Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Cake Bites

creamsicleicecreamcakebites5Summer means ice cream cake. At the most recent summer soiree featuring this (not often vegan-friendly) favorite for kids and adults alike, it dawned on me that I haven’t eaten it in years. How tragic is that? I went home determined to right this most unfortunate wrong.

I have memories of sitting with my brother on summer mornings in our basement in Pennsylvania, watching cartoons and then seeing commercials for Carvel ice cream cakes. Remember Carvel? See if this commercial jogs your memory. Hilarious. Ice Cream Cakes floating around in space with names like Cookie O’Puss. But boy did those commercials hit the spot. They made an ice cream cake lover out of me.

My version preserves the magic but tosses out the junk, replacing it with ingredients you can feel good about. It’s a fresh, whimsical and flavorful update to the ice cream cakes of your childhood.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp orange extract
  •  1 pint non-dairy vanilla ice cream (I used Double Rainbow‘s Soy Vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery stick, softened
  • 1/8 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 orange

Preheat your oven to 350.

Clear some space in your freezer and place a baking sheet inside, making sure it lays flat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, gently whisk together the canola oil, water, vinegar, vanilla and orange extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until well-combined. Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9×13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When your cake has finished baking, allow it to cool completely before cutting it in half and carefully removing each “sheet.” Place one sheet atop the other and using a large serrated bread knife, cut through both sheets into the shape of squares about 3.5 x 3.5 inches. Later, you will be trimming off the edges so that’s why you’re cutting them a bit large at this point. In the end, you will have several stacks of tops and bottoms for your cake bites.

The next step requires you to work swiftly so be sure to have everything you need ready to go.

Lay your cake stacks onto an even work surface and take the tops off so they’re ready for the middle ice cream layer. Remove your pint of ice cream from the freezer and run a butter knife around the inside edge of the entire container until your ice cream slides completely out. Turn the ice cream on its side and using a large butcher knife, cut a 3/4-inch slice and then cut it again into a 3.5-inch square to match your cake stack. Lay it between the cake layers of your first stack and then place the entire ice cream cake bite onto the baking sheet in your freezer. Repeat this process until the ice cream is gone. I also used the ice cream edges I sliced off. It melts together in the end and looks great so no need to waste any ice cream!

Once all your cakes are in the freezer, allow them to chill, uncovered, for at least 6 hours or until the ice cream is completely solid. It’s okay if some of the ice cream starts to drip off the sides or if the cake tops slide off a little and look askew. You can check on them every now and then to realign the tops but as long as they’re still generally on top, it will get fixed when you slice them again.

When they are completely frozen and solid, remove them from the freezer and using a large serrated knife, slice each of their sides so they look trim and even. Place them back into the freezer until you’re ready to serve them.

Before serving, whip up your orange frosting. Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat together the softened Earth Balance and non-dairy milk until combined. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, continuing to beat together. Finally, zest your orange into the bowl and fold together gently.

Remove your ice cream cakes from the freezer and frost them. Slice little wedges from your orange as garnish.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Happy eating!

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