Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

Gotta love it when experiments in the kitchen turn out great. I’ve always wanted to do some sort of ice cream cake. With the chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream recipes featured in this month’s Daring Bakers challenge, I came up with this idea. From top to bottom:

  • Flourless chocolate cake moistened with Kirschwasser (German “cherry water” brandy)
  • A thin layer of pureed cherry preserves
  • Plain vanilla ice cream
  • Frozen liquid sablé crust

If the frozen liquid sablé crust sounds weird, that’s because it’s borrowed from the Alinea cookbook. You won’t need to sneak into a laboratory and steal a tank of liquid nitrogen, though. The sablé crust is actually pretty straightforward.

The sandy textured frozen crust starts off as a normal shortbread made with a bit of almond flour. The baked sablé is then blended with oil, poured into a springform pan, and frozen to kickstart the bottom-up cake assembly.

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

frozen liquid sablé recipe adapted from Grant Achatz’s Alinea

Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake on a Frozen Liquid Sablé Crust

makes one 8-inch ice cream cake


Flourless Chocolate Cake
Kirschwasser Simple Syrup (optional)
Pureed Cherry Preserves
Vanilla Ice Cream
Frozen Liquid Sablé Crust

Special Equipment:

For the Flourless Chocolate Cake:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
semisweet chocolate, chopped                     16            454
unsalted butter         1/2 cup + 2 tbsp          5            142
whites from large eggs            5
yolks from large eggs             5

Flourless Chocolate Cake Instructions:

Preheat Oven    375ºF / 190ºC

Prepare an 8-inch springform cake pan by greasing with butter and
lining with a parchment circle.

Melt the Chocolate
                Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Set
                over a pan of simmering water and melt while stirring
                often. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the

Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake Melted

Mix             Put the egg yolks and egg whites in separate bowls.

                Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks (do not over-whip or
                the cake will be dry).

                With the same beater, beat the egg yolks together. Add
                the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate and mix with a
                rubber spatula until smooth.

                Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
                Follow with remaining egg whites and fold gently only
                until the white streaks disappear.

Pan             Pour the cake batter into the prepared springform pan.
                The batter should fill the pan about 3/4 of the way full.
                Place the cake pan on a cookie sheet or sheet pan.

                Level and bake immediately.

Bake            375ºF / 190ºC for 25 minutes, or until a digital
                thermometer reads 140ºF / 60ºC.

                If you do not have a digital thermometer, the top of the
                cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester
                will appear wet.

Cool            Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 10 minutes
                before unmolding.

Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake Baked
Baked flourless chocolate cake.

For the Kirschwasser Simple Syrup (optional):

2 tablespoons simple syrup
splash of Kirschwasser

For the Vanilla Ice Cream:

2 cups / 473 ml heavy cream
1 cup / 237 ml whole milk
2/3 cup / 134 grams granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Ice Cream Instructions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt to a bare simmer over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
  3. Cool completely at room temperature. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  4. Churn to a soft consistency after making the frozen liquid sablé crust.

For the Frozen Liquid Sablé Crust:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
all-purpose flour           1 scant cup           4.1          118
almond flour                      5 tbsp          1.4           39

unsalted butter, at room temp   1/4 cup           2.0           57
granulated sugar                  3 tbsp          1.3           38
salt                            1/4 tsp
egg yolk                          1      

vegetable oil                     6 tbsp          2.8           80

Frozen Liquid Sablé Crust Instructions:

Mix             Sift together the all-purpose and almond flours.

                In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, sugar,
                and salt with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the
                egg yolk and continue mixing until well-blended.

                Slowly add the flours and continue mixing only until
                a dough is formed. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate     At least 1 hour

Preheat Oven    350ºF / 175ºC

Prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or silicone.

Roll Out        Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface
                and roll out until about 1/4 inch thick.

Bake            20 minutes, until golden brown

Prepare an 8-inch springform cake pan lined with plastic wrap.

Blend           Break the the baked sablé into small pieces and place
                in a blender along with half of the vegetable oil.
                Blend on high speed while drizzling the remaining
                vegetable oil.

Freeze the Sablé
                Pour the liquefied sablé into the lined springform pan.
                Freeze for at least 1 hour or until thoroughly set.

Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake Sable
Liquefied almond shortbread, ready to freeze.

Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake Assembly:

Freeze the Ice Cream
                Place the churned ice cream on top of the frozen liquid
                sablé and level. Freeze for at least 1 hour or until
                thoroughly set.

Fill            Unmold the frozen ice cream cake and place on a serving
                plate. Apply a thin layer of pureed cherry preserves,
                about 6 tablespoons.

Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake Jam

To Finish       Moisten the flourless chocolate cake by lightly brushing
                with the Kirschwasser simple syrup, if using. Set the
                chocolate cake on top of the ice cream.
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84 Responses to “Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Cake”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Wow Jude!! What a fantastic layered cake! And with an Alinea recipe too!

