It's cake. No, it's ice cream. Yes! It's both

June 22, 2011 

No baking required to make this impressive, delicious and totally fit-for-summer cake.

OK... So maybe "fit" isn't how you'll feel after eating a hefty slice of this ice cream cake, but you will feel refreshed.

The cake is versatile -- use any two ice cream flavors you like -- and can be made well in advance. And because it serves 16 people with ease, it's perfect for a summer barbecue.

Ice Cream Cake

Start to finish: 3 hours (30 minutes active)

Makes: 16 servings

Two 1 1/2-quart containers of ice cream (two complementary flavors)

12 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed

1 cup jarred hot fudge sauce

Half of an 8-ounce tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup purchased caramel sauce

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds, divided

Maraschino cherries, to serve

Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil (to prevent leaks).

Allow 1 container of ice cream to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly softened.

In a medium bowl, mix all but 1/4 cup of the chocolate sandwich cookies and the hot fudge sauce. In another bowl, stir together the whipped topping, caramel and 1/4 cup of the almonds.

Spread the full container of softened ice cream into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the ice cream so that it is flat, even and has no air bubbles. Top with the hot fudge mixture, then freeze for 15 minutes.

While the cake freezes, allow the second container of ice cream to soften at room temperature.

Spread the second flavor of ice cream over the hot fudge mixture. Spoon and spread the caramel-nut topping over the second flavor of ice cream. Sprinkle the top with the reserved cookies and almonds. Decorate with maraschino cherries and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

To serve, remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan and transfer to a serving plate.

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