The Go-To Method For Incorporating Cake Pieces Into Ice Cream

Offering the best of both worlds, ice cream loaded with chunks of cake is the dessert that tops all others. Sweet, celebratory, and nostalgic, there's something magical about these sorts of frozen treats — that is, when they're made correctly. If handled with care, morsels of cake can enhance the flavor, texture, and aesthetics of ice cream. But, rather than simply tossing bits of torte into the frozen custard, one must know that technique matters.

Despite that there isn't any rhyme or reason for which flavors or base to use, the make-or-break element in these recipes ultimately lies within how the cake is added to the ice cream. Because the cake must be incorporated sometime after the ice cream base is combined, but before it sets, the optimal time to add the cubes is once the ice cream has been chilled and churned.

Although layering cake between just-churned custard is one option, this often leads to uneven distribution. Instead, the best way is to add cake directly into the ice cream by gently folding pieces into the fresh ice cream with a spatula. This method allows ice cream to remain light and airy all the while ensuring cake pieces remain intact. But, that's not all to consider.

What to remember when adding cake into ice cream

Foolproof as folding may be, beyond technique, there are several other tricks that can make adding cake to ice cream even easier. For example, although you could bake a cake, let it cool, and cut it up, we suggest picking up a ready-made torte or a few cupcakes from the supermarket. Any cake will do, whether that be vanilla, devil's food, red velvet, cheesecake, or carrot. However, if you opt for an ice cream base other than vanilla, consider which cake flavors will pair best — it's better to strike up a balance between delicate and intense flavors so as not to overwhelm taste buds.

The next thing to consider is how to properly prep cake. Aim to cut the majority of the cake into relatively large cubes so they're noticeable, with some smaller crumbs for variety, and freeze those bits for at least 30 minutes or until hardened. Doing this will prevent the cake from crumbling under the weight of the dense frozen cream during the folding process. 

Last but not least, don't forget that you call the shots when determining how much cake to include, so be as light or heavy-handed as you wish. As long as you follow these tricks, your ice cream recipe is sure to turn out better than you ever could have dreamed.