This crazy colours vegan ice cream cake was a big success at my daughter’s birthday party recently.
Which was a relief, because her birthday is smack dab in the middle of winter!
Thankfully no-one complained about eating cold birthday cake (at least not to me anyway) and some even came back for seconds.
My daughter originally requested a “rainbow” theme for her party, but straight lines have never really been my thing.
I just don’t have the patience for precision, especially when there’s ice-cream in the process of melting.
Having looked at a bunch of super-impressive rainbow ice-cream cakes online, I figured the best I could hope for was more of a crazy quilt design.
At least if I set out to do it randomly, no matter how it turned out, I could legitimately claim it was deliberate.
Ah, she’s a wily one that mum.
So I managed to mutate the theme into “crazy colours”, which included heaps of brightly coloured balloons, confetti and paper chains, and this magnificent creation.
I used my springform tin, lined with sandwich wrap, and crossed my fingers and hoped it wouldn’t leak.
It didn’t. (Phew!)
I made two batches of my decadent coconut vanilla ice cream, on two separate days, and split it into three batches as soon as it was finished churning.
I added a few drops of three different natural food colours, mixed them in like crazy, and then blobbed spoonfuls into the (pre-cooled) tin.
All while my beautifully churned ice-cream slowly melted.
And then, of course, I chucked it straight back into the freezer.
Not exactly the most relaxing dish I’ve ever made.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that there’s three colours on the top layer and three on the bottom.
But I chose colours that contrasted well, and frankly I don’t think anyone would even notice.
And some lucky souls even managed to get pieces that had all six colours.
And as a bonus, the sandwich wrap left pretty patterns on the top of the cake.
In in all, I reckon it turned out pretty well, wouldn’t you agree?
- 3 x 400ml tin coconut milk
- ¾ cup (210g) agave nectar
- 1½ tsp vanilla powder
- 3 tsp (15ml) vanilla vodka (or vanilla essence)
- ⅜ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp guar gum
- 3-6 drops of 6 natural food colours
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Split into two batches of around 800ml (700g) each.
- Chill mix in freezer for 20-40 minutes (or at least one hour in the fridge).
- Line the bottom of a springform tin with sandwich wrap and store the tin in the freezer until ice cream is ready.
- Churn the first batch in an ice-cream maker until smooth and creamy (about 20 minutes).
- Split ice-cream into three different bowls and add a few drops of food colouring (a different colour in each bowl).
- Stir quickly and thoroughly until the colour is mixed through.
- Blob spoonfuls of each colour into the springform tin, alternating colours so they are evenly distributed around the tin.
- Put tin and ice cream into the freezer and freeze overnight.
- Repeat with the second batch of ice-cream, using three different colours.
- Smooth the top of the finished ice cream cake with a spatula.
- Store cake in the tin in the freezer overnight.
- To remove cake from the springform tin, run a flat knife around the edge of the tin to release the cake from the side, and undo the springform clip.
- invert the cake over a plate, and gently pull on the sandwich wrap to release the cake from the tin.
- Slice and serve immediately.
- Store any leftover cake in the freezer for up to 3 months.
During: 10 mins (mix) + 20 mins (freeze) + 20 mins (churn) + 10 min (colour)
After: 2 days (second batch and final freeze)
Need: Blender, springform tin, ice-cream maker, freezer
- Make sure you give yourself a full two days before you want to serve up this magnificent creation, to give you time to mix, churn and freeze both batches. In a pinch, you might be able to do it in 24 hours by doing one in the morning and then one at night, and have it ready for the next morning (or vice versa). Either way, this is a recipe that you’ll need to plan ahead for.
- If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, here are 6 different ways to make ice cream without an ice-cream maker. Essentially, the more you can mix it as it freezes, the creamier it will be.
- I made mine with tinned coconut milk, because I’m an “instant gratification” kind of girl, but if you want to make and use your own fresh coconut milk, that would make this ice-cream completely raw.
- You can use coconut cream instead of coconut milk, if that’s what you have on hand, although you may want to dilute it with some water first.
- I’ve found that the brand and fat content of coconut milk can make a big difference to the result. If your ice-cream is not as smooth and creamy as you’d like, try a different brand. My favourite brand at the moment is Spiral Foods low fat organic coconut milk, which has around 6% fat.
- You can use your favourite liquid sweetener in this recipe – coconut nectar, maple syrup (not raw), agave nectar, yacon syrup or honey (not vegan) – and it should turn out pretty much the same, although the flavour might change subtly. I use agave because I like the way it tastes, and I don’t believe it’s any worse than any of the other available natural sweeteners. Of course, they really should all be used in moderation.
- If you’re trying to convert reluctant family members to this ice cream, you can increase the agave up to a 1 cup (240g) to make it sweeter, and then slowly reduce it each time you make the recipe.
- Vanilla bean powder is just fresh vanilla beans air-dried and ground into a powder using a spice blender or coffee grinder. You can make your own or you can buy it from your local health food shop. If you can’t get your hands on any of this, you can just scrape out a fresh vanilla bean or two into the mix, or add another 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract.
- Vanilla vodka is made by soaking vanilla beans in organic vodka for a few months, which extracts the vanilla essence. Vodka is not raw, but the small amount of alcohol seems to help keep the ice cream scoopable.
- I use pink Himalayan crystal salt in my dishes because it contains lots of trace minerals that are good for you, and apparently it tastes better too. So if you’re going to use salt at all, the pink stuff is the best!
- Guar gum is not raw, but it acts as an emulsifier, which makes the ice cream smoother. I have tried Irish Moss, which is raw, but it wasn’t quite as creamy.
- I used Hopper’s natural food colours to make my crazy colours vegan ice cream cake, the same ones I used to make my all-natural homemade rainbow sprinkles. You can also make your own natural food colours from fruits and vegteables, or you could try India Tree’s Natural Decorating Colors if you’re in the US or the UK.
- Getting it out of the tin was harder than I expected, even with the spring form edge and sandwich wrap layer on top, so you might need to get even more creative with ways to detach this sticky ice-cream lump from whatever container you use. Maybe a big silicone tin that’s strong enough to hold its shape while the ice-cream freezes, but soft enough to pop the ice-cream out afterwards.
I’d have to give credit to this rainbow ice-cream recipe for showing me what was possible, and helping me to decide that there was no way I was going to attempt it.
For so many reasons.
In hindsight, I realise that I probably could have put the ice-cream into the tin in layers, and had a pretty good approximation of a layered rainbow cake.
Maybe next time.
As it is, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
And fortunately it went really well with her vegan chocolate birthday cake as well.
Have an awesome day!