New This Month

Igloo Cake


Piped buttercream-frosting blocks transform a chocolate-vanilla ice cream cake into an igloo that sweet marzipan penguins call home. Flakes of dried coconut "snow" and a cake stand trimmed with sugar-dusted paper icicles complete the icy habitat (download the icicle template).

  • Yield: Makes one 8 1/2-inch dome cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2006


  • Unsalted butter, for baking sheets
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more, sifted, for baking sheets
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 1 quart good-quality chocolate ice cream
  • 1 1/2 quarts good-quality vanilla ice cream
  • White-Chocolate Buttercream
  • 4 large marshmallows, halved
  • White, pale-blue, and silver sanding sugar, for decorating
  • Marzipan Penguins
  • Desiccated unsweetened coconut, for decorating


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheets. Line bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment. Dust with cocoa powder, and tap out excess; set aside.

  2. Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add eggs and yolk, 1 1/4 cups warm water, the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth.

  3. Divide batter between prepared sheets. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Let cool on wire racks 30 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

  4. Coat an 8 1/2-inch (9-cup) ovenproof bowl with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Cut one cake layer crosswise into 4-inch-wide strips, and use to line bowl (there should be no gaps). Cut a 9-inch round from remaining cake layer; set aside.

  5. One at a time, mix ice creams in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Spread 1 cup vanilla ice cream over cake in bowl; spread 1 1/2 cups chocolate ice cream on top. Continue layering ice creams, alternating 1 1/2 cups of each flavor, stopping 1/2 inch from rim. Press cake over ice cream. Wrap in plastic; freeze overnight.

  6. Turn out cake onto a 9-inch cake board. Freeze 15 minutes. Spread a thin layer of buttercream (about 1/2 cup) over cake, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer remaining buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a basket-weave tip (such as Ateco #898). With smooth side of tip facing you, and starting at top of cake, pipe 1-inch rectangles all over cake. If cake begins to soften, freeze 15 minutes.

  7. Using marshmallows, make the outline of the door. Using a smaller basket-weave tip (such as Ateco #895), pipe rectangles over marshmallows. Sprinkle sanding sugar all over cake. Freeze until ready to serve, up to 1 day. Attach marzipan penguins to cake with toothpicks, and garnish with coconut "snow."

Cook's Notes

A thin "crumb coat" of frosting provides a smooth surface for the piped-on frosting. Working from top to bottom, and turning cake as you work, pipe "blocks" so they overlap each other slightly.

Reviews Add a comment

  • purselady1
    4 APR, 2009
    where do you find the pengins? This is sooooooooo cute :)
  • MoonQueen
    27 DEC, 2008
    6. With flat bottom of the cake in the palm of your hand, sift confectioners' sugar on sides of cake, tilting the cake to coat sides evenly. Then dust the top of the cake. Place on cake stand or platter. Sprinkle sweetened coconut flakes around the base. Enjoy! P.S. Mold can also be used for ice, ice cream, jello and maybe even Rice Krispie treats.
  • MoonQueen
    27 DEC, 2008
    5. Pour batter into prepared mold and place on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 2 hours. A tester inserted into the center of the cake shold come out clean when the cake is done. Place mold on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. If the cake has risen over the top of the mold, use a serrated knife to trim it flush with the mold. Invert the cake onto wire rack, and unmold. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
  • MoonQueen
    27 DEC, 2008
    3. Reduce speed to low, and add the flour mixture in three portions and the milk in two, alternating between them and starting and ending with the flour mixture. Add in vanilla. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. 4. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold whites into batter.
  • MoonQueen
    27 DEC, 2008
    1. Heat oven to 350. Generously butter mold; use softened butter and a pastry brush to ensure that the interior surface of the mold is well coated. Dust with flour, and tap out the excess. Sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. 2. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed until soft. Gradually add granulated sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  • MoonQueen
    27 DEC, 2008
    Igloo Cake Mold Ingredients: 1 c. unsalted butter plus softened for mold 3-1/4 c flour, sifted plus more for mold 1/4 c. cornstarch 4-1/2 t. baking powder 1 t kosher salt 2 c granulated sugar 1-1/3 c milk 1-1/2 t. vanilla extract 6 large egg whites 1/2 t cream of tartar Confectioners sugar, for decorating cake Sweetened coconut flakes, for presentation
  • natasha
    20 DEC, 2008
    This was a lot of work but very festive. I used Graeter's Peppermint ice cream instead of chocolate, it was wonderful!
  • LinnAnn
    20 NOV, 2008
    how do you get the email to 'send' if there is no send button? I wanted to share this with my daughters. argh! LinnAnn
  • Sunnybreakthrough
    19 JUL, 2008
    Help! Any luck finding the recipe? I bought the mold and no recipe in the box.
  • mamadushenko
    4 FEB, 2008
    I baked the cake in a pyrex bowl so that I wouldn't need to do alot ot trimming. It turnned out great! Excellent recipe and got great reviews from adults and children, just make sure you have enough pengins for everyone.