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!

  • Yield about 1 quart


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


  • 01

    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.

  • 02

    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.

  • 03

    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.