So I’m on a bit of an ice cream cake kick. Summer is just the perfect time for them!
And this ice cream cake isn’t difficult to make – you don’t even need an ice cream maker. It takes a little time, but less time than it would take to bake all the different layers as actual cake and then layer and ice everything.
And more importantly it’s skinny! Yes, SKINNY! Plus, it’s full of fresh fruit! So much goodness I could die!
Besides, who can resist the beautiful colors? It’s just so pretty!
I have been wanting to post a rainbow ice cream for a while now actually. This one is my second attempt. The first didn’t quite turn out like I wanted. I was so bummed.
The first time around I thought it’d be cool to color and flavor the ice cream with jello mix. That way I could avoid using icing color.
Unfortunately, I had to use a fair amount of the jello mix to to get the color I wanted. The end result was grainy and didn’t really freeze very well. It just never quite got firm enough.
Now that I have this version though, I’m actually kind of glad that one bombed. Fresh fruit is the way to go! Way better than jello flavor – even if I had to use icing color!
The fruity flavor is just perfect and the fact that it’s fruit makes this delectable ice cream cake that much less guilt-inducing.
I even forwent the real icing for Cool Whip.
Can we just talk about Cool Whip for a sec? I frickin’ love that stuff. My mom gives me crap because “it’s not real whipped cream” but I’m ok with that. I literally run my finger right through the stuff and go to town. Before I know it, half the carton is gone and I’m trying to find someone to blame it on. 🙂 We’re actually lucky it made it into the cake. And it was such a breeze to ice a cake with. So light and easy to spread. Dreamy!
And no, Cool Whip has not paid me to rave about them. I wish. This was entirely for free. I just love the stuff and use it all the time. You’re welcome Cool Whip. 😉
Moving onto the fruity layers. These are the fruits I used, but you can easily substitute other fruits if you prefer.
1. Purple = Grape
2. Blue = Blueberry
3. Green = Kiwi, but I think I’d like to try lime next time. I think the seeds from the kiwi mess up the flavor a bit, so if you use the kiwi, make sure you remove the little black seeds.
4. Yellow = Pineapple
5. Orange = Peach
6. Red = Strawberry
Between each fruity layer is a layer of Cool Whip, which is actually great in place of icing because it isn’t as rich. It doesn’t take away from the taste of the fruit and keeps it light.
So if I haven’t sold you on the awesomeness of this cake and why you should make it yet, here’s one more reason: because I said so. 🙂
One more thing: please don’t be intimidated by the instructions. They seem long, but it’s mostly a lot of layering and freezing. I tried to provide plenty of detail in the instructions so you don’t get confused.
1. Mix cream cheese, milk and sugar together with a mixer until completely combined. Should be somewhat thick and creamy.
2. Fold in the Cool Whip.
3. Separate ice cream mixture evenly between 6 bowls, about 1 3/4 cup + 1/8 cup per bowl.
4. Puree or crush each fruit, adding each to a different bowl so that you have all 6 flavors of ice cream.
NOTE: I found the fruit tough to puree in a food processor because each amount is so small. I used a muddler to crush each of them instead. Do whichever you prefer.
5. Add desired amount of appropriate gel icing color to each bowl to get the shade of each color you want.
LAYERING THE ICE CREAM:
1. Prepare your two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and cake circles. You can use spingform cake pans or regular. For more on pan preparation, see my note below.
NOTE: The rest of the recipe will be written as if you are using 2 pans. If you are using 3, you’ll do two layers of ice cream in each pan instead of 3.
2. In the bottom of one pan, add the purple ice cream. Spread evenly.
3. In the bottom of the other pan, add the yellow ice cream. Spread evenly.
4. Put both pans in the freezer for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until fairly firm. It should be firm enough that you can spread another layer on top without messing the previous layer up.
5. Add a cup of Cool Whip to each pan, spreading evenly. Make sure you know which pan has which color in it.
6. Freeze again for about 30 minutes or until firm.
7. Add the blue ice cream to the pan with the purple ice cream. Spread evenly.
8. Add the orange ice cream to the pan with the yellow ice cream. Spread evenly.
9. Freeze again for about 45 minutes to an hour or until firm.
10. Add a cup of Cool Whip to each pan, spreading evenly. Freeze again for about 30 minutes or until firm.
11. Add the green ice cream to the pan with purple and blue ice cream. Spread evenly.
12. Add the red ice cream to the pan with yellow and orange ice cream. Spread evenly.
13. Freeze again for about 45 minutes to an hour or until firm.
14. Add a cup of Cool Whip to the pan with the green ice cream on top. Do not add more Cool Whip to the pan with the red ice cream. This layer will be the filling between the green and yellow layers. Freeze again for about 30 minutes or until both layers are completely frozen.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
1. Once completely frozen, remove both halves from their pans. You may need to run a knife around the top edge, but the parchment paper should have kept it from sticking. If you used sringform pans, remove the sides. If you used regular cake pans, lift the cakes out using the saran wrap. Remove all parchment paper and saran wrap and remove the cake circle from the bottom of the yellow ice cream.
2. Spread a very thin layer of Cool Whip on top of the Cool Whip on the green ice cream, just to give something for the other layer to adhere to.
3. Put the yellow/orange/red cake half on top of the purple/blue/green cake half. The green and yellow should meet in the middle. You should end up with purple on the bottom of the full cake and red on the top.
4. Freeze again until firm and steady.
5. Frost your cake with the remaining Cool Whip and freeze.
NOTE about preparing the pans: I used two 8-inch by 3-inch cake pans (not springform). This is a pretty tall cake, about 6 inches in height. Because my pans were 3 inches high, I only needed 2 pans, but if your pans are 2 inches high, you will probably need 3. Using multiple pans allows you to make the two halves (or 3 parts if you use three 2-inch pans) all at the same time. The other option is to use the same pan for each section, finishing and removing one section before moving to the next. It will work, but just take longer to get through all the layers.
The best way to prepare the pans is to put a cardboard cake circle (found at craft stores like Michaels and JoAnns; I’ve also seen them at WalMart) in the bottom to help you remove it from the pan when done. You also should put parchment paper around the edges, allowing it to stick above the top edge of the pan. This will keep the ice cream from sticking to the sides of the pan.
If you are using a regular cake pan, as I did, I recommend putting Saran wrap (or other clear wrap) in the pan underneath the cake circle and parchment paper (so put it in first). I used it to help lift the cake out of the pan once it was frozen. It came out really easily.