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This Ice Cream Sundae Cake is so sweet and charming! Layers of brownies and ice cream filled with cherries, peanuts and waffle cone pieces are topped by tiny ice cream cones; it’s the perfect treat for birthdays or special celebrations.
Quick! Name the summeriest thing you can think of. Sand-crusted weekends at the beach? Long, sticky days at the pool working on your skin cancer tan? Frosty drinks beneath a palm tree? Hearing that horrible Iggy Azalea song one too many times and throwing your radio across the room in disgust? All good answers, but ***EEEEHHHHNNNN!*** (That was me making an obnoxious buzzer noise.) The correct answer is actually this:
This sundae-flavored ice cream cake, topped with miniature ice cream cones, is in fact the is the summeriest summer thing that ever summered. Ice cream! Filled with cherries and peanuts and waffle cone pieces! Topped with sprinkles and whipped cream and wee little ice cream cones! Take THAT, Iggy Azalea. Who’s fancy now?
This cake is a love letter to six-year-old me, who would have gone out of her MIND at the sight of this.
I mean, the ice cream center is one thing. A rich, creamy vanilla ice cream, studded with cherry pieces, peanuts (I used honey-roasted), and bits of waffle cone, is exciting enough. But when you combine that with a fudgy brownie, plenty of vanilla whipped cream, and a boatload of sprinkles? Pretty sure Young Liz would have passed out with excitement.
Oh, and the Lilliputian-sized ice cream cone decorations? That’s for Adult Liz, who never met a cake she didn’t want to garnish with other teensy desserts. I first found these tiny cones at a cake supply store, and my hands, independent of my mind, shoved them in my cart faster than I could think about it. I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but I knew they needed to be mine. My heart beats fast for miniature desserts—if it’s a sickness, I don’t want to know the cure.
The cones are actually filled with colored buttercream. I may be crazy, but I’m not crazy enough to buy eight different types of ice cream to use a few tablespoons of each! I colored the frosting different colors and used a small candy scoop to plop scoops of it on top of the cones. A quick pinch of various sprinkles, a chill in the fridge, and they were ready to garnish my ice cream cake. I didn’t go so far as to flavor them to match their colors (see above re: low-level crazy pants) but you totally could if you want to go the extra mile!
One word of caution: although I made this with two layers of brownies, I would recommend actually only using one, on the bottom. The top brownie made it very hard to cut neat slices when the cake was completely frozen, and letting it defrost slightly led to messy slices and crying food bloggers. (Exaggerating…only slightly.) Plus, it’s just too much brownie and not enough ice cream! So do as I say, not as I do, and content yourself with one lovely brownie on the bottom, and lots of ice cream and whipped cream on top. You (and your biceps) will thank me. Happy summering!
Birthday Present Mini Cakes
Striped Buttercream Balloon Cake
Ice Cream Sundae Cake
For the Brownie Layer:
- 5 oz unsalted butter
- 10.5 oz granulated sugar, (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 oz unsweetened cocoa powder, (1 cup)
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2.25 oz all-purpose flour, (1/2 cup)
For the Ice Cream Layer:
- 16 oz heavy cream, (2 cups)
- 8 oz milk, (1 cup)
- 7 oz granulated sugar, (1 cup)
- Pinch of salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla paste, or 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 oz maraschino cherries, (1/3 cup), patted dry
- 2 large waffle cones, coarsely chopped
- 2.5 oz peanuts, (1/2 cup), coarsely chopped
- Miniature ice cream cones
- 2-3 cups buttercream frosting, homemade or store-bought
- Assorted gel food coloring
- 20 oz heavy cream, (2 1/2 cups)
- 3.5 oz powdered sugar, (1/2 cup)
To Make the Brownie Layer:
- Preheat the oven to 325 F, line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment, and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 45-second increments, two or three times, until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot. When you stir it, it should be shiny but still grainy. Let it cool until it is warm but not hot.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing them in with a spatula, stirring well, then add the vanilla extract. Finally, add the salt and flour and stir them in until no flour streaks remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool completely before assembling the cake.
