Ice Cream Sundae Cake


Jul 02

Ice Cream Sundae Cake – chocolate and vanilla cake layers with vanilla buttercream, caramel sauce, chocolate ganache, roasted peanuts, sprinkles and cherries on top!

Ice Cream Sundae Cake - chocolate and vanilla cake layers with vanilla buttercream, caramel sauce, chocolate ganache, roasted peanuts, sprinkles and cherries on top!

Ice Cream Sundae Inspiration

As I started dreaming up cakes for the summer, an ice cream sundae inspired cake was at the top of the list. It’s such a classic summer treat! Not to be confused with a banana split, an ice cream sundae (in my mind), is made up of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, chopped nuts, sprinkles, whipped cream and a cherry on top. And do those not all sound like amazing flavors for a cake!

Ice Cream Sundae Cake

Ice Cream Sundae Cake

They sure do to me! In fact, as I thought about this cake, how I would incorporate the ice cream sundae elements was a no-brainer. Of course there would be vanilla cake layers. That was a must. However, I felt like this cake needed a little more of a “wow factor” than just vanilla cake (sorry vanilla cake). So I decided to make it four layers and add chocolate cake too. You’ll thank me later;)

So with vanilla cake layers and chocolate cake layers, it was time to plan the fillings and frosting. To mimic a classic ice cream sundae, I made my own caramel sauce and chocolate ganache to drizzle between each layer. I then added chopped roasted peanuts and sprinkles between each layer as well. I think you’ll love the crunch these two elements add to the cake.

For the frosting, I thought it only fitting to throw on a whipped vanilla buttercream. This is my classic vanilla buttercream, but with a little more whipping cream to lighten it up even more.

And, of course, you have to have cherries on top!

Helpful Tips

  • As you’re looking at this recipe, you’ll notice it’s basically two full cakes and two full batches of frosting. If that’s too much for you, you can totally cut each cake recipe and the frosting recipe in half to make a two-layer, 8-inch cake. If you do just one vanilla cake layer and one chocolate cake layer, you’ll end up baking them for less time since you’ll only have one pan in the oven at a time. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes less, but keep your eye on it.
  • Remember, when you insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, it should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • I also like to make the cake layers ahead of time and freeze them until I want to stack and decorate the entire cake. However, you don’t want to frost frozen cake layers because your frosting will harden as you do. To avoid this, remove your cake layers from the freezer about 30 to 60 minutes before you stack and decorate your cake.
  • If you do go for all four layers of this cake, let’s talk about how to cut it. You can check my IGTV for a video, but in case you missed it, you’ll want to just cut halfway down the cake and serve two layers of the cake at a time. So you’re serving the top half of the cake first, and then you’ll serve the bottom half.
  • If you make all four layers and cut this cake by two layers at a time, you’ll get about 40 servings.

Enjoy!

 

Ice Cream Sundae Cake

Based off the classic summer treat, this Ice Cream Sundae Cake has layers of vanilla cake, chocolate cake, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, roasted peanuts, sprinkles and vanilla buttercream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 40 people

Ingredients

For the Vanilla Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 whole large eggs room temperature
  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot water or coffee
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Whipped Vanilla Buttercream (this is two full batches)

  • 4 cups unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 12 cups powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

For the Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream room temperature

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips I prefer semi-sweet or dark
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Extras/Garnish

  • 1/2 cup Roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup Sprinkles
  • 1 jar Cherries

Instructions

For the Vanilla Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare two 8" round cake pans with non-stick spray, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, and another coat of spray. Set aside.

  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar on high until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs and egg whites, one at a time to the bowl and beat on medium until well incorporated.

  5. Turn the mixer on low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Then add half of the buttermilk and blend well, followed by another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the second half of the buttermilk and lastly, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until incorporated.

  6. Add the vanilla extract and beat on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on low for another 30 seconds.

  7. Evenly distribute the cake batter among the two pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (you may need more time depending on your oven), until toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.

  8. Remove cakes from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks.

  9. When cakes are completely cooled, I like to wrap each cake layer individually with plastic wrap and stick it in the refrigerator or freezer until I’m ready to frost. The cake will be easier to work with if it’s cooled a bit. If I’m making the cake a day or two before I actually need to frost it, I put it in the freezer to ensure freshness. If I’m frosting same-day, I’ll just put it in the refrigerator to chill until needed.

For the Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare two 8" round cake pans with non-stick spray, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, and another coat of spray. Set aside.

  2. Combine eggs, buttermilk, water or coffee, oil and vanilla in a measuring cup and lightly beat with a fork. Set aside

  3. In a bowl of electric mixer, stir together all the dry ingredients. 

  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin. Scrape sides and mix for another 30 seconds. 

  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans (I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed - should be about 24 ounces of batter in each pan).

  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (you may need more time depending on your oven), until toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it. 

  7. Cool on wire racks for 10-15 minutes, then gently invert onto racks until cooled completely.

  8. When cakes are completely cooled, I like to wrap each cake layer individually with plastic wrap and stick it in the refrigerator or freezer until I’m ready to frost. The cake will be easier to work with if it’s cooled a bit. If I’m making the cake a day or two before I actually need to frost it, I put it in the freezer to ensure freshness. If I’m frosting same-day, I’ll just put it in the refrigerator to chill until needed.

For the Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Depending on your size mixer, you may want to split the recipe and do it in two batches. 

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 minutes. This will soften the butter without it having to be warm. 

  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing a little in between each addition.

  4. With mixer on medium speed, add whipping cream and vanilla.

  5. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. The frosting will become lighter in color and texture.

  6. Tip for smooth buttercream: Before you do your final coat of frosting, spend a couple minutes mixing the buttercream by hand with a wooden spoon to push out the air pockets. 

For the Caramel Sauce

  1. Mix the sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan.

  2. Bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, but DO NOT STIR! (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it turns to a golden brown/amber color. It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.

  3. Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and very slowly stir in the cream, pouring it in little by little, to temper the cream and sugar syrup. If you pour it in all at once, your sugar will turn into hard candy. You can start adding more and more as you go along.

  4. Once the cream is mixed in, add the salt and vanilla. Stir to combine and then set aside to cool to room temperature before using. It will thicken a bit as it cools.    

For the Chocolate Ganache

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream for about 40 to 60 seconds.

  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and begin to stir to melt the chips. Stir until the chips are completely melted and the consistency of the ganache is nice and smooth. 

Assembly

  1. Place one chocolate cake layer on a cake board or cake stand. Evenly spread about 1 cup of vanilla frosting over the cake layer. 

  2. Drizzle caramel sauce and then chocolate sauce.

  3. Sprinkle roasted peanuts and sprinkles over the caramel and chocolate.

  4. Place a vanilla cake layer on top of the fillings and repeat the steps above.

  5. Place the final cake layer top side down. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting. This is the crumb coat. After you frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting, you'll then freeze the cake for about 15 minutes to set the crumb coat and lock in the crumbs.

  6. After the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining frosting, reserving about 1  to 1 1/2 cups of frosting for the swirls on top.

  7. Add sprinkles and peanuts to the sides of the cake while the frosting is "wet".

  8. Use the Wilton 1M tip to make swirls and place cherries on top. 

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