But making an ice cream cake at home is quite a labor of love. It's time-consuming and a little tricky, since you need to bake a cake and cool it, then stack it carefully with ice cream rounds that have been frozen in the same shape as the cake.
I take a much more slap-dash approach to the cake-and-ice-cream combo here, with a storebought chocolate cake (although of course you can use a homemade cake!) that has been chopped up and mixed with ice cream. It is more like a trifle than a layer cake, chunks of cake mixed with custard-like ice cream. If you prefer more distinct layers of ice cream and cake, of course, this won't quite do it, but personally I find this approach much easier and simpler.
I get the ice cream really soft and layer it with chopped cake held together with more ice cream, and pack it all into a springform pan to hold it together. After it freezes solid, it's easy to unmold this cake — almost as easy as making it, which takes all of 10 minutes.
Yes, it's a sugar bomb — a magnificent stack of Oreos, ice cream, and cake, a showstopper American dessert for an all-American weekend. No it's not restrained or sophisticated, but sometimes, a big bite of ice cream and cake is just the thing.
Frozen Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream Cakeserves at least 8
One 13-ounce package Oreos or chocolate sandwich cookies, plus additional to garnish if desired
16 ounces chocolate cake, such as a storebought chocolate pound or bundt cake
2 quarts vanilla ice cream, very soft
1 cup chocolate sauce, such as Oreo Hot Fudge Sauce, warmed
4 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
Prepare a 10-inch springform pan by greasing extremely lightly with butter or baking spray. Roughly chop or crumble the sandwich cookies into quarters or smaller bite-sized bits, and divide into three parts. Crumble the cake into a large bowl, and stir in about 1/3 of the crumbled sandwich cookies.
Dump in about 2/3 of a quart of very soft vanilla ice cream, and stir gently but thoroughly until the cake and ice cream are well-combined. Press this mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
In a separate bowl, mix the remaining 1 1/3 quarts vanilla ice cream with another 1/3 of the crumbled cookies. Swirl in about 1/2 cup of the chocolate sauce. Press this on top of the cake mixture in the springform pan; it will come nearly up to the top of the pan.
Press the remaining cookies into the top of the cake and drizzle the remaining sauce over top, swirling it and pressing it in so it doesn't run over the side of the pan.
Lightly cover the cake pan and freeze for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
When ready to serve, let the cake sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes, and run a knife around the inside of the cake pan. Open the springform mold gently; it should release easily from the slightly melted cake. Re-freeze the unmolded cake while you prepare the chocolate.
Gently melt the chocolate with the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. When completely melted, drizzle over the ice cream cake and serve in big wedges with additional cookies to garnish, if you need one last dose of crunchy cookie!
(Images: Faith Durand)