Mandy's Marvelous Meals

Recipes, tips, tricks, and my journey into cooking fabulous food!

Twix Ice Cream Cake


Twix Ice Cream Cake

Every year for Hubby’s birthday I get him an ice cream cake. Since I bake cakes all the time it is a  nice treat to have an ice cream cake. This year I decided to make my own ice cream cake for his birthday. I’ve made ice cream cakes before but never made them like the kind you get at the store or an ice cream shop with the crunchy middle. I always just used regular cake layered with ice cream.

My Very First Ice Cream Cake

Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

I must have gotten bit by a creativity bug because suddenly I had this great idea to make this a Twix ice cream cake (since Hubby likes Twix candy bars).  So, I found this recipe on King Arthur Flour to make homemade Twix bars. I only made the shortbread layer for the crumbly inside of the ice cream cake and mixed it with some caramel. I had intended to make my own caramel, but due to time constraints just ended up buying a jar of Smucker’s Caramel Topping. If you decide to make this for an event make sure you do it the day before or at least 8-9 hours in advance so the cake can freeze up completely. Like I said, I was on a limited time frame so not only did I have to work twice as fast to get everything set, but we weren’t actually able to cut the cake right when I presented it, because it would have been completely destroyed (Which was not a big deal since we had reservations for an all you can eat meat buffet…better known as “Na’Brasa Brazilian Steak House“).

Despite being crunched for time, I actually remembered to grab the camera to take step-by-step photos! I only missed one or two pictures! Yay for me!

So without further ado, here is how I made this awesome birthday cake!

Prepare the shortbread layer.

Since I was ultimately going to end up crumbling this up, I didn’t bother putting it in the baking dish all nice and neat, as you can see. You can make the shortbread a few days in advance if you want. That way you won’t have to worry about even more time with cooling it down.

Whip the ice cream in a stand mixer.

For the cake you will need 1-1.5 Qt. vanilla ice cream and 1-1.5 Qt. chocolate ice cream. A trick that I’ve learned from experience is to soften your ice cream by letting it sit out for about 10 minutes and then putting it in your stand mixer to mix up. It is much easier to work with than letting it just soften on its own. The first layer is half of the vanilla, so only mix half in the mixer and return the rest to the freezer. A WORD OF CAUTION….I do not recommend mixing the ice cream in your mixer if you do not have a heavy duty mixer. Although I’ve only done this with my Kitchenaid, I know that my old $30 middle-of-the-road stand mixer would not have been able to handle mixing the ice cream!

Add the softened ice cream to the pan to make the first layer of the cake.

To make the cake, use a springform pan with the bottom removed and two 10″ round cardboard cake circles placed on the bottom (sold in craft stores or wherever cake supplies/decorations are sold). Glue or tape the two cardboard circles together. This cake will be very heavy when finished so one circle probably won’t hold it!

Prior to making the layers, place the Springform pan in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to make it cold. You will have to be very careful not to move the cardboard or the pan or the ice cream will get all over. If you want, you can use a little tape to keep the cardboard in place. Medical tape works best, as regular tape loses its stickiness after it gets cold.  It is very important to put the cake back in the freezer after each layer…do not skip this part of the recipe or your flavors will run together and you’ll have a big old mess (I won’t mention how I know this, but I’m sure you can figure it out). Put the pan back in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Basically what I did was put it back in…set a timer for 10 minutes, take out the next ice cream that I was going to use (in this case chocolate) and allowed it to soften up for 10 minutes…then whipped it in the mixer….took out the pan from the freezer and added the next layer, putting it back in the freezer for 20 more minutes.

Crush the shortbread.

After you’ve completed the first two layers (1/2 the vanilla and all the chocolate) and the pan is back in the freezer to harden, prepare the shortbread layer by putting it in a large ziploc bag and crushing with a rolling pin. Add the crumbles to a bowl and add the caramel sauce 1/4 cup at a time mixing well between each addition until the crumbles are just moist. You do not want to add too much caramel. The crumbles should not be sticky or too wet.

Add the shortbread/caramel crumble mixture to the pan.

Add the shortbread/caramel mixture to the pan spreading out evenly over the ice cream. I did not use all the crumbles (only about 3/4) but it is totally up to you how thick you want the layer to be. I basically stopped adding the crumbles when I could no longer see any ice cream. Return the pan to the freezer for another 20 minutes (after 10 minutes remove the remaining vanilla ice cream from the freezer to soften).

 You will need to crush or chop the mini Twix bars. I put them in a ziploc baggie and just pounded them with the rolling pin, however the caramel remained as one solid piece so I ended up having to cut it up with a knife. Next time, I’m thinking I’ll throw it in the food processor. Once you whip the remaining ice cream in the mixer, stir in the crushed Twix (forgot to photograph these last few steps!) Remove the pan from the freezer and add the final layer. Once completed, return to the freezer for a minimum of 4-5 hours or longer if you can. The longer you can freeze it the easier it will be to remove the pan and add the icing.

To remove, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and then open the spring on the pan to release. Lift off carefully and you should have what’s pictured above!

The whipped cream frosting can be added either right before serving or after the cake has frozen completely. You can freeze the cake with the icing on it, but some people may not like it as much. I think it still tastes good so I just put it on right away. Finally finish the cake by drizzling caramel and chocolate over the top.

Twix Ice Cream Cake

Shortbread:

2 sticks salted butter

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13″ pan lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. At first the mixture will seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.
  3. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan.
  4. Prick the crust all over with a fork to allow for more even baking.
  5. Bake the crust until it’s lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, place in a large ziploc bag and crumble by gently hitting with a rolling pin or mallet. Keep aside until needed in recipe below.

Ice Cream Cake

1.5 quart vanilla ice cream

1.5 quart chocolate ice cream

1/4 – 1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping (such as Smucker’s)

10 “fun sized” mini Twix Bars, chopped.

  1. Remove the bottom from a springform pan and attach two 10″ cardboard cake circles to the bottom with medical tape.  Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, soften vanilla ice cream by sitting out at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Place half the vanilla in a mixing bowl and using ONLY a Heavy Duty Mixer, mix the ice cream at medium speed until it is just a little bit harder than soft serve ice cream.
  3. Remove the prepared pan from the freezer and spread the ice cream in the bottom. Place back in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. Repeat Step #2 with the chocolate ice cream, however use the entire container for the second layer.
  5. Prepare the shortbread by crushing with a rolling pin. Place shortbread crumbles in a bowl and add caramel sauce 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. You want the crumbles to be moist, but not sticky or wet.  Return to freezer for another 20 minutes.
  6. Chop the mini twix bars and set aside.
  7. Mix the remaining vanilla ice cream in a Heavy Duty Mixer to almost “soft serve” consistency. Stir in the Twix pieces and place this on top of the cake as the last layer.
  8. Return to freezer for at least 5 hours. More is better. Once cake is pretty much frozen solid, remove the pan by sliding a knife around the edges then opening the spring on the pan and pulling off gently.
  9. Top the cake with Whipped Cream Frosting (recipe follows) and decorate as desired.

Whipped Cream Frosting

 2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup powdered sugar (or more to taste)

  1. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Taste the whipped cream and add more sugar, if desired. (I added about 1/2 cup +2 tbsp. because I wanted a sweeter frosting).

 

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Easy & Delicious Chocolate Frosting


This is a really easy chocolate frosting and it tastes great. It is also great for when you are “In a Pinch” like the other night when Hubby called and said he was going to pick up our goddaughter so she could stay over…could I possibly make a birthday cake for her?? Of course I did…in no time at all. I hadn’t made this frosting in a while so I forgot how good it was and especially how easy!

If you have trouble with the consistency, simply add milk if it is too thick or add more powdered sugar if it is too thin, but be careful…if you add too much sugar it will be too sweet. If this happens, just add more cocoa powder a little bit at a time until you get it to your taste preference.

If you are really in a hurry soften the butter in the microwave and combine all ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to mix it all up…you don’t even need a mixer! I always use my mixer because I think the consistency is better, but if you are really in a hurry you could definitely just whisk away! 😉

This makes a TON of frosting, so you may want to cut the recipe in half. This is more than enough for a two layer cake (2 round 9″ cake pans). Don’t be alarmed by the amount of butter…it’s definitely not healthy in the least but it tastes awesome. My theory when it comes to cakes & frosting…might as well do it right. Later this week I’ll share some Slimmed Down versions of cake & frosting for those of you who are watching what you eat…but ultimately there is nothing like the real thing!

