Ice Cream cake is just not OK and here’s why.
OK wait — before I jump right in let me give you some background, dear reader.
I love dessert. I know, this isn’t shocking nor unique considering we as human beings are biologically designed to love anything creamy, sugary, flakey, doughy and/or buttery. But I like to consider myself a dessert connoisseur … specifically when it comes to cake.
When I was 4 years old, my family and I took a vacation to Mexico. At the resort, there was a dinner buffet to which we would go every night. It was at that buffet that my cake obsession began.
The first night we were there, my mother asked me what I wanted for dinner. I replied quickly and quietly, “Cake.”
“You can’t have cake for dinner sweetheart, how about some chicken?” She tried.
“Cake,” I said, louder this time.
“What about some steak, Ethan?” She asked frantically, “Maybe you can try some steak?”
“CAAKKEE,” I was screaming now.
Needless to say, that vacation I ate cake for dinner every night.
Since that age, I ended up developing a taste for foods other than cake. But my love for cake remains unwavering. And I am an adventurous cake eater, loving any flavor from chocolate to lemon, any texture from light and fluffy to heavy and dense, any icing from classic to ganache, or from buttercream to a subtle glaze. I simply do not discriminate against any cake.
Except ice cream cake. Why? Because, no matter which way you slice it (pun intended), it simply isn’t cake.
I will never forget a few years after that fateful Mexican vacation: the frightful birthday party, where the 17-year-old Chuck-E-Cheese employee brought out what would forever be my biggest trigger.
I watched the “cake” come to rest on the table — large and beautiful, with edible flowers and swirls of frosting. For two hours I had performed my rightful 7-year-old duties: playing chaotic, frenzied games with the boys from my second grade class, running around and screaming for no reason, watching some blotchy child fall down and then cry from embarrassment; I sang happy birthday and finally, it was cake time.
The mom cuts slices of “cake” and passes them around to the sweaty second graders, including me. I take a bite. Yup, you guessed it, ice cream cake. Disappointment ensues. 0/10 would recommend.
The first reason that I came to realize I despise ice cream cake, is that it is pretending to be something it’s not. You see, there is nothing inherently wrong with ice cream. In fact, I quite like ice cream. But I don’t like ice cream disguising itself as cake just to make its way into my mouth.
Psssst. You can get there anyway, ice cream. I’m more inclined to eat you as you are! But not when I want cake, dear ice cream. You will never be flour, sugar, butter and eggs, and the sooner you realize that, the better your mental health will be.
The second reason that ice cream cake pisses me off is that it is, in reality, nothing more than ice cream and frosting. If I gave you a bowl of ice cream and then asked you “do you want a scoop of frosting on that?” you’d probably look at me funny and question my taste in toppings.
There is a reason that frosting covers real cake. Cake is less sweet than frosting so the frosting enhances the flavor of the cake. Frosting and ice cream are equally sweet, making ice cream cake a blob of sugary sadness that is borderline inedible.
Sometimes in life, we like things (or dislike things) because society tells us to, never taking that extra moment of mindfulness to check in with our preference.
At the end of the day, I don’t need to convince you to dislike ice cream cake. I don’t care if you like it or not. But next time you eat it, I invite you to question if you really like it. I implore you to ask yourself, “Am I really enjoying this? Or do I just think I’m enjoying this because I like ice cream and I like cake, and this is aesthetically pleasing?”
And like anything in life, there are shades of grey. Nothing is black and white. Those crunchy, chocolatey things that you find in the center of ice cream cake? Yeah, those can stick around.