Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

Having kids with birthdays just 3 days apart means that we eat a lot of cake during the third week of March. Each child gets to pick the kind of cake he wants for his actual birthday and then they have to decide together on a cake for their combined party with our extended family. 

This year, Tyler was insistent on having an ice cream cake for the party. Ice cream, yes! This would mellow our abundance-of-cake week. I discussed some flavor options with him and Alyssa. I said something about peanut butter cups and ice cream sandwiches, and it was settled. No other combinations could sway their decision. And who could blame them? Chocolate & peanut butter is one of the best flavor combos ever. We have plenty of recipes featuring the two already (like these homemade Butterfingers made with a crazy ingredient, this decadent peanut butter brownie torte, this rich and creamy peanut butter pie, these peanut butter bars which is one of our absolute favorite desserts, these homemade Girl Scout peanut butter patties, and the ever-faithful no-bake cookies), but you can never have too many chocolate-peanut-butter desserts. Am I right?

The ice cream cake was a hit at the party. In fact, the entire thing was eaten that night. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing. I mean, you always want to serve something that people enjoy, but it also means that there were no leftovers to enjoy later! 

Alyssa had chosen a rich, mint chocolate chip cake (which is another favorite of mine!) for her birthday day, but, I admit, I was pleased when Tyler said he wanted the ice cream cake again on his birthday. Yes, more cool peanut buttery goodness. I've trained them well, you know, refined their palates and stuff.

In addition to being delicious, this cake is incredibly easy to make. The hardest part is assembling it before the ice cream melts. Chopping the peanut butter cups in the beginning and keeping the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer until needed (pulling out only 6 at a time) helps to keep your dessert in cake form, instead of a drippy, soupy blob.

To make this recipe even easier, you could use Cool Whip instead of making the whipped cream yourself. I, personally, love using fresh, whipped cream. It takes only a few minutes to make, yet the difference is amazing. Place a dollop on pancakes, garnish hot chocolate, ice a cake--it makes treats extra special.

I hope you enjoy this ice cream cake as much as we do! I'm already ready for another slice.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake
18 ice cream sandwiches
1 cup creamy peanut butter
12 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
Chocolate sauce
Fresh, whipped cream (or 1-2 small tubs of Cool Whip)

1. Heat peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.
2. Working quickly, place 6 unwrapped ice cream sandwiches on a serving platter. Spread half of the peanut butter on top. Sprinkle with 4 chopped peanut butter cups. Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
3. Arrange 6 more unwrapped ice cream sandwiches on top and repeat layer or peanut butter, peanut butter cups, and chocolate sauce. Place remaining 6 ice cream sandwiches on top.
4. Cover cake with whipped cream. Garnish with peanut butter cups and chocolate sauce. Freeze cake for at least 30 minutes, and until ready to serve. Keep leftover cake frozen.

Whipped Cream
1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place metal mixing bowl and metal whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.
2. Place all ingredients in the bowl and beat until stiff peaks forms. Do not over-beat.

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