This Moose Tracks ice cream cake pairs my favorite fudge-swirled, peanut butter cup ice cream with fudgy, chocolate chip brownies and a chocolate peanut butter ganache.
When I was in college, my go-to study snack was pretzels dipped in peanut butter and sprinkled with chocolate chips. I always got the square waffle pretzels because they provided the maximum surface area for toppings, hah! These days, I don’t usually keep pretzels around the house, so I’ve moved on to just topping a spoonful of peanut butter with chocolate chips, but the point is, I really really love peanut butter and chocolate. A lot.
Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that I adore Moose Tracks ice cream. Big swirls of rich fudge and mini peanut butter cups? Yes, please!! So when I decided I wanted to make an ice cream cake, this flavor was the obvious choice for inspiration.
To complement the fudge swirls, the cake layers in this Moose Tracks ice cream cake are made out of fudgy, chocolate chip brownies. The only thing left to do was to find a way to add more peanut butter into the mix! It was a necessity. Which is how I ended up pouring chocolate peanut butter ganache on top of this cake. Yes, you read that correctly, chocolate peanut butter ganache.
I experimented with a few different methods of making this ganache, and then taste-tested each one by eating it by the spoonful (benefits of being a food blogger!). My usual method for ganache involves pouring a combination of hot cream and butter over a bowl full of chocolate chips and letting it stand until the chocolate melts. However, that method was a little finicky with the peanut butter.
After some experimentation, I found that melting the chocolate together with the cream on the stove top first, and then whisking in the peanut butter provided a smoother and more consistent ganache. And let me tell you, this stuff is good! I told my husband he could taste whatever was left in the bowl when I finished the cake, and then proceeded to eat most of it myself while he was busy doing the dishes. I couldn’t help it!
This Moose Tracks ice cream cake does take some planning ahead, as you’ll want to let it set in the freezer for several hours before finishing with the ganache, and then you’ll need to freeze it again for a bit afterwards. It’s so hard to wait patiently during the freezing intervals, but trust me, it will be totally worth it!
If you have any leftovers, or want to make it ahead of time, you can keep the cake covered in the freezer for a few days. Cling wrap works well and shouldn’t affect the look of your cake as long as you wrap carefully and let the cake set completely first.
Moose Tracks Ice Cream Cake
Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cocoa powder (I used special dark)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided*
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
- 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
- 1.5 quarts Moose Tracks ice cream
- mini peanut butter cups for garnish, chopped
For the Chocolate Chip Brownie Layers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two 9-inch springform pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and greasing the bottom and sides of the pan well with butter.
Combine vegetable oil and sugar in a large bowl and stir until combined.
Whisk in eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated after each addition.
Add vanilla and salt and mix just until combined.
Stir in cocoa powder.
Fold in flour just until combine. Then fold in chocolate chips.
Divide batter evenly between the two prepared springform pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes (mine took exactly 20 minutes, and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out "dirty" for fudgy brownies)
Let layers cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from springform pan and transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.
For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache
Once the brownie layers are cool, add 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips* and 1/4 cup heavy cream to a small saucepan.
Stir frequently over medium heat until chocolate has melted completely and the cream is incorporated.
Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
Let cool several minutes until it is close to room temperature, but still very spreadable.
Assembling the Cake
Line the sides of a springform pan with parchment paper. You may put a cake board into the bottom if you'd like as well, for easier transferring.
Remove the ice cream from the freezer to soften for just a few minutes.
Place the bottom brownie layer in the base of the springform pan.
Top with one half of your first batch of chocolate peanut butter ganache and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
Scoop ice cream on top and spread into an even layer using an offset spatula. Work quickly here! If at any point the ice cream is getting too soft, put the cake into the freezer for a while.
Top ice cream with remaining half of the first batch of ganache and spread evenly.
Place second brownie layer on top (upside down), cover with saran wrap, and place in the freezer. Freeze until firm, preferably at least 5 hours. Overnight is great!
Once cake is set, repeat steps 1-3 under chocolate peanut butter ganache to make the second half-batch of ganache. Let cool until the ganache drips fluidly, but slowly off a spoon. It should be slightly warm, but not hot.
Remove cake from springform pan and dispose of parchment paper.
Pour ganache over the top of the cake and spread, using an offset spatula, until it just barely drips over the sides.
Return cake to freezer for about 15 minutes until ganache sets.
Top with chopped peanut butter cups. Return to freezer until ready to serve.
*Because of the necessity to freeze the ice cream cake before decorating, plan to make the ganache in two half batches (half to go between the layers when stacking, and half to pour on top at the end after freezing.)