Let's go for a twofer dessert today; one that combines two childhood treats into spoonfuls of Labor Day delight. That's right, this Labor Day if you get tagged with dessert, here you go: S'mores Ice Cream Cake.
Option 1: Make It from Scratch
This cake comes in two versions; let's start with the from-scratch one. I used Sara's Best Chocolate Ice Cream, a recipe adapted from Jeni Britton. You'll have more than you need for this recipe, but it's ice cream, so it'll last a week for general consumption or for other use.
Next up, I grabbed the vanilla ice cream recipe from here. Again, you'll have more than you need for this recipe.
To get ahead, you can make the ice cream portions well in advance and assemble the ice cream cake two to three days ahead without the marshmallow topping. That portion needs to made and assembled the day you serve this.
Option 2: Go Semi-Homemade
For the semi-homemade version, pick and choose which components you want to make and which you want to buy. Keep in mind for the marshmallow topping, you'll need to use actual marshmallows for toasting since marshmallow creme does not toast well. And if you go the route of using marshmallow pieces, you'll need a torch, as you won't be able to pop this in the oven to toast the marshmallows.
Or just make it really easy and purchase all the components. Use high-quality chocolate and vanilla ice creams, a graham cracker crust pie, and some marshmallows. Then assemble it like the recipe directs below.
There you have it, two ways to make a S'mores Ice Cream Cake. Make it your way and enjoy!
S'mores Ice Cream Cake
For the graham cracker crust:
4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the marshmallow topping:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 cups chocolate ice cream, store-bought or homemade
3 cups vanilla ice cream, store-bought or homemade
12 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces for layering into the ice cream.
To make the graham cracker crust: Combine all ingredients and press mixture into bottom and up the sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Transfer to oven and bake at 375°F for 7 to 9 minutes, or until crust deepens in color. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the marshmallow topping: Place sugar and water into a saucepan with a candy thermometer attached to the side of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the syrup reaches 240°F; set aside.
Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium until soft peaks are formed. With the mixer still running, slowly drizzle syrup into egg mixture. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Assembly: Using an ice cream scoop, randomly drop scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream over the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle and press in broken-up pieces of graham cracker. Continue to layer like this until the pan is filled. Transfer to freezer and chill until hardened, about two hours.
Remove from freezer and spread marshmallow topping on top, then using a kitchen torch, toast marshmallow topping. Serve immediately.
(Image credits: Naomi Robinson)