  2. Rosa says:

    A fabulous creation and great idea! What a stunning cake! Very well done…



  3. yasmeen says:

    Such perfect and delicious layers,great complement with chocolate.

  4. Audax Artifex says:

    Frozen liquid sablé crust I have never heard of it – but what a great idea. Your creation is great I just love the layering this recipe is so rich that it needs some ‘light’ layers to add relief from all that chocolate. Very nice edges. Lovely photos. Thanks for the nice comments on my blog.

  5. Zita says:

    Look at that layers, frozen liquid sablé crust sound fantastic:)

  6. Jillian says:

    I love your take on the challenge! I think it really elevates this cake to a new level.

  7. snooky doodle says:

    this id really delicious. so intersting with all its different textures. I like the sable base i will try it :)

  8. Natashya says:

    I love the ice cream cake! We were thinking in the same direction.. Brushing the cake with the liqueur was a great idea. :)

  9. Judy says:

    How creative is this! I absolutely love what you have done with it! Great job on the challenge!

  10. Meeta says:

    oh my this looks incredibly decadent. what a fantastic idea jude. you rock!

  11. Lisa says:

    What creativity! It’s like a giant fudge sundae with a cookie in it! Beautifully done!

  12. kat says:

    Wow, what an amazing presentation!

  13. Tangled Noodle says:

    Each element/layer is wonderful but together, this cake is tremendous! Brushing the cake with the kirschwasser syrup sounds delicious, something I’d like to try.

  14. Dana McCauley says:

    Now, if this combo doesn’t epitomize being Daring! I don’t know what does. Love that you tried out an Alinea recipe as part of the challenge!

  15. katie says:

    It looks amazing Jude! Great idea to make an ice cream cake – sounds fab.

  16. Courtney aka glamah says:

    You just elevated this challenge to lofty heights. Brilliant.

  17. Arundathi says:

    What a great idea – an icecream chocolate cake! that would just hit the spot right now!

  18. Junie Moon says:

    Wow, you’ve offered so many ideas to think about and try with your February challenge offering. As a new Daring Baker, I have much to learn and you’ve given me some great new ideas. The Frozen Liquid Sablé Crust sounds wonderful, too.

  19. Lauren says:

    Mmm, your cake looks amazingly good! I love the unique spin on it =D!!

  20. giz says:

    pretty amazing how you took a relatively plain jane cake (delicious but still pretty plain) and turned it into the belle of the ball.

  21. Chickiedoodle says:

    Talk about daring! You challenged this challenge and it seems to have paid off in spades…. looks spectacular!

  22. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    What a brilliant idea to make an ice cream cake! I love what you did with this. It looks lovely and I just know it tastes sensational!

  23. arlene says:

    It looks fantastic. I’ve never heard of a liquid sable crust, but I’ll bet it’s a delicious addition.

  24. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    Whoa — even better than Cherry Garcia!

  25. Kitty says:

    That is beautiful!

  26. Namratha says:

    Wow, this is a very creative way to use the cake…well done! Loved all the layers :)

  27. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Jude you have a new camera, lights and teacher ?? . . . those photos are fantastic!
    Beautiful so creative cake!!

  28. Caitlin says:

    Whoa, you’re twitting me about my volume calculations when you go all Alinea on me?!? Hmph. Double standards, anyone? :P

  29. Spinachtiger says:

    Amazing, and I would be so nervous taking the pictures. It would be melting…

  30. Kevin says:

    Amazing looking cake!

  31. Soma says:

    Delicious combintion of Cherry flavor!

  32. Bonobo Cakes says:

    I love your idea. The best part is that your cake is on top, I placed mine on the base, and it became very dense. Still very wonderful, but heavy. Your photos make me want to try the frozen liquid sablé crust, and I may just do it!

  33. Deelish Dish says:

    Genius. The moist chocolate cake would be my favorite part as I can’t even begin to imagine what a frozen liquid sable crust would be like. But I bet it’s damn good.

  34. Hannah says:

    Oh what a great presentation! I wish I had thought of that, too…

  35. anjelikuh says:

    oh wow!! I LOVE what you did with the challenge recipes, the layers look beautiful!

  36. clumbsycookie says:

    So cool to transform it into a cake! And how cool is that crust?! I’m making it for sure!

  37. Claire says:

    What a great idea! I bet that was just delicious.

  38. sara says:

    Yum, this looks so tasty! That crust sounds very interesting. :)

  39. Esi says:

    Jude this is incredible! I love your interpretation of the challenge. That sable crust sounds so good and even better that you don’t need fancy equipment or materials.

  40. sweetbird says:

    Oh Jude, must you always be so amazing?

  41. Arlette says:

    oh wow….
    what an amazing job you did Jude,
    I like it and the idea.. though the frozen sable is new to me.
    thanks for visiting

  42. Jo says:

    Jude! oh wow! I think yours is so pretty and unique! well done my friend, truly well done.

  43. JennyBakes says:

    Yum. I have this bottle of Kirsch I’m always trying to find more things to do with. I like how you took the DB challenge and really magnified it and brought something different to the table.

