healthy + seasonal recipes that are gluten & dairy-free

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake with Peanut Butter Honey Caramel

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake with Peanut Butter Honey Caramel

This ice cream cake is creamy, decadent but not too indulgent, and perfect for serving for any kind of celebration. Gluten free, vegan, and an easy switch makes it paleo. Enjoy! 

peanut butter ice cream cake with peanut butter honey caramel (gluten free, vegan, paleo option) by my natural kitchen

I've missed this space while I've been away and I feel badly for being inconsistent. I have a really delicious ice cream cake to share today though, and I'm hoping this is a good way to resume things around here. This summer has been a happy blur for us. We spent a few days in NYC, wandering around and finding good things to eat (my favourite way of experiencing that city, for sure). It was my first time ever driving there and the consensus was that next time we'll fly (haha... ). We left on a Thursday evening, drove halfway to a tiny little town. There was a major lack of street lights, and both cars were just blindly following the guidance of GPS but secretly worried that we were in the wrong place because we seemed to be turning down endless country roads, dotted with infrequent farm houses. Thankfully, we found the little hotel we were staying at and got a good sleep before resuming our journey the next day. We barely hit any traffic at all until we were literally in NYC - not bad! Leaving New York was another storey, traffic-wise. We had a lot of fun and stayed in an airbnb in Williamsburg, and I loved being able to explore that neighbourhood. That trip was our last bit of full-fledged sister time before one of my sisters and her husband departed for their no-end-in-sight trip of a lifetime to South East Asia and New Zealand. We have a family Whats App going so we can all keep in touch, but it's seriously crazy to think of them so far away. My husband thoroughly freaked me out last night by showing me news of the recent bombings in Thailand and I had to pause to a sec to figure out where she was before my heart would stop pounding - that all happened just a day or two after they left for Laos. 

peanut butter ice cream cake with peanut butter honey caramel (gluten free, vegan, paleo option) by my natural kitchen
peanut butter ice cream cake with peanut butter honey caramel (gluten free, vegan, paleo option) by my natural kitchen
peanut butter ice cream cake with peanut butter honey caramel (gluten free, vegan, paleo option) by my natural kitchen

Another sister, her husband, myself and Zach spent a week in July in a cottage up in the Muskokas which was totally lovely. My favourite part was when a bear decided to stop by our cottage one night! I know, I know ... that's not supposed to be a good thing, but I've never seen a bear in the wild and felt safe indoors where we were all sitting. It was really dark out by that point, and we were watching a movie (the mosquitoes were too bad to sit outside after a certain point in the evening). It's funny to think that this was my husband's LEAST favourite part of the whole week, and he literally stayed up all night being afraid the bear was going to return because our bed was so close to a window and at ground level. I had loaded up on every type of berry that my farmer's market was offering before we went and spent many happy mornings with bowlfuls and a big mug of coffee, gazing out at the lilies that bloomed each morning with sunrise. It was so pretty and serene. 

We've been taking some extra long weekends over the last couple months too, either to host friends here, go visit others, or to catch a mini-break from work and enjoy life in Niagara. We went on some wine tastings recently for another sister's birthday and had a big dinner out which was so fun. I bought a bottle of red wine specifically for the purpose of saving it for 10 years, at the winemaker's suggestion. We'll see how that goes! This summer has really been all about the little trips, celebrations, and time together we can fit in. Tonight we're attending an outdoor concert with all of my husbands's family, and despite the thunderstorms in the forecast I'm really excited. I'm fine with being rained on. We've had so little rain lately that our roses are completely dead and our grass is an odd shade of brown, so rain is a most-welcome guest! 

peanut butter ice cream cake with peanut butter honey caramel (gluten free, vegan, paleo option) by my natural kitchen

On to the recipe! I've been making the ice cream here whenever I've had a PB craving for the last 5 years. It's a total treat. It's amazing as ice cream, but I'm obsessed with it as ice cream cake! Super creamy, sweet, slightly chewy caramel combined with crunchy roasted salty peanuts - just absolutely delicious. Zach notices a bit of a coconut vibe from the coconut milk used here, but I don't ... so maybe he just has really tuned-in taste buds ;) This one is a favourite of every single person who has tried it too. I served it to my family when they came to celebrate my birthday with me back in May. It was just shortly after I got home from Morocco, and I had been sick on my actual birthday with some virus I picked up on the plane home. We had a really small get-together a week later and this ice cream cake was the star of the show. It was also a lifesaver because I could slowly make it a couple days before the party, which just made the whole idea of hosting people when I was still a bit under the weather that much more doable. If anyone has any late summer parties to host, I'd highly recommend the ice cream cake route! Not needing to bake and frost a cake on the same day as preparing all the other last minute details of hosting is perfect. Laid-back, yet still prepared to serve something lovely. It's a win!

peanut butter ice cream cake with peanut butter honey caramel (gluten free, vegan, paleo option) by my natural kitchen

I'd be willing to bet the crust mixture could be shaped into raw little cookies, filled with the peanut butter ice cream and a drizzle of caramel (and maybe some chopped peanuts), and sandwiched between another cookie for some REALLY awesome ice cream sandwiches. Whether you go for this as ice cream cake, just the ice cream, or ice cream sandwiches I really hope you guys give it a go! 

How have your summers been? What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear :) Happiest mid-August to you all! xoxo

peanut butter ice cream cake with peanut butter honey caramel (gluten free, vegan, paleo option) by my natural kitchen

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake with Peanut Butter Honey Caramel

Notes: The peanut butter honey caramel is just barely adapted from Elenore's recipe, here. This is a make-ahead type of cake, so plan accordingly. 

Crust

1 cup dry-roasted peanuts

1 cup gluten free oats (or unroasted cashews, if grain-free is preferred)

1 tablespoon lucuma powder (optional)

1 cup medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add peanuts, oats (or cashews, if choosing grain-free option), and lucuma powder to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a coarse grind. Add the dates and combine. Add the peanut butter, sea salt, water and vanilla and pulse to combine. Press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 10 inch springform pan. Put in the fridge or freezer as you prepare the ice cream filling. 

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

1 can of full fat coconut milk (I like the Thai Kitchen Brand)

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

If you have an ice cream maker, place the canister in the freezer overnight. If you don't have an ice cream maker, check out this method on how to make ice cream without an ice cream machine. Add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla to a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Remove the ice cream canister right before you're ready to use it. Add the peanut butter mixture to the ice cream maker and run according to your ice cream maker's instructions (I use this one, and it takes about 30 minutes). Transfer the ice cream over the crust and smooth the top. Return to the freezer and allow it to set for at least 4 hours, or overnight. 

Caramel 

1/2 cup honey (I like to use a creamed or raw variety for this)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/4 cup natural peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts

Combine the honey, coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth. Continue to stir and watch closely. The caramel is ready when it just begins to bubble. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Allow the caramel to cool for just a 2-3 minutes as you get the ice cream cake from the freezer.

Remove the ice cream cake from the freezer, take a sharp knife to trace the outside of the cake to help it separate from the spring form pan, and remove the pan but keep the base on.  

Drizzle a small amount of caramel over the ice cream cake. Pile the peanuts in the centre of the cake, and then drizzle with extra caramel, allowing some to drip over the sides. Use as much as you like; I like to be generous with it but still ended up with some leftover. 

Return the cake to the freezer to set for at least 1 hour before serving. To serve, remove the cake from the freezer 10 minutes before slicing. Use a very sharp knife to cut the cake. Any leftovers will keep in the freezer, wrapped well in parchment and plastic wrap, for 3 weeks. 

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