With Joey out of the house a few evenings ago, I decided it was time to clean another random ingredient out of the pantry and settled on a red velvet cake mix that I don’t even remember purchasing.
With Valentine’s Day looming, I thought it was perfect.
When I finally got through all my baking, though, it looked more like I’d performed open heart surgery on my countertops rather than making something from the heart.
Love is messy, it seems, but it’s also delicious.
I will also warn you that this recipe is a bit tricky, as it requires some painstaking spreading of thick cake batter into an evenly thin layer, but even if you’re like me and have less than beautiful results, you can still make something that tastes great, and if your sweetie is a fan of cake and ice cream, they won’t mind, either.
The recipe I decided to try is ice cream sandwiches made with a cake mix. While the original asks for red velvet and vanilla ice cream, you can use whatever combination of cake and ice cream sounds good to you. I kept thinking a spice cake with butter pecan ice cream or a dark chocolate one with some mint chocolate chip would be amazing.
This comes from the website “Delish” and is by Lauren Miyashiro. You can find the original at https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a53798/red-velvet-ice-cream-sandwiches-recipe/. I doubled the vanilla in my version.
Cake Mix Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 1 boxed cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 gallon ice cream slightly softened
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a large, rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggs, butter, vanilla and salt until it’s smooth. This will create a very thick batter.
- Spread the batter out to about one-quarter- to one-half-inch thick. The main goal is to have the thickness be as consistent as possible so the cake bakes evenly. Mine did not go all the way to the edges of my pan.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the cake is set (depending on how thinly you spread it out, you may need to watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn).
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely.
- Once the cake is cooled, cut it in half to create two, equal parts. Spread the ice cream evenly over one half of the cake and then top with the other half. Put the whole thing in the freezer to let it firm back up—probably about 30 minutes, depending on your freezer and how soft your ice cream was.
- Slice into your desired size of sandwiches and store in an airtight container in the freezer.
I had some very jagged edges on my cake and ended up trimming it up. I also took one for the team and ate those trimmed off pieces. If your cake doesn’t turn out 100 percent like you wanted, don’t worry. It’s a very forgiving recipe if you just get your knife out and trim away the mistakes.
For mine, I definitely didn’t end up getting my batter thin enough, but even my thick sandwiches were really yummy.
Also, be careful not to let your ice cream soften too much. If it’s soupy, you will have a hard time getting it to stay put, and you’ll end up with more cake than ice cream in your sandwiches.
I did manage to get the kitchen cleaned up before Joey got home. I figured seeing red everywhere and hearing your wife say, “I have a surprise for you.” isn’t the best Valentine’s Day present.
But it turns out that ice cream sandwiches are a pretty decent gift—even if they are from an old cake mix from the back of the pantry.
This piece first appeared in print on Feb. 13, 2020.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.