Warm weather doesn’t have to mean saying no to cake

With Father’s Day around the corner, not to mention numerous year-end bashes, summer birthdays and anniversaries, cake is an important item.

The thing is, who wants to be stuck inside on a beautiful summer’s day baking a cake, no matter how delicious? Yes, I know, there are bakeries, but somehow they never taste as good as a homemade family favourite. Some years ago, out of desperation, I came up with a solution: a cake ready in 15 minutes. Yes, I did write 15 minutes, ready and waiting for all the “yums,” “oohs” and “ahhs”. Recently the following cake proved again for me that it works with excellent results. You can have your cake and eat it too!

Frozen Lemon Curd Cake

Ice cream cakes to the rescue! This was my most recent invention which proved worthy of happy smiles and plates licked clean as a whistle. You can either make your own lemon curd or if time is tight, purchase a jar from the supermarket.

1 pkg (300g) chocolate digestive biscuits (Use 3/4 of the package and save the rest to have with tea)
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, softened
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon (optional)

Ice cream layers:
1 carton (1.5 L) vanilla bean ice cream
1 carton (2 L) honey vanilla yogurt
OR another carton of vanilla ice cream
1 to 1.5 cups (250 mL – 375 mL) lemon curd

4 cups (1 L) fresh fruit such as strawberries or blueberries, rinsed and patted dry

Line 9-inch (23 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Break biscuits into pieces by hand and put into food processor to mix with the softened butter and cinnamon. Chop until evenly-sized fine crumbs appear. Sprinkle crumbs evenly onto bottom of spring form pan and press into bottom and up the sides by about half an inch.

With ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out balls of ice cream for bottom layer of cake, about 1 ½ inches (3 cm) high, pressing down with hands to make an even layer. Spread half the lemon curd on ice cream layer. Top with enough honey vanilla yogurt to bring it up to the top of spring form pan. Press down with hands to make even layer. Spread remaining lemon curd over top of this layer. Cover with plastic wrap and over-wrap with foil. Freeze for at least one hour before serving. May be made up to two days ahead.

To un-mould, dip sharp knife into hot water and run around the edge of spring form pan. Remove sides and slide onto serving plate. Arrange sliced fresh fruit on top. Using sharp knife dipped into hot water, slice into 10 to 12 servings.

Chocolate Mint Cake

This version is a birthday cake winner. It may be shaped as an ice cream bombe using a mixing bowl, as a cake using a spring form pan, or as a deep cake in a 3 inch cake pan. Alternate flavours of ice cream may be used such as chocolate or butterscotch. The outside may be decorated with chocolate shavings or Smarties depending on the occasion. Let your imagination and taste buds take charge!

Base Layer:
1 pkg Oreo cookies

1 carton (1.5 L) chocolate mint ice-cream
1 carton (1.5 L) chocolate ice-cream

Cookie crumbs, chopped semi-sweet chocolate, smarties, shaved chocolate, birthday candles

Cake shape: Line 9-inch (23 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, line 8 cup (2 L) mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Break cookies into chunks and place into food processor; process until fine crumbs. Sprinkle half crumbs over bottom of spring form pan (if using).

Slice chocolate mint ice-cream into thick slices and press into bottom of spring form pan; sprinkle with half remaining crumbs. Slice chocolate ice-cream and arrange on crumb layer pressing down firmly. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Top with chocolate shavings or Smarties; cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour or up to two days before cutting into 10 to 12 servings.

Bombe shape: Slice chocolate mint ice cream into thick slices and press into mixing bowl, filling half way. Sprinkle with crumbs and chopped chocolate. Fill remaining bowl with chocolate ice cream, pressing down firmly. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour or up to two days before un-moulding on serving plate, sprinkling with candies and inserting candies. Cut into eight to 10 wedges to serve.


Jan Main is an author, cooking instructor and caterer  ~  janmainskitchen@yahoo.ca

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