This no-churn ice cream cake is simple to make and customizable. You can layer it with your favorite jelly or fruit preserves – a sweeter one if you have a serious sweet tooth, or a more sour one (I used marmalade) to cut the richness of the ice cream. Because the no-churn ice cream doesn’t melt like real ice cream, you can leave it out for a few hours, making it a good potluck or party cake.
Ice Cream Layer Cake
Adapted from New York Times and Food Network
Yield: 9″ x 4″ cake
For the ice cream:
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
For the cake:
- 3/4 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup jelly or preserves of your choice
Bake the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with aluminum foil and grease it well.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape down sides of bowl, then beat in vanilla extract and eggs.
- Beat in baking powder and salt.
- With the mixer on low, beat in half the flour, followed by the milk, and then the remaining flour.
- Transfer batter to pan and spread it into a thin, even layer.
- Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly, 10-12 minutes.
- Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
- Run a small thin knife or spatula around the cake, then carefully lift out the aluminum foil with the cake still on it. Place on wire rack to cool completely. (The gluten-free cake is fragile, so you want to handle it as little as possible.)
Make the ice cream:
Whisk together condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Whip the cream with a mixer on medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Fold about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture with a rubber spatula until combined, then fold the lightened mixture into the whipped cream until well blended.
Assemble the cake:
- Line a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 6-inch overhang on each side.
- Cut cooled cake into thirds, making three rectangles 9″ x 4 1/3″ each. (You want a 1/4-inch border of space around each cake layer once it’s in the loaf pan; depending on the shape of your pan, you may need to trim cake.)
- Add 1 1/3 cups of the cream mixture to pan and smooth into an even layer.
- Run a thin knife under the first third of the cake to loosen it, and carefully transfer it into the pan. The gluten-free cake is fragile, but don’t worry if it breaks, because the ice cream will hold everything together.
- Press down slightly on cake layer so cream comes up and around the sides of it evenly.
- Spread half of the jam or preserves on the cake layer.
- Add another 1 1/3 cups of the cream; a cake layer, pressing down slightly so cream comes up and around sides; and remaining jam or preserves.
- Add another 1 1/3 cups cream, then top with final cake layer, pressing down slightly so cream comes up and around sides.
- Use plastic overhang to wrap cake up tightly. Freeze in the pan until firm, at least 8 hours.
- You’ll have some cream left over, which you can freeze in a separate container. See here for ideas for no-churn ice cream.
- To serve the cake, remove from freezer, unwrap, and invert onto a serving plate. Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing.