Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

A Frugal Solution for the Heartbreak of Melted Ice Cream

Some people are born frugal. They come into the world with a bent to use it up, wear it out and do without. Not me. I arrived with an overly developed spendthrift gene. Frugality is a learned behavior and way of life I have chosen. And I learn something new nearly every day.

Take melted ice cream as an example. For one reason or another (too many unscheduled stops on the way home from the supermarket perhaps?), a carton melts into a thick, gloppy mess.

Do you A) dump it down the sink because surely it’s not safe or prudent to refreeze ice cream, B) pour it into a tall glass, consider it a milkshake hoping no one is watching or C) jump at the chance to bake a cake?

The answer is C, to bake a cake — a melted ice cream cake! Whether you melt the ice cream on purpose or by mistake, this is a great way to use it up. Your liquid, fat and flavorings are in the ice cream. And if that ice cream just happens to have big chunks of chocolate, pralines, cookie dough, cherries or nuts, all the better! Your cake will be filled with all of that yummy goodness, just as it was as ice cream.


Serves 10-12

1 package (15.25 ounces) plain white cake mix

2 cups melted ice cream, your choice of flavor

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F and move the rack to the middle. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan or 9″ x 11″ baking dish (whatever you have in which to bake a cake) with cooking spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, melted ice cream and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute to mix. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes longer, scraping the sides as necessary until the batter is thick and well-blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 38 to 42 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a small plate or rack, then again onto a second rack so that the cake is right side up to complete cooling, 30 minutes more.

Finish with a light dusting of powdered sugar or your favorite icing.


No. 1: You can melt the ice cream in the microwave on “defrost.” Check and stir it every few minutes until it becomes liquid.

No. 2: A pint of ice cream may not produce 2 cups once melted because some manufacturers pump air into the ice cream during the manufacturing process. Add milk (cream, water) to get it to the 2 cups mark.

No. 3: In a pinch, you can leave out the eggs. I did once by accident, and my German chocolate mix with Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream was awesome.

You can use any variety of cake mix with any combination of ice cream(s) you might have on hand. I’ve used cake mixes with pudding, double pudding, no pudding, extra moist, ultra moist, all with good results. And I’ve mixed together several flavors and brands of ice cream just to use up those last bits that take refuge in the back of the freezer.

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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