A full six months after making this for my daughter Isla’s third birthday and this for my son’s fifth, I am STILL burnt out on birthday cakes. Fortunately, Eve was born during summer. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have at least one child with a summer birthday. No vying with every other parent in Chicago for a spot at one of the most popular birthday party venues in the middle of winter. No worrying that the weather might be so bad no one will show up. And certainly, no “it-looked-so-easy-on-you-tube” doll cake. Not when an easy ice cream cake will do.
Children love ice cream. Eve is no different. So when I couldn’t face another cake or even turning on the oven, ice cream swept in and saved the day. You can make this cake, pie actually, in about 5 minutes. It keeps well in the freezer so it doesn’t matter whether that 5 minutes is a month or a day before you plan on serving it. I know you have better things to do with your free time.
You can be endlessly creative with ice cream cake in terms of flavors and decorations. Try making a thin batch of brownies, cool them, layer ice cream on top or use crumbled up cookies instead of pretzels. Use multiple flavors of ice cream, freezing in between. Anything goes!
We decorated Eve's cake with cut-outs of coloring pages from Emmett's coloring books. Emmett loved this activity and was so proud to see that his coloring was featured prominently on her cake. Next year Eve will probably want a "real" birthday party with friends but this year, all she needed was her family and the "cake".
Caramel Pretzel Crunch Pie
- About 24 ounces (half of a 1.5 quart container) Caramel pretzel ice cream, slightly softened
- 1 homemade or store bought graham cracker crust
- 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 ounces heavy cream
- ½ cup crushed pretzels
Press softened ice cream into graham cracker crust. Wrap in plastic and place in freezer until fully frozen.
Place cream and chopped chocolate in microwave and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and mixture is thick and glossy. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Take ice cream pie out of the freezer and pour chocolate ganache over the top guiding it all the way to the sides with a spatula.
Top with pretzel pieces, pressing down gently so they stick into the ganache.
Store covered in the freezer up to two months.
Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.