When I make this Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake, I usually buy the Coconut Bliss brand Vanilla and Chocolate ice cream, then make the strawberry ice cream from scratch. Mostly because with only one ice cream freezer canister, it takes me three days to make all the ice cream flavors, and, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” But also because, good dairy-free strawberry ice cream can be hard to come by.
Below I include the recipe for the strawberry ice cream I used in this cake. If you’re feeling more ambitious though, you can make all the ice cream flavors yourself at home. I have all of these flavors available and more, in my book, My Paleo Patisserie (get it HERE).
Grain & Dairy Free Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake
Special things you will need to get started:
- 1 6-inch round cake pan (2 or 3 inch height works)
- 2 acetate cake collars, you can find them HERE or at most cake stores
- 4-inch Pizzelle Maker (like THIS one) or other waffle cone maker
- Silicone Baking Mat (like THIS one)
- Serving platter or cake stand
Food elements you need for the cake:
- One 6-inch round chocolate cake, cooled and well chilled (recipe below)
- 3 1/2 cups dairy-free vanilla ice cream, little less than 2 pints (I used THIS brand)
- 1 large scoop of chocolate dairy-free Ice cream, plus more for filling the inside of the cone (I used THIS brand)
- 3 1/2 cups dairy-free strawberry ice cream (recipe below)
- 1 recipe ganache (recipe below)
- Waffle cone recipe (recipe below)
- Natural colored sprinkles. THIS brand is my favorite. They are Kosher, non-hydrogenated, non-GMO and more. You can check out the ingredient list in the questions section on Amazon. Not Paleo by any means, but a great “cleaner” option for fun projects like this one. Otherwise sub with chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips or whatever your creativity tells you!
Assembling the cake:
Note: Be sure to soften the ice cream you’ll be using, just before layering it. Not too soft though or it will get too melty and leak into the other layers.
1. Place the silicone mat (baking mat) on a cookie sheet or other hard, freezable surface. Then place the chilled cake on it.
2. Take one of the cake collars and wrap it snuggly around the cake. Trim as needed and secure it with some scotch tape. At this point you can pull the collar upward some on the cake, so you have more room to hold the ice-cream layer in. You need at least 2 inches of collar above the cake.
3. Add the layer of vanilla ice cream. Work quickly, spreading it smooth and level. Then place it back into the freezer for at least 30 minutes. You want the ice cream to be hard enough to place the next layer on top of it.
4. Before adding the next ice cream layer, wrap another cake collar around the cake. Up high enough to hold the next layer. Like before, secure it with some scotch tape. Now add the strawberry layer of ice cream. I usually make this ice cream just before layering it. Be sure that you let the homemade ice cream turn and freeze long enough to be really thick though. Again, work quickly to spread and smooth the layer. Freeze again until solid.
5. At this point you can wrap the cake and leave it on the baking mat, in the freezer until ready to decorate and serve.
6. To decorate: First, make the waffle cone. You only need one cone for this recipe, but it works best if you make a full recipe. Which means good snacking for you! Nah… make at least 3 cones to account for breakage when filling and decorating. You can also stuff all the leftovers with ice cream and make extra ‘ice cream drumsticks” for later.
7. Once the waffle cone is cooled completely, fill it in with some chocolate ice cream. This gives the actual scoop something to stick too. Then make the biggest, roundest scoop of chocolate ice cream that you can (fitting the the cone of course) and place it on top of the cone. Very gently press it downward to secure. Again, work quickly so the ice cream melts as little as possible.
8. Pour the sprinkles into a bowl, then roll the ice cream cone in it, coating all the way up the sides. Leave the bottom bare, as this is what will stick to the mat and create a flat surface at the bottom, for setting on the cake later. Place the ice-cream cone (cone side up, ice cream down) on the same cold baking mat that the cake is on. Press it gently onto the mat so that the bottom of the ice cream is flattened. Leave it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to freeze with this shape. You can make it so that the cone is at a slant as I did, or more straight upward. Your call. Mostly, you just want it to be stable and not top heavy.
9. When ready to decorate, you will need your cooled ganache available, and your cake stand ready. Place the cake on the cake stand. Remove the cake collars, then starting at the edges of the cake, drizzle ganache down the sides in a nice decorative manner. Fill in the top of the cake with more ganache, leaving some space for the ice cream cone. Place the ice cream cone at the center of the cake and fill the ganache in the rest of the way. Top with more sprinkles as looks good to you!
Note: You can of course skip the sprinkles altogether, as seen in the video. Or try using a more “natural” topping like toasted coconut, chopped nuts and such, if that better suits your needs. Just have fun with it.
10. You better have made room in your freezer because this cake will likely need to go BACK into the freezer before serving. At least if you live in a hot climate, like Texas! Although I don’t like to make and add the waffle cone too soon (like a day in advance) because the up and down temps of the freezer tends to weaken the cone from condensation.
