Brownie Sundae Birthday Cake (Gluten Free!)

Birthday Cake Makers

Seriously, where did August go? I can’t believe that we are halfway through September! For one day this week – (one day!!) – I had all four children in school at the same time. It kind of blew my mind. I was a bit sad to drop the little guy off for his first school experience but he was totally ready. He was begging to go to school like the big kids. I even heard him telling the dogs, “Don’t be sad. I’m going to school, but I’ll come back.” I took that as a message for me, too.

Conveniently, my husband’s birthday almost always falls on Labor Day weekend. An occasion for cake definitely helps ease us all into the start of a new school year. Once in a while, my husband makes a special request – say, an X-Wing Fighter cake. This year, we went simple and delicious – no themes. Instead of making a cake, serving ice cream, and adding toppings, we just made one amazing four layer cake!

My kids called this cake a brownie sundae birthday cake. Why not? We made a chocolate cake for the bottom layer – it was kind of like a brownie – and then topped it with hot fudge, ice cream and whipped cream! So easy. Super delicious.

Cake Layer … The *only* tricky part about making this cake is that you are going to need to use a SPRINGFORM PAN. A springform pan is a pan with a lever on the side so that you can release the top part of the cake pan and leave the cake happily sitting on the bottom round part.  It is the kind of pan you use to make cheesecakes. It also comes in handy for ice cream layer cakes!

Make your favorite 9 inch chocolate cake and cook it in a springform pan. We used the Cherrybrook Kitchen gluten-free chocolate cake mix but added a few twists – like some dark coffee, coconut oil, and buttermilk. Grease your springform pan very well. Cook your cake according to the package directions and let it cool in the pan.  

Amazing Hot Fudge Layer … When I was little, one of the first cooking adventures I had was with my friend Rachel – we made hot fudge. It was pretty darn good. I still have the recipe. If you have a favorite childhood hot fudge recipe, use it. If not, use this one …

6 oz. dark baking chocolate (we used Scharffen Berger 82% Cacao Extra Dark)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cream
1 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
sprinkle of sea salt (at the end)

Combine chocolate, butter, cream, and sugar in a double boiler. Stir until melted. Add the vanilla extract. Stir a little bit more. Add a sprinkle of sea salt. This will make A LOT more hot fudge than you actually need. I don’t see this as a problem… Store the extra in a glass jar in your refrigerator and reheat at 50% power as needed.

After the cake has cooled, cover the cake with a thick layer of hot fudge – the hot fudge should be slightly cooled as well before you put it on the cake. Store the cake in the freezer for about two hours before you add the ice cream layer.

Ice Cream Layer … Let your favorite ice cream soften a bit on the counter. Taking large spoonfuls, spread the softened ice cream in a thick layer over the hot fudge. Put the cake back into the freezer for another hour or two. We used B’s favorite … mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Whipped Cream Layer … Please, please make your own whipped cream. It is so easy…

1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar

Beat the whipping cream on high in your stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Add the sugar. Continue beating until the cream forms soft peaks. Spread over the ice cream layer on your cake and put it back in the freezer for an hour or so until your Brownie Sundae Cake is nicely frozen and ready to cut!

Happy 38th, Daddy!!

Before removing the springform pan sides, use a butter knife to gently separate the cake from the sides. The springform pan should easily release, leaving you with your cake sitting nicely on the bottom piece of the pan, ready to be served.

Before we popped in the candles, the kids sprinkled a few mini chocolate chips on top for decoration… What’s one more topping?? Enjoy!  


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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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