If you're a lover of nostalgic summer treats, this nicecream cake is for you! It exemplifies everything we love about summer. It's cold and refreshing, loaded with juicy summer berries, nestled onto a cookie crust, and decorated with just the right amount of flair to feel celebration-worthy.
But although this cake sounds complicated, it comes together in just several easy steps with surprisingly few ingredients. Because ice cream cakes are inherently make-ahead since they need to set in the freezer, this is a perfect dessert for a summer party since all the work happens in advance. Sounds like an excellent plan for a July 4th party to me!
Good for the Body
Unlike most nostalgic ice cream desserts, this one is actually good for the body. The cookies, which you'll use in the crust, in the ice cream, and as garnishes, are made from oat flour (more on that below!) and get most of their fat from nut butter. The ice cream is actually a "nicecream", made from bananas with no added sweetener. The cake is exploding with fresh and nourishing summer berries, both in the nicecream and on top.
Because of all these tweaks, this is a summer dessert you can feel good about enjoying. It's free of refined grains, much lower in sugar than other similar recipes, and loaded with fruit. Win win win!
I even admit to having a slice for lunch after I photographed this recipe!
I'm excited to be bringing you this recipe in collaboration with Meli's Cookies. I'm such a huge fan of their cookie mixes and just can't seem to get enough of them. This is actually our third recipe together! Make sure to also check out this summery Chocolate Avocado Mousse Cookie Tart and these cozy Pumpkin Chocolate Cookie Trifles. This recipe uses their Rainbow Chip mix, which just seems so perfect for a nostalgic summer dessert.
Because I'm confident you'll love these cookies as much as I do, you'll actually use them in three different ways in this recipe! You'll make the dough as directed, then bake a few mini cookies to decorate the top of the cake. You'll also bake normal-sized cookies which you'll use to make the crust (it's just cookie crumbs and peanut butter!) and to crush up inside the nicecream. When it comes to cookies, more is more is more, right??
Meli's Cookies are made with whole foods like oat flour and oats, so they're a much more nourishing way to indulge in a sweet treat. Their cookie mixes are certified gluten free, kosher, and preservative free, and the resulting cookies are surprisingly protein-rich since you'll add some nut butter into the dough. You can find these awesome mixes at lots of retailers nationwide, but you can also get them online.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Meli's Rainbow Chip cookie mix
Peanut butter. You'll use nut butter both in the cookie dough itself and to bind together the crust. I prefer peanut butter since it goes so well with fruit, but feel free to use whatever nut or seed butter you love most.
Butter. For making the cookie dough.
Egg. For making the cookie dough. (However, note that I almost never have eggs on-hand and make this dough all the time using a flax egg; it works great if that's more your speed.)
Bananans. These will be for your nicecream base, so make sure to use ripe bananas (they're sweeter!) and freeze them ahead of time.
Full-fat coconut milk. The kind in the can, not the coconut milk beverage. This will provide some fat and creaminess to your nicecream.
Assorted frozen berries. For blending into your nicecream. This cake will be most delicious if you can get fresh summer berries at their peak (or even better, pick your own!) and then freeze them. That said, any frozen berries will work fine. The photos here show nicecream made with frozen raspberries, cherries, and blackberries, which creates a deep pink color.
Assorted fresh berries. For decorating the top of your cake. Choose a few different types for a super-summery vibe.
This nicecream cake is everything I've ever wanted in a summer dessert! It's nostalgic and refreshing, colorful and summery. Yet it's also filled with nourishing ingredients and loaded with summer berries. It comes together quickly and actually mandates being made ahead of time, so it's a great option for entertaining since all the work can be done a day or two in advance.
This cake is sure to put a smile on everyone's face. Happy summer!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Disclosure: This recipe has been developed through a paid partnership with Meli's Cookies. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.
Prepare the cookie dough as directed, combining the Meli's Rainbow Chip mix with 0.5 c peanut butter, softened butter, and egg.
Scoop about one third of the dough into miniature cookies (a scant 1 tbsp each) and bake for about 8 minutes or until the edges have just barely started to brown.
Scoop the remaining two thirds of the dough into larger cookies (2 tbsp each) and bake for about 12 minutes or until golden. You want to bake these until delicately crisp since they'll be used to make a crumble.
Cool the cookies completely. Put the small cookies in a sealed container and set them aside for garnishing the top of the nicecream cake.
Line a loaf pan with two layers of parchment paper, leaving plenty of room on the sides so that you will be able to pull the nicecream cake out of the pan after it sets.
In a food processor, combine about two thirds of the large cookies with the remaining 0.25 c peanut butter. Pulse the food processor until a sticky, crumble-like texture develops, adding another spoonful of peanut butter if the mixture feels too dry. You should be able to form a ball that will stick together.
Transfer the crust mixture to the prepared loaf pan and press it in very firmly, creating a dense crust of even thickness.
To the same food processor (no need to wash it beforehand), add the frozen sliced bananas and 0.25c coconut milk. Process until a thick, rich texture forms, adding additional coconut milk as needed. Add the frozen berries and pulse the food processor until the berries are broken down but some large pieces and swirls of color remain. Add the remaining several large cookies, breaking them up into bite-sized, uneven chunks, and stir them in by hand.
Transfer the nicecream to the loaf pan. Use a spatula to spread it in evenly, being careful not to damage the cookie crust at the bottom.
Cover the nicecream cake tightly and freeze it, at least overnight and for up to several days.
When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and pull it out of the pan using the sides of the parchment paper. Set it on a serving dish and garnish it abundantly with fresh summer berries and the miniature cookies. Run a large knife under hot water before cutting inch-thick slices.
Store any extra nicecream cake in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for up to several weeks.