Birthday Cake Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


It’s the beginning of June and it’s cold and misty outside. And when it’s like this – I like to “nest”.  I have organized my office, measured the kitchen drawers for new organizational accessories and I made two batches of custard for two flavors of ice cream. Coffee…always coffee – it’s become a freezer staple. And vanilla bean. But I really didn’t want to make straight vanilla bean.

Last week, at the suggestion of a friend, I made two different dark chocolate ice cream as a test. I called them number one and number two. She suggested to mix in brownie bites(good call). I made a batch of my favorite brownies (sans nuts) and created the two quarts of yumminess. 

As I was mixing up the custard for the batch of vanilla bean, I was feeling board with just straight up vanilla. So I pondered…and what I came up with was ice cream cake ice cream! And this did not come without props.

My #1 came home this weekend. Actually to witness my #2 graduating from high school – the same high school that my #1 went to. Now, we have not seen each other since Thanksgiving. I love this guy so much, but our relationship has been challenged. As I was thinking of his homecoming, I was making a mental list of all things that he likes; my bolognese, cheesecakes, pecan tassies, flatsos, lamb chops and the list goes on. But what really inspired this creation was a memory of us going to Coldstone. He always got birthday cake ice cream. As simple as it may sound, those are some amazing memories.

As I  whisked and created the custard for the vanilla bean – I said to myself, “birthday cake ice cream”. Now I needed a cake.  I googled “white sheet cakes”. Tons came up but after reading many, this was the winner. So glad I did – easy peasy, pantry staples and it’s DELICIOUS. I baked it, cooled it and then cut it up into little, bite-sized pieces and then  froze it. 

I did a test run and the word on the street is – it’s amaze-balls. Using David Lebovitz’s (always and only use his recipes – get his book) base for the flavors I am having so much fun creating my own take on the ice cream shop mix in model and I have to say – this process really relaxes me!

My biggest critic gave it two thumbs up and actually asked if I could FedX it to him in Colorado. My suggestion that he come home more often and when he does – this will be waiting for him in the freezer!

Birthday Cake Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


250 ml |  8 oz. | 1 cup whole, organic milk
pinch of salt
150 grams | 5.25 oz. | 3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split length wise
500 ml | 16 oz. | 2 cups heaving cream
90 grams | 0z | 5 large egg yolks
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
cake recipe here


• freeze the canister to your ice cream maker at least 24 hours in advance or whatever the instructions are of for your make and model.
• heat the milk, salt and sugar in a sauce pan. allow to warm up but not boil.
•scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife. if you’re not sure how to do that – check out this video here. Add the seeds and the pod to the milk mixture and cover and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes (I always go longer).
• set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl that is partially filled with ice and water. set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
• in a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. return the pot to the stove and rewarm the milk mixture. gradually add some of the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture and mix to combine. keep doing that until you feel the eggs are tempered and that entire mixture can be added back into the milk mixture.
• cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
• strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. preferably overnight.
• remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


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