Vanilla Berry Ice Cream Cake

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I made this cake for my birthday this year.  I’m not a big birthday celebrator and I apparently thought even less of my birthday this year than other years because while at the doctor a few weeks ago, well before my birthday, I told them that I was already 31.  Um no…I was still definitely 30.  I guess I skipped it.  😉  I don’t dislike birthday’s, I just like celebrating everyone ELSE’S birthday.

The cake is the best part (aside from getting a new camera this year – woohoo!) and usually I lament and lament over what I’m going to make.  But not this time.  I did a very little searching, stumbled on this gem, and got right to work.  While we didn’t get to enjoy this cake on my actual birthday because I kind of messed up the ice cream layer, we definitely loved it for several days afterward!

The layers of vanilla cake are so flavorful and then added to vanilla ice cream that is studded with berries and topped with a delicious whipped vanilla frosting – well, let’s just say that you can have your cake and ice cream AND eat it, too! 🙂

This is not a particularly hard cake to make, it just takes some time and the right equipment.  I used 8-inch cake pans to bake the cake layers in but I didn’t have an 8-inch springform pan to use for the ice cream layer as Annie suggested.  I ended up freezing the ice cream layer in a plastic wrap lined 8-inch cake pan and that worked perfectly.  You could also use 9-inch pans if that’s what you have.  Once it all comes together and you are eating that first bite, you’ll forget about any work that went into this treat.  And besides, if you love to bake then you won’t mind a few extra steps!

Vanilla Berry Ice Cream Cake


For the cake: 2 cups cake flour

  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 11 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • For the blueberry sauce: 1 cup blueberries
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1¼ tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. cold water
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the strawberry sauce:

  • 4 oz. strawberries, hulled, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2½ cups vanilla bean ice cream, slightly softened (homemade or store-bought)


1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F and butter the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans and then line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides and bottom of the pans, shaking out the excess.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the vanilla bean seeds (discard the pod or reserve for another use.). Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for an additional minute.

4. Add the sugar to the butter mixture, about ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

5. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes. Let cool in the pans, on wire racks, about 10 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge of the cakes and turn the layers out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and allow to cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill the cake layers until you are ready to assemble the cake.

To make the blueberry sauce:1. Combine the blueberries and sugar in a nonreactive saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to burst and release their juices.

2. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with the water and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and cover and chill.

To make the strawberry sauce: 1. Combine the strawberries and sugar in a bowl and toss well to combine. Mash the berries slightly with the tines of a fork and stir in the lemon juice, cover and chill. Let the berries macerate at least one hour and if needed, mash once more to achieve your desired texture. (About 10 minutes before the strawberries have finished macerating, remove ice cream from the freezer so that it will soften and become spreadable.)

To assemble the cake: 1. Level the cake layers if necessary, using a serrated knife.

2. Place one of the chilled cake rounds in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper around the circumference of the cake to act as a tight collar for the ice cream layer.* Be sure the ice cream is soft enough to spread smoothly and easily before proceeding. Spread the vanilla ice cream in an even layer over the bottom cake layer. Spoon the blueberry and strawberry fillings on top of the ice cream in whatever pattern you prefer.

3. Place the remaining cake layer on top of the ice cream and fruit filling. Ensure that the parchment collar is pulled tight around the cake and ice cream to keep the layers evenly in place. Close the sides of the springform around the assembled cake and transfer to the freezer to set. (Covering the cake at this point is not necessary unless you are not eating it as soon as it sets.)

Alternatively: Place the first cake layer on a cake stand that is freezable. Line an 8-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and spread ice cream evenly over it. Top with berries. Freeze until fully frozen (this may take a few hours). When ice cream layer is frozen, carefully turn out onto first cake layer and remove plastic wrap. If ice cream layer has a larger circumference than the cake layers, carefully trim ice cream using a sharp knife. Top with second cake layer. Freeze until ready to frost.

To make the frosting:

3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. Butter will become very pale & creamy.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, scrape down the sides and then mix on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

3. Carefully frost cake and decorate as desired. Store the cake covered in the freezer until ready to serve. When ready to serve, remove cake from freezer and slice using a long, sharp knife. Run the blade under hot water if cake is difficult to cut. Let cut pieces stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

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