Easy Ice Cream Cakes for When It’s Too Hot to Bake

Let them eat (ice cream) cake!

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Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

Camp Lechleider was the one week of summer, every summer, in which my cousin Shane would make the long trek from Staten Island to New Jersey to spend the week with my family. It was vaugely similar to The Sandlot and even included a massive, not-so-scary dog.

There was wiffle ball and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, popped air mattresses and Nerf gun battles. We watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail probably eight too many times. And we fought off yellow jackets like our lives depended on it (some of us were more successful than others, but that’s a story for another time). We played a lot and slept a little, perpetually fueled by sugar highs. While these spurts of energy could be attributed to the chocolate chip pancakes we ate for breakfast every morning, or the Sour Patch Watermelons we snuck when my mom wasn’t looking, the main source of our energy was ice cream cake. And a lot of it.

It’s a commonly known, unspoken rule that the oven should not be turned on over the summer. Use the grill, a campfire, a magnifying glass and the sun, anything but the oven. Or, you can take a page out of our book, skip the heat altogether and focus on the more important things in life: ice cream cakes.

The ~cool~ thing about ice cream cakes is the endless combinations you can make. Use vanilla ice cream and fill it with an array of toppings. Use a fancier ice cream like mint chocolate chip or cookies and cream and top with a layer of hot fudge. Make a crust; don’t make a crust. Infuse it with a caramel sauce. Drizzle with a strawberry sauce. Sprinkles! No sprinkles! The possibilities are never ending and sometimes, as silly as it sounds, overwhelming. Good thing for you, the following recipes are here to serve as a basis for your cake. Follow them to a tee, or riff off them to create the perfect ice cream cake for you.

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cake_180588.tiff

Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Steve Giralt

Steve Giralt

I’ve always thought summer birthdays are the best. You can sleep in, you don’t have to go to school (or work if it’s one of those “sick” days) and you get to spend the whole day doing what you want. Want to make it a beach day? Want to spend the day hopping from movie theater to movie theater watching all of those new movies you haven’t had time to see? Want to make this Ice Cream Crunch Cake (which also happens to be the perfect summer birthday cake) and eat the whole thing with a big spoon? Go for it; you make the rules!

This Ice Cream Layer Cake is quite literally ice cream and cake. It has ice cream (shocking), but it also has pound cake. Most ice cream cakes are simply a cookie crust filled with ice cream, but this recipe combines the two sweet treats to create the ultimate ice cream-cake combo.

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20120910_FoodNetwork_Shot07_0153.tif

Food Stylist: Christine Albano Prop Stylist: Christina Lane

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

Like a raging snow storm, it’s easy to get lost in this Vanilla Malted Ice Cream Cake. You won’t know which element to focus on first, immersed in the angel food cake and the malted heavy cream, the layers of vanilla ice cream and the white sprinkles. My advice? It’s always a good idea to make this recipe, whether you’re throwing one of those parties where people only wear white, or you’re celebrating the last weeks of July.

Because I have a full set of sweet teeth (seriously, the dentist diagnosed me when I was younger), I need everything to be made with ice cream, including my lasagna. So, when I discovered this Ice Cream Lasagna recipe, it was an ice cream dream. A great recipe to make and enjoy with your kids, this vanilla-strawberry ice cream cake couldn’t be easier. Alternate layers of cake, ice cream, strawberry sauce and rice puff cereal for a fun replacement to the dinnertime classic.

Close-up of Frozen Tiramisu Cake, as seen on The Pioneer Woman, Season 20.

If you like your tiramisu with extra espresso, then you're going to love this Frozen Tiramisu Cake. It's full of ground coffee beans, coffee liqueur and plenty of coffee ice cream. So, if you're a coffee fanatic, make this recipe for your next-door neighbor’s yard game Olympics, or maybe as a thank you for your mailman. Why not! There’s never wrong time for tiramisu.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

If you’re the kind of person who can’t choose just one type of ice cream to enjoy at any given time, then this Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake is the one for you. A glorious mixture of chocolate, strawberry and pistachio ice creams, this cake keeps all of your ice cream needs at bay. There’s also no need to worry about someone being unhappy because this recipe has something for everyone.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

I don’t know about you, but I’d swim in a pool full of this chocolate ganache. Silky and creamy, the glossy mixture shines like a golden retriever’s coat after a long day at the groomer. Underneath that luxurious chocolate sits a perfectly balanced combination of cookie dough, cookie pieces and the ice cream of your choice, pushing this Cookie Explosion Ice Cream Cake to the top of everyone’s “Must Make” list.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

Picking a favorite flavor of ice cream is like trying to pick a favorite child, or a favorite type of dog: it’s difficult to do, often controversial and perhaps best kept a secret. For me, though, I have no shame in sharing that I’m a sucker a chocolate-marshmallow-nut combination and, when I think about these flavors in a cake like this Rocky Road Ice Cream Cake, I am fully proud to admit that I do have a favorite ice cream. So, sue me! But my heart belongs to Rocky Road.

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