This Grasshopper Ice Cream Cake is easy to make and infinitely adaptable — use your child's favourite ice cream flavour and food colouring!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 quarts mint chocolate chip ice cream, (or any other flavour), slightly softened
1 1/2 cups 35% cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
green (or whatever) food colouring
First make the cake part. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, 1 cup (250 mL) of the sugar, cocoa powder and baking soda until well mixed. All at once add the vinegar, vanilla, oil and water. Stir well, then dump the batter into a well-greased 9 in. (22 cm) springform baking pan. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and turn the cake out onto a cake rack to cool completely.
When the cake is completely cooled, carefully slice it in half to make two thin layers of cake. Here's a nifty trick to help you do the job perfectly: Stick 5 or 6 toothpicks around the sides of the cake, to mark the halfway point. Now cut a length of heavy thread or dental floss and wrap it all the way around the cake, resting it on the toothpick guides. Cross the ends of the thread over each other and pull tight. The thread will cut through the cake, making two perfectly even layers. Neat, huh?
Now, where were we? Oh yes - the cake. Line the same springform pan in which you baked the cake with plastic wrap. It should cover the bottom of the pan, and extend up the sides, with some excess overhanging. Place one of the cake layers into the bottom of the pan. Spoon in the entire container of softened ice cream, squishing it down firmly into the pan. Place the second cake layer on top, pressing it down onto the ice cream. Fold the excess plastic wrap over the top and place the cake into the freezer for several hours or overnight, until firm.
Remove the pan from the freezer, then release the springform sides, peel off the plastic, and place the cake onto a platter. Now, working quickly, beat the whipping cream with ¼ cup (50 mL) of the sugar (and the food colouring, if you're using it) until it forms soft peaks. Cover top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream, then decorate like crazy. Sprinkles, plastic grasshoppers, gummy bears, chocolate chips, anything. Return the cake to the freezer.
Remove the ice cream cake from the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve it, to allow it to soften slightly for slicing. Wow! Did you do that?