Happy (belated) National Ice Cream Sandwich Day! I had no idea there even was such a thing, but it turns out it was last Saturday. It also happened to be the day of my middle son’s birthday party and I made this cake to go with the Spongebob theme he requested. Ice cream sandwiches are his favorite dessert (and even breakfast one time when he thought no one was watching), and I thought their “spongey” look would be perfect for Spongebob. It was such a hit at the party that I thought I would share it with you.
How to make an ice cream sandwich cake (with frosting instructions to make it look like Spongebob):
1. Gather your ingredients & equipment.
You will need:
–one 9″ x 13″ pan (with a lid if possible)
–9 Tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
–2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
–30 ice cream sandwiches (this might vary depending on the dimensions of the brand that you buy)
–16 ounces Cool Whip
–yellow & blue food coloring, red & black gel frosting, and mini marshmallows ( if you want to make it look like Spongebob )
–an offset spatula
–a sharp knife & cutting board
2. Make the graham cracker crust.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the 9″x13″ pan with 1 Tablespoon butter. Melt the remaining 8 Tablespoons of butter and combine with the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl. Mix together until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour the crumbs into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Press the crumbs into the pan with your hands to form the crust. Bake for 13 minutes. Let cool completely.
3. Assemble the cake.
Spread a layer of Cool Whip over the cooled crust. Place a layer of ice cream sandwiches on top of the Cool Whip. You will need to cut the sandwiches a bit to get them to fit. Save the scrap pieces to fill in any small spots near the top.
Spread another layer of Cool Whip over the ice cream sandwiches. Add another layer of ice cream sandwiches, cutting them as needed to make them fit.
4. Frost the cake.
If you want a plain ice cream sandwich cake, just frost with Cool Whip and move on to the final step.
If you want to make Spongebob, mix a large dollop of Cool Whip with yellow food coloring to make the frosting for his body. Mix a small dollop of Cool Whip with a few drops of blue food coloring to make the frosting for his eyes.
Leave 2 rows of ice cream sandwiches unfrosted at the bottom for Spongebob’s shorts (or more accurately “Squarepants”). Frost one row of ice cream sandwiches above the shorts with plain white Cool Whip for his shirt. Frost the rest of the cake with the yellow Cool Whip.
Make two large ovals with plain white Cool Whip for Spongebob’s eyes. Use the blue Cool Whip to make two blue circles for his irises. Use black gel frosting to make two small circles for his pupils.
Use black gel frosting to draw eyelashes, a nose, his shirt collar, and the outline of his mouth. Smash two mini marshmallows so that they are flattened into rectangles. Place them in the mouth to be his teeth. Use red gel frosting to make his tongue. Fill in the rest of the mouth with black gel food coloring.
Use red gel frosting to create Spongebob’s cheeks and tie. Cut a few mini marshmallows in half and press them into the yellow Cool Whip in random places to make “sponge holes.”
5. Freeze the cake.
Put the lid on the pan (if you have one) or cover with aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Place the cake in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours. It can be prepared up to 1 week in advance.
Time: 30 minutes hands on, 30 minutes for baking & cooling the crust, 2+ hours in freezer
Notes: There are so many ways this could be adapted! Try using chocolate or cinnamon graham crackers in the crust. You could probably add a layer of chocolate syrup or caramel or fruit topping if you want. I used Cool Whip but I’m pretty sure regular whipped cream would work too. You could stir a flavoring into the whipped cream to change it up. If you aren’t making Spongebob, some chocolate shavings or crushed cookies would make a nice topping. Let me know your favorite adaptations in the comments!