Desserts

May 27, 2019

Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake

Layers of vanilla, chocolate, and cherry nice cream combine to make this fun, fruity, and healthy plant-based Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake.

Summer is approaching and warm, sunny evenings and family gatherings are calling for ice cream! Good news: this Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake will satisfy all ice cream cravings. Three flavors of healthy, plant-based nice cream give everyone the opportunity to eat their favorite flavor.

A couple months ago, I got a request from a fellow Hoosier Catholic (what we call us Catholics at IU) for a plant-based ice cream cake. I'm a little slow keeping up with requests, but I finally got some inspiration and decided to create this nice cream cake.

I wanted something more fun than just a single flavor of ice cream, but with so many flavors to choose from, I was lost in ice cream flavor overload. Eventually, I decided on a classic: Neapolitan ice cream.

I'm honestly shocked by my choice because I seriously hate Neapolitan ice cream. First, I cannot stand strawberry flavored ice cream. I love strawberries but NOT in ice cream. I apologize to you strawberry ice cream lovers out there, but I respectfully disagree with your taste in ice cream. Second, I'm not a huge chocolate fan. Chocolate is okay, but I'm a vanilla girl all the way.

So why on earth did I decide to make Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake?!

Neapolitan Flavors

I realized I could put a twist on the classic and create a delicious cake. While traditionally Neapolitan ice cream has a layer of strawberry, sometimes people use cherry ice cream for the pink layer instead. Chocolate and cherry go really well together (and I love cherries) so that sounded like a much better combination.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake

Layers

Now, Neapolitan cake may sound a little daunting because there are so many layers, but it's really easier than it looks. You'll just need a bit of patience to make sure each layer freezes enough that the flavors don't mix, but really, you'll be busy making the next layer, it won't even feel like waiting

There are actually 4 layers to this cake. Because this is an ice cream cake, it must have a crust. Or else it's just ice cream! So besides the 3 nice cream layers, the bottom layer is a simple crust. If you'd rather have just the nice cream, simply omit the crust -- one less step for you!

The crust is super neutral to help showcase the flavors. But it adds sweetness and new texture. Well worth the extra step.

How to make Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake

Step 1. Pulse pitted dates, almonds, rolled oats, and date syrup in your food processor until they start to stick together. Then press this mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined pan. Put the pan in the freezer while you make the first ice cream layer.

Of course, we're using bananas for all the nice cream layers. So hopefully you have tons of frozen bananas waiting in your freezer. (Pro tip: ALWAYS have frozen bananas in your freezer.)

The bottom layer is vanilla, then chocolate, and finally cherry on top. You can change the order if you prefer, but personally, I'd rather have the chocolate cherry combination and the vanilla chocolate combination.

Step 2. To make vanilla nice cream, blend frozen bananas with a bit of vanilla extract and some almond milk. Pour this over the crust, then return the pan to the freezer while you make the chocolate layer.

Step 3. For the chocolate nice cream, blend frozen bananas, cocoa powder, and almond milk. After the mixture is smooth, pour in some chocolate chips and pulse to combine. Pour the chocolate layer on top of the vanilla layer and return the pan to the freezer.

Step 4. Make the cherry layer with frozen bananas, frozen cherries, and almond milk. Blend until smooth. Pour this layer on top of the chocolate layer. Press some extra frozen cherries into the top, if desired.

Step 5. Place the pan in the freezer for several hours, until the cake is completely frozen. When you want to eat this Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake, remove the pan from the freezer and pull the cake out of the pan with the parchment paper. Wait a few minutes for the nice cream to soften, then slice and serve immediately. Store leftovers in the freezer. Enjoy!

Recipe Prayer

Jesus, thank you for healthy desserts to eat. Let us remember you as we enjoy this nice cream cake. Amen.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake

Layers of vanilla, chocolate, and cherry nice cream combine to make this fun, fruity, and healthy plant-based Neapolitan Nice Cream Cake.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

8

Prep:

20

min

cook:

0

min

total:

280

min

Ingredients

Almond Oat Crust

  • 3 Pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
  • 1 Teaspoon Date Syrup

Nice Cream

  • 4 Medium Frozen Bananas
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Cherries + extra to decorate
  • 3 Tablespoons Almond Milk, divided

Instructions

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Make the crust. In a food processor, process the crust ingredients: dates, oats, almonds, and date syrup. The mixture should stick together loosely. Press the crust into the pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the next layer.
  3. Make the vanilla nice cream. In the food processor add one and a half of the frozen bananas and the vanilla extract. Process for a minute before adding a tablespoon of almond milk. Process until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Scoop the vanilla nice cream into the loaf pan and smooth out the top. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the next layer. Rinse/wash out your food processor.
  5. Make the chocolate nice cream. In the food processor add one and a half of the frozen bananas and the cocoa powder. Process for a minute before adding a tablespoon of almond milk. Process until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Then add in the chocolate chips. Process again until the chips are slightly broken up.
  6. Scoop the chocolate nice cream into the loaf pan and smooth out the top. Be careful to keep the layers separate. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the next layer. Rinse/wash out your food processor.
  7. Make the cherry nice cream. In the food processor add the remaining frozen bananas and the frozen cherries. Process for a minute before adding a tablespoon of almond milk. Process until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
  8. Scoop the cherry nice cream into the loaf pan and smooth out the top. Be careful to keep the layers separate. Cut the extra frozen cherries in half and press them into the cherry layer.
  9. Place the pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours.
  10. When ready to eat, take the pan out of the freezer. Using the parchment paper to help, remove the cake from the pan. Let the cake thaw for a couple minutes before slicing. Store leftovers in the freezer. Enjoy!

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September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography