Brownie Espresso Ice Cream Cake

Last year I requested a DQ ice cream cake for my birthday. That was when I hadn’t had an ice cream maker yet. The reason I wanted an ice cream cake was because I didn’t know what else would amaze me considered I make cakes all the time, until I finally have an ice cream maker, and figured that making an ice cream cake at home isn’t that hard afterall.

All you need is a sturdy cake base, and I find brownie a perfect solution for this. You can go for almost any ice cream flavours you prefer, as long as it’s a good one. I decided to go for coffee flavour, one of my all-time favourites, and topped it with a layer of chocolate ganache. And here we had an ice cream cake with a supreme combination of everything that adults love, maybe kids too!

Ingredients (one 8-inch cake):
Espresso and Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Espresso powder
Brownie Base
1 stick unsalted butter
4 ounces dark chocolate
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Chocolate Ganache
200 grams dark chocolate, cut into small chunks
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup

To prepare the ice cream, in a medium saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Bring mixture to simmer, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in half of the warm cream mixture, mix until blended. Stir yolk mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Strain custard into another medium bowl. Equally divide the custard into two bowls. Mix in vanilla and espresso powder in each of them respectively. Let cool over a bowl of ice water, or chill in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally.
Process both flavours of custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and place in freezer to chill, at least 4 hours.
(I did vanilla ice cream the day before. Put the ice cream bowl back to freezer to chill, and churn the Espresso ice cream the day I assemble the cake)
To prepare the brownie base, preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan, and line bottom with parchment paper.
Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Add eggs one at a time, whisk until well combined. Stir in flour and whisk until mixture is smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes up with some moist crumbs, but no wet batter. Let it cool completely.
Remove the outside of the springfrom pan, slice the brownie round horizontally to level the brownie. Put the outside of the springform pan back in place. Reserve the brownie crumbs.
If you make the ice cream the day before, you need to remove the Espresso ice cream from the freezer to let it soften. Otherwise, churn your Espresso custard in the ice cream maker, and spread the soften Espresso ice cream mixture over the brownie base. Place the pan in freezer to firm up, at least 30 minutes.
Remove vanilla ice cream from the freezer to let it soften. Fold in the brownie crumbs. Spread the vanilla ice cream over the firm Espresso ice cream layer. Place pan back in freezer to chill.
To prepare ganache, place the chocolate, heavy cream and corn syrup in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a wooden spoon until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature. If it starts to set, microwave 5 to 10 seconds to make it pourable.
Remove cakes from the freezer. Place a hot towel around the outside of the springform pan for 30 seconds to release the ring of the pan.
Pour the ganache over the top of the cakes. Use an offset spatula to gently but quickly push the ganache over the sides of the cake to create the dripping effect.
Store in the freezer. Before serving, leave the cake in room temperature for 10 minutes for easy slicing.


  1. I sort of hate you for this thing. Just a little.

    I made it for the first time on my birthday in July. (It seems the cake maker never gets a cake, and this year it was going to be different.) Everyone loved it so much, my step-dad asked for it on his birthday in August. Then I had to make it again at Thanksgiving and AGAIN at Christmas. Holy moly is this thing amazing.

    Pardon me while I go run an extra 10 miles to get rid of all this extra weight!

    1. You’ve gotten me to laugh a big time, Summer!!!! I am so happy that you and your family enjoyed the recipe. Hope the running part won’t be too tough for you. :) Happy 2015!

  2. Gorgeous cake! I’m going to make it for a friend’s birthday — she loves coffee ice cream. Thanks for the great recipe. Cheers!

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