Ipso Fatto Instant Photo: Stella Turns Seven!

This year, Jim and Colleen's daughter Stella requested a melted ice cream cake for her birthday. If you're not familiar with this cake trend, it's essentially a drip cake that looks like it has an upturned and melting ice cream cone on top of it.

As celebration cakes go, this one was pretty easy to make and assemble, especially because I kept it simple. I baked two layers of white cake and filled and frosted them with strawberry mousseline; the buttercream was pale pink with darker speckles from the strawberry seeds. Then I carefully applied a chocolate ganache drip that was a 50-50 mix of chocolate and cream (4 ounces of dark chocolate melted with half a cup of heavy cream).
The ball of "ice cream" is a mixture of cake crumbs (from the trimmings I saved when I leveled the cakes) and just enough frosting to get them to hold together. I coated the ice cream ball in ganache, used a dowel to attach it to the cake, affixed the cone (using the chocolate as glue), and added a healthy dose of sprinkles.

The look of joy on Stella's face when she saw the cake was matched by my delight in being able to make it for her. Making birthday cakes for children is so gratifying. 

Recipes: "White Velvet Butter Cake," "Mousseline Buttercream (Fruit Mousseline Variation)," and "Strawberry Puree and Sauce" from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Previous Birthday Cakes for Stella: