The Sweet Pea had a birthday recently. 10 years old! Double digits! It called for a special celebration.
She requested an ice cream cake.
“What flavor?” I asked.
“Mint chocolate chip. And I want you to be able to eat it, too!”
I agreed to it, because it was really quite thoughtful of her, and I felt sure that somewhere out there in blog-land someone had already done this and had a recipe for me to copy. I’ll save you the search time on Google. There’s no recipe out there. The only recipe on the web for a Paleo mint chocolate chip ice cream cake is right here. And I’m sharing it! Aren’t you lucky?
We had an outdoor birthday party and it was a hot day, so all the photos of the cake are a bit ooey gooey. In my opinion, this makes it taste all the better, but it doesn’t make for beautiful food photography. Photography aside, this cake is simply to die for, and all 8 of the refined-sugar- and dairy-eating guests agreed with me.
I found several recipes from around the web that I could adapt and assemble according to what I wanted. My recipe includes a no-bake chocolate “cake” layer on the bottom, a layer of mint chocolate chip ice cream, a layer of fudge sauce, a layer of chocolate crumbles, and another layer of mint chocolate chip ice cream. If I’d had more foresight, I would have added a layer of whipped coconut cream on top. Next time, definitely.
The recipe looks complicated and fussy, but really, it’s not too bad. Most of the work is accomplished in small 10-15 minute steps, so if you start a day or two ahead of time, you can assemble the cake easily and have it ready to serve in no time.
For my cake, I chose to make chocolate chips, since I have yet to find any off-the-shelf Paleo chocolate chips. This is really simple, but it does add another step. I didn’t have a “recipe” per se, but melted some combination of dark chocolate, cocoa butter, vanilla, coconut oil, honey, and salt in a double boiler, spread it on a Silpat-lined baking sheet, and froze it until it was firm. Then I broke it up into pieces. If you’d rather just use a bag of chips from the store, that’s totally fine. I think the mini chocolate chips would be especially good here.
Obviously, the Sweet Pea had a great birthday. And everyone got seconds on the cake, because, well, it’s hard to repack an ooey gooey ice cream cake and put it back in the freezer. No leftovers just means I have to make another cake! Soon. Yes, very soon.
Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake
- ICE CREAM:
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk (14oz)
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 6 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- dash salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 2⁄3 cup pecans
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1⁄2 cup raw cacao powder or carob powder
- 10 Medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- FUDGE SAUCE:
- 8 Tbs unsweetened dark chocolate chopped
- 2 Tbs raw cacao powder or carob powder
- 6 Tbs honey
- 6 Tbs full fat coconut milk
- 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
- The day before, make the ice cream: In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, eggs, arrowroot powder, honey, peppermint extract, and salt in a saucepan. Heat the mixture just until it starts to bubble, stirring constantly with a whisk. The mixture will become thicker in consistency. Don’t let it boil! Pour the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate overnight (I didn’t forget the chocolate chips! They’re for tomorrow!)
- The next day, make the crust and crumbles: Using a food processor, grind the pecans into course meal. Add the dates through the feed tube one at a time. Continue processing until it forms a pasty meal. Add the almond flour, cacao powder, peppermint extract and coconut oil. Process until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Spread half of the mixture on the bottom of a 9″ springform pan until evenly distributed; pat down until firm. Set aside. Put the remaining crumbles in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- Make the fudge sauce: In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. When it’s melted, stir in the remaining ingredients. Keep stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Freeze the ice cream and assemble the cake: Pour the ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to instructions, adding the chocolate chips according to your freezer’s instructions. Spread half of the ice cream over the crust and freeze for a couple of hours until firm. Put the remaining ice cream into an airtight container and put it in the freezer until needed. (I actually left mine in the ice cream maker and stuck it in the freezer, so I could keep it soft by continuing to churn)
- Once the first layer is firm enough, remove the cake from the freezer. Pour the (cooled) fudge sauce over the ice cream cake (you may need to warm it up just a little bit so it’s spreadable). Sprinkle the crumbles over the fudge sauce. Scoop the remaining ice cream over the crumbles and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.
- To serve: Place some mint leaves or chocolate curls on top if you’re feeling fancy.