This Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Cake is a perfect summer dessert. Ice cream cakes are easy to prepare and have unlimited possibilities. Being made in advance is the part that will make you look like a rock star!
Entertaining is supposed to be fun and it's a special occasion (especially after pandemic life). Special occasions call for a little something special. That doesn't mean hours of labouring in the kitchen, it should mean using all the tips and tricks you know to pull it off with ease.
Here are 5 tips for creating and serving spectacular ice cream desserts.
5 Best Tips For Serving Ice Cream Cakes
- Use tried-and-true recipes. In this case I use one of two brownie recipes. This Chocolate Truffle Brownie is nice and thick making it easy to cut in half horizontally. I've also made an Ice Cream Cake using my recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies, omitting the cheesecake layer. A store bought gluten free brownie mix will work too.
- Assemble Ice Cream Cakes the day before the party. To get perfect cuts your cake needs to be frozen solid and that means frozen overnight. You cannot rush an ice cream cake. Do the final assembly at least one day in advance. You’ll want to cut your cake before guests arrive, well in advance or the day of is fine.
- Cut with a hot knife. Dipping your knife in hot water is essential. Wipe it off after each cut and if you’re comfortable using a big knife you’ll get to eat everything that comes off that knife.
- Presentation counts and everything looks better on a pedestal tray. Once you’re got perfectly cut brownies you might as well finish off the presentation. A pedestal tray makes anything look fancy and you can mimic that presentation if you don’t have one. Turn any dish with a flat bottom upside down (a bowl or paint can works well) and cover it with cloth or paper napkins.
- Take pictures! You did the work so announce that dessert is being served and invite everyone to take pictures before it melts. You’d be surprised how long people want to share those pictures so let everyone snap away!
How To Cut A Brownie in Half Horizontally
Use a long knife with a serrated edge and cut with confidence!
The blade of the knife should be longer than 8 inches so it cuts right into the entire side of the brownie. Use a sawing motion and cut inward about 2 inches on each side. Once you get that far you'll have the confidence to do the final motion right through the cake.
I slide one of those flexible baking mats between the two layers so I can easily lift up the top piece.
If it breaks a bit the ice cream will hold it together so just keep going.
How To Vary An Ice Cream Cake
Every smart hostess knows that you can serve the same dessert over and over. Knowing how to make it look different is the secret.
Here are three ways to make this exact dessert recipe look completely different.
- Make a single layer of brownie with ice cream on top. Drizzle it with two kinds of chocolate (dark and white) or two sauces like raspberry sauce and caramel sauce.
- Bake the brownie recipe in a round pan. Make a layered dessert as I did here or follow the idea above and make a single layer topped with ice cream.
- Make a large sheet cake by cutting the brownie in half then assembling the two pieces side by side on a large tray.
Whatever you do cutting the pieces in advance and keeping it frozen is the secret to making this dessert look easy.
My Ice Cream Cake Failed, What Can I Do?
It didn’t fail, it just didn’t freeze. There's no last minute assembling this cake and hoping it will be firm enough to cut. It won't but it’s not a fail.
Desserts served in stemware are right up there with desserts served on a pedestal tray. If you have to dust of your martini glasses you might want to try doing this more often.
Crumble or cut the not quite frozen cake pieces or the brownie. Layer it into nice glasses or even wide mouth Mason jars. Use any combination of ice cream, whipped cream, sauce, fresh fruit or any toppings you like. Stick something fancy in the top if you have it.
- Wooden picks with the words gluten free
- A paper umbrella
- A skewer of flaming mini marshmallows (there's always someone)
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Most Versatile Baking Pan
An 8-inch square baking pan is all you need to make this variation of a Brownie Ice Cream Cake. If you're buying new be sure to buy two identical pans. You'll never be sorry!
I'd love to hear in the comments below if you made this Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Cake or some variation of it for a summer celebration.
Easy Summer Desserts, Gluten Free
Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Cake
- 1 gluten free chocolate brownie baked in an 8-inch square pan (see notes for 2 recipe options)
- 2-3 cups gluten free vanilla ice cream
- 2-3 cups gluten free raspberry sorbet
- GARNISH - whipped cream, fresh raspberries and fresh mint leaves
- Cut the brownie in half horizontally.
- Line the original baking pan with parchment and place one half of the brownie into the bottom of the pan.
- Top with scoops of slightly softened vanilla ice cream. Spread evenly over the brownie.
- Top with the other half of the brownie gently pressing it into the ice cream.
- Top with scoops of slightly softened raspberry sorbet. Spread evenly over the brownie. Put brownie cake in airtight container and freeze overnight.
- Remove from freezer and transfer to a cutting board. Use a knife dipped in hot water to cut the ice cream cake. Run under hot water and wipe clean after every cut for the nicest presentation and ease of cutting.
- Cut cake in half. Put one piece back in the freezer while you cut the other. Cut each half into 8 pieces for a total of 16 pieces.
- Serve on a tray topped with fresh whipped cream and raspberries. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.