For months I’ve been mentally designing an Oreo brownie ice cream cake. I’d been toying with various ideas on how to pull off such a cake, what would be in it, how to assemble it, whether or not I would try freezing the cake as a whole or simply the ice cream portion… So when one of my friends recently had a birthday, I decided it was time to move from the planning phase and finally just try making the thing. The end result: a deliciously decadent yet simple cake perfect for just about any event!
Oreo Brownie Ice Cream Cake
Yields one 9 inch round cake
For the brownie layer:
<2 bars (200 grams) dark, semi-sweet chocolate
8 tbsp. (113 grams) butter, chopped into small cubes
3 tbsp. baking cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
About 15 whole Oreos
For the frosting layer:
2 sticks (226 grams) butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the ice cream layer:
1 carton vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream
15 Oreos coarsely chopped
Whipped cream (optional garnish)
A note before beginning: you’ll want to specifically use a 9″ spring-form cake pan to make this cake. This is because towards the end, we will be removing the bottom of the pan and just using the spring-form sides to mold the ice cream portion of the cake. To start your cake, thaw your vanilla ice cream (I let mine sit in the refrigerator for about a day before I needed it) and add the coarsely chopped Oreos to it. Of course, you can skip this step and just buy Oreo ice cream to begin with, but I never feel like it has enough Oreos for my tastes, so that’s why I went ahead and made my own. You can keep your ice cream in the refrigerator until about an hour before you’re going to make the ice cream layer, at which point you’ll want to pop it into the freezer to harden up a little bit. The goal here is to have the ice cream be thawed enough that you can pour it onto your cake and easily move it around without having it be too thin. Think of it as a thick chowder consistency.
To make the lower layers of the cake, begin by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) and lining your cake pan with parchment paper. Be sure to give yourself plenty of parchment paper as we will be using the same piece as we build the layers up. In a large bowl, melt the dark chocolate and butter in the microwave using 10 second increments until the mixture can be stirred smooth. Add the cocoa powder and stir until it’s just incorporated. Add the vanilla, eggs, and granulated sugar, and beat on a low speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the flour and mix until everything is incorporated. Line the bottom of your cake pan with as many Oreos as will fit, and pour the brownie batter over them. If necessary, gently tap the sides of the pan until the batter completely covers the Oreos. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is dry and springs back when touched.
Remove the spring-form sides of the pan and let the brownies cool. While you wait, you can whip up the frosting by creaming the butter in a medium-sized bowl until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and mix until the mixture returns to a smooth, creamy state. Once the brownies have cooled, frost the top. Since the frosting is going to be covered with ice cream, you don’t have to worry about making it look perfect, but do be careful to make sure the frosting doesn’t form a dome shape; if anything, you want a little more frosting towards the edges to keep the ice cream from going over anymore than it has to.
Bring the parchment paper back up around the cake, and reattach the spring-form sides, but this time higher up so that the ice cream won’t run over the sides. Using a butter knife or frosting spatula, fill in any gaps between the frosting and the parchment paper to keep the ice cream from dripping down onto the layers below. Don’t worry if the parchment paper is creased and not completely smooth. We’ll erase those creases on the cake in the end. Pour the ice cream on top of the cake, and smooth it out to form as smooth a top as possible. Set the whole cake in the freezer, and let freeze over night.
Once the ice cream has completely frozen, we can remove the spring-form sides and the parchment paper. In all likelihood, the parchment paper will have left some creases in both the frosting and the ice cream. To smooth these out, run a paper towel under hot water until it’s very warm, ring out the excess water and run it around the cake. The heat from the paper towel will slightly melt the cake and allow you to smooth out imperfections and whip away excess ice cream and frosting. You’ll probably have to do this several times before all the creases come out.
Keep the whole cake in the freezer until you’re ready to serve it. Top with whipped cream before serving.
Brownie recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats