frosting but the firmness of the Nutella didn't match as well with this light and soft yellow cake.  The chocolate buttercream pairs really well with it, making for a soft, fluffy bite.







45 comments:

  1. I'm a sucker for ice cream cake, especially when it involves Oreo AND mint! This is a stunning cake!

    Sues

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    1. Thanks! Ice cream cakes are all good!

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  2. Happy Birthday to your son! My son just turned 8 years old too! They could play well together while mommy can sip tea and enjoy desserts... or I should ask you to become my teacher to teach me baking! =P Stunning ice cream cake. Homemade ice cream cake is something I've never tried in my life... I'm jealous of your family and friends! :)

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    1. Oh yes! You painted a lovely picture for me, Nami. : ) Thanks for your sweet words.

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  3. You did a beautiful job on this cake - I know he must have loved it. Enjoy - these years go by fast and accelerate from then on. Your cake is beautiful!

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    1. Each year accelerates, it really does! A bit scary when I stop and think about it...

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  4. Aaaw happy happy birthday to your sweet lil guy! Ice cream cakes are my absolute favorite cake (hehe I am a kid at heart too) and is exactly what I want for my birthday this year too :) Your cake turned out beautifully and I love mint and oreos. The mini cupcakes look adorable too and so delicious! I can just imagine how great everything tasted and your lil guy must have been thrilled! Awesome awesome job sweet mama :)

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    1. I'm so glad I found your stabilized whipped cream instructions, Kelly! : ) Thank you! Do you think ice cream cakes need stabilized whipped cream...I figure since we wouldn't be eating it all in one take, I better be extra safe...

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  5. Your cake is a thing of beauty! I have yet to attempt an ice cream cake, but I'm sure it's going to happen this summer. Happy birthday to your son!

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    1. You make way more intricate things - this would be a great side project one afternoon. :)

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  6. Happy birthday to your boy!!! Hope he's having a great one! This cake looks amazing and that whipped ceam frosting is calling my name ;-) xx

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    1. He says it was the best day ever. There was lots of icy treats, pizza, and free time involved. Good thing it was a school day so there was some regular instruction in there! Thank you!

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  7. Happy happy birthday to your boy!! I would have died for a birthday cake like this at 9... actually I still would at 28!! Looks absolutely perfect!

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    1. haha - thanks, Marie! I tried to refrain from saying he makes me feel ancient...but 28?!!! I had him around that age (just a teeny bit younger...) so I'm just sayin'! Okay...what I'm saying is I'm way older than you! I remember a time when I always felt like the youngest person in the room...what's happened?!! ; )

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  8. Happy Birthday to your son! And you decorated it beautifully-you definitely have decorating skills! :D

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    1. Awww...that's sweet of you to say. Thanks, Lorraine. As long as there are Oreos and ice cream, I don't think my son cares what it looks like!

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  9. Happy Birthday to your son Monica! Time does fly, my boys will be turning 5 in November. Sometimes I wish they would grow up sooner and at other times I find myself wishing the sweet little things associated with childhood remain. But I guess, they grow up in no time.
    The cake looks stunning and I love that it is an Oreo Ice Cream Cake. So do the cupcakes. You have great baking and decorating skills and I bet your little guy is proud of them.

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    1. Oh boy - I know precisely what you mean about the children!
      Thanks so much!

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  10. Yayyyy!!!! A veryyyyyy HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your son, Monica!!!!!!!!!! <3 :* This cake LOOKS STUNNING!!!!!!!!!! I loveeeee the whipped cream frosting too!!! Oreo crust and mint chip ice cream sounds SOOOOOO DROOL-A-LICIOUS!!!! Loving those cupcakes too!!!!!!

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    1. You're really sweet, Samina. I think Oreos and mint chip ice cream goes down easy for most of us. Thank you!

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  11. Many Happy Returns to your son Monica!! I hope he enjoyed all his celebrations! So funny my nine year old is also a huge mint Choc chip fan and she would adore this beautiful ice cream cake - it is stunning!! I so hear you about June, it is so manic my head is spinning. My 'baby' girl turned three last week so lots of celebrations and only two weeks left at school. Looking forward to slowing down and doing a little more baking and blogging!!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, Jo! You have a 9 year old daughter! I find that very cool. : ) But you also have a 3 year old - I know how insanely busy you are right now. School ends next Wed. for us. I'm looking forward to a slower pace but at the same time, it'll get very busy in other ways when school is 'out'. Hope you have some time to hang in the kitchen and show us what you're up to soon!

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  12. Awww!!! Happy Birthday to your son! My little brother is 12 years old today! Which is scary typing it out haha since I can remember when he first started walking. This cake looks so yummy!!

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    1. Happy birthday to your brother! Once upon a time, I could never envision my son turning 12..but now...I see it barreling towards me.

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  13. Lovely! Happy 9 to your little one! Great that you both planed the cake...


    ela h.
    Gray Apron

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  14. Happy Birthday to you son Monica...the ice cream cake and the cupcakes look fabulous....I have never made an ice cream cake...thanks for the recipe.
    Hope you are having a fabulous week :D

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    1. I started and it just became a 'thing'. Can't go wrong with ice cream!

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  15. Hi Monica, what a lovely ice cream cake you made for your son. So nice that you pick each of your son's favorite flavors to make it very special. Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks very much, Cheri. Birthdays are always fun.

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  16. Happy Birthday to your son! I think birthday celebrations should last the whole week. I am loving this cake. My daughter is crazy for ice cream cakes, but I've never thought to make one. Definitely trying this. Pinning!

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    1. I hear you...I think his lasted a good 2-weeks! Ice cream cakes are fun - so many ways to go. I did one with a brownie bottom last year and a little chocolate ganache never hurts if your daughter is a chocolate-lover. :)

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  17. Maybe I can get someone to make me a cake like this for my next birthday!!!

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  18. Who doesn't love Oreos? I think everyone does, even I buy Gluten free oreos. Your ice cream cake look sooooo.. delicious :).. I am sure your son must have loved it.
    Happy birthday to him!

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    1. My son's favorite part of this cake was the Oreo crust. : ) Thank you!

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  19. I grew up on Carvel ice cream cakes so I fully support ice cream cakes for birthdays! And of course, homemade trumps store bought any day! Happy birthday to your big guy :)

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    1. Same here...I was channeling those carvel cakes with that whipped cream frosting. :)

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  20. Happy happy birthday to your son! I always requested an ice cream cake as a kid ... so I love that you made this! It looks amazing ... I think I should make myself an ice cream cake for my birthday in a few months! Ha! Have a great weekend!

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    1. I also have a summer birthday and ice cream cakes were my favorite. I always wanted an ice cream themed birthday party. : )

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  21. Happy birthday to your son! I love the look of the cake and cupcakes. Mint chocolate is my favorite.

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    1. Many thanks! Mint chip ice cream is the best.

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  22. Wow what a phenomenal recipe! So much thought and consideration put into one cake. I love it so much! Oreo ice cream cakes are the way to go. And the stabilized whipped cream frosting looks so delicious, and you wielded the star tip so beautifully (: Bookmarking!!

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    1. I'm happy you like it, Monica. : ) Appreciate your sweet comments!

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  23. Wow!! what a delicious recipe and I love the so much..It will perfectly worth for my daughters birthday party. Thanks for sharing this post.

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