How to Make a Heart-Shaped Ice Cream Cake
Novelty Ice Cream Cake Tutorial
These step by step instructions will help you create a cute ice cream cake in the shape of a heart. The heart shown in the tutorial photographs was made with Superman ice-cream and confetti cake, but you can make yours in any flavors you want.
The cake we made was topped with pale orange whipped topping but you could make it in yellow, pink, lavender, green, or any other pastel you like if you want it to look like a candy conversation heart or in any color you want if you just want to make a romantic sweet dessert.
Image Credit: All tutorial photos by Kylyssa Shay unless otherwise noted
What You'll Need To Make The Cake
Materials and Equipment:
Two heart-shaped baking pans of the same size
A flat metal spatula or a wide, a frosting spreader, or a wide knife with a big, flat side
A big metal spoon
A flat plate or cutting board large enough to completely cover one heart-shaped pan
A tea strainer
A tall mug or glass of hot water
Several tea towels or paper towels
1 cake mix and the ingredients necessary to make it in your choice of flavors
3 extra tablespoons of cooking oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eight ounce tubs of frozen whipped topping
1 half-gallon(ish) tub of ice-cream in whatever flavor you like
Food coloring in the colors needed for your cake
1 tube of red gel icing with a small tip
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 boxes of instant (not cook and serve) vanilla pudding
1 tablespoon room temperature butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For a medium-sized ice-cream cake you can use two eight inch pans like this one.
Line The Pan
Line one of the heart-shaped pans with plastic wrap. Use at least two sheets of plastic wrap, one going across horizontally and one going across vertically.
Press the plastic wrap down into the pan so it conforms to its outlines.
Fill One Pan With Softened Ice-Cream And Freeze It Solid
Allow the ice-cream to soften slightly by letting it sit outside the freezer.
Pack the ice-cream into the plastic wrap lined pan. Really squash it in there, as much as the pan can take but leveled across the top.
Cover with plastic wrap.
Set the large, flat plate or cutting board on top of the ice cream to keep it nice and flat and even as it freezes.
Put the pan in the freezer with the flat plate or cutting board on top of it and use something from your freezer to weight the plate or cutting board down.
Allow the ice-cream to re-freeze. This step depends a lot on your freezer. More time is better. We allowed it to freeze overnight.
You could put this in the freezer up to a week ahead of time if you make sure the plastic wrap is sealed completely over it.
You don’t want to have the cake sliding around on the platter or stand so you’ll need some glue to hold it on.
Take the following ingredients and mix them together in a bowl:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon room temperature butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Set this aside. It will be used to glue the cake to the platter. Cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn’t set up before you get to use it.
Make The Frosting
Add cup of powdered sugar and the drops of food coloring to the two containers of whipped topping and mix it in well.
Sift the pudding mix into the whipped topping, using the tea strainer or a flour sifter. Mix it in well.
Set the frosting aside in the freezer until ready to use it.
I used 24 drops of yellow food coloring and 6 drops of red food coloring to achieve the light orange color. For other colors, add the appropriate food coloring slowly so you don’t get it too dark.
Bake The Cake
Mix the cake mix according to the box directions but add 3 extra tablespoons of cooking oil and the 2 teaspoons of baking powder before mixing. I use olive oil, but use whatever cooking oil you like. This is to give the cake some extra moistness. Too dry a cake won’t taste as nice. The baking powder will give it a little fluffiness.
Spray the second heart-shaped pan with cooking spray and sprinkle it with flour. Fill the pan about two-thirds full and bake according to the cake mix directions. You can pour the extra batter into a floured loaf pan or into a cupcake pan and bake it up, too.
Set the baked cake aside to cool.
Once the cake has reached room temperature, put it in the freezer or refrigerator.
Put The Edible Glue On The Plate/Platter/Stand
Spread all of the edible glue on the plate you plan to display the finished ice cream cake on in a rough heart shape. This will keep the cake from sliding around on the plate as you work with it.
Put the Cake On The "Glue"
After the cake has chilled down to at least as cool as refrigerator temperature set it atop the glue and press it down gently but firmly.
Apply The Ice Cream Layer
Remove the pan of ice cream from the freezer.
Remove the flat plate or cutting board and the layer of plastic wrap over the top.
Invert the pan over the cake, lining it up carefully.
Gently press the pan into the top of the cake.
Lift up the pan, holding the plastic wrap down if the ice cream seems to be sticking in the pan.
The frozen heart should fall out of the pan on the cake or at least the pan should be able to be lifted off of it.
Carefully peel the plastic wrap off.
We used Superman ice cream and I think it was quite pretty before the frosting was added. If you didn't want to make the cake to look like a conversation heart, you could make a pretty heart-shaped ice cream cake without going any further than a glued-down cake and a shaped ice cream heart on top.
Spread the frosting on the cake and smooth it with a warmed knife.
Put it back in the freezer until the frosting sets up. There's no point in trying to tidy it up too much at this point so just wait until it freezes.
Tidy The Frosting
Once the frosting has set up, use a water warmed knife to scrape up and smooth any frosting that may have slumped down as the frosting solidified.
Dip the knife into the cup of hot water to rinse off frosting if it starts accumulating on the flat of the blade.
Wipe any of the frosting that gets on the plate with a warm, wet tea towel. You may need more than one tea towel. You may prefer to use a wet paper towel.
Write Your Message
Use the tube of red gel icing to write the cute message of your choice. I would not add the writing too long before presenting the cake because it may bleed into the frosting and look like a bleeding heart instead of a candy heart.
This cake is the perfect place for those short but sweet nothings to go.
What It Looks Like Inside
I thought it looked kind of neat from the side so I took another photo after my roommate gave the cake to her sweetie. It was a little melty by this point.