  44. Rysheda says:

    OMgoodness! You have taken this month’s challenge to a new level. Your creativity and use of the challenge recipe is devine. Great job!!

  45. Cheryl says:

    man that is gorgeous. Most impressive!

  46. Jennifer says:


  47. Barbara says:

    So creative! I love the addition of cherry!

  48. CookiePie says:

    GORGEOUS cake — what a fabulous way to do the DB challenge. Love it!

  49. DebinHawaii says:

    That is one amazing looking cake–truly stunning and I bet it tastes even better than it looks!

  50. natalia says:

    your cake is a wonder !! I’ve never heard of Alinea , you made me curious ! I love the cherry flavour, bravissima !

  51. Amy says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. I think I fainted when I saw your photo – how scrumptious!

  52. pigpigscorner says:

    Love the layers…and with the ice-cream…gorgeous!

  53. grace says:

    gorgeous, jude! very rarely do my kitchen experiments turn out this well, or even edible. :)

  54. chef_d says:

    Chocolate and cherry combination is always a winner!

  55. maryann says:

    You did a wonderful job on this, Jude!

  56. Shari says:

    Each component looks elegant and delicious and I’m sure the combination was amazing. Great job!

  57. Mary says:

    Oh dear. Chocolate and cherries? My heart started beating fast there for a minute…. Looks fabulous as always!

  58. noble pig says:

    That does sound delicious. I’ve never done an ice cream cake either!

  59. Aparna says:

    I really don’t know how you do this almost every time, Jude. You never cease to amze me. All I can say is whoever is eating all this is very lucky. Pity, I’m not one of them.:)

  60. linda says:

    Very interesting crust, I’m curious about the mouth-feel…
    Lovely ice cream cake, looks very pretty!

  61. Carolyn Jung says:

    That is so interesting about breaking up the baked shortbread crust in a blender with vegetable oil, then freezing it. Can you describe how the taste/texture of the resulting mixture differs from if you just used the shorbread crust as is? Is it kind of like pulverizing gingersnap cookies, then mixing with melted butter to form a crust for cheesecake, only you’re freezing it instead of baking it? Intriguing!

  62. katie says:

    Wow! This looks so good! I thought about doing an ice cream cake but didn’t have the time. Nice work!

  63. Hayley says:

    Your ice cream cake turned out beautifully! Your instructions are always so clear and well written, and so helpful. I’ve been wanting to try an ice cream cake like this, so thanks for the inspiration!

  64. Nikki says:

    Amazing, Jude! I also wonder how it feels in the mouth, as an overall cake. Practically salivating now.

  65. Jacque says:

    Wow, what a beauty! The layers are so stately and perfect.

    That liquid sable crust sounds so interesting. I can’t really imagine what the oil and crust crumbs would be like. It sure looks neat though.

  66. Penny says:

    Jude, what a wonderful combination! Looks great!

  67. Olga says:

    OMG, I think we are twins: same spatulas and cake pans :)

  68. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella says:

    Wow, wow and wow! I love the distinct layers. I’m speechless! :P

  69. joey says:

    Amazing job on this challenge! Lovely how you’ve put the component in such perfectly delectable looking layers!

  70. Dimah says:

    Wow, that looks beautiful!

  71. Jescel says:

    oh my… this is heaven on a bite!

  72. Ivonne says:


    You’ve taken a very basic recipe and made into something so stunning. This is daring in every sense of the word.

  73. breadchick says:

    What an inventive way to have done our challenge this month!

  74. Natashya, I like the bite of Kirsch in the cake. I think it’s great with chocolate.

    Susan, Definitely had cherry garcia in mind while making this :)

    Carolyn, the sable crust had a smooth texture but still retained its grittiness. It was almost pliable and remained firm at room temperature for quite a while, so I think it’s perfect for ice cream cakes.

    I can see the same method working for gingersnaps, too.

    Thanks everyone!

  75. Jo says:

    Lovely and I really like your adaption of the cake.

  76. Candice says:

    That looks amazing. At first I thought it was a fancy ice cream sandwich!

  77. Jamie says:

    This is one of the most original cakes for this challenge that I have seen. I would love a slice!

  78. Girl Japan says:

    Oh my GOSH, you are blowing me away with all your amazing talents…. I must learn from you, the cake, decadent beauty so are the photos.

  79. Jaime says:

    WOW. that’s all I have to say!

  80. Nicisme says:

    When you see the words ‘chocolate’, followed by ‘cherry’ followed by ‘vanilla’ you just know you are going to be in heaven. And don’t get me started on the ‘ice cream’ bit!

  81. Maggie says:

    Wonderful combination! I have to give the frozen sable crust a try.

  82. we are never full says:

    thank you, jude. there is now a puddle of my own saliva on my leg. this one is more than a winner.

  83. Cal says:

    yemmmmmmmmmmmmme sounds delicious

  84. Patience Kitzerow says:

    After examine a number of of the weblog posts in your website now, and I really like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site record and can be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my website online as effectively and let me know what you think.

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