Friday, January 24, 2014

(2 Ingredient!) Ice Cream Bread

Ever had one of those days where you wanted ice cream for breakfast?

Me too, friend.  Me too.

For reasons related to shame and logistics I've never eaten ice cream for breakfast.  It's one of those things on my bucket list -- right after losing those last stubborn 700 pounds.

Personally I buy ice cream about once a year.  It's not that I don't like it... it's that I love it.  The less we have in the house, the better.

If only there were a way to take just a little bit to work for that afternoon slump, or better yet just save a spoonful for yourself and give the rest away, right?  There'd be the reward of getting ice cream as a treat without the guilt of having an entire pint (or -- gasp -- gallon!) in the freezer there to shame you every time you went looking for the frozen okra.

I am here to rescue you from all that.  You can thank me in the comments section.  ;-)

This ice cream bread takes two ingredients: ice cream and flour.  How is that even possible, you ask?  Ice cream is milk and eggs, folks.  (Bonus high-five to anyone who just thought about the Scott Pilgrim movie.)  That's what you'd be putting in your quick breads anyway.  Unless of course milk and eggs aren't your jam.  That's the beauty of this bread.  If you'd rather use a non-dairy soy- or rice-based frozen desserts, go for it.  I personally grew up on Rice Dream so I know where you're coming from.  Or use frozen yogurt.  Whatever.  Really.  This is open to all flavors and denominations.

And it's super easy.  Just for kicks I wanted to see if I could get everything I needed for this recipe into one shot.  Noooo problemo:

One of the best parts of this is that just about anyone could do it.  Kids, people who aren't kitchen-inclined...  if you've got a bread pan, a bowl, a spoon, and the ingredients, you can make this.  The rule is:  1.5 cups of self-rising flour per pint of ice cream, bake at 350(F) for an hour.  That's it!  Let's get started, shall we?

Ice Cream Bread

Step one is to acquire some of your ice cream of choice.  If you're like me this is done through the self-checkout since you are ashamed of being seen buying nothing but two pints of ice cream and a bag of celery on a Friday afternoon.  Again, there are no rules here -- you choose the flavor and the content.  If you want ultra low-fat vanilla frozen greek yogurt, do that.  Me, I kind of also wanted cake (it was that kind of a week):

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the ice cream to soften.  I put mine on the counter as soon as I got home from the store.  It took about an hour to soften up properly.  What you want is soft, not liquid.  When it's ready, scoop it out into your mixing bowl:

Stir or whisk it up a bit so that it's easy to work with.  If you don't, you're going to end up over-working the dough later when you try to put the flour in.

Ahhhh, that's better.  Now, IF you want to add in other mix-ins, this is the time to do it.  Please know that this is entirely optional.  The red velvet wanted to be more red, I thought, so I added in some food coloring (let me stress again, entirely optional):

About 5 drops is what it took to get a nice vibrant pink:

It then sort of begged for about a quarter cup of mini chocolate chips, also entirely optional (it was a rough week,  you guys):

Let me stress this: mix-ins are welcome, but not necessary.  All you need for this recipe is ice cream and the other main ingredient: self-rising flour.  The ratio for this is 0.75 cups of flour to 1 cup of ice cream.

A pint is two cups, meaning that for one pint of ice cream I needed 1.5 cups of self-rising flour.  That's all it takes to make one loaf.  

Tip:  If all you have is regular all purpose flour, add two teaspoons of baking powder and you're good to go.

Mix them up gently until the flour juuuuust disappears.  Don't go nuts trying to mix this to death.  Treat your ice cream with respect.

Alllllmost there...


Grease or spray down your bread pan to keep the bread from sticking, then spoon it into the pan.  I found the red velvet batter to be much stickier than the ones I've made in the past.

Doc's had kind of a rough week, too, so I made a loaf with coffee-flavored ice cream just for him:

You can see the difference between the textures there.  The coffee loaf is closer to what usually happens.

Pop your loaf in the oven at 350(F).  Total bake time is an hour, just be sure to rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway (this helps it bake more evenly).

Annnnd we're done!  The smell is heavenly, in case you couldn't guess.

Sixty minutes is what it took for mine.  Test yours with a toothpick to see if it's baked through.  (Note: if yours has chocolate chips just be sure you've gone through the bread and not through a chip -- melted chocolate on the toothpick can make it look like your batter's still runny when in fact it's done.)

Let it cool on the rack for 20 minutes before trying to cut this.  That'll save you tears and crumbles, not to mention a burnt tongue.

A Few Words on Flavors:  In the past I've had a lot of success with vanilla bean gelato, butter pecan frozen yogurt, and banana-flavored ice cream (similar to this recipe here).  The sky is the limit.  That said, some flavors just don't seem to shine through all that well.  For example, the red velvet one became rather bland but the coffee one worked really well.  If your first loaf is blah try a different flavor or brand.  The one caveat here is that these aren't super sweet and they're going to have a milder flavor than whatever ice cream you pick.  This definitely isn't your grandma's prized zucchini bread recipe.  But it is quick and it is easy, and for me it's just enough of a treat that it hits the spot when I'm having a lazy day.

Ice Cream Bread

  • 1 pint ice cream (or frozen dessert) of your choice
  • 1.5 cups self-rising flour
    • can sub: 1.5 cups self-rising flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Optional mix-ins:
    • 1/4 cup nuts
    • 1/4 cup chocolate or other flavored candy chips (e.g. cinnamon, butterscotch)
    • crushed chocolate bar pieces
    • 1/4 cup fruit

  1. Allow ice cream to soften at room temperature for 30-60 minutes or until it can be easily worked with a spoon.
  2. Stir ice cream with a spoon (or on low using mixer) for 60 seconds to loosen it up.  If using mix-ins, add at this stage.
  3. Add flour to the ice cream, mixing slowly and gently until the flour is no longer visible.  Be careful not to over-mix.
  4. Spread batter into a greased bread pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (no wet batter).  Rotate pan 180 degrees at the 30-minute mark to help bread bake evenly.
  6. Cool 20 minutes on cooling rack before attempting to cut or remove from pan.

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