Don’s Birthday Ice Cream Cake

dons birthday cake sliced.jpg

For Don’s birthday every year, I prepare a birthday cake for him. It doesn’t need to be fancy or fussy.  It just needs to contain lots and lots of his favorite ice cream….Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge.

To Don, there is nothing quite like this flavor.  Because…Don knows what he likes in ice cream.

In Haagen Dazs, it is coffee.

In Breyers, it is Butter Almond (not butter pecan-I’ve made that mistake more than once).

In Friendly’s, it is chocolate almond chip.

But his most favorite,  most beloved food he’d take if he was stranded on a dessert island really is Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge.

So, I’ve learned to not mess with that favorite ice cream flavor choice. And, most years, I just buy cartons of this cherished ice cream and mold it as is with no other ingredients.

This year, I thought that I would be a bit more creative.  I made a simple ganache with coffee and chocolate and crushed some coffee-flavored wafers to place between the ice cream layers.  I was careful not to detract too much from the star of the cake, the Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream.

Happy Birthday, Don!




2-4 quarts of ice cream
chocolate wafers
chocolate chips
chocolate for garnish
sprinkles (optional)
whipped cream



Freeze ice cream in layers until firm.  I used disposable round pans.

Prepare crumb layers by crushing wafers and adding just enough milk for the crumbs to hold together.

Use a large disposable plate or parchment-covered base to create ice cream cake:  Starting and ending with ice cream layer, layer ice cream layers and crumb layers. Freeze until firm.

Prepare ganache by melting 1-2 cups of chocolate or chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons of milk and 1 teaspoon of coffee.  Melt over low heat until smooth and creamy.

Remove ice cream cake from freezer and carefully pour ganache over cake, allowing some of the ganache to puddle at the bottom.

Freeze until firm.  Using a spatula, reapply puddled ganache to the sides of the cake. Optionally, press sprinkles into sides of cake.

Garnish top of cake with whipped cream and favorite chocolate garnish.

Simply Summarized: Ju-Ju’s One Year Old Little Man Birthday Party

We celebrated Ju-Ju’s first birthday party earlier this week.  I have enclosed some pictures of the table setting, menu and props that we used to create a little man theme for the party.  Enjoy!

bowtie napkins on plate

Some table props with suitcase and photo propslittle man party signs 3


juju little man party 3 signs

Little Man Taco Bar Menu

little man menu

brownies shaped with mustache cookie cutter for goody bags

little man mustache brownies

Popcorn little man disguise bags and tuxedo candy boxes

little man popcorn and tuxedo boxes


decorated cupcakes baked in vintage-inspired cupcake papers

little man cupcakes.JPG

cigar-wrapped marshmallow sticks affixed with Ju-Ju’s picture and label


little man cigars

Cutlery and Napkin Buffet Stand


little man party-cigar boxes

Little Man Disguises in Cigar Box

little man party-disguises

Little Man Menu and Flowers

little man party-sign and flowers

Wet Your Whiskers Water Bottle Labels and Mustache Adornments

little man party-wet your whiskers water bottles

Simple Rules to Becoming the Perfect Little Man/Little Mentsch: Printables Included

As a small gift for Yehuda (Ju-Ju)’s first birthday and as a cute table prop, I created a nursery sign with simple rules for becoming the perfect mentsch.   It fit well with the “little man” theme of his birthday party and looked great in a vintage gold frame.  I hope and pray that our young Yehuda fills the tall shoes of his namesake, Yehuda (Leo) Schlusselberg a’H who was the gold standard of a mentsch.

simple rules to becoming the perfect little mentsch

Some of my favorite rules in this framed piece are “Smile Often” and “Stand up Straight and Tall”.    Here is Ju-Ju already standing straight and tall and smiling, albeit taking apart the contents of our hallway table:


little man juju.jpg

simple rules to becoming the perfect little mentsch in vintage case

Feel free to download the pdf, print it out and display it in your own frame.  It will make an adorable nursery, baby or birthday gift for your own little man.



Simple Table Props for Ju-Ju’s Little Man Party

little man party signs 2

For our grandson, Yehuda’s first birthday, we created a vintage little man theme.  For the first many months of his life, family members would remark that he looks like a “little man”,  just like his namesake, Yehuda (Leo) Schlusselberg a’H.


little man party signs

As cute table props, we printed some cute little man signs and displayed them on the drinks and dessert buffet.  To display the desserts, I procured an assortment of cigar boxes. I contacted my local cigar store and spoke to the manager who was more than happy to save some interesting and luxurious cigar boxes for me.  I then wrapped some long marshmallow sticks in black and gold napkins and created “cigar” labels for them.  I displayed some of these fun cigars in the cigar boxes.

little man cigars




real men eat cupcakes

Here are these printable signs for you.


real men eat cupcakes

If you mustache I am one

with a great stache comes great responsibility

BowTie Napkins: Folded with DIY Napkin Rings

Our grandson, Yehuda, also known as JuJu, just celebrated his first birthday.  Whenever family members would meet him, they would remark that he looks like a “little man.” Those that knew his namesake, Yehuda (Leo) Schlusselberg a’H, would consider JuJu a pint-size clone of him.

For his birthday, therefore, we chose a vintage Little Man theme.  For the table setting, we chose antique gold, cream and light blue as the colors.  We found gold polka-dot napkins and decided to tie them into large bow-ties. (more…)