Lesley Stoyan: A Bowl of Cherries


Neapolitan Ice Cream Birthday Cake Recipe

a cake you'll want to eat on every special occasion

Our cousin recently had a big birthday. Fifty. Fifty! How can this be? We remember vividly, and so fondly, the themed parties his mother organized when he was a little boy. Now our own children range in age from two to twenty…(eesh!)

Our aunt and uncle had a big suburban backyard. Everyone would gather for those July birthdays: grandparents, godparents, three grown siblings, their children. Our aunt would load the picnic tables with BBQd steaks and platters of boiled corn; our Baba would make cheese-filled phyllo pastries; we kids would clamour for chips and dip and root-beer floats.

But best of all, our aunt would coordinate the decorations, the cake, and the party favours to whatever our cousin loved each summer. Baseball, outer space, a new puppy…the theme would dictate the icing on the cake, literally. Marzipan rockets. Sugar-frosting hockey sticks. And streamers and balloons to match.

It was both homey, and glamorous, all at once.

This was also where we first sampled ice-cream cake. A Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge ice-cream cake, to be exact. It set the standard for some time to come.

Below is an ice-cream cake recipe that is equal parts nostalgia (Neapolitan ice cream!) and post-millennial freshness (organic ingredients!). Gather your folks and dig in. Even if it isn’t your birthday.


Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake


10 chocolate wafers, finely crushed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pint organic chocolate ice cream
1 pint organic strawberry ice cream
1 pint organic vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sauce (optional)

 Line the bottom of a standard loaf pan with parchment paper.

 Mix cookies and butter together in small bowl until moist.

 Remove ice cream from freezer and let soften for a few minutes. Scoop ice cream into a mixing bowl and stir until soft.

 Spread ice cream in bottom of pan with a spatula. Sprinkle with a third of the wafers. Transfer pan to freezer for 5-10 minutes, until firm.

 Repeat steps with vanilla and strawberry. Freeze until firm, approximately 2 hours.

 To serve, dip a knife into hot water and loosen edges around pan. Flip onto a serving plate and remove parchment paper. Slice, plate, and top with chocolate sauce.

Makes 8 Serving