Peanut Buster Parfaits were my favourite treat at Dairy Queen growing up. I’ve always loved that sweet-chocolate, salty-peanut combination. I don’t remember when my mom started making this version at home but I do remember that it was one of my favourite summer desserts growing up.
James has never been a big fan of cake so I usually opt to make him a frozen cake or pie for his birthday instead. In fact, when we were engaged this was the very first birthday cake that I ever made for him.
I’ve made a few changes since then. Not in the recipe, but in the presentation. My mom always cooked for a crowd because our house was always full of people, especially hungry teenage boys (and one very hungry teenage girl), so her version was quite simple and made a lot. I’ve included her assembly in the directions below as well, so you can use whichever suites your fancy.
I wanted to give it layers to better replicate a real Peanut Buster Parfait, so I made the process a tad bit more lengthy but I love the results. Nothing wrong with the way mom made them, I just had to make it my own. :)
I think this would be a perfect dessert for Fathers Day coming up because a) I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love this cake. b) It’s so simple to throw together and can be made ahead. c) I’m pretty sure a barbecue has to be the most common meal on Fathers Day and what better dessert to have at a BBQ then a homemade ice cream cake
Tip from James
To make ice cream a spreadable consistency quickly: scoop it into a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until smooth. This will, effectively, turn it into soft-serve ice cream.
One of the things I love most about this cake is the fact that the chocolate sauce starts melting before the ice cream does. Even when this sauce is stored in the fridge it’s still pourable, where as other sauces, like ganache, firm up once they’re cold. I think it would be great simply poured over ice cream and sprinkled with peanuts. But an ice cream cake presentation is definitely a lot more fun.
If you’re a dark chocolate fanatic feel free to substitute that for the semi-sweet in this recipe. I think I may try that next time just for kicks.
What’s your favourite ice cream treat?
Peanut Buster Parfait Ice Cream Cake
- 1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 quart (4 cups) vanilla ice cream, softened to a spreadable consistency
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts
- chocolate sauce (recipe below)
- Line a 8 inch round baking pan with foil.
- Mix together cookie crumbs and butter until evenly combined. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
- Top with half of the ice cream, peanuts and chocolate sauce. Repeat layers. Freezing in between if necessary.
- Once fully assembled freeze until solid (about 2 hours).
- To serve: loosen foil from sides of pan (warming up with hands if necessary) and lift out. Peel away foil; slice and serve.
*If you need to freeze the cake in the middle of assembly place the remaining ice cream in the fridge to slow down the thawing process.
- 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk (1/2 can)
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 7 minutes, until slightly thickened (it will thicken more as it cools).
- Cool completely, whisking occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
*You can make the sauce a day ahead and store in the fridge until assembly. Just make sure to put plastic wrap directly on the surface so that a skin doesn’t form.
If making for a crowd: Double all ingredients. Press the cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Cover with all of ice cream. Top with peanuts and chocolate sauce. Freeze.