NEW YORK CITY — Many people have fond memories of ice cream cakes from the classic chain Carvel, and now artisanal ice cream shops are creating cakes “with high-quality ingredients that are really customized and go the extra mile," a spokeswoman for Ample Hills Creamery in Prospect Heights said.
To offset the hot weather, independent ice cream shops have a host of unique ice cream cakes for all kinds of summer parties.
"There is something almost nostalgic about ice cream cakes," said Lauren Kaelin, Ample Hills' director of marketing. "It wasn't a birthday party until an ice cream cake came out," she recalled.
DNAinfo New York checked out where to get some of the best ice cream cakes in the city:
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, in business for almost three decades, layers unique flavors into its ice cream cakes, like durian, black sesame and taro. It also has traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla.
Size and price: The smallest cake size slices into five servings and costs $18.99. The largest cake feeds 50 people and costs $94.99.
Ordering: Ice cream cakes must be ordered 24 hours ahead of pickup. The store also has premade cakes ready to go.
Customizing: Three flavors can be chosen for each cake. A message written on the cakes is complimentary.
If you can't choose between a regular cake and one constructed completely with ice cream, Tasty Morsels Bakery offers a chance at both. The bakery layers slabs of cake and ice cream before covering it in frosting, according to Tasty Morsels' owner Crystal Horton.
Size and price: A round six-inch cake starts at $65. The 10-inch deluxe cake with five layers of cake and ice cream starts at $125.
Ordering: Ice cream cakes from Tasty Morsels must be ordered at least a week in advance. Ordering is done online and cakes can be delivered or picked up.
Customizing: The bakery has six different ice cream cakes, from a red velvet flavor with cream cheese frosting and vanilla ice cream, to a lavender velvet flavor that has honey cream cheese buttercream and lavender velvet cake with vanilla ice cream.
This old-time ice cream parlor, opened in the 1930s, goes the extra mile with its ice cream cakes, using a projector screen to trace on customized designs when requested, according to Jaclyn Mondido, an Eggers staff member.
Sizes and Prices: The smallest ice cream cake provides about eight servings and costs $17.95. The extra-large size feeds 30 people for $44.95.
Ordering: Eggers needs five days' notice to make an ice cream cake
Customizing: Customers can choose from 20 different flavors. Besides custom designs, Eggers has standard messages and designs to top ice cream cakes for every occasion, from graduations to baby showers.
The ever-popular gelato shop has 200 flavors of ice cream and gelato that can be turned into an ice cream cake. For those with allergies, a dairy-free cake is available, according to Lisa Tobin, an il Laboratorio staff member.
Sizes and prices: The smallest cake serves about 10 people and costs $39. The largest cake is $89 and serves as many as 25 people.
Ordering: Cakes need to be ordered three days in advance.
Customizing: As many as three flavors can be chosen and a message can be written on the cake for no extra charge.
Sundaes and Cones can turn a simple ice cream cake into an elaborate piece of edible art at the hand of cake maker Candy Ho, according to store manager Kevin Zhu.
Sizes and prices: The smallest size, a 6-inch cake, costs $35. The largest cake services 40 and costs $130.
Ordering: Ice cream cakes must be ordered seven days in advance. The store also stocks premade cakes in basic flavors.
Customizing: For an additional cost, customers who have a specific design in mind can work with Ho to make their envisioned ice cream cake a reality.
Ice cream made from the best ingredients is poured over a base of fudge brownie or butter cake to create an Ample Hills ice cream cake, according to Kaelin.
Sizes and Prices: A 6-inch cake costs $35 and a 9-inch cake costs $60. Ample Hills also does large sheet cakes for weddings.
Ordering: Ample Hills needs 48 hours notice to made an ice cream cake.
Customizing: Customers can choose ice cream flavors, and can opt to have caramel and chocolate fudge topping between layers. Ice cream cakes can be topped with whipped cream and cracked cookies.
The quality of the ingredients in Blue Marble ice cream makes the store's cakes stand out, according to cake maker Melanie Levander. The dairy used at Blue Marble is organic, from pasture-raised cows.
Sizes and prices: A 6-inch cake for as many as 10 people is $36. The 8-inch cake is $48 and serves up to 16 people.
Ordering: Blue Marble ice cream cakes are not done to order and are stocked in the store. Customers can choose from Kids' Delight with cookies-and-cream ice cream and a cake crust bottom or the New Yorker, a gluten-free cake with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and buttercream frosting.