What exactly makes the perfect summer cake? Depending on your tastes, it might be a lighter than air angel food cake topped with strawberries, a no-bake icebox cake, or a berry filled confection that capitalizes on all the natural sweet tastes of the season. To answer all of these cravings, we’ve gathered up seven cakes that will make the season a whole lot sweeter.
1. No-Bake Ice Cream Cake
You’ll keep cool and the remain stress-free when you whip up Rachel Ray’s ice cream cake for a dessert to take to a party, or serve at home. Instead of baking a cake, you’ll use a pre-made pound cake to create this delicious ice cream cake.
- 1 pound cake, vanilla, chocolate, or swirl
- 1 rectangular box vanilla, chocolate, or swirl ice cream, slightly softened
- 1/4 cup spiced rum or any liqueur you have on hand
- 1 jar chocolate sauce
- 1 cup cocoa powder
Directions: Line a meat loaf pan with plastic wrap so that it is completely covered with lots of extra hanging over the edges. Cut the pound cake lengthwise in 4 equally thin rectangular slabs. Cut 1 of the rectangles in 1/2 widthwise, then cut another 1 of the rectangles in 1/2 lengthwise. You should have 2 full slabs, 2 thin rectangular strips, and 2 squares. Begin layering the meatloaf pan with 1 of the full slabs on the bottom, then the 2 strips on either side. Place the 2 squares of pound cake vertically on each end of the pan. The loaf pan should now be completely encased in pound cake.
Lightly brush the pound cake with the liqueur. Scoop the ice cream into the cavity of the pound cake and smooth it out with a small offset spatula or your fingertips so that it is all even around the pan. Once the pan is full of ice cream, top it with the remaining piece of pound cake and press down. Cover the cake with the plastic wrap and put back in the freezer for at least an hour.
Using the overhanging plastic wrap, remove the ice cream cake from the loaf pan. Place the loaf on a serving platter and drizzle with the chocolate sauce. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder and serve.
2. Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
But maybe you feel like doing a little baking. If that is the case, you need to give Redbook‘s ice cream cake a whirl – or maybe we should say swirl. The cake gets rolled, with chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream providing the contrasting colors for a swirl that looks fantastic, and tastes even better.
- 1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 2 pints peppermint-bark ice cream, softened
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 6 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoon dark corn syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Dark or white chocolate curls or shavings
- Confectioners’ sugar
Directions: For the cake, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick foil. In a small bowl, combine cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
Separate egg whites and yolks into 2 large bowls. Beat whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Continue to beat on high speed just until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Using same beaters, beat yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and extracts until thickened, about 3 minutes. On low speed, beat in flour mixture until blended. Stir in 1/4 of beaten egg whites into mixture. Fold in remaining whites. Spread in prepared pan; smooth top. Bake 12 minutes or until top springs back when gently pressed. Let cool 2 minutes on a wire rack.
Dust a clean towel with confectioners’ sugar; invert cake onto towel. Remove pan; carefully peel off foil. Starting from the short end, roll up cake in towel; place seam side down on wire rack; cool completely. After the cake has cooled, fill the cake by unrolling it, and spreading the ice cream evenly on the cake. Roll the cake back up. Wrap tightly in nonstick foil and freeze, seam side down, overnight until firm.
For the glaze, in a small saucepan, heat cream, chocolate, and corn syrup over low heat until chocolate is melted and glaze is shiny and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in extracts; cool to room temperature. Unwrap cake; trim ends. Place cake on a wire rack over waxed paper. Pour glaze along top of cake roll, spreading with a spatula to cover sides. Garnish top of cake with chocolate curls or shavings. Freeze cake until firm.
3. Angel Food Cake
There is no getting around it — if you want to make angel food cake at home, you’re going to need a lot of egg whites. This AllRecipes.com version promises to be easy and light — a heavenly summer treat. Now, about those egg yolks, Forty Something has a great roundup of recipes by number of egg yolk you have on hand, you could also create hair and face masks out of the leftovers.
