Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipe: Brownie Ice Cream Cake in Jars

foodsweet treats

Desserts in Jars- 50 Sweet Treats That Shine by Shaina Olmanson Looking for a Valentine's dessert that is fun and tasty for the whole family? Look no further! We're combining the trend of baking in glass jars with what's hot (or in this case, cold!) for Valentine's Day treats and sharing this fabulous and delicious recipe just in time for the Valentine's holiday.

I am more of the quick and easy style recipe lover. But when Shaina Olmanson of Food for My Family sent me her recently published book: "Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats That Shine," I immediately got sucked in.

After virtually eating several desserts from looking at her amazing pictures (all of which Shaina shot herself), I asked my boys which treat they'd like to make. It took 2 seconds for them to unanimously agree on the ice cream cake recipe (pages 116 and 117 if you are looking for it in the book).

Dessert Recipe: Ice Cream Cakes in a Jar

While you can deviate quite a bit from this dessert recipe, adding different flavors or toppings, we stuck pretty to Shaina's step-by-step instructions. We made one minor change since we didn't have chocolate cookies. Instead, we used peppermint pieces in the middle section, but otherwise, we followed the directions to a tee (see below, taken from Shaina's book).

Ingredients for the Brownie Crust

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Directions for the Brownie Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
  3. Mix together the sugar, butter, and water in a medium-size bowl.
  4. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until just combined.
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Crumble the cooled brownie.

Valentine's Day ice cream cake

Ingredients for the Ice Cream Cake

  • 5 cups chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
  • 2 1/2 cups vanilla ie cream, slightly softened
  • 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (we used the outsides of OREO cookies)
  • Chocolate Sauce (She includes a recipe to make it from scratch. We bought ours.)
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate broken up
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, for garnish

Directions for the Ice Cream Cake

  1. Scoop a generous 3 tablespoons of brownie crumbs into the bottoms of each of ten 8-ounce jars and press don.
  2. Press about 1/2 cup chocolate ice cream into each jar, using a spoon to level the layer.
  3. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of cookie crumbs and then drizzle 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce over them.
  4. Add 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream to each jar and press down.
  5. Transfer the jars to the freezer until the ice cream is again firm. (Makes 10 individual ice cream cakes.)

A Few Tips for Making This Recipe

blueberry-lemon-ricotta-bread-pudding You may want to consider these things as you make the ice cream cakes for Valentine's Day dessert:

  • The ice cream melts quickly. Shaina recommends to have it slightly softened. That is more for easy scooping. Do not let it sit too long before beginning.
  • Assembly line style works best and the more helping hands, the merrier. My friend and I made these together. I scooped while she pressed the ingredients down.
  • Put the jars in the freezer as you finish each one to keep them from melting.
  • After eating them, we felt there could have been more brownie crumbles in our dessert jars. If you love brownies, you may want to consider making two batches of brownies and spreading the crumbles at the bottom of the jar and in the middle in between the ice-cream layers.
  • If you are not a chocolate lover, go white cake style on this. Caramel or strawberry sauce are other alternatives if you are looking for fun sauce flavors.
  • Wide-mouthed jars are a MUST. We tried both styles of Ball jars and wide mouth was so much easy to both make and eat from.

Check out our other Valentine's Day dessert recipe: White Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Up next? This Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Bread Pudding. Can anyone say mmmmmmm?
Photos courtesy of Shaina Olmanson.

Bake in jars? Want to? What do you love to make or are dying to try?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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