Sheri Castle
Yield
Makes 8 servings

All hail to a time-strapped, yet creative cook who appreciates how to repurpose and spiff up a delicious, beloved, childhood treat – the ice cream sandwich. Take a look at this tempting cake and ice cream creation made from nothing more than Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches, chocolate whipped cream, and fresh strawberries. This crowd-pleasing beauty takes only minutes to assemble, yet delivers party-worthy good looks.

An Ice Cream Sandwich cake is flexible and forgiving, so suit yourself and your sandwiches.  Classic Neapolitan sandwiches deliver chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream all at once, but you can substitute all chocolate or all vanilla, for example, or use sandwiches of different sizes and shapes, although this might mean you’ll need more or less than a dozen sandwiches to fill your pan. Simply arrange your sandwiches to fit your pan and you trim them as needed.

The whipped cream serves as tasty mortar to hold the pieces in place and fill in any small gaps. You can use plain whipped cream (or a thawed tub of whipped topping) instead of the chocolate whipped cream – although it’s amazing how a little cocoa powder can turn whipped cream into something closer to chocolate mousse.

If your sweet tooth is on high alert, garnish the cake with crushed cookies or chopped candy instead of the berries.

To ensure tidy slices, be sure to freeze your creation long enough for it to set, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. This dessert tends to melt and loose its shape after sitting out for about a half hour, so slice it quickly and return any leftovers to the freezer before it collapses, or just spoon the softer portions into bowls.

How to Make It

Step 1

Line a 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, letting the ends drape over the sides of the pan. These pieces will serve as handles when it’s time to lift the frozen cake out of the pan.

Step 2

Combine the whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until the dry ingredients mix into the cream with a mixer on low speed. Beat to firm peaks on high speed.

Step 3

Unwrap the ice cream sandwiches and arrange half of them across the bottom of the pan. Cut the sandwiches as needed. Cover with a chocolate whipped cream, working it into any gaps between the sandwich pieces and then smoothing into an even layer that touches the sides of the pan. The layer of cream should be about 1/2 inch thick.

Step 4

Add a second layer of ice cream sandwiches and cover with whipped cream.  Should you have leftover whipped cream after assembling the layers and frosting the top, cover and stash it in the fridge to dollop atop each serving.

Step 5

Cover the pan tightly and freeze until the cake is set, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.

Step 6

Lift the cake out of the pan and discard the wrap. Cut into serving pieces and garnish with strawberries and any remaining whipped cream.