To Make the Ice Cream Layer:
- Combine the cream, milk, sugars, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl nearby and whisk them gently. Bring the milk/cream mixture to a simmer, then when it just starts to come to a boil, remove the pan from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks while you slowly pour in about a third of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs heat up but don’t cook during the process.
- Now return the saucepan to the heat and start whisking the cream while you pour in the hot egg mixture. Continue to whisk as the custard cooks, and cook it until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. If you want to use a candy thermometer, you’re shooting for 175 F (80C).
- Take the pan from the heat and strain the ice cream custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the vanilla paste or extract, then continue to whisk occasionally as it cools. Once at room temperature, press a layer of cling wrap on top of the custard and refrigerate it until it’s completely chilled. (To speed up the process, you can place the bowl over an ice bath and whisk it as it cools down.)
- Once the custard is fully chilled, churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Once it reaches soft-serve consistency, stop the machine and stir in the cherries, waffle cone pieces, and peanuts.
- Remove the brownie from the pan and line the pan with cling wrap extending up and over the sides—this will make it much easier to remove the ice cream cake later. Place the brownie back in the bottom of the pan. Scrape the ice cream on top of the brownie and smooth it into an even layer. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight, so that the ice cream is very firm before decorating.
- To make the mini ice cream cones, take an empty cereal box or similar, lay it on its side, and cut evenly spaced Xs across the top—this will be used to hold your ice cream cones after they are decorated.
- Divide the buttercream up into small bowls, with a few scoops of frosting per bowl, and dye it different colors to represent different flavors of ice cream. (You can also add a few drops of flavoring extract if you’d like!) Use a small 1-inch candy scoop to scoop the frosting into balls and place it on the miniature ice cream cones. Add a pinch of sprinkles on top, if you’d like, and slide the cone into one of the X’s you cut in the box. Continue until you’ve made all the cones you need. These can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
- When you’re ready to decorate the cake, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Note that ice cream cakes start to melt quickly, so during the decorating process, you may need to return the cake to the freezer periodically between steps. Don’t be shy about freezing it mid-decorating session–it’s better to err on the side of caution than to push it and end up with a melting cake that’s only partially decorated!
- Unclasp the sides of the springform pan, remove the cake from the pan and peel off the plastic wrap. Place the cake on a cardboard cake round. Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on top of the cake and around the sides. Pour your sprinkles into a shallow bowl or pie tin, and holding the cake in one hand above the bowl, use your other hand to grab a handful of sprinkles and press them into the sides of the cake. Place some whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe a ring of rosettes all around the top edge. Return the cake to the freezer to freeze the whipped cream before adding the mini ice cream cones.
- Once the whipped cream is solid, press the miniature ice cream cones into the tops of the whipped cream. (I didn’t have a problem with them standing upright, but if you do you can always rest them at an angle on the rosettes instead.)
- For the cleanest cuts, cut the cake when it is fresh from the freezer—it will be a little difficult to cut through the bottom brownie layer, but it’s neater than trying to cut a partially defrosting cake! I think the slices taste best after about 5 minutes out of the freezer, when the ice cream and brownies have had a chance to soften a bit. Wrap any leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
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No ways! You blew me away with this one! The mini cones on the top are so adorable, I don´t even have words to describe how cute they are 🙂 🙂 Happy Friday! xoxo
Thanks Johlene! It’s not hard to make cute things when you start with adorable accessories. 🙂
Ho-Lee Crap. This is one of the best things I’ve ever laid eyes on. Plus, I’m dying over those mini cones, eeeekkk!
Thank you Rachel! Aren’t they the best?? And so much better to use them as decoration than to try and enjoy the world’s teensiest ice cream cone.
OMG, this is honestly one of the cutest cakes I’ve ever seen. It’s just too much. Squealing / pinning/ sharing – everyone must see this masterpiece. 🙂
Squealing/pinning/sharing is the holy trifecta! Thanks so much Leesha. 🙂
This is… like… this is… are there words?? NO! My eyes got bigger and bigger with every photo. I truly cannot even fathom how amazing this must taste. AND IT’S ALSO THE MOST ADORABLE THING I’VE EVER SEEN and it deserves all caps. And the lil ice cream cones… oh my gosh. It’s too much. You’ve won the Internet, everybody get off now.
