Ridiculously Good Cake Batter Ice Cream

by Kelly on December 14, 2010

For the most part, the recipes I feature here on The Pink Apron usually have a two things in common, or two guiding principles I like to say.  They’re generally about showcasing local, seasonal ingredients and making things from scratch, or as close to scratch as I possibly can get.

Tomato Plants

This is not one of those recipes.

And because of this fact, I put off making this Ridiculously Good Cake Batter Ice Cream for a long time, months even.  I read along as other bloggers made it.  Watched as even the staunchest opponents of processed foods admitted that using cake mix really did make it taste just like the real thing.  But I continued to drag my feet for awhile, searching for a recipe for Cake Batter Ice Cream that would use only real, whole ingredients.

I didn’t find one.  And finally I caved.  It was the Thanksgiving holiday.  I was at my parents’ house.  I knew my sister would be a huge fan.  Admittedly, that is probably what prompted me to put my food snobbery aside and give it a chance.  Because at my core, for better or worse, I’m a notorious people pleaser.  I love making others happy and food for me is often the gateway in.

My version differs from others that I saw in that I used all half and half as opposed to a mixture of milk and heavy cream.  I also used more cake mix to ensure it would have that recognizable cake batter flavor.
Cake Batter Ice Cream (1 of 3)

Cake Batter Ice Cream2 (1 of 1)I’m glad I finally made it, because it lived up to all the hype.  It was creamy, sweet and vaguely buttery.  I don’t even generally order it at ice cream parlors and yet, I couldn’t stop dragging the bowl out of the freezer for another taste.

Every spoonful reminded me of licking a beater or spatula, while patiently waiting for my cake to bake in the oven.  It was also a good reminder that sometimes, it’s okay to break rules.  Yes, I think there are obvious advantages to local eating and scratch cooking, but the world won’t come to an end over the occasional processed food.  Sure there can be satisfaction in following something purely and absolutely, but it can also potentially cause you to miss out on things.  Like really, really good ice cream.

Cake Batter Ice Cream (3 of 3)

Ridiculously Good Cake Batter Ice Cream
Adapted from Annie’s Eats, Erin Cooks and probably others.
Yields about one quart


-3 1/2 cups half and half
-1 cup white cake mix
-1/2 cup sugar
-Pinch of salt
-3 egg yolks
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Sprinkles, if desired, for a decorative touch


Add the half and half to a medium sauce pan with the cake mix, sugar, and salt. Heat over medium heat until mixture is warmed through.

Meanwhile in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks and vanilla extract. Slowly add the milk mixture in a stream to the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper. Continue heating, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens slightly and reads 170-175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Note that if you’ve made ice cream before, this base will be a little thicker than normal because of the flour in the cake mix.

Pour the mixture through a mesh sieve and refrigerate until well chilled. Once cold, churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet December 14, 2010 at 7:06 am

I’ve been waiting for this since you mentioned it. YUM!


Liz @ Blog is the New Black December 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

AMAZING… so you made this without an ice cream maker?!?!


CaSaundra December 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

I am glad you finally caved and gave this a try. I made a similar version a few summers back when I first got my ice cream maker–it truly is to-die-for! 🙂


Shannon December 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

oh my… i must try this 🙂 so you used white cake mix from a box?


Kelly December 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

Jessica – Yes. It is so good. And guess what I’m planning on making with the rest of the mix, your delicious bark of course.

Liz – I did use an ice cream maker. I suppose the first picture is a little misleading. That is actually right after I took it out of the maker – so it’s soft serve consistency. I’ve heard of people making ice cream without one, but never tried it myself.

CaSaundra – Me too. Soooo yummy.

Shannon – Yep. Just basic white cake mix (though mine was one of the ones that supposedly has pudding in the mix).


Erica December 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm

oh my ridiculously good. I’d rather have this than cake 🙂


Mary December 14, 2010 at 10:57 pm

This sounds so good. It is something that I never would have thought to do but will now :-). I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary


Kelly December 15, 2010 at 12:01 am

Erica – I have to agree with you. I’m generally not much of a cake lover, but this is a kind of cake I can get behind.

Mary – It’s so worth discovering.


Carolyn Jung December 15, 2010 at 12:10 am

This is crazy fun! Move over cookie-dough ice cream. Here comes cake-batter instead. Love it!


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