All The Recipes…
Chocolate Cake (From My Paleo Patisserie)
¼ cup (45 g) palm shortening or ghee (see sub note)*
½ cup (60 g) coconut flour (I use THIS brand)
¼ cup (25 g) cocoa powder
1 tablespoon arrowroot flour (I use THIS brand)
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup (120 ml) full-fat coconut milk
½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
Note: You can use coconut oil if you like. Though it’s best to use the refined kind that doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor.
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease and line a 6-inch round cake pan with a parchment paper circle cut to fit the pan.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the shortening over gentle heat, then set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa, arrowroot flour, and salt till blended.
3. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a medium-sized bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the yolks in another bowl along with the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, vinegar, and melted shortening. Whisk to combine. Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk till the batter is smooth and no lumps remain.
4. Using a hand mixer or the whisk attachment for your stand mixer, beat the egg whites till they look like softly whipped cream (soft peaks). Stir the baking soda into the batter and then, using a rubber spatula, immediately beat in one-third of the whipped egg whites to lighten the batter. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites till only a few streaks of egg white are left.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till a wooden skewer poked into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake and turn out onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Once cooled, go ahead and wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. This makes it easier later when you spread on the first ice cream layer.
Strawberry Ice Cream
1 can full-fat coconut milk
10-ounces strawberries, trimmed & quartered (about 1/2 pound after trimming)
1/4 cup maple syrup (see note 1)
1/4 cup honey (see note1)
4-ounces Kite Hill Dairy-Free Cream Cheese, get it HERE (see note 2)
a few drops of natural red food coloring if desired (like THIS)
Note 1: You can also use all honey (1/2 cup) or all maple syrup (1/2 cup) if desired, instead of 1/4 cup of each. I prefer the balance of flavors that the two different sweeteners provide.
Note 2: You can use regular cream cheese if desired. Otherwise you can sub out the DF cream cheese with 1/4 cup coconut cream. The cream cheese lends a lovely flavor and gives the ice cream a super smooth texture as well as making the ice cream very “scoopable” even when well frozen.
1. In a high powered blender, blend together the coconut milk, strawberries, sweetener(s), and cream cheese (or coconut cream). Blend the heck out of it so that there are very few strawberry bits visible.
2. Pour the ice cream base into your ice cream machine and continue as per the manufacturer’s instructions for the machine. Normally I would chill the mixture before adding to the machine, but the color is preserved better if you freeze it right away. If you want to help it along, start with already cold strawberries and cold milk.
Note: I usually make the strawberry ice cream just before adding to the cake, as it is the final layer. Just make sure it’s as thick as it can get before transferring from the machine to the cake. Otherwise, you can make the ice cream ahead of time and soften some before assembling the cake.
Waffle Cone (From My Paleo Patisserie)
Note: I used THIS 4 1/2 inch size Pizzelle maker for the waffle cone.
2 tablespoons Palm shortening, ghee or coconut oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 cup maple sugar (or cane sugar), firmly packed * (I use THIS)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (75g) almond flour (I use THIS)
3 tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca flour (I use THIS)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat your pizzelle maker or waffle cone maker.
2. Melt the shortening or ghee in a small sauce pan and set aside.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and fat of choice till smooth. Add the flours and salt then whisk till smooth again. Let the batter rest for a few minutes.
4. Scoop slightly rounded 1-tablespoon scoops of the batter onto the center of the pizzelle mold. You will need more batter if using a larger cone maker. Close the lid and cook for 30 to 60 seconds or until the cones are golden and done.
5. Place the cookie on the countertop and immediately shape it with a cone roller or by hand. Hold it secure at the seam until it is set. It sets very quickly as it cools, so work quickly. If it doesn’t harden as it cools, then you know you need to cook the cookie longer before shaping. And watch out, the cookie is very hot. I like to use little white pastry/candy making gloves.
Makes 10 waffle cones. I recommend making at least 3, just in case one breaks, otherwise since I only need one cone for the cake, I cook the rest, skip the rolling and just make cookies that we all snack on and enjoy!
Chocolate Ganache (From My Paleo Patisserie)
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (coarsely chopped) or dark chocolate chips (I use Eating Evolved)
2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
1. Place the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips into a dry, clean, heat proof bowl.
2. Heat the coconut milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat till it just starts to steam and maybe bubble at the edges a bit.
3. Immediately pour the hot milk over the chocolate and leave it set for 3-5 minutes. Then using a spoon or small whisk, start from the center of the bowl and stir the chocolate with small circular movements, gently incorporating the milk. As the center becomes dark and glossy, begin to make larger circular movements till the entire mixture becomes dark and glossy.
4. Set aside to let come to room temperature. You don’t want the ganache to be warm or it will melt the cake. But if it sits out for, let’s say 2 hours, it will solidify and not be runny enough to drizzle onto the cake. The ganache can be made ahead of time though and gently reheated.