Dagmar’s Ice Cream Birthday Cake

Ice Cream Cake Having four summer birthdays  has forced me to be creative when it comes to birthday cakes.

All year I’m on the look-out for amazing – but easy – ice cream cake recipes. My criteria is simply – something I don’t have to bake but the kids will love.

Pedro has been quite happy with his ice cream sandwich cake for several years now – but Dagmar has yet to find the perfect cake.

This year I discovered a recipe I had torn out of an old issue of Family Circle magazine. I don’t even know the year or the month of the issue!

Using ice cream sandwiches cut and stacked around the edge and filled with ice cream, the recipe was fancy enough to be pretty, but super easy!  Dagmar loved it!

Layered Ice Cream Cake

15 oreo cookies
1 tablespoon milk
8-9 ice cream sandwiches
3 pints ice cream (we used all chocolate mint – but you could do layers of whatever flavors you wish – such as vanilla and strawberry)
1 – 8 ounce container of Cool Whip

Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray and line the edges with waxed paper.

Finely crush 12 of the Oreo cookies ina food processor. Add the milk and pulse again. Set aside.

Unwrap the ice cream sandwiches and cut into quarters. Stack strips of sandwiches on end around the edge of the springform pan.  (It is helpful to have someone helping you on this step – the ice cream gets soft fast. I unwrapped and Dagmar cut and placed.) This creates the cool strips around the edge of the cake!

Spoon the cookie crumbs into the bottom of the pan and press firmly over the bottom. Freeze on hour.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it soften for 15 minutes. Carefully spread the ice cream in the crust – using layers if you choose. We just filled the crust with chocolate mint ice cream.

Frost the entire cake with thawed Cool Whip

The recipe called for crushing the remaining 3 Oreos and sprinkling them on top of the Cool Whip – but we wanted more of topping, so we crushed the remaining 3 Oreos with a large Butterfinger bar and sprinkled it over the top.

Return to the freezer – overnight if possible.

Before serving, carefully remove the side of the pan and pull off the waxed paper. Cut into wedges to serve.

Then just sit back and bask in the compliments!


Birthday on a Budget Part 2

birthday cakeTraditions.

When you need to do birthdays on a budget, especially multiple birthdays, the secret is to start some inexpensive traditions.

Remember that the object here is to honor the birthday child, have fun and make some memories!

Take the birthday cake for example. you really don’t need to visit the bakery and spend a lot of money on a beautifully decorated cake. Be creative!

My oldest sister always made a chocolate cake (from a box) and cut it into the first letter of the birthday child’s name. Then she frosted it with chocolate frosting (from a can) and decorated it with a bag of M & M’s. Cheap, child friendly, and a memory that her kids will remember for a long time.

When they were younger my children wanted special cakes, like a forest fire cake, a butterfly cake or a race track cake. I found the easiest thing to do was to bake a 9 x 13 cake and frost it. This creates your canvas. Then we used plastic toys, legos, duplos, matchbox cars, etc… with M & M’s, colored sugar, sprinkles, and marshmallows to create a masterpiece.

The best part was that we created it together. We didn’t just make a cake, we made a memory! And…since the birthday child helped, they thought it was the most amazing cake ever!

Remember that creating memories doesn’t have to mean spending lots of money!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake: Happy Birthday Angel Girl!

chocolate chip cheesecake
It’s birthday time at our house again! It’s Angel Girl’s 10th birthday tomorrow and she’s very excited!

We had planned to celebrate tomorrow, but the flooding in Des Moines caused us to move things up a day so Poppa and Nana can get back home before things get worse.

I’m pretty flexible, but this change of plans threw me for a loop because it didn’t give me any time to go to the grocery store. I had to do an entire party from my pantry, including the cake. Good thing I had a well-stocked pantry!

I did not, however have all the ingredients needed to make the Green Dragon Dessert she requested for her cake. Nor did I have everything I needed for the other two suggestions she gave.

Finally I remembered the cream cheese I had bought on sale and froze. I suggested cheesecake and she loved the idea!

This was the first cheesecake I ever made (I’m blushing to admit that!) and I prayed over this one. I put together two different recipes but it turned out just wonderful and I have a very happy birthday girl.

Angel Girl’s Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Combine: 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 36 squares), 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of butter (melted). Press into the bottom and about 1 inch up the side of a greased 10 inch springform pan. Set aside.

Mix together: 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese (softened), 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla

Add 3 eggs, beat on low until just combined. Stir in 1 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Pour into crust and bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Cool on wire rack for ten minutes.

Melt together: 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 Tablespoon butter, 4 teaspoons heavy whipping cream. Stir till smooth.

Pour over the cheesecake and spread it evenly.

Carefully run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen. Cool one hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of the pan.

I let Angel girl decorate the top with M & M’s. She’s thrilled with it, and I am relieved!

Happy birthday, Angel Girl!

Buddy’s 7th Birthday Cake

My baby turned 7 yesterday. Made me feel a little old, but also more wise and experienced. I sat down and figured out that his birthday cake was the 54th one that I created. I learned a few things along the way, like the more involved the birthday child is, the more they will love their cake. I also learned that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that even if my cake will never grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, it will make a child feel special and that’s what’s most important. And above all else, make sure it tastes great! Over the years we’ve designed some very unique cake creations, and this year was no exception. Together, Buddy and I designed an amazing Race Track Cake, complete with a NASCAR race in the chocolate oval with a TV satellite truck, ambulance and wrecker on the side lines! We made a simple chocolate sheet cake brownie, frosted it with Cool Whip (my other birthday secret! It saves time and tastes great!), then outlined the track in M&M’s before filling it with a crushed Hershey bar. The outfield grass was just green sugar sprinkles. All of the cars came from his Matchbox Cars collection. He was so proud of that cake! And it tasted great, too!

Cookie Sheet Chocolate Brownies:

Combine 1 stick margarine, 1 cup water, 1/4 c. cocoa and 1/2 c. cooking oil in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour over 2 c. flour, 2 c. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add 1/2c. buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. soda, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend and pour into greased cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.