Berries-and-Cherries Ice Cream Cake


  • 6 ounces vodka

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 5 ounces fresh sweet cherries (1 cup), pitted and halved, plus more for serving (optional)

  • 9 ounces fresh berries (1 1/2 cups), such as raspberries and blackberries, plus more for serving (optional)

  • 9 ounces chocolate wafers, such as Nabisco Famous

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 pint cherry or vanilla ice cream

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate


  1. Combine vodka and 1/3 cup sugar; gently stir in cherries and berries. Let stand 2 hours, stirring occasionally; or refrigerate, covered, up to 12 hours. Strain (reserving syrup for another use).

  2. Pulse wafers in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt; pulse until mixture has the texture of wet sand. Press half of mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan; freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

  3. Temper cherry ice cream in the refrigerator until it has the texture of soft-serve, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, beat cream with remaining 1/3 cup sugar to soft peaks. Stir two thirds of whipped cream (refrigerate the remainder) into cherry ice cream just to combine. Pour ice cream mixture over crust; smooth top and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

  4. Top with remaining crumb mixture; press to lightly pack. Freeze 20 minutes. Meanwhile, temper vanilla ice cream in the refrigerator about 20 minutes, then stir into remaining whipped cream just to combine. Fold in half of cherry-berry mixture. Spread over crumb mixture, smooth top, and sprinkle with remaining berry-cherry mixture. Cover and freeze at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

  5. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of boiling water. Let cool until no longer hot but still pour-able, about 10 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and sides of pan to loosen; remove sides. Run knife between bottom of cake and pan; transfer to a cake plate. Drizzle chocolate evenly over cake; top with whole cherries and berries.

  6. Return to freezer until chocolate hardens, 2 to 3 minutes; or freeze, loosely covered, up to 8 hours. Slice into wedges using a sharp knife dipped in hot water (if cake is too firm to slice, let temper in the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes first).

Notes: Macerating the fruits in a vodka-sugar mixture prevents them from becoming hard and icy once frozen.

| Adapted from Martha Stewart