Bumblebee Ice Cream Cake (no ice cream maker required!)

Nothing says summer like an ice cream cake - especially an adorable Bumblebee cake! 

After my first ice cream cake, I was SO pumped to try another one! Ice cream cakes are so perfect for summer, and I’d been wanting to try my hand at a Bee cake – I was SO happy with how this came together! The kits I used made the layers SO easy! Link to the kits I used, my frosting recipe, and ALL the tips I accumulated along the way are below!

Curious Creamery Bumblebee Cookies n Ice Cream Cake

I often use this ice cream maker (which my husband and I love; NO ice/rock salt required) to make AMAZING homemade ice cream (1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 3 cups heavy whipping cream, 1 T vanilla bean extract)! (+Here's a less expensive ice cream maker that also doesn't require ice/rock salt!) 

But to put this cake together I used two of these Cookies n Cream ice cream cake kits – they both make one cake layer and a fairly thick ice cream layer! (I have seen these kits sell out before; you can also purchase vanilla ice cream and use a half recipe of my favorite chocolate cake recipe! 
- 1 1/3 cup water (for cake mix)
- 1 cup cold milk
- 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup (12 Tablespoons) sugar
- Crushed Oreo cookies (if desired, to add to ice cream layers)
- Yellow gel or liquid food color

Additional Supplies/Equipment:
- Three 8 inch round pans
- Foil or plastic wrap (to line the pans before filling with ice cream)
- 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles) or an 8” acrylic cake disc (I started using these so I wouldn’t waste so many cake circles!)
- Small piping bag & small round tip – this set has been one of my favorites! 
- Fondant, small paintbrush, toothpicks, and yellow and black food color if you want to make your bee decorations - or you can purchase them online!
- Flower nail + teardrop-shaped piping tip if you want to pipe your flowers – or you can purchase online!
- Craft wire + long wooden spoon handle (or anything else long/relatively narrow)  
- 1 frosting recipe – my favorite recipe is below! 
Cake levelercake turntablelarge offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two of your 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and /or grease with non-stick or baker’s floured cooking spray.

Beat cake mixes with water until well blended and pour batter evenly into pans – I find a kitchen scale helpful to ensure the layers are the same thickness.
Bake for 16-23 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on cooling rack before removing from pans, and then cool completely before topping with ice cream.

This is a great time to make your frosting!

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:  
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 T clear vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
Few drops liquid yellow or 1 large drop gel food color
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla, salt if needed, and food coloring and beat until well combined.

When your cake layers have cooled, you’re ready to layer and freeze your ice cream layers Place a layer of plastic wrap in the base of all 3 cake pans, and place your cake layers into two of the pans.

Beat ice cream mixes with milk, heavy cream, and sugar with a hand or stand mixes until thickened and creamy; the mix should roughly double in size in about 4-5 minutes of beating. If desired, add about 1 cup of crushed oreos and stir to combine.

Divide the ice cream mix into thirds. Pour one third over each of the two cake layers. Color the remaining third with a few drops of liquid or one large drop of yellow food gel and pour into the remaining cake pan. Smooth the tops of your ice cream layers with a spoon or offset spatula. Freeze all ice cream layers 4-6 hours (or overnight), until well frozen and firm.

Once your cake and ice cream layers are well frozen, you’re ready to start assembling!
Place a smear of frosting on your cardboard cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake+ice cream layer in the center of the circle. I added a small swirl of frosting to hold the next ice cream layer in place, but this is optional. Center your yellow ice cream layer on top of your base layer. Flip the remaining cake+ice cream layer over (so the cake layer is on top) and center on top of the yellow ice cream layer. Re-freeze the cake for at least 10 minutes before starting the frosting process.

Now you're ready to crumb-coat! If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs and ice cream smears out of your final layer.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the freezer), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge or freezer to set the frosting.

Now the super fun part – decorations!

Links are above if you’d rather purchase edible bee decorations; they’re a bit tedious to make! But if you’re feeling adventurous, they’re easy to make with small bits of white fondant – paint with yellow color & allow to dry for a couple of hours, then add three stripes and two small eyes with black food gel and a paintbrush and/or toothpick. I found the eyes easiest with the back end of a paintbrush and the stripes easiest with the side of a toothpick.

With a bottle cap or circle cutter, cut out several white fondant circles, then cut a small oblong wing shape out of the sides of the circle. Press two wings into the back of each bee with a toothpick. Allow to set for 1-2 hours before adding to your cake!

Whatever option you choose for the bees, it’s also fun to add a few on top of wire ‘springs’ to give the illusion of bees flying and add a bit of height to your decorations! I used 20g gold craft wire from a local craft store – you can also buy similar wire online!

If you’re making buttercream flowers, anchor a small piece of foil or parchment paper onto a flower nail with a bit of frosting, and pipe in small petals onto your nail! Allow to set for at least 15 minutes in the freezer before transferring to the cake; otherwise they’re liable to deform or break.

This step is optional, but I took a paintbrush and added a bit more yellow color to the base of my cake and top / centers of my flowers at the end!  

Annnd you’re done! Freeze until ready to serve – and enjoy!

Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

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