Memorial Day is around the corner – a day for honoring American veterans and doing our patriotic duties. Started three years after the Civil war ended in 1868, it was the chosen day to place flowers at the graves of those who died in the war. Originally called Decoration Day, it is believed that May 30th was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. Only in 1971 did Congress nominate the last Monday in May to be recognized as Memorial Day, and expand the honor to all soldiers who died in American wars.
The first Memorial Day ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery and small American flags were placed at each grave. This tradition continues to date and has been adopted elsewhere too.
You can read more information on the U.S. Department of Veterans website.
It is also the day for parades, picnics and barbecues with family and friends, shopping, and the opening of pool season. This week’s recipe can be used through the year. Easy and adaptable, it can be made on the cheap too. (Have you seen the price of Ice-Cream cakes at your local store?!?!) Birthday parties, graduations, family gatherings, sleepovers, play dates …… I must warn you that the never ending stream of kids through your door over the next few warm months will love visiting you. Plus the fact that you can make it a week ahead of your event and freeze it makes it even more divine.
Easy Ice-Cream Cake
- 2 (8-inch) round cakes of your choice (baked and cooled completely)
- 1 gallon ice-cream of your choice (softened & stirred)
- sliced fruit / coarsely crushed cookies (optional)
- jelly / berry sauce / whipping cream / Magic Shell – for layering & frosting
- cherries / sprinkles / candy – for decorating
- 1 deep 9-inch springform (preferred) or regular round pan
- large freezer-safe serving platter
- plastic wrap
1) Line the bottom and sides of your 9-inch pan with a double layer of plastic wrap so that the edges come over the sides of the pan.
2) Place one round cake in the center and poke holes over the top using a chopstick or fork.
3) Pour half the softened ice-cream on top and over the sides of the cake and smoothen to make it level. (If you like jam or berry sauce, pour on the cake first before adding ice cream).
4) Arrange a single layer of sliced fruit or crushed cookies on top (if using).
5) Gently drape the wrap over the ice cream (or cover with a freezer safe plate) and freeze for about 2 hours.
6) Remove pan from freezer and unwrap. Place the other round cake over the first layer and poke holes again.
7) Pour the remaining ice-cream on top and around the sides and smoothen again. Make sure the top is flat.
8) Gently cover again and refreeze for another 2 hours. or overnight.
9) To plate & serve: remove pan from freezer and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes.
10) Release the latch on the springform pan and lift the cake out holding the edges of the plastic wrap. Unwrap from the bottom and place on your serving platter. (For a regular pan, run a knife under hot water and gently run it around the inside edge of the pan to release the cake.)
11) Decorate with Magic Shell or whipping cream and top with cherries / berries and sprinkles.
TIP: For smooth and easy cutting, run or dip a knife under warm water and slice.
If you have a larger crowd to serve, you can follow the same method with a rectangular 9X13 cake. Just bake the cake as per instructions and cool completely (or use store bought). Trim the edges by a 1/4 inch on all sides and gently slice across to make two 9X13 layers. Place one sheet cake back in the same pan that is lined with a double layer of plastic wrap. Follow the remaining instructions as above. When ready to serve, cut into squares.