Quick & Easy Chocolate Frosting

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup milk, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. In a mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla. Then add the cocoa a little bit at a time until well combined.
  3. Add the milk and mix until light and fluffy.
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Nailed It! Or maybe not!!


Happy Easter!!!! I am wondering what types of wonderful Easter dishes you all came up with out there. Hubby and I decided to hit up a restaurant this year for Easter Brunch.  It was wonderful….but of course I couldn’t resist making us something special for the day. Since we both love Cadbury Crème Eggs (as mentioned in Saturday’s Post: Cadbury Egg Martini) I thought these cupcakes I found on Pinterest were a cute idea. The cupcakes are from www.mybakingaddiction.com and Jamie, the writer of this blog, tells you to use whatever chocolate cupcake recipe you like.

 Has anyone been seeing these photos on Pinterest?

That is totally what happened to me with these cupcakes!!!

 Here you see the cupcakes from Jamie on www.mybakingaddiction.com

Here you see my cupcakes!!! Oh boy!

I guess this is a good time to disclose a little secret….my food doesn’t always look the greatest…I am horrible at decorating baked goods and even my plating skills are atrocious. I’m slowly getting better…I’ve been practicing especially with the frosting and decorating and Hubby seems to have a good eye when it comes to “plating” dishes, so he is always willing to help out with that. Who doesn’t love a beautiful dessert? But, have you ever picked out the most gorgeously decorated cupcake from a display only to have it taste so-so? At least I can say, my food may not look the prettiest but nine times out of ten it tastes great!  To me, this is what ultimately matters, but as I grow as a cook I am realizing the importance of making my food look pretty.  When something tastes as good as it looks you will always have a perfect “10”!

Anyway, for my cupcakes I used my Devil’s Food go-to recipe…and I can’t remember exactly where it came from but it is a variation of the very popular Hershey’s chocolate cake with the boiling water (you know the one :)) However, since these were strictly for my Hubby (more about my “Slimmed Down” version later!) I decided to make a small batch. I’ve been pretty successful calculating recipes to make only 2-4 cupcakes, but based on how the cupcakes turned out I’d say my math was not 100% accurate (I never was good at math…thought I was finally getting better though?!) The first thing I noticed was that although they were moist, the texture of the cupcake was way too crumbly and they were crumbling all over the place. Instead of the top puffing up they spread out over the baking cup, making a mushroom like shape. Also, they did not turn out as chocolatey as they should have…however this was not such a bad thing because they took on more of a milk chocolate flavor, which went well with the candy theme.  By the time they were ready to be frosted, I just didn’t have the energy or desire to break out my icing bags and so I just tried my best to spread the icing on with a knife…which as you can see did not turn out the greatest.

All in all, however, when it came time to tasting them Hubby gave them a “4” out of 5 rating. He said they still tasted good despite their appearance. The one thing he did mention, however was that they were very sweet. In retrospect I could’ve taken into consideration the fact that Cadbury Crème Eggs are super sweet so it would’ve probably been beneficial to decrease the sugar in the cupcake just a bit. But if you don’t mind very sweet stuff (like me!) then it’s really not a big deal. The icing is just your basic vanilla buttercream and tasted great!

So here are the full recipes for the Devil’s Food Cupcakes & the Vanilla Buttercream. If you’ve got lots of Cadbury Eggs leftover from Easter, you can throw them in the cupcakes like the ones in the pictures.

