It’s 90 degrees outside and you’re supposed to make a cake for yet another summer birthday. Despair not! I am here to save you, yet again, with a perfect cake-alternative for birthdays, BBQs, potlucks, and other summer get-togethers. It requires six ingredients and no oven, and I have yet to meet the person who doesn’t love it. Plus, it gets rid of the gross frozen cake part of ice cream cake, and just gives us glorious ice cream, adorned.
You can tweak it to your hearts’ content with different ice creams, toppings, and cookies (birthday cake Oreos, anyone??), but I am giving it to you virtually unchanged from the recipe my mother made when I was little. It’s cold, creamy, thick with fudge and crunchy peanuts, and LOOK AT THE SPRINKLES.
Plus, you can say you made it, when really, you just bought all the things at the store and assembled it. I mean, you could churn the ice cream yourself, and whip the cream, and make the fudge, and bake some sort of faux Oreos, but I am here to tell you that it is not required. This thing is killer, as is. Suck it, Martha Stewart. We are Sandra Lee-ing it, and we feel no shame.
- 1 package chocolate sandwich cookies (I use Oreos)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 gallon vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup of cocktail peanuts
- 1 jar of fudge
- 1 tub of whipped topping, thawed
Get out a 9×14 pan, glass or ceramic if you have it (you’ll be cutting and serving from the dish). Leave the ice cream on the counter while you mash the cookies and melt the butter. (I wasn’t fast enough to get the photo before my son had dug into it with a spoon; a wicked gleam in his eye.) While you’re at it, leave out the whipped topping, if you bought it frozen.
You can put the cookies in your food processor, but I don’t think this recipe needs perfectly uniform crumbs at the expense of a dish to wash. Just mash them in a bag. Free aggression-release therapy! Reserve a handful of crumbs for the top, then pour the butter into the bag with the rest and squish it around before tossing it all into the pan.
Press your crumbs into a crust. It’s lumpy but it doesn’t matter. It will meld into the most amazing cookie crust you have ever put into your mouth, regardless.
The ice cream should be soft-ish, now, and ready to put on top of the crust. I take off the cardboard part and slice it into sloppy 1″ slices, fit them roughly into the pan, and squish the leftover bits into the cracks. Smooth it with a spatula and put it in the freezer. After an hour or so, you can take the pan out and finish. If you’re leaving it in the freezer longer, cover your pan with plastic wrap.
During the interim, you can clean up your dishes — oh, wait! All you have dirtied is the butter dish and a spatula! What is this witchcraft?? What are you going to do with all of this TIME?? Might I suggest folding the laundry languishing friendlessly on the sofa? No? How about the half-empty bottle of wine from the other night? That’s the ticket!
When the ice cream has re-set, sprinkle with peanuts, then spread on the fudge.
Top that with whipped cream, the reserved cookie crumbs, and literally every sprinkle you have in your possession, because SPRINKLES!!
At this point, you can actually serve it immediately, or freeze it overnight or up to a few days before serving. I like to bring it out a good ten minutes before I try to cut into it, or getting through the frozen layers is a bit of a Herculean task. And you don’t need that in the midst of your celebration– your beautiful, DELICIOUS celebration– which will be a hit from the sprinkles to the last buttery, sugary crumb. No oven necessary.
Prepare yourself for the compliments of your friends and even your enemies with this one. It is just that good.