An ice cream cake is ideal for celebrating birthdays, having lunch or dinner with friends, or even indulging in a delicious and refreshing break during the hot summer days. With this guide, you will discover the fascinating history of these cold desserts and learn how to make beautiful, tasty, and simple ice cream cakes without having to cook!
Many true and untrue stories have arisen around the history of gelato that narrates the birth of this magical dessert. Zuccotto can be considered the first semi-cold cake to appear on Italian dinner tables. Specifically, this ice-cream cake is of Florentine origins; it was invented at the Medici court in the 1500s by the well-known architect (but also chemist, engineer, and talented handyman) Bernardo Buontalenti, to whom many also attribute the invention of the renowned gelato aritsananle. In honour of the queen, the Zuccotto was named Elmo di Caterina, it derived from the fact that the shape of the cake resembled the helmets used by the infantry of the time.
Traditionally, the zuccotto was a dome-shaped soft sponge cake that was completely wet with an intense scarlet liqueur and stuffed with delicious ricotta and candied fruit cream. Over time, also to meet modern tastes, the recipe changed quite a lot: some wet the sponge cake with other types of liqueurs, and most fill the zuccotto with gelato.
Zuccotto is the pride of Tuscan gastronomy; its colours, aromas, and flavour have nothing to envy compared to a modern dessert. Despite its simplicity, zuccotto is a dessert that manages to conquer everyone; therefore, it would be logical to start with this ice cream cake recipe. Zuccotto ice cream cake is a delicious, fresh, and no-bake dessert, a quick and new variant of the great Florentine classic in the shape of a dome. In this recipe, we will maintain the form with a hemispherical bowl lined with sponge cake and then filled with delicious gelato! This unique goodness is kept in the freezer for a few hours, placed onto a serving dish and then served cold with a sprinkle of cocoa.
Ingredients for the soft sponge cake
Ingredients for the filling of the sponge cake
And there you have it, a beautiful, tasty, and simple ice-cream cake recipe. The beauty of this gelato-based dessert is not only in its simplicity but also in the creativity that this ice-cream cake allows you to develop. As mentioned above, you can choose any type and flavour of gelato, so explore our vast and incredible range and pick the ones that suit you best!
If you plan a birthday party or a dinner with friends, a delicious, layered ice cream cake surpasses everyone’s expectations. Here are some of our expert recommendations:
If you are looking for a classic pairing, we recommend our delicate Madagascan Vanilla Gelato and premium Ecuadorian Chocolate Gelato. The perfect blend for when you are unsure of everyone’s specific preferences.
Another delicious ice cream cake we recommend that is just as tasty as our chocolate ice cream cake recipe is one based on fruits instead. The best combination would be Fiordilatte and any fruit ice cream such as Raspberry or Mango. You can add pieces of actual fruit to this ice cream cake for decoration and make it look like something out of a fairy tale.
Lastly, if you or your friends are pistachio lovers, this would be the best ice cream birthday cake: an ethereal bled of our traditional Pistacchio Siciliano Gelato and Stracciatella di Bergamo Gelato. This will surely be the best gift anyone could ask for on their birthday.