It's October 9th - my 37th birthday! I am celebrating like I have done almost every year since I was was 2* - with my family's ice cream cake. The best thing about this cake is that it is as fun to make as it is to eat, so you never feel bad making your own birthday cake, and it is customizable for the birthday celebrant. Kids LOVE picking out their own flavors obviously. My favorite combination is coffee, cookies n' cream and strawberry (it might seem weird but it totally works).
It is totally possible to make this cake with super-premium and/or homemade ice cream, and for that matter - gelato, frozen yogurt, sherbet, coconut ice cream, etc.; but it is more difficult to work with these types of ice cream so for the basic cake I recommend sticking with the premium stuff you can get at the grocery store. Because it has a bit lower fat content and more "overrun" (air) it is easier to work with.
So getting back to how much fun it is to MAKE this cake. You want to make it at least the night before you are planning to serve it. You can do it on your own, but making it with the whole family or having a few friends over to help gets the celebration started early. Give each person a flavor and let them create that part of the layer. And the best part is that there are always a few bites left at the bottom of the carton.
Get the recipe for my family's ice cream cake here.
*We also have a tradition of serving chocolate eclairs for first birthdays, but that is a story and recipe for another post.