3 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 can of pumpkin (15oz)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp pumpkin spice
Ice cream layer:
Vanilla Ice Cream (or whatever you prefer)
Red & Yellow food coloring - about 6 drops yellow, 4-5 drops red
1 package Neufchâtel cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners suger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
Vanilla Almond Bark
Vanilla Almond Bark
Begin by preheating your oven to 300 degrees. I baked my base cake in a spring form pan, it just makes it easier to move the cakes around (and applying the ice cream easier) so I highly recommend using one, but you don't need one. I also baked the top layer in a normal pan and a few mini-muffins because I had extra batter - this recipe is enough batter for THREE 8-inch cake pans technically - just so you know!
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together with an electric mixer (I'm old school and use my hand mixer and it works fine but FYI - the batter gets deep) the sugar and butter until perfectly fluffy. Beat in each egg one at a time. Then stir in vanilla, pumpkin, and olive oil. Next you'll mix in the flour mixture, alternating between it and the almond milk - while doing this throw in the pumpkin spice as well to make sure it's mixed in well. The batter will be very dense, this is the perfect consistency.
Divide batter evenly into greased pans. Bake cakes for 40-45 minutes and muffins for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean, I suggest you begin checking both at about 25 minutes to be sure. Remove pans from oven and put them into your freezer (this helps to cool the cake and keep it super dense and moist)!
For the frosting: Soften both Neufchâtel cheese and butter, mix in confectioners sugar about a cup at a time, add in vanilla. Now color to your liking, I suggest starting at about 6 drops yellow, 4-5 drops red and continuing to add from there.
For the eyes: You can use either oreo cookies OR crackers with peanut butter in the center, I used one of each because I'm kooky like that. Heat almond bark to a liquid consistency (based on package directions). Stick a lollipop stick into the cookies and dip cookie (or cracker sandwich) into almond bark and coat completely. Stick in a chocolate chip and your done, just allow these to cool and you have some kooky eyes for your cake.
Now the fun part: You need to assemble this wonderful monster. I put my cake into the spring loaded pan again (after allowing it to cool outside of it). I ripped the ice cream container apart and used a knife to cut large slice of it and placed it onto the cake, using a spatula I spread the ice cream and stuck the smaller cake on top of the ice cream. This needs to be a QUICK process so have everything prepared and try to get this completed within a 3-5 minute time frame. Allow the ice cream and cake to sit in the freezer for about 3 hours or so... you can leave it over night but the cake will be a little tougher to cut through.
Icing the cake can get a little tricky, that's why this is a messy monster cake after all. I spread the icing on with a spatula and wanted it to be sloppy to match my theme, you can get more neat but what's the fun in that? The ice cream started melting on me so my cake has a wonky factor to it that you may not want to recreate, if you want a more structured little monster - I suggest deep freezing your ice cream cake before icing it.
Now drizzle caramel syrup over the top, followed by drizzling the chocolate, and adding the chopped pecans on top. Stick in your monsters eyes and serve.
Just a reminder, you can remove the eye balls and this delicious creation could do double duty and could be served at a Thanksgiving bash as well!