Decadent Summer Dream Dessert: Celebration Cake

     Do you dream about food?  Like REM-deep dream about food?  Only one dish regularly dances through my nocturnal subconscience.  It is K’s Celebration Cake.  She has served it to me only once, at least ten years ago for supper club.  While our supper club is a thing of the past, the memories of this cool and creamy concoction have not faded.  When K needed a suggestion for our GNO dessert, I pleaded for a second indulgence.

K’s Celebration Cake

      K and her mother created this dessert based on their own memories of a vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream cake that K’s grandmother would make.  Wanting a light cake, they chose angel food for the base.  They also knew that they could take advantage of the huge variety of ice cream flavors now available.

     Part of the beauty of the Celebration Cake is its baker’s choice versatility.  K likes to pick a dark-colored ice cream for the bottom layer and put the lightest colored ice cream on top and include at least one type with nuts.  This cake would also be sensational with a colorful variety of sherbets.  For our GNO, K was inspired from bottom to top by Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Starbuck’s Coffee ice cream, and Haagen Daz’s Butter Pecan.  Once the flavors are selected, the execution sounds simple enough.  You will need

 3 flavors ice cream, 1 pint each, softened
1 angel food cake mix
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ pint heavy whipping cream
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 (4 ounce) bar sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup water
1 cup confectioners’ sugar 
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon almond extract

Line three layer cake pans with foil.  Spread each with 1 flavor of softened ice cream.  Cover with foil and freeze.  Make angel food cake according to directions, adding almond and vanilla extract.  When cooled, slice horizontally to make three layers.  Remove ice cream from pans.  Layer ice cream and cake starting with cake.  Return to freezer.

Combine whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.  Beat with mixer until peaks form. Set aside. Melt chocolate, butter and water, stirring until smooth.  Add sugar, salt and extract.  Stir until smooth.  Set aside.

About 30-45 minutes before serving, frost cake with whipped cream.  Then drizzle chocolate sauce over cake and put back in freezer to set (do not let whipped cream freeze).  Slice cake with large knife dipped in warm water.  Drizzle any extra sauce on each slice.  Making cake and ice cream layers ahead can help make this very easy.

Serves 16.

Published in Cooking with Grace by Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia (2005).  (Now that I study the recipe, I’ll bet that even I could make it.  Hmmm, what flavors to choose?)

     Dazzled by K’s Celebration Cake, the Mojito Mammas gratefully indulged in this heavenly creation.  It was a fitting finale for a fabulous mid-summer night with fun friends.  Now there’s a reason to celebrate!

     I hope that your dreams are as sweet as this luscious confection.


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