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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 (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (72.6 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 whole large eggs room temperature
  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup (88.5 g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (236.6 g) hot water or coffee
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract

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

  • 4 cups (904 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 12 cups (1500 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 2 teaspoon (8.4 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (77 g) heavy whipping cream

For the Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (59 g) water
  • 2 teaspoons (37.5 g) corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) salt
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream room temperature

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup (75 g) chocolate chips I prefer semi-sweet or dark
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream

Extras/Garnish

  • 1/2 cup (75 g ) 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.