Have your cake and raspberry ice cream, too

It’s berry season, the perfect time for a summery ice cream cake.

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a slice of raspberry ice cream cake
Photo: Stacey Ballis

I Melt With You is a new ice cream column from The Takeout. I’ll be here all summer with new ice cream recipes, unique ingredients, equipment recommendations, and ways to make your home ice cream experience as easy and fun as possible. I am always up for a challenge, so feel free to send flavor requests to hello@thetakeout.com. If you want to see some of the flavors I have been developing for you, feel free to pop over to my IG @stacey.ballis and scroll back for some serious ice cream content.


Raspberry ice cream—specifically Dorie Greenspan’s seminal raspberry ice cream with chocolate flake from the New York Times—may have been ground zero for me on my journey into at-home ice cream production. It is a perfect fruit ice cream to make right now as raspberries start to hit the markets, and it’s just as perfect with frozen berries when the weather cools. You can make this with fresh red, black, or golden raspberries, or even with blackberries or mulberries if you have them.

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It is also a great time to discuss ice cream cake, since nothing screams “festive summer dessert” like an ice cream cake.

Ice cream cake is one of the best ways to use homemade ice cream. If you prep ahead, you can assemble the cake right out of the churner while the ice cream is still nice and pliable, without having to soften and then refreeze ice cream—the step that usually prevents me from wanting to make an ice cream cake.

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You can use any basic cake recipe you like, but I prefer a boxed cake mix. These cakes are sturdy enough to stand up to the ice cream, but tender enough not to freeze too hard. If you are using your own recipe, I highly recommend an oil-based cake over a butter-based cake for texture. Bake the cake ahead in either springform pans or deep pans with removable bottoms to make re-assembling easier. I prefer two thin layers of cake sandwiching a thick layer of ice cream in the middle, but you can layer up however you like.

Once the cake is fully cooled, trim off any dome to make it nice and flat; if you prefer thinner layers, slice each cake in half. Then wrap your cake layers individually in plastic wrap, pop them in freezer bags, and freeze for 24 hours (or up to three months). Since my ice creams cure for 24 hours, I make the ice cream base while the cakes are baking to ensure everything is ready at the same time.

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To assemble your cake, line the pan you baked your cake in with plastic wrap, and place a frozen layer of cake on the bottom. If you want a layer of jam, caramel, or fudge, add that in a single layer on top, and return the cake to the freezer while you’re churning your ice cream. When the ice cream is finished churning, transfer to the cake tin, smoothing it into an even layer, and top with the second layer of cake. Cover with a layer plastic wrap, then a layer of foil, and freeze the whole thing for 12-24 hours.

Once you remove the cake from the tin, you can cover it with a thin layer of buttercream to seal everything in and make the outside smooth (otherwise known as a crumb coat), then return it to the freezer for an hour, this time uncovered on a sheet pan, to set. Then cover the frozen cake with ganache, more buttercream, whipped cream, or go for the “naked cake” look, and decorate the top however you choose.

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The combinations of cake, filling, ice cream, and frosting are nearly endless. For this raspberry ice cream, I like an almond cake and a ruby chocolate ganache, decorated with frozen chocolate-covered raspberries.


a scoop of raspberry ice cream
Photo: Stacey Ballis
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Raspberry Beret

Makes about 1½ quarts

  • 1 pint fresh raspberries or thawed frozen berries
  • 1½ cups (360 g) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (150 g) white chocolate or ruby chocolate, or Valrhona Raspberry Inspirations (chips or chopped)
  • ¾ cup (160 g) buttermilk or whole milk
  • ¼ cup (65 g) sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. (45 g) honey
  • 2 Tbsp. (12 g) milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp. (20 g) vodka (Note: this helps keep the ice cream from freezing too hard. If you prefer to not include any alcohol, you will want to let the frozen ice cream sit out an extra 5-10 minutes before scooping for optimal texture.)
  • 1 Tbsp. (12g) raspberry syrup (optional; I use Liber & Co.)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt

Mix-ins: 

  • Chocolate chips or flakes are a natural. You can also make your own chocolate flake by melting 6 ounces of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate with 1½ tablespoons of coconut oil and letting it cool to close to room temperature. Then drizzle or squirt it into the ice cream with a squeeze bottle toward the end of churning. Toasted slivered almonds are also great in this.
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Next Level: 

  • Buy some good quality chocolate fudge, chop into small cubes, and fold in at the end of churning.
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Wash and dry the raspberries and pulse them in your blender or food processor until they’re a chunky puree. Then strain the puree to remove as many of the seeds as possible, or pass it through a food mill. This should yield 1 cup (150 g) of puree.

Make a fast ganache by mixing the cream with the chocolate and heating in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Blend with immersion blender or in regular blender to perfect smoothness. Add the rest of the ice cream ingredients (except the pureed berries), and blend again. The milk powder will want to clump on you, so keep a lookout for that. Add the pureed berries and all of their juices and mix with the blender until well combined and smooth.

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Once the mixture is well blended, taste it to be sure you like the balance of flavors. If it doesn’t feel sweet enough to you, add up to a tablespoon more sugar. If any other flavor is not coming through well, add more of what you need. The mixture should be sweet because flavors mute on freezing. When it tastes right to you, pour into a sealed container and chill to cure the flavor, 6-24 hours. It should be very chilled before you start churning.

Churn according to machine directions, then fold in any mix-ins if using. Transfer ice cream to storage containers and freeze for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight for best texture.