Cake Batter Ice Cream

Making treats for others is one of my very favorite things to do.  (That’s probably pretty obvious from reading my blog.)  It’s mutually beneficial – the recipients get to eat something delicious and I get to play around in the kitchen trying new things.  My friend Sarah celebrated a birthday recently and when I asked her what she would like, it didn’t take long for her to decide on cake batter ice cream.  This is an extremely popular flavor at several chain ice cream joints, but I never thought the commercial version lived up to all the hype.  Disappointing, because cake batter is pretty darn delicious and the idea of cake batter ice cream is genius.  I was excited because a homemade version had the potential to be much better than the original.  No surprise – it was!  I definitely enjoyed the homemade variety far more than the original – so much in fact that I found myself offering Ben various other cookies and things for dessert so I could keep the rest of this batch to myself.  It also seemed to meet the birthday girl’s approval.

I normally avoid using boxed cake mixes but pretty much every recipe I found for cake batter ice cream called for a box mix, so I just gave in.  Plus, boxed yellow cake batter is probably what most people are used to eating so the flavor is what one would expect.  And in case someone is planning to ask me what to do with the left over yellow cake mix, I have no real suggestions other than make more of this ice cream!

Cake Batter Ice Cream
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2 cups heavy cream, divided
½ cup yellow cake mix
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups whole milk

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the heavy cream with the yellow cake mix, sugar, and salt.  Heat over medium heat until warmed through.  Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.  Combine the remaining cream, vanilla, and whole milk in a large mixing bowl with a fine mesh sieve set over the top.

When the mixture in the saucepan is warm, slowly pour a small amount into the bowl with the egg yolks to temper them, whisking constantly.  Continue pouring the cream mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously until completely combined.  Return the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat.  Continue heating, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens slightly and reads 170-175˚F on an instant-read thermometer.

Immediately pour the custard mixture through the mesh sieve into the bowl with the remaining cream and milk and mix to blend.  Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  Once the mixture is chilled through, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Source: adapted from The Kitchy Kitchen

63 Responses

  1. LOVE the pic! Love the candle! Too Cute! Just got an ice cream attachment & The Perfect Scoop (all b/c of you!) … and a nice waffle maker… for Mom’s Day. Looking forward to trying these for the first time this summer! I try to be super healthy with our food at home — but thought these would be a fun experience with my kids and also with their friends! Thanks!

  2. Ooh. Can’t wait to try this. I was wondering how you would get around the raw eggs but I forgot you can cook this. My husband thinks he came up with this icecream years ago because he used to add raw cake batter to vanilla ice cream. Glad your way we won’t get sick!

  3. oh my goodness!!! i have to try this STAT! yum!

  4. We make this too (a little differently) and LOVE it! 🙂 Works wonderfully in an ice cream cake.

  5. This recipe reminds me I have to get my ice cream maker out and start to make some. I am going to plan to get some heavy cream this weekend and experiment once again with flavors. I am sure my kids will eating anything that comes out of it! Great recipe once again 🙂

  6. YUM! What a great idea. I’m going to have to buy some yellow cake mix and give this a try. SIL will LOVE it! 🙂

  7. The photo is great!! My family will devour this. Can’t wait to make it! Its a lot simpler than I though it would be, which is awesome 🙂

  8. MMM. I made honey graham cracker ice cream earlier this week, and it looks like cake batter is next on the list!

  9. I recently purchased a Cuisinart ice cream maker and haven’t used it yet. I think this is gonna be the first batch I try out!! Thanks for an awesome recipe!!

  10. Love the photo and I can’t wait to try this recipe!! Thanks!!

  11. Oh, you´ve really done it now. How delicious! I´’ve never considered making this flavor at home, but you can bet it will be the next one we make. Currently, my favorite, chocolate pb is keeping me company most evenings.

  12. Ohhhh my kids and hubby are going to love this one! Time to break out the Cuisinart!

  13. I’ve never heard of cake batter ic cream before and I can’t quite imagine the texture or flavour, but it does look good 🙂

  14. I really need to just buckle up and get an ice cream machine. This is irresistible, Annie! Gorgeous photo – I can almost taste the ice cream!

  15. ooh! this is wonderful. my son is turning 4 in a few weeks and I think I will make a few batches of this to go with his cake.