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 12 egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure that your 10 inch tube pan is clean and dry. Any amount of oil or residue could deflate the egg whites. Sift together the flour, and 3/4 cup of the sugar, set aside.
In a large bowl, whip the egg whites along with the vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt to medium stiff peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip to stiff peaks. When the egg white mixture has reached its maximum volume, fold in the sifted ingredients gradually, one third at a time. Do not overmix. Put the batter into the tube pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake springs back when touched. Balance the tube pan upside down on the top of a bottle, to prevent decompression while cooling. When cool, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a plate.
4. Orange Angel Food Cake
But maybe you like your angel food cake with a little pizazz — if so, Chow‘s orange angel food cake with berries is just the change of pace you need. After your cake is cool, you can remove it by edging around the pan with a knife.
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons packed orange zest (from about 2 medium oranges)
- 1 cup cake flour
- 12 large egg whites (1 1/2 cups), at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 pints strawberries (about 2 pounds), hulled, and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Directions: Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange a rack in the middle. Mix 1 cup of the sugar with the orange zest in a small bowl until evenly combined; set aside. Sift the cake flour through a fine mesh strainer 3 times onto a piece of parchment paper or into a large bowl. Then sift again with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
Place the egg whites in the (throughly cleaned) bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on high until just frothy, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar, orange juice, and salt and beat until the whites just begin to form soft, droopy peaks, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar-zest mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, letting it mix in before adding more, then beat until the whites are glossy and the peaks are droopy but hold onto a spatula, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift a quarter of the cake flour mixture over the whites. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the whites with a rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining cake flour mixture, a quarter at a time, until all of it has been added. Spoon the batter into a clean, dry 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Tap the pan twice on the counter to burst any large air bubbles in the batter. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cake is springy to the touch and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Invert the pan over the neck of a bottle until completely cooled, about 1 1/2 hours.
In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, orange juice, and sugar. Place in the refrigerator and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries have let off some juice, at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. Remove cake from pan, slice, and top with berries.
5. Oreo Ice Cream Fudge Cake
Just the thought of all the egg whites that need to be whipped can be tiring, so if you find yourself fatigued just contemplating the process of making angel food cake, relax with an ice cream cake that looks great, and all you have to do is put it together. Kraft’s Oreo ice cream cake uses ice cream sandwich layers, serves 12, and will be a hit at parties this summer.
- 1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
- 1 tub (8 ounces) cool whip whipped topping, thawed, divided
- 1 package (3.9 ounce) vhocolate instant pudding
- 8 Oreo cookies, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches
Directions: Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup cool whip. Add dry pudding mix; stir for 2 minutes. Stir in chopped cookies. Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long sheet of foil; top with half the cool whip mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining sandwiches. Frost top and sides with remaining cool whip. Bring up foil sides; double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.
6. Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake
Let’s keep the no-bake theme going, because sometimes it is just too hot to heat up your oven and house in the summer. When the heat is too much to handle and you still want a stunning dessert from you kitchen, just turn to Ina Garten’s Food Network icebox cake. If you find you have spaces when layering you cookies, Garten recommends breaking some cookies to fill the gaps.
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies, such as Tate’s Bake Shop
- Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish
Directions: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks.
To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.
7. Angel Berry Trifle
Not technically what some would call a cake, but it does use cake as an ingredient, and it doesn’t require any baking — unless you’re using homemade angel food cake. Taste of Home‘s berry trifle is filled with fruit and is that fresh bite of late spring, early summer you’ve been craving. It will serve about 14 people, and you can adjust the berry measurements to your taste.
- 1 1/2 cups cold fat-free milk
- 1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 cup (8 ounces) fat-free vanilla yogurt
- 6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed, divided
- 1 prepared angel food cake (18 inches), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 pint each blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries
Directions: In a small bowl, whisk the milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. In a large bowl, beat the yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in pudding mixture and 1 cup whipped topping. Place a third of the cake cubes in a 4-quart trifle bowl. Top with a third of the pudding mixture, a third of the berries and half of the remaining whipped topping. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining cake, pudding and berries. Serve immediately or refrigerate.