Haha, pardon me while I go around shoving people off my internet now. 🙂 Seriously, though, thanks so much, Dea!
I am in love!! I have no words for how adorable and mouth watering this is!
Thanks Amanda! Adorable + mouth-watering is always my goal. 😉
Seriously. Stop. Tiny ice cream cones on an ice cream cake?? I love it!!! I especially love how you made every ice cream cone different and who can resist the sprinkle sides? You are a creative genius. ❤️
Thanks Giselle! My next step is to make teensy 1-inch ice cream cones and put them on top of the mini cones on the cake…an infinite period of ever-shrinking ice cream cones on top of each other. Too much? 😉
Wowowow you have done it again! *fans self* I am in LOVE with those tiny little ice cream cones, great idea to use buttercream. Probably going to use that idea in the near future. And the sprinkles, OMG…you can never have enough sprinkles 🙂 I think I got secondary sugar high from reading this post. :))
Thanks, June! I’d love to see what creative things you come up with for the mini cones!
both young Lyndsay and adult Lyndsay (MEEE) are freaking out over this awesome looking cake! BROWNIE layers!? ice cream cake in more ways than one? LOVE! xo
Pleasing two Lyndsays at once? My life’s mission is now complete. 🙂 Thanks so much!
The minute this page loaded, my eyes were wide open like saucers and I just couldn’t take them off the screen. This cake is just WOW!!!! I think I’m still a 6 year old kid so I love EVERYTHING about this cake including the teeniest sprinkles on the mini ice creams. I am SOOOO pinning this beauty!
Thanks for the Pinterest love, Samina!
This cake is adorable! I love the mini ice cream cones. My six year old self would have been in heaven too!
Thanks Jenna! Obviously our six-year-old selves had great taste!
This is the BEST looking cake I’ve ever seen! So cute…too cute to eat . You are a very talented lady!!
Thanks so much, Lisa! We managed to eat it despite its cuteness. 😉
What a SUPER fun cake idea! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the summeriest summer thing ever. And I don’t think you can say you’re low-level crazy-pants. I’d still rate your dessertiness as mid-to-high crazy pants. 😉 Love the little mini-cones too!
Haha, guilty as charged. I guess it’s all relative…I have a skewed vision of normal dessert effort. 🙂 But at least it leads me to fun desserts like this!
oh my gawd. . this is insane! I have a 3 and 7 year old who would go crazy for this (just like the 6 yr old you) . . and love that you filled the mini cones with colored buttercream. I was wondering how you did that because ice cream would have been a mess. . fabulous! I love this!!
Thanks Alice! I briefly thought of trying it with ice cream, but that seemed insane…this way was much better! Plus there’s nothing wrong with cones of buttercream, right?
Absolutely love how you decorated this cake!
Thanks Erin! The mini cones made it a no-brainer. 🙂
Your ice cream cake looks absolutely gorgeous, Elisabeth! Just adore the mini ice cream cones 🙂
Thanks so much, ladies!
This cake is killing me. KILLING ME! 6 year old me would have LOST HER MIND over it. I swear.
Six year old you and six year old me would have been besties, I can tell!
Oh my gosh! So pretty! I love love love the sprinkles and the tiny little ice cream cones on top.
Aw, thank you Heather!
Oh my gosh – What a cute, fun and festive cake! And the inside – YUMMO! Pinned!
Thanks so much, Kristi!
Why are we not neighbors? Because I want a slice of this, and now I also want to decorate everything with miniature ice cream cones!
Oh my gosh, can you imagine the epic dinner parties (or, let’s be real, dessert parties) we would have if we were neighbors? There would be cake for days!
WOW!! Now this is impressive! I love the sprinkles on the sides! Wonderful job!
Thank you, Annie! I’m a huge sprinkle fan too. 🙂
Cutest cake of the summer, ever!! I want to eat all the tiny cones off the top first, then go at it with a serving spoon (because a regular sized one would be too small, duh)!