  16. Thanks, Annie! I’m so excited to see this recipe. My youngest has repeatedly asked me to make her cake batter ice cream and I have but it just wasn’t quite right. The recipe that I found and used was a philadelphia style ice cream which meant leaving the cake mix “raw” in the ice cream base. Now that I’ve read the recipe (which I’ve already printed out!) I feel like a dummy for not thinking of making a custard base ice cream sooner. I’m gonna be her hero this weekend! Thanks & Happy Friday!

    • Ingrid, I totally agree, I think the custard base is important here. I also had found several versions but they all just mixed in the cake mix “raw”. I prefer it cooked into the custard. It had a nice texture!

  17. Ooh, Annie, you are evil for posting this! 🙂 I’m on a healthy-eating plan for the next month, so it will be a little while before I get to make this. (I’m thinking the boyfriend’s birthday is a good occasion.) I still read your blog religiously, though. It’s wonderful, and the photographs are gorgeous.

    I always wonder how you possibly manage to juggle all the cooking and blogging with being a doctor, mom, and wife? You astound me!

  18. This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try this recipe out! It’ll be fun to share this with friends 🙂 I love reading your blog by the way–I’ve been keeping up with it for 2.5 years now… I read it every morning while checking email. 🙂 It’s encouraging to see you made it through medical school alive and have time to bake for other people… I’m an undergrad right now and I’m taking the MCAT in the fall. Hopefully it will go well! I’m trying to start a service-oriented baking club too; we’ll definitely be using some of your cupcake recipes!

  19. Annie, I love all of your recipes and your pics are beautiful. Thanks so much for making my day brighter.

  20. Hi Annie – What brand ice cream maker do you use? America’s Test Kitchen recommends the Cuisinart Automatic Ice Cream Maker. Thanks!

    • Hi Carrie,
      I have the KitchenAid ice cream attachment and I absolutely love it. I’ve heard good things about the Cuisinart too but personally I think if you have a KA mixer, the attachment is the way to go because it just lives in the freezer therefore taking up less other space and being one more appliance to keep around.

  21. Um, YUM! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    P.S. I made your entire Cinco de Mayo feast for a Cinco de Mayo / Mother’s Day fiesta my hubby and I hosted … Every dish was a hit — Thank you!

  22. The heat has arrived in TX. It is time to break out our ice cream machine. This recipe is the perfect motivation!

  23. They used to serve cake batter ice cream once or twice a semester at my dorm at Purdue freshman year. It was such a hit that we would get bowls of soft-serve vanilla to go and stir in cake mix to make our own whenever the craving hit!

  24. Oh, I am super excited to try out this recipe. I just ordered the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment today for my husband. This sounds so tasty!

  25. Hey Annie! I love your blog and when I saw this I just had to comment. My family owns several Marble Slab Creamery stores and I will share a little secret. We use our milk mixture and white cake mix oh and only Betty Crocker! That’s it! 🙂

  26. This sounds luscious. I love it! I need to get a new ice cream maker, I burned my out. Adding it to the roundup on restlesschipotle today.

  27. oh my. this recipe just screams, “I’m 5 years old again” — although I guess most of your treats do.

    My pesky lactose intolerance will keep me far away from this one unfortunately. 😦

  28. This sounds so good! I was just wondering if you use the 1/2 cup cake mix all prepared, or just in powder form. Thanks.

  29. This was a great excuse to pull out my icecream maker and dust it off after years of sitting un-used in the cabinet. We just made this recipe today and from the tiny lick I snuck when my kids weren’t looking I can tell it is going to be a hit! Thank You!

  30. I’ve always wondered how to make cake batter ice cream besides using the flavor extract–brilliant 🙂

  31. This has been on my list to try….but your PICTURES!!! It can’t get any cuter than those pictures…brilliant!

  32. it seems delicious!
    Your blog is very nice, congrats!

  33. Love the photo and I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you.

  34. Cake batter ice cream without a trip to Cold Stone? I may have finally found heaven. Can’t wait to give this a try.

  35. OMG…I made this ice cream this weekend and it turned out fabulous! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  36. What a cute picture! I love going to our local coffee shop and getting the cake batter ice cream! I recently borrowed my Mom’s ice cream maker, so it looks like I’m going to have to give this one a try!

