Spumoni

The group text between my mother, sister, and I has been mostly about Spumoni for the past couple of months. We love to talk about recipes together; more specifically, what we are currently making and our memories about recipes from our past. Mom was craving Spumoni—the classic Italian ice cream cake traditionally made of layered chocolate, pistachio, and cherry ice creams—and suddenly it was all we could talk about. This is how a lot of my recipes come to life.


I looked all over Brooklyn for the best Spumoni, and my Mom and Sister did the same in their areas. We all reported back on our findings, and then I suggested we each try making it. Over the course of a few weeks, we played around with recipes, methods, and ingredients, sharing our successes and failures. The recipe I'm sharing today is our collective favorite. The taste, presentation, and assembly method all scored 10/10 at the judges table (we're the judges). Spumoni is a true delight to make and brings a healthy slice of nostalgia to the table, which we love.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:


1 1.5 quart tub chocolate ice cream*

1 1.5 quart tub pistachio ice cream*

1 1.5 quart tub cherry ice cream*

1 9 oz box chocolate wafers**

½ cup chocolate chips

1 10 oz jar whole stemless maraschino cherries


*Swap in any ice cream flavors you like. Spumoni has a history of being made with vanilla (instead of chocolate) and strawberry (instead of cherry) ice creams as well

**Swap in any cookie you like. Vanilla wafers or crushed amaretti cookies are great Spumoni options, too!


WHAT YOU'LL DO:


This cake is an absolute joy to make, and if there are kids in the vicinity, they'll especially love participating. The first thing you want to do is pick out your vessel. I prefer a round spring form pan, as it allows the easiest removal process. You can, however, make it in a traditional loaf pan (I would grease the pan then line the long sides with parchment, using the grease to stick the parchment cleanly to the pan) or really any pan you like. You don't even have to remove the cake from the pan, you can just slice and serve it from the pan if that's easier!


Today I am using an 8" round spring form pan. However, I ended up with some leftover ice cream, so a 9" would've worked as well.


The key to this cake is all about moving fast as you make it, because we are layering ice cream here! It will start to melt if you take too long, which can result in messier, undefined layers. However, the Grossy rule is play > perfection, so this cake should look and feel like it was homemade with love.


I recommend prepping everything you need and laying it out in front of you. Get your wafers, your cherries (stem them if you have to), and your chocolate chips ready to grab as needed. I also like to have a few paper towels on hand, because things are gonna get messy! Once you are all set up, take your ice cream out of the freezer so it starts to soften a bit.


Spumoni—assemble! Take your wafer cookies and arrange them around the bottom of the pan, overlapping them as as needed but knowing a few gaps here and there is okay! Yes, you can crush them and do a layer of crumbs instead; this is up to you and both work well.


Place scoops of chocolate ice cream on top of the wafers, covering the bottom of pan almost entirely. Use your hands to press the ice cream into the wafers (you will hear some break) until you have a nice even layer of chocolate ice cream. Wash your hands and your ice cream scoop, then toss your chocolate chips on top of your chocolate ice cream evenly inside of the pan. If your ice cream is very soft, place pan in freezer for 15 minutes before proceeding.


Next up, place scoops of pistachio cream on top of the chips. Use your hands to gently press the pistachio ice cream into the chips, making an even layer. Toss your cherries on top of the pistachio, ensuring they are somewhat evenly placed. If your ice cream is very soft, place pan in freezer for 15 minutes before proceeding.


The final layer of ice cream is cherry, and you want to repeat the same process of adding scoops on top of the cherries then using your hands to make an even layer of ice cream. To finish off your Spumoni, top it with a layer of wafers, making sure to gently press them into the cherry ice cream so they "adhere."


Place the Spumoni in the freezer for a minimum of two hours, if not overnight. Once you are ready to serve the Spumoni, remove it from the freezer. Run a knife around the edges of your spring form pan, release the form and remove. Slice and serve as is or add some whipped cream and sprinkles to make it a full celebration (Mom was really into this one bit of extra)!


If you used parchment in a loaf pan, use the parchment to pull the Spumoni out of the pan and remove parchment from the sides. Slice and serve.


Freeze any leftover cake for later!


Make it step-by-step with me below!

This cake is an absolute joy to make, and if there are kids in the vicinity, they'll especially love participating.


The first thing you want to do is pick out your vessel. I prefer a round spring form pan, as it allows the easiest removal process. You can, however, make it in a traditional loaf pan (I would grease the pan then line the long sides with parchment, using the grease to stick the parchment cleanly to the pan) or really any pan you like. You don't even have to remove the cake from the pan, you can just slice and serve it from the pan if that's easier!


Today I am using an 8" round spring form pan. However, I ended up with some leftover ice cream, so a 9" would've worked as well.

1. Spumoni—assemble! Take your wafer cookies and arrange them around the bottom of the pan, overlapping them as as needed but knowing a few gaps here and there is okay! Yes, you can crush them and do a layer of crumbs instead; this is up to you and both work well.

2. Place scoops of chocolate ice cream on top of the wafers, covering the bottom of pan almost entirely.

3. Use your hands to press the ice cream into the wafers (you will hear some break) until you have a nice even layer of chocolate ice cream. Wash your hands and your ice cream scoop.

4. Toss your chocolate chips on top of your chocolate ice cream evenly around the pan. If your ice cream is very soft, place pan in freezer for 15 minutes before proceeding.

5. Next up, place scoops of pistachio ice cream on top of the chips.

6. Use your hands to gently press the pistachio ice cream into the chips, making an even layer.

7. Toss your cherries on top of the pistachio layer, ensuring they are somewhat evenly placed. If your ice cream is very soft, place pan in freezer for 15 minutes before proceeding.

8. The final layer of ice cream is cherry, and you want to repeat the same process of adding scoops on top of the cherries then using your hands to make an even layer of ice cream.

9. Arrange a top layer of wafers to finish off the cake. You want to make sure the wafers are gently pressed into the ice cream so they adhere to it.


Place the Spumoni in the freezer for minimum two hours, if not overnight.

10. Once you are ready to serve the spumoni, remove it from the freezer. Run a knife around the edges of your spring form pan, release the form and remove.

11. Slice and serve. Whipped cream and sprinkled make cute and fun additions!


If you used parchment in a loaf pan, use the parchment to pull the Spumoni out of the pan and remove parchment from the sides. Slice and serve.


Freeze leftover cake for later!

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