Rootbeer Float Ice Cream Cake

July 14th, 2015 Posted by Desserts, Frozen Treats No Comment yet

root beer float ice cream cake-3

This ice cream cake was from Father’s Day and I rescued just one slice to photograph for you. It was SO good. The real winner was the cake part! 

So this cake started with a hike in the woods. Joel and I went hiking and we were discussing what to make for Father’s Day. We were having our families over, and of course, our dads, for the Second Annual Father’s Day BBQ. I always like to make the dessert something that the dads really like. My dad always liked making root beer floats (and ice cream in general). So my simple idea was that we just make root beer floats (I’m making several other things… keep it simple, right?). As we’re hiking along, Joel says, “Why don’t you make a root beer float ice cream cake?” And I said. “Wut.” Yes. YES! (can you see why I love this man?)

So my only reservation was the fact that I didn’t really know how to make this dang thing. Joel says, “You’ve got one week to figure it out.” Ha. Thanks. 

I did some research, and we talked it out. Here’s what we came up with. Make a cake, add root beer flavoring to it. Then with the vanilla ice cream, swirl some more root beer into it. As I made each part of this cake, the method evolved.

You can make it with any vanilla cake recipe or even a boxed cake (you’ll need about 2 layers, so keep that in mind when choosing your recipe.) I tried Joy the Baker’s Yellow Cake recipe from her newest book, Homemade Decadence. It was amazing! It’s my new go-to. Totally versatile. Yes, Joy, I will be agreeing that we can just use this cake recipe from now on, thanks! So you can use that or make your favorite vanilla cake recipe. You want to start with a cake batter rather then pre-made cake because you’ll add some root beer syrup to the batter. The Joy recipe made 3 layers, but hey, the other layer went in the freezer and we made some cake and ice cream milkshakes. 

I wanted to make sure there was a good amount of root beer flavor, so I also added a brush of the syrup on to each cake layer as I made the cake and then root beer syrup and root beer into the icing, which I adapted from this recipe for stabilized whipped cream, which I now kinda love and want to make again. 

So here’s the thing you have to do. Start with two bottles of good quality root beer, such as Virgil’s or some similar type with real sugar. Simmer it and reduce it down to about 2/3 of a cup (alternatively, you could use root beer flavoring, at most grocery stores in the baking aisle by the extracts). Truthfully, I think an extract will give you the best flavor here, but the syrup is good too! 

  1. Make your cake. Add 1/3 of a cup of the syrup you made to the cake batter. Let the layers cool and wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then put them in the freezer, at least overnight (you can do this up to a month ahead of time). This will make it easier to cut and spread ice cream on too. 
  2. Make your root beer syrup, let it cool, and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to layer. You could do this 3 days ahead of time. 
  3. Assembly day: start somewhat early in the day assembling the ice cream cake. Let your vanilla ice cream melt for about 20 minutes. Line a metal (metal helps it freeze faster) bread loaf pan with parchment paper, then plastic wrap so that each side has a three inch over hang (this will help you un-mold it after it’s frozen) and start layering.
  4. To layer: Put a layer of cake down first, brush the syrup over it and then brush some straight, un-reduced root beer over that. Then put a layer of softened ice cream down and then put another drizzle of root beer syrup and a little more straight root beer. Freeze about 2 hours or until hardened enough to spread on the next layer. When the two hours are close to up, take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer at least 20 minutes before you want to spread it so it can get melty again. Make the next layer: add the cake, syrup, root beer, ice cream, syrup, root beer and freeze another 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
  5. Make the stabilized whipped cream. Use the overhang of parchment to un-mold the frozen cake and place it on a platter lined with parchment that will fit back in the freezer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of the whipped cream frosting. This is just the base layer. Freeze the cake 15 minutes, then spread on the remaining whipped cream in a nice, thick layer. Drizzle more syrup and root beer over the top and let some of it drip down the side. Make swirl patterns with your frosting knife so that the syrup gets a little mixed into the whipped cream… but kinda resembles that root beer froth… get it??  Freeze until serving time. 

root beer float ice cream cake-2

 

There you have it! To simplify, you could use already baked pound cake, and just brush the syrup over it… but I’ll leave that up to you.

All I know is, the dad’s loved it. 

Rootbeer Float Ice Cream Cake
 
Recipe Type: Ice cream cake, Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • Your favorite vanilla cake mix, or Joy the Bakers Yellow cake
  • 2 bottles good quality root beer
  • 1 carton Tillamook Vanilla Bean ice cream
  • 1 ½ cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cold water
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Make the syrup: simmer two cups of the rootbeer and reduce it down to about 2/3 of a cup (alternatively, you could use roughly 2 tablespoons root beer flavoring in the cake, available at most grocery stores in the baking aisle by the extracts). You want to save the extra syrup and any extra root beer (you can allow it to go flat) for brushing on the layers, and adding to the frosting.
  2. Make your cake. Add 1/3 of a cup of the syrup (or 2-3 tablespoons extract) you made to the cake batter. Let the layers cool and wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then put them in the freezer, at least overnight (you can do this up to a month ahead of time).
  3. Assembly day: Let your vanilla ice cream melt for about 20 minutes. Line a metal (metal helps it freeze faster) bread loaf pan with parchment paper, then plastic wrap so that each side has a three inch over hang (this will help you un-mold it after it’s frozen) and start layering.
  4. To layer: Put a layer of cake down first. Be sure to fill the bottom of the pan. I set the pan on top of the cake and then used it as a template to see where I needed to cut, then placed the cake snuggly in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Brush the syrup over your first cake layer and then brush some straight, un-reduced root beer over that. Then put a layer of softened ice cream down and then put another drizzle of root beer syrup and a little more straight root beer.
  6. Freeze about 2 hours or until hardened enough to spread on the next layer. When the two hours are close to up, take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer at least 20 minutes before you want to spread it so it can get melty again.
  7. Make the next layer: add the cake, syrup, root beer, ice cream, syrup, root beer and freeze another 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
  8. Make the stabilized whipped cream. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small, microwave-safe bowl and let sit 1 minute or until absorbed. Microwave gelatin on high 20 seconds; it should finish clear. With mixer, using the chilled whisk, beat the cream until peaks just start to form. Gradually add sugar. While mixer is running, slowly pour in gelatin mixture. Add vanilla, 2-3 tablespoons of reserved root beer syrup, and finish beating when stiff peaks form. Use the overhang of parchment to un-mold the frozen cake and place it on a platter lined with parchment that will fit back in the freezer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of the whipped cream frosting. This is just the base layer.
  9. Freeze the cake 15 minutes, then spread on the remaining whipped cream in a nice, thick layer. Drizzle more syrup and root beer over the top and let some of it drip down the side. Make swirl patterns with your frosting knife so that the syrup gets a little mixed into the whipped cream (optional). Freeze until serving time.
 

 

 

 

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