Thanks Katie! That is pretty much what I did, no lie…
When I saw this cake, my heart sang. It is just so beautiful and amazing and inspired and creative and sexy. It is the most amazing cake I have ever seen, perhaps. And you’ve posted a million amazing cakes! Looking at the photos, before reading the post, I really was certain that you bought 18 flavors of ice cream just to use one scoop of each. You are, after all, all about fancy and never about shortcuts. But there is plenty of ice cream in the cake and I think the tiny cones are so adorable! I’m running out of superlatives. So I’ll just bow down.
Than k you, Meggan! You are too kind and are giving me way too much credit, but I really appreciate the sweet words!
This is ridiculously adorable. I’m constantly amazed at the things you come up with! I imagine you as some sort of mad sugar-scientist in a huge kitchen-workshop, sprinkles flying everywhere. You have the best job ever!
Haha, thank you! If you replace “huge kitchen workshop” with “teensy apartment kitchen,” you are getting close…at least, the sprinkles flying part is accurate. 🙂
Where did you purchase the mini cones from? And yes I have to compliment your work! Such an awesome cake!
Thanks Brittany! I bought them from a local cake/candy decorating store, but they’re available on Amazon too. 🙂
This is such an awesome ice-cream cake, Pinned!
Thanks so much, Cathy1
Too cute! I am making this for my mom’s 86th b’day this Sunday!! I am wondering if you put the cones on the whipped cream swirl and then put the cake in the freezer till the party? Will the cones’s bottoms get soggy and lose their crispness by being frozen? I seem to think too much!! I have kept this quiet from my family! I can’t wait till Sunday!! So darn CUTE!!!
Thanks Cindy! I only kept the mini cones in the freezer for about 5-6 hours–we shared it with friends so it didn’t stay in my freezer for very long! My guess is that the cones would be okay–maybe a little chewier, but I doubt they would get soggy. However, if it’s something you’re worried about, you can definitely add them at the last minute, or within a few hours of serving the cake, so they’re not in the freezer for very long. You want the whipped cream on top to be frozen before you add them anyhow (so they can stick up properly) so sticking them in the frozen whipped cream at the last minute shouldn’t be a problem. I also advise piping big fat mounds of cream–the deeper it is, the more secure the cones are!
I hope it goes well! Feel free to reach out with any more questions. Happy birthday to your mom!
Love this idea. I don’t think I can find mini cones, but I sure can make them with my mini pitzelle iron. And maybe instead of just butter cream make cake balls and scoop them out like icecream. Thanks for the idea.
Reading some of your past blogs and found lots of great things. You do a great job, Thanks for sharing
Hi, I would love to make this for my baby’s first bday party which is in a week from now. I’m just wondering since 2 layers of brownies were too much, if I put 1 layer of brownies and ice cream on top will the cake be high in length? I feel like it might look short. How much ice cream does the recipe make and would u recommend doubling it to make the cake look tall and high? Thank you!
The ice cream makes about four quarts, so doubling it could work or 1 and half-ing if that sounds like too much! Happy cooking!
I love it! This is the one for my b-day!
Wahoo! This would be an epic birthday cake! 😀
An absolutely beautiful cake! It’s not that difficult to make – for me the challenge was finding the mini cones and starting to make it a couple of days in advance to allow enough time for freezing between steps.
The difficulty was cutting into it. You really need a saw. I made it for a kids’ party. It looked spectacular, but was difficult to eat because the ice cream was melting and the brownie layer was still frozen.
Hey Kristin, I am happy it worked out. Thank you so much for sending me a picture it looks fabulous! I have to agree sometimes Ice cream cakes can be hard to cut! I am happy you managed, and it looks awesome! Thanks again!
i love it taste so good
I am making similar cake (no ice cream) How long will cones last in cake with buttercream before they soften & fall over?
Hi Michelle, it depends on a lot of things, including what frosting recipe you use–some can be quite soft/moist while others are very stiff and don’t give off as much liquid. One thing you could do is fill the inside of the cones with melted chocolate. This would give them a lot of stability and even if the cones themselves softened, they should still stay upright.
Can this be made without the cherries ?
Definitely! You can customize it however you’d like–the cherries are optional. 🙂
I wanted to make this in advance for my sons 3rd bday. Can I freeze it?
Hi Katie! Yes, you can freeze this cake if you are wanting to make it in advance! Happy baking 🙂