  37. Annie,

    I made this yesterday and had some friends taste it and they swear they can’t taste the cake batter, could I have overcooked the custard to the point of removing the flavor? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Ashley,
      Bummer! I doubt overcooking the custard would have affected the potency of the cake batter flavor (plus, you would have ended up with scrambled eggs if you had truly overcooked it). I would guess it has more to do with a variation between brands of cake mix and their flavors. You could maybe try a different brand, or add more mix of the one you did try. I don’t remember what brand I used, I just grabbed a random box.

  38. wow this is actually the first time i’m seeing a cake batter ice cream!!

  39. I just finished churning mine, and though it is still a bit soft, it tastes yummy but not as cake batter-y as I´ would like. I am nearly certain it is because I used the only yellow boxed mix available at the market, which just so happened to be a Pillsbury from the Dominican Republic. I´ will have to scan other stores for a US-import. Thanks for sharing, as always, Annie.

  40. I made this tonight and we loved it! I added a little extra milk, cream and vanilla because I have 3 teenage boys and I knew I would need a lot! Thanks so much!

  41. Thanks for this recipe! Can’t wait to try it and I love you site!

  42. ummm. I NEED TO MAKE THIS.

  43. I made a test run of this tonight. it is absolutely wonderful. i left half the batch as is, and the other half, folded in colored buttercream. the buttercream version was the hit with the kids. they enjoyed the extra pop of color. it was a bit too sweet for me, but it will be a giant hit at the birthday party i’ll be making [several] batches for.

    thanks for the great recipe, Annie!

  44. Hi Annie,

    My friend has been asking me to make cake batter ice cream because it’s her favorite for a long time. I just made a batch of it today, and it is so, so good. Cookie dough used to be my favorite, but now I’m not so sure!


  45. This looks really good. Never heard of cake batter ice cream, seems like I’ve been missing out.

  46. I made this earlier this week and it was to die for! thanks for the recipe, this will be a staple in my household!

  47. This stuff is great! My kids are loving it…I stirred in some canned buttercream frosting and some sprinkles before doing the hard freeze and it is as pretty as it is sweet! My kids thank you! I’ll be making this for birthday parties for sure!

  48. OMG..had this yesterday and it is SOOO good. Can’t wait to try another recipe.

  49. This looks delicious. I haven’t the room for an ice cream maker either in my kitchen nor my freezer (which is so crammed full of food it’s like a booby trap). I’m going to try it with softened store bought vanilla ice cream and the cake mix. Beautiful picture, by the way. So scrumptious!

  50. Do you have any suggestions for freezing the ice cream? I recently purchased an ice cream maker and it’s super delicious right out of the churner tasting like soft ice cream (I got the cuisinart ice). But when I freeze it, it is rock hard and then takes over an hour to thaw and is never the proper consistency. I am getting pretty frustrated figuring out a solution. Basically, I can’t seem to get it to look like real ice cream, as in your picture.

    Any tips would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks, Annie!

    • Claudia,
      David Lebovitz has a great post about this on his blog. The short answer is, the more fat your ice cream has and if you use alcohol, it will scoop better. This is why I only use mostly heavy cream and whole milk or half and half for my ice cream. A custard base helps too.

  51. I made this today, and it was very good. My brother (cake batter ice cream fanatic) said it tasted like a cross between cake batter ice cream and sweet cream ice cream. I thought this was a very high compliment! This was my first try with my ice cream maker which came a couple days ago. At first I had the worst time duct taping the driver to my thirty year old mixer. I was so happy when it actually worked! Thanks for the great recipe!

  52. I just won a cuisinart ice cream maker on a blog giveaway, so I will be trying out this recipe(and others)! You have a GREAT blog here, and I’m now a subscriber! Beautiful photography too!

  53. I just made this tonight and although it tasted great, my friend and I couldn’t taste the cake batter flavor either. I used Betty Crocker yellow cake mix. I’ll try it again next time using 1 cup of the cake mix.

  54. How much ice cream does this make. I have a 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker and want to make sure the recipe isn’t too big for my little ice cream maker 🙂 But I’m SUPER excited to try this because cake batter ice cream is my favorite!

  55. Annie,
    can you tell me how many people this recipe will serve please?

    Thank you!

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