Thursday, July 31, 2014

Surprise Inside Cake - Hidden Polka Dots ICE CREAM Cake with bonus mini tutorial

Summertime. Hot days, cooler evenings. Mostly. And lots of reasons to cool off with a frosty treat!


This Hidden Polka Dots Ice Cream Cake was made for a segment aired today on one of our local tv stations. 


"Fresh Living" by Channel KUTV 2 features special interest stories from around Utah in this program. I was thrilled to be contacted by them a few weeks ago but was both nervous and excited the closer it came to taping. Things on the homefront are hopping so it's been a little more challenging here but who doesn't love a little upheaval now and again to keep things exciting? You can see how it went here.


Our house is a bit of a wreck while the entire exterior and decks are sandblasted and readied for staining and sealing. The part they forgot to mention was that more than a little of the glass and sawdust would be coming right on through the walls to make the inside an untidy mess. One day last week my keyboard was even covered with a layer of stuff that should be floating around outside. Yuk! The one week estimate for that stage of the project has long since passed and there is still about a fourth of the work left before we move on to the fun part, powerwashing. Perhaps it will wash some of the dust away as it inevitibly finds it's way inside these log walls.

I've all but given up on taping a seperate baking demo (for a different occasion) in my kitchen over the past couple of weeks. After a multitude of attempts, I learned the following: Men in hazmat type gear strolling by the windows every so often doesn't pair well with a baking demo. Better suited for a great reality show. So that taping is now waiting for a camera crew and the local kitchen store or for the promised settling of the dust around here. And did I mention the noise? Fun and funner. I know it's gonna be beautiful when it's done. With lots more time, dust and patience.

So meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . I've been baking polka dots and tucking them in delicious creamy ice cream in preparation for the "Fresh Living" segment. Here they are peeking out from their hiding places before I unmolded and frosted them.


You can watch both me and my fever blister show how to make this cake in 5 minutes or less. Yeah. Fever blister in the middle of the night and right on my lower lip. Is the pouty or puffy look "in" these days? Guess the stress of house demolition has finally exposed itself. Great timing, eh? 

How's your summer going? Hope it's a fun one!


Here are the tutorials for both the ice cream cake and a kid friendly quick and easy mini polka dot cake:

Hidden Polka DotIce Cream Cake


§  5 Ziploc quart bags for tinting batter
§  Cake pop pan (18 cavities 1.75” each or similar)
§  Storage tub (8.5” size from Family Dollar set or plastic wrap lined pan, empty ice cream tub, etc
§  9” Tuff board cake round
§  Large spoon or rubber spatula
§  Scissors
§  Long, sharp serrated knife
§  Small offset spatula


§  1 white cake mix
§  3 whole eggs
§  1/3 cup vegetable oil
§  1 1/4 cups milk
§  1 T clear imitation vanilla
§  1 small box instant vanilla or white chocolate or cheesecake pudding
§  Non-stick baking spray with flour
§  AmeriColor soft gel pastes in Orange 113, Egg Yellow 106, Electric Pink 164, Electric Green 162, & Royal Blue 102
§  1 gallon vanilla ice cream (with some leftover) or homemade
§  Optional: “All White Buttercream” (recipe follows), pre made magic shell ice cream topping or homemade
§  Candy Melts in Orange, Yellow, Pink, Vibrant Green & Blue or optional toppings like M&Ms, Chewy Skittles, Chewy Sprees, Trix cereal or similar, sprinkles or gumballs (Be sure to add at serving time or colors will run on coated candies.)



