Happy Birthday To You

Newcomer Icebox Makes Ice Cream Cake for Grown-Ups

Made with Molly Moon's ice cream, this Insta-worthy ice cream cake comes in classic flavors, layered with nostalgia and a little food science.

By Anne Dennon February 19, 2019

Image: Ice Box

The last time you had ice cream cake you were maybe 13. It was from Dairy Queen or Baskin-Robbins, it was covered in sprinkles and had more layers than a geological heritage site. Lauren Burman, the woman behind Icebox, wants to recreate that birthday cake experience, but for your adult palate.

Perfectly square, a 9-inch Icebox cake serves 16–20 and is minimalist in both aesthetic and construction: marshmallowy Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, dense cake (formulated to still be flavorful when cold), and Molly Moon’s ice cream. Two flavors—chocolate mint and vanilla birthday cake—are currently available at all Molly Moon’s in Seattle. 

A baker by trade and a scientist by education, Burman went through a whole R&D process to arrive at the perfect cake and frosting combo to be served at the temperature of ice cream. But for best results, her ice cream cake should rest for 15 minutes out of the freezer. 

Burman's collaboration with Molly Moon’s started years ago when she and Molly Moon Neitzel “were in the same circle of friends starting and running businesses in Seattle as women.” At the time, Burman had a ceramics company, Material Good. Fast-forward a few years as Burman redirected her creativity into baking, moving through the kitchens of Cafe Besalu and Macrina. Burman’s mom was the first to spot the business opportunity—the Venn diagram overlap between Lauren’s baking and Molly’s ice cream.

Burman’s mom’s argument for ice cream cakes (“No one's doing them; everybody loves them”) holds true beyond Seattle. In the deconstructed dessert revolution a la Milk Bar, ice cream cakes are notably absent. 

But rather than create something trendy, Burman is interested in what's timeless. She opts for classics: chocolate and mint, chocolate and peanut butter, birthday cake. Even the seasonal flavors she’s prototyping for spring and summer are unabashedly pure: lemon cake with lemon curd, lemon frosting, and candied lemons. For Valentine’s Day, she’s served up a special “date cake,” chocolate with strawberry ice cream, in a smaller, 6-by-6-inch square.

Burman is crossing her fingers to have her own storefront before summer; until then you can stop by your nearest Molly Moon's or order a cake online and get it delivered—maybe by Burman or her mom. Follow Icebox’s evolution on its very pretty Instagram.

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