Spumoni Ice Cream Layer Sundae Cake

Happy Birthday to me! This birthday came up quick and sneaked up on me, luckily despite the Superbowl planning madness – I still managed to challenge myself to bake up a birthday cake. Last year’s Rainbow Birthday cake was a colorful tribute to my little kiddo days, and I honestly didn’t know what I wanted in a cake for this year. I had been scouring fellow blogs and searching ideas on pinterest, too. Plus, my pregnancy taste buds are quite different and it’s hard to really pinpoint foods that are easy on my palate.

Then I thought about my 16th birthday dinner party at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Old Spaghetti Factory. We have been dining at this restaurant for as long as I can remember, and I have always loved that we always ended the meal with their signature spumoni ice cream. Spumoni ice cream is made of pistachio, chocolate and strawberry ice cream all swirled into one and it’s always a wonderful treat to indulge on. I did have a birthday cake to go along with my ice cream, but it would have been a thousand times better if the cake and ice cream were combined together. Until now, I wanted the best of both worlds – spumoni ice cream layer sundae cake.

This cake sounds like a mouthful, and it took alot of careful planning to dissect each element that I wanted for the cakes. Plus, I wanted everything from scratch – that’s always the foodie challenge I set myself up for. Make sure to set at least 2 to 3 days for preparing all the elements. I made the ice cream the first day, which you can easily skip this step if you choose to use a store-bought version. Bake the cakes the following day, and wait until they are completely cool. Build and cut the cake layers and add the layer of ice cream, and then let it freeze until firm. I highly suggest you wait until the next day to add the layer of frosting and ganache to make sure the layers are firm. This was definitely one of the most beautiful cakes that I have made and equally an indulgent birthday dessert that I can’t help falling in love with.

Spumoni Ice Cream Layer Sundae Cake
Inspired by OSF; Cakes adapted from Sweetapolita; Chocolate Ganache & Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Frosting adapted from Sunny Side up in San Diego; Pistachio Ice Cream adapted from I Was Born to Cook
Printable Recipe
Ingredients:
Pistachio Ice Cream: 1 cup salted shelled pistachios 3/4 cup sugar 2 cups whole milk 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 4 egg yolks 1 cup heavy cream 3/4 cup salted shelled pistachios, chopped

Preparation:

Finely grind 1 cup pistachios and 1/4 cup sugar in food processor. Bring milk and ground pistachio mixture to boil in large saucepan. Remove from heat. Mix in almond extract.

Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Cook over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes (do not boil). Strain into large bowl. Chill for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Stir 1 cup heavy cream and chopped pistachios into custard. Process mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place wax paper with the edges hanging over in a round cake pan. Transfer ice cream to cake pan and freeze until firm.

Chocolate cake: ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour 6 tablespoon dark cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil 1 large egg ½ cup black coffee ½ cup buttermilk 1½  teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

To make the chocolate cake, butter and flour the edges of a 8-inch round pan, shaking out the excess flour. Line the bottom with a round of parchment. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the sugar, vegetable oil and egg. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, blend in half of the dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated. Blend in the coffee, buttermilk and vanilla just until smooth.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, blending until incorporated. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, then turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely.

Strawberry cake:

1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1¼ teaspoon baking powder ¼  teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar 1½ ounce strawberry Jello Mix 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 large eggs ½ cup whole milk 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup strawberry jam *Pink food gel*optional, if desired a bright pink color

Preparation:

To make the strawberry cake, butter and flour the edges of a 9-inch round pan, shaking out the excess flour. Line the bottom with a round of parchment. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream the sugar, strawberry gelatin and butter until combined. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and blend until incorporated. Blend in the milk and vanilla extract. Add in the remaining dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.  Add in the strawberry jam and a couple swirls of hot pink food gel and mix to combine. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, then turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely.

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened 3 cups sifted powdered sugar 3 tablespoons whole milk 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract & scrapings of one vanilla pod) pinch of salt In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter for 5 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla bean paste and mix until combined.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped Place chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Bring heavy cream to a boil. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is smooth and melted. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature before pouring over cake. To assemble the cakes: Torte each of the cake layers evenly. Place the chocolate cake layer on the bottom of the the cake board. Remove the ice cream from the pan and place on top of the chocolate cake. Top with the strawberry layer. Place in the freezer until firm, preferably overnight. When ready to decorate the cake, prepare the frosting and chocolate ganache. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped vanilla buttercream.  Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake. Garnish with chopped pistachios, whipped cream and a cherry if desired.

Review: Sinfully delicious and this is one of my proudest cakes that I have ever baked. This cake was oodles of fun because I baked a regular size cake and a mini cake. One for birthday and one to share with the family. Normally, I like cooking savory dishes, but every now and then I get the creative baker mojo in me. I can’t wait to share this cake with the family for a birthday celebration this weekend.
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