Strawberry and Pistachio Ice-Cream Cake

Photo: James Baigrie

This pastel-hued dessert, inspired by the classic bread-and-berry summer pudding, is appealingly homey. When you carry it to the table, guests may be tempted to dip their fingers into the swirls of whipped cream on top. Cut into slices, and the nuts peeking out of the pistachio ice-cream layer (the other is strawberry) will vie for first-bite status with the berry-syrup soaked genoise.


  • Berry Syrup

  • Yellow Genoise Cake

  • 1 pint strawberry ice cream, softened 1 hour in refrigerator

  • 1 pint pistachio ice cream, softened 1 hour in refrigerator

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Line a 9 1/2-by-5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each side. Line plastic with parchment paper, leaving a 3-inch overhang on each long side. Set aside.

  2. Pour syrup into a large, shallow dish. Cut cake into three strips: two 9 1/2 by 4 1/4 inches, one 9 3/4 by 4 3/4 inches; discard scraps. Soak one smaller strip in syrup 1 minute. Turn; soak 40 seconds more. Using two spatulas, carefully transfer cake to pan; gently press into bottom. Brush with about 3 tablespoons syrup.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the strawberry ice cream on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. With a small offset spatula, spread in a smooth layer to cover cake layer. Repeat soaking process with other small piece of cake; place on top of strawberry ice cream, gently pressing down to level layer. Brush with syrup. Freeze about 30 minutes.

  4. Remove pan from freezer. Repeat process to make a layer of pistachio ice cream and final layer of cake. Cover; place in freezer to harden completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.

  5. Just before serving, whip heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla to soft peaks in a medium bowl. Invert pan onto a serving platter, and pull on plastic wrap to release cake from pan. Peel off plastic and parchment. Mound whipped cream on top, and spread with a rubber spatula. Cut into slices, and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Note: 1. Use a ruler to cut layers that fit pan snugly. 2. Don't oversoak, or cake may fall apart. 3. Aerate softened ice cream before spreading. 4. An offset spatula makes even layers. 5. Whipped cream is a last-minute embellishment.

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