How to Make Ice Cream Cake Without a Recipe

06/17/2014 at 02:24 PM ET

How to make ice cream cake
Mark Weinberg and James Ransom

“Mocha chip. No, cookies ‘n’ cream. Ah — I haven’t had black raspberry in years. Do I order two flavors or just one? Do I want a kiddie size or a small?”

Choosing an ice cream flavor, at times, weighs as heavily on one’s conscience as choosing a university. After staring at a seemingly endless list of options, you pull the trigger.

More: You could also turn your favorite ice cream into a float — with anything from booze, to soda, to seltzer.

That same pondering doesn’t usually apply to ice cream cake selection; the freezer aisle does not inspire much internal debate. Although the traditional chocolate-and-vanilla frosted cake and the spherical, watermelon-colored roll are classic standbys, homemade versions allow for freedom of flavor. Instead of putting yourself within a frigid box, choose your own flavors and layer them on top of a crunchy, delicately buttery crust, then layer them with more crunch, and maybe some hot fudge. You’ll get all the enjoyment of an ice cream stand, minus the mosquito bites.

Here’s how to make whatever ice cream cake you like, without a recipe:

How to make ice cream cake
Mark Weinberg and James Ransom

1. Select your flavors (overachievers can use homemade ice cream) and fillings of choice; keep in mind that the more flavors you use, the taller the cake will be. Hot fudge, cookie crumbs — really anything can go in between the ice cream layers.

How to make ice cream cake
Mark Weinberg and James Ransom

2. The cake shape will vary depending on the dish you use — I recommend a springform pan or a pie dish. When using springform, place a parchment round on the bottom of the pan. If you’ll be frosting your cake, use a springform. If you’re using a pie plate, thinly coat the bottom of the pan with butter.

To make your crust, crush 1 to 1½ packs of chocolate wafer cookies (or another cookie of your choice) into crumbs and mix with a few tablespoons melted butter. Press down lightly along the bottom of the pan (inch or so high); you can even pack it down with the bottom of a meauring cup. Freeze for at least an hour. Save some un-buttered crumbs for your filling!

More: You’ll also need those chocolate wafers to make a 2-ingredient icebox cake.

For an alternative crust, combine equal parts flour and brown sugar with five times that amount of crumbs and melted butter — you’ll want about 2 cups of dry ingredients for each stick of butter. Bake it in a low oven for a few minutes, then evenly add to the bottom of the pan and freeze. (I learned this tip from Rachel at Reasons to Be Cheerful in Concord, MA.)

How to make ice cream cake
Mark Weinberg and James Ransom

3. Remove one pint of ice cream from the freezer and let it sit until it’s soft enough to stir, about 30 minutes. If you like, stir chocolate chips or chopped candy into the ice cream. Spread it evenly on top of the crust, then freeze for an hour.

How to make ice cream cake
Mark Weinberg and James Ransom

4. Add a dividing layer. Use your extra cookie crumbs here; if you want to use hot fudge, melt it then cool it to room temperature before spreading over ice cream. (If you’re using both hot fudge and cookie crumbs, layer on the fudge first; it’s easier that way.) Peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and caramel are good options, too — be careful with caramel, though, as it will harden. Freeze for another hour.

How to make ice cream cake
Mark Weinberg and James Ransom

5. Take out another pint of ice cream to thaw, then spread it evenly as you did with the previous layers. Freeze it for another hour.

Continue to layer on more ice cream, or top your final layer with whipped cream or buttercream, then freeze again.

This article was originally published on Food52, a site that brings cooks together to share recipes, ideas and support.

—Elana Carlson

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FILED UNDER: Cake , Dessert , Expert Tips , Food , Ice Cream

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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The super success of first Knights of the Old Republic game initiated a sequel’The Sith Lords, which has all the key aspects of the first RPG plus more re-playable quests and a good storyline. The best part of Star Wars games is that they can easily be molded into different genres. Whereas other parts of the computer can be upgraded, the CPU cannot be improved.
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