Recipe for an Ice Cream Cake Roll that’s simple to make, has minimal cracks and can be filled with any ice cream flavor you like.
I love this ice cream cake combination, it makes me feel a little nostalgic. It reminds me of Newlyweds Ice Cream Cake Roll.
My dad and I used to share this when I was a kid. It came in a green and pink box.
Sometimes he dad would eat the last piece right out of the box.
You will need a large cookie sheet or an over-sized cooling rack for inverting this cake unless you are far more talented than I am and can flip out.
Rolling Hot Cake
To keep the cake from sticking to itself when I rolled it I sprinkled the cooked cake with powdered sugar before turning it out onto a large flour sack towel.
Update: I use cocoa powder now, but either one is fine. The cocoa powder produces a nicer finished product.
After removing the wax paper, sprinkle the bottom of the cooked cake with powdered sugar or cocoa as well this will help keep the cake from sticking to the towel when it has cooled.
Then roll it up in the towel.
Just tuck one short end of the towel into the center portion of the roll before you start.
Some of the cake is going to stick to the wax paper or parchment paper, so peel back very slowly to avoid pulling out pieces of the cake.
The easiest way for me to turn the cake out was to put a towel over the cake while it was in the pan, then covering the towel and pan with my cooling rack.
Then I just flipped the whole thing over and grabbed the hot pan with my tongs.
If the edges of the cake are crusty, cut off the edges and eat them. My cake did not have any this time.
Gently roll the hot cake in the towel, starting with the short end.
Set it aside on a cooling rack until it is completely cooled. I usually wait for at least 3 hours.
Unroll the Cooled Cake
Once the cake is completely cooled unroll the cake, but leave it on the towel.
You will use the towel later to assist you with rolling it back up.
The end may stay a bit curled and it is OK. I tell you what to do with that part in a minute.
There are a few cracks in the uncurled piece. No worries, it is going to be right in the middle of the cake.
The cake will crack some after it has cooled and you unroll it.
The best you can do is minimize the cracking.
Cover the cracks with some sort of topping and it will be delicious no matter what.
Filling the Cooled Cake
Take a “box” of ice cream out of the freezer and open it completely so it looks like a square of ice cream.
Start slicing the ice cream in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices with a large knife. You really want to be able to cut through it in one motion.
You can also allow the ice cream to soften slightly and just spread it on. I prefer to slice and place.
Once the Cake is full, stop slicing. You may have ice cream leftover, just pop it back in the freezer and eat it later.
I usually start by filling the tight curl at the end of the cake.
This part has never wanted to unroll for me, so I just go with the flow and stuff some ice cream in there. I cut one of the ice cream slices into smaller pieces and pack it in.
Once that is filled, start lining up the ice cream slices along with the cake.
Lay the pieces as close together as possible. You can start at either end.
You can leave an inch or so on the sides empty, ice cream will fill that area as you roll it back up.
Some of your pieces may be thicker than the others, this is OK too. We are going to let this sit for 10 to 15 minutes until it is slightly softened.
Do not walk away during this waiting period, if you forget you have sliced ice cream sitting on the cake, it will begin to absorb and melt over the edges running onto the towel and the countertop.
If you aren’t quick enough to remember you left it on the counter you may find yourself mopping the floor. I’ve done this.
Any large gaps can be filled with smaller pieces of remaining ice cream slices. I usually don’t worry too much about the gaps.
When the cake has been covered with ice cream and has softened, gently smooth out the ice cream.
Once that is done it is time to start rolling it up jelly-roll style.
Rolling the Filled Cake
Start rolling the cake up, starting with the end that didn’t want to lay flat. Roll it as tight as you can. This is when the ice cream will work its way to edges.
Wrap the cake roll in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until the ice cream roll is solid.
It takes at least 3 hours for ice cream to become solid again.
If your freezer is full or set at a lower temperature, it may take overnight. This really isn’t a dessert you can make and enjoy immediately.
Once frozen solid, remove from the freezer 5 to 10 minutes before you plan on serving, it makes it a bit easier to cut into neat slices.
The end pieces will not be as neat as the middle pieces.
I generally cut them off if I put them back in the freezer if I am serving this to company and want neat ends. If we are eating at home and the presentation is not an issue, we eat the ends first!
A large kitchen knife is the best way to cut this. If you find it difficult to cut through, heat your knife under hot water, dry off the knife and try slicing again.
You can reduce the thickness of the ice cream if you desire. It will make your cake log thinner.
Cocoa Powder keeps your finished product from having that grey hue and will resolve the off-color and stickiness produced on the finished cake.
Hershey’s Special Dark can be used for a darker cake with a richer taste. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in addition to baking powder.
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Ice Cream Cake Roll
- Jelly Roll Pan
- Kitchen Towel
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 10 X 15 baking pan with baking spray.
- Line pan with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Spray paper with more baking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until thick and light colored.
- Add sugar a little at a time, mixing until incorporated.
- Add water and vanilla, mix until blended.
- Add the dry ingredients that have been previously combined.
- Beat until batter is smooth.
- Pour into cake pan and smooth out the batter.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
- Loosen the edges of cake from the pan.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa over the top of the cake, using up to half. Leftover powdered sugar is fine.
- Place a towel over cake.
- Cover with a cooling rack.
- Invert the cake.
- Slowly and gently remove the paper from the bottom of the cake.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the cake with powdered sugar.
- Cut off edges of cake if crusty.
- Roll the cake, starting with the short end, keeping the towel between the rolls.
- All the cake to cool for several hours on the cooling rack.
- Once completely cool, gently unroll the cake and remove the towel.
- Remove the box of ice cream from the freezer.
- Open the box at all openings so there is a block of ice cream.
- Slice ice cream in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and place on the unrolled cake.
- Re-roll the cake and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place in freezer and allow ice cream to refreeze. Depending on the thickness of the ice cream and freezer temperature this could take 4 hours or overnight.