Devil’s Food Cupcakes (Makes 24 cupcakes)

1 ½ cups unsalted butter

¾ cup cocoa powder

½ cup boiling water

2 ¼ cups sugar

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups cake flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners and set aside for later use.
  2. Sift cocoa into a medium bowl and whisk in boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter on low speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in vanilla and then add eggs a little bit at a time beating in between each addition until well combined.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Whisk milk into cocoa mixture.
  7. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa mixtures to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  8. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with the batter.
  9. Bake in the oven 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  11. Frost as desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

3  cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tbsp. heavy cream

  1. With an electric mixer, mix together the sugar and the butter until well blended, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Add cream 1 tbsp. at a time and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute, adding more cream if needed to reach desired consistency.
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Irish for A Day: Lucky Charm Cupcakes


Baking has always been something I’ve been pretty good at. Not to toot my own horn, but I can make some yummy baked goods (making them look pretty, however, is a different story). I haven’t been doing much baking lately because when I do bake all my willpower goes out the window and I will indulge in a cupcake (or two or three…but more like 6!)…and why is it that my Hubby will say he’s hungry for cake and then when I make one, he eats two pieces and never touches it again! Which then presents me with only two options 1) throw it away or 2) eat it myself (can’t freeze it because it just doesn’t taste the same)!

Most recipes for cakes, cookies, cupcakes, etc. are just way too much for my small family of two. I was always scared to try to scale recipes down since baking is so much more technical than other types of cooking. Eventually, though, I did start “halving” my recipes, but still this was too much of a good thing for only two people. So, I started going even further with my calculations and scaled back to make just enough for two. I’ve never been great at math, nor have I ever liked doing it. So, I cringe when I break out the pencil and the calculator to start making the conversions, but am filled with satisfaction when I’ve done it correctly!

So that’s what I did yesterday. Even though I am not Irish and typically don’t do anything to observe St. Patrick’s Day, I kept seeing recipes for Lucky Charms cupcakes, and I thought I would try them out. I really didn’t find any recipes on the web that were all that special so I ended up using “The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake” recipe on the “Cupcake Project” website. I considered following the recipe exactly and using real vanilla beans, but it just seemed like a waste of money since I was going to be adding Lucky Charms cereal and didn’t really know how it would turn out. I scaled down the recipe to make only four cupcakes.

To me, baking is pretty straight forward if you can read and follow directions. If you are not someone who bakes a lot make sure you follow the recipe exactly and follow the directions the way they are written. Be careful not to overmix your badder. When baking, be sure not to over bake or your end product will be dry.

For the frosting, I used the recipe recommended on the Cupcake Project site. I again scaled this down to 4 servings and did not use real vanilla beans.

Don’t worry….my willpower held strong yesterday and I only made these beauties for my Hubby.

For myself, I made some “guilt-free Hungry Girl” cupcakes. I used her Vanilla Cupcake Recipe and just added 1/4 cup of Lucky Charms to the batter.  They were ok, but had a strange texture and I felt like you could taste the diet lemon-lime soda….but these are the sacrifices I’m willing to make to get myself ready for bathing suit season! 🙂

One last tip…something that I didn’t come across when looking for the Lucky Charms recipe, but wish someone would have mentioned…would be to add the Lucky Charms that are on top right before serving. After I frosted the cupcakes I added the Lucky Charms to the top and by the time we finished dinner and were ready for the cupcakes, the cereal had turned stale and this definitely took something away from the overall taste.

I hope you enjoy them…even though St. Patty’s Day is over, Lucky Charms are great any day of the year so give them a try!!

Lucky Charms Cupcakes (Makes 4 cupcakes)

Adapted from “The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake”

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup + 3 tbsp. cake flour

1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 large egg (beat egg and divide in half. For more accurate measurement weigh the beaten egg on a food scale and divide in half.)

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

4 tsp. sour cream

2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. whole milk

1/4 cup Lucky Charms Cereal

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with 4 cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt).
  3. Add the butter and beat with a mixer for about 3 minutes. You should end up with a fine crumb like consistency.
  4. In a separate small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  5. Add this to this to the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  6. Slowly add the milk, mixing on low speed until just combined.
  7. Fold in the Lucky Charms cereal.
  8. Fill cupcake liners about half full.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Place cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting(Makes enough frosting for 4 cupcakes)

Adapted from “Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting”

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. powdered sugar

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 tsp. milk

  1. In a mixer, combine the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add the milk and mix until desired consistency is reached. Add more sugar or milk to adjust the consistency.
  3. Add 2-4 drops of food coloring (green for the Lucky Charms cupcakes) and mix until combined and frosting is green.
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