§  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cake ball pan by spraying the outside of the vents and cavities with baking spray.
§  Prepare 1 white cake mix by stirring 1 small box of instant vanilla or white chocolate pudding mix into dry mix. Add eggs or whites, vanilla, vegetable oil and milk to dry mixture and stir with whisk until well combined.               
§  Divide the batter into 5 quart-sized Ziploc bags, about 3/4 c or slightly more per bag. Or you can weigh out the batter at about 7 oz. per color. Tint each bag using about 8 drops orange, 4 drops egg yellow, 3 drops pink, 3-4 drops electric green & 3 drops royal blue gel paste to resemble the Candy Melt colors. Squish the batter around in the sealed bags until colors are evenly distributed.
§  Snip a small corner from each bag and pipe out the tinted batters into the cake ball pan cavities, filling just to rim as shown.
§  The batter makes 8 of each color or 40 total (if using the 18 cavity 1.75” pan) so you’ll need to bake them in batches if you don’t own more than one cake pop pan. Yields for other cake pop pan sizes will vary.
§  Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until the cake balls are just done and springy to the touch but not browned. When cooled, trim the tops and edges to remove the ridges using sharp craft scissors.
§  Place the balls in single layer on a small baking sheet and freeze until firm. If storing, place the frozen balls in a gallon Ziploc freezer bag and store until needed or continue with assembly if desired.
§  Remove ice cream from freezer to soften when ready for assembly. Ice cream can be quick thawed by placing in microwave in 45-second intervals at 30% power. Be sure the container is microwave safe and leak proof.


§  Line pan with plastic wrap if not using plastic tub or container.
§  Stir the softened ice cream until it is smooth and creamy. Ice cream should be similar to soft serve or frosting so it’s soft enough to spread or even close to being runny so that it will fill all the nooks and crannies.
§  Place about 2 cups of the softened ice cream or enough to cover the bottom of the prepared plastic container or lined pan and set the cake balls on top. Try to make sure that the same colors aren’t next to each other.
§  Pour the softened ice cream evenly around and on top of the cake balls to fill in any gaps.
§  Add another layer of cake balls and follow up with more ice cream. Smooth the top when finished so that no colors are showing through. Place the lid on and place cake in freezer.
§  Freeze the assembled cake for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight.


§  Remove cake from the freezer at least 15 minutes prior to decorating for ease of unmolding.
§  Invert the cake onto a flat plate or Tuff board cake round. Frost or decorate as desired and return to freezer until serving.
§  Recommended: place frozen cake in 40-degree (standard for frig temps) refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving time. Thawing times can very depending on type of ice cream used, other ingredients in your cake and freezer temperature.
§  Alternatively: remove from the freezer about 10 minutes prior to serving and transfer to display plate or cake pedestal if desired.
§  Slice with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.


All White “Buttercream”

Adapted from Wilton
Makes about 3 cups of frosting

   1 cup solid vegetable shortening
   2 T clear vanilla extract
    4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

In large bowl, cream shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.


Hidden Polka Dot
MINI Ice Cream  & Cereal Cakes


§  10 count package of round mini food safe containers ($1 at Dollar Tree)
§  Small spoons & mixing bowls
§  Small offset spatula for unmolding


§  Trix cereal or similar
§  Vanilla ice cream
§  Optional: pre made magic shell ice cream topping or DIY
§  Optional toppings like mini M&Ms, sprinkles or jimmies                                


Making the mini cakes

§  Fill mini containers with cereal in advance or let the kiddos sort the colors and count the polka dots as they fill them for you. Make sure you can still put the lids back on without crushing the cereal.
§  Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to thaw until mostly melted. Or quick thaw ice cream by placing in microwave in 45-second intervals at 30% power. Stir the softened ice cream until it is smooth and creamy. Ice cream should be similar to soft serve or frosting so it’s soft enough to spread or even close to being runny so that it will fill all the nooks and crannies.
§  Working one container at a time, dump each mini container of cereal into a small bowl. Add 3-4 small spoons of melted ice cream and stir to coat.
§  Add 2 small spoons of melted ice cream to the mini container and scoop the coated mixture back inside. Top with more ice cream until container is full.
§  Place lids on containers and freeze for 1-2 hours or preferably overnight.

Decorating & Serving

§  Remove mini cakes from the freezer at least 15 minutes prior to decorating for ease of unmolding. Invert the cakes onto a small flat plate.
§  Top with Magic Shell or DIY coating and decorate as desired with sprinkles, jimmies or mini M&Ms. Decorated cakes should be served immediately to prevent candy colors from running.
Serve with disposable mini party forks and spoons in coordinating colors if desired.

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