Vegan Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake Recipe

neapolitan

This vegan Neapolitan ice-cream cake recipe will melt you in all the right places.

Ice cream cakes literally takes the cake when it comes to the best part of childhood birthday parties. Sure, a fluffy, light cake has its virtues, but when it comes down to it, nothing can beat the dense, cool flavors of ice cream cake. Unfortunately, regular ice-cream cake is best left as a happy childhood memory, as it can be incredibly heavy and easy to overeat. But alas, the tragedy ends here, as I’ve experimented with a ice-cream cake that lets you have it all. The follow Neapolitan ice cream cake recipe is light, fruity and so good you can have piece after piece on any day, not just on your birthday. Enjoy!

In the average ice cream cake, there are some 400 calories per serving, 15 grams of fat, 60 grams of carbohydrates – not the kind of stats you want to hear when you’re already married to your third slice. Even worse is that few of us actually make our own ice cream cake, so we are often left consuming one that is prepped by an ice cream store that uses artificial flavors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, colorants and emulsifiers. These add-ins come in the form of guar gum, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, soya lecithin, fructose, algin, sodium phosphate, disodium phosphate and caramel color. Nutritional profile aside, an ice cream cake isn’t your best bet for a cool-down summer treat.

But, I wouldn’t bust your mood without offering an alternative! The following recipe is for a Neapolitan ice cream cake that is vegan, sugar-free and full of flavor. It also bears the same texture to regular ice cream cake. In a classic Neapolitan, there is a vanilla, chocolate and strawberry layer, but please feel free to swap the strawberries for any other berry and to play around with other add-ins. For example, you can add dark chocolate chips to the chocolate layer and chopped walnuts to the vanilla layer. There are endless possibilities, so have fun with them!

Neapolitan Ice-Cream Cake

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

Strawberry layer:

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (or any other berry)
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon agave (optional)
  • Dash of sea salt

Vanilla layer:

  • 2 large bananas
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon agave (optional)
  • Dash of sea salt

Chocolate layer:

  • 2 large bananas
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon agave (optional)
  • Dash of sea salt

Directions

As far as prep is concerned, it is important to freeze the bananas before making the cake. You want to use overripe bananas; you know, the ones with the unattractive brown spots? Those are the sweetest of the bunch and are perfectly safe to use.

Peel, chop and place banana pieces in zip-lock bags. For this recipe, put the pieces of two bananas in one bag. Each layer requires two bananas, so this allows you to quickly use one bag per layer instead of guessing how many pieces make up two bananas. Toss the bags into the freezer and let them freeze completely – this step will take about 3 hours. I like to do this the night before so I know I’m ready when the time comes to blend.

When the bananas are frozen, remove them from the freezer and let them sit for about 15-20 minutes before use. Meanwhile, line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. This will prevent the ice-cream from sticking once it freezes.

Now, for the blending part. Let’s start with the strawberry layer. Place the frozen pieces of two frozen bananas in a blender or food processor with the berries. Pulse a few times and then add the almond milk, vanilla, agave and sea salt. Blend until smooth and fluffy. Scoop the strawberry mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan and use a spatula to even it out. Place into the freezer while you prepare the next layer.

Rinse the blender container, dry it and then add all the ingredients for the vanilla layer. Blend until smooth and fluffy. Scoop the mixture on top of the strawberry layer in the loaf pan. Use a spatula to even it out. Place into the freezer while you prepare the chocolate later. Rinse and dry the blender container.

Lastly, add all the ingredients for the chocolate layer and blend until smooth and fluffy. Add to the loaf pan as the final layer. Use a spatula to make the top of the chocolate ice-cream flat and smooth. Cover with Saran wrap so that it clings to the ice cream, leaving no room for air.

Place into the freezer until it freezes – about 3 hours to be sure. Invert the loaf pan and the ice-cream log should simply pop out. If it doesn’t, run some hot water along the edges of the pan (not the ice-cream top) to help release the ice cream’s frozen hold on the pan.

Use a powerful knife with jagged edges to cut slices. Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: wikipedia