Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake // Not Without Salt


Here are my tips for having THE best 32nd birthday:

Celebrate at least four times throughout your birthday week and feel no shame about it. Sure it’s only your 32nd birthday, not 30th or 40th but still, if you want to celebrate you celebrate.

Have the sort of friends that surprise you with an evening of Karaoke because they know you love the feeling of a mic in your hands and the chance to sing until your throat is numb and you sound like a frog. Make sure that the long list of songs include Katie Perry, Dave Matthew’s Band, Garth Brooks, Madonna and Will Smith. Also, it’s definitely not a bad idea to end the night with SexyBack because watching the words, “let me see what you’re twerking with” come out of your friend’s mouths is enough to make you realize how much you love your friends.

Park yourself at the back corner table of your favorite neighborhood bar, in our case that’s Essex, and tell your friends you’ll be there all night. Also, tell them to bring a copy of their favorite book because you’re never too old for a book exchange. Don’t forget to take a moment during the evening to see half the bar filled with people you love, drinking the Ashley’s Sazerac (yes, I go there often enough to have a drink named after me, my mom is so proud), eating great food and a large pile of books running down the center of the pushed-together tables.

Stay hydrated.

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake // Not Without Salt

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake // Not Without Salt

On your actual birthday I recommend a quiet day with the family. If possible, ride a ferry to an island just outside of the city. Eat a pile of fried potatoes with avocado at a diner then spend the afternoon in the park so the kids can run through trees, smell the early blossoms of spring and find the perfect walking stick. In the evening curl up on the couch with your husband then fall asleep at 9:30 pm while watching Seinfeld.

Finally, make yourself this cake. Or you could ask someone else to make it for you. It’s the sort of cake for those of us who don’t really like cake because there’s no cake in it. In its place there are deeply toasted oats and walnuts, a butterscotch that begins with browned butter and a very tart rhubarb cap. The long list of ingredients may seem daunting but I assure you that it comes together between the time the kids have been fed dinner and when you said you’d be at Essex (which is roughly 1 1/2 hours). It’s the sort of cake that heralds in Spring even though you may be a touch early, but it’s your birthday and if you say it’s Spring, it’s Spring. Of course you could make your own ice cream (mascarpone or creme fraiche ice cream would be nice) but it’s your birthday and store-bought is perfectly acceptable.

 Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake // Not Without Salt

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake // Not Without Salt


A couple things that I wanted to say before you get to the recipe. First of all Gabe and I just did an interview on Rain Coast Creative Salon. In it we talk about our schedules, how we manage two creative careers and three kids and the things we’ve figured out along the way. It’s sparked in me a future post, I think, because I feel so passionately about us living out who we were created to be and not who we are told to be or think we ought to be. There’s more there and I’m hoping to write through it enough to share more with you all here.

The other thing is like pinch-me-exciting. I love the computer screen but I REALLY love the printed page so you can imagine how thrilling it was to see my recipes on the pages of this month’s Food & Wine. I created four quick and easy pasta recipes for them and in turn they made my face into a cartoon. So I have a cocktail named after me and I’ve been cartoon-ized. My work here is done. Not really, but it’s pretty cool. Pick up the April issue if you don’t have it already.

 Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake // Not Without Salt

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake // Not Without Salt

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake

Serves 10 – 12


Brown Butter Butterscotch


1 stick/ 4 ounces unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Toasted Walnuts and Oats


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup rolled oats

1 scant cup walnut halves, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb


1 pound strawberries, sliced

3 stalks rhubarb or 2 cups/300 g sliced

1/2 cup sugar


Whipped Soured Cream

1 1/2 cups cream

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


2 –  1/2 gallon (1.75 quarts) containers vanilla ice cream

For the browned butter butterscotch: Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Continue to let the butter boil until it smells nutty and when you carefully swirl the pan you can see speckled milk solids on the bottom of the pan turning golden.  Add the sugar and cream then boil over for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat then stir in vanilla and salt.

Let cool or refrigerate until ready to use.

Store leftover butterscotch, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

For the toasted walnuts and oats: Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Combine butter, sugar, oats, walnuts, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir well to combine.


Pour the oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Stir halfway through the baking time.


For the roasted strawberries and rhubarb: While the toasted walnuts and oats are roasted prepare the fruit. Toss the strawberries, rhubarb and sugar together then lay in an even layer on a parchment lined sheet tray. Roast in a 400°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes until soft and the juices bubble and is slightly thickened.


For the whipped soured cream: Prepare the whipped cream while the roasted fruit and the oats cool. Combine the cream, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the whisk attachment. Whip until soft peaks form.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the cake:


Add half of the cooled, toasted walnuts and oats to the bottom of a 9 or 10-inch spring-form pan.

On top of the oats add one 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream. This works best if the ice cream is a bit soft.

On top of that layer add the rest of the toasted oats and 1/2 cup or so of the brown butter butterscotch. More is perfectly acceptable, just save some for serving.

Stick the ice cream cake in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Remove from the freezer then top with the other 1/2 gallon of ice cream.

Just before serving pipe on the whipped cream (or just plop in on) around the edges then put the cooled roasted fruit in the center.

Serve the slices with more butterscotch and whipped cream.

You can assemble the cake entirely ahead but then the fruit and cream will be frozen so I like to wait until the last moment but have everything made ahead and ready for assembly.

68 Responses to “Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Cake”

  1. Sunny Lake

    Mardi Gras birthdays are the BEST! Cheers to you and another fabulous year.

  2. Sandra

    This recipe sounds so good – anything rhubarb is on my list of things to make.

    And I look forward to reading your future post about who we are, who we thought we should be, etc. We’re pioneers in breaking new ground as creative couples and I really do believe that so much is in the “ether” around cultural expectations of how to be. There’s a piece too about being really honest with what we each want and making it known and taking concrete steps to get there.

    Lovely photos as usual….

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Thanks again for the interview. It’s really only been in the past year where I’ve been freed of these limits that I put on myself. Really want to spend some time writing through it and hopefully speak to other women about being freed to be the woman they are called to be.

  3. sara forte

    So many things! First off, my birthday is mid May and I request this cake. I too prefer ice cream and oaty bits over a “cake cake” so, if you really love me, you’ll come with cake. And so many exciting things, ash! A fantastic birthday! Interview! Food&Wine! I have wished all these great for you – for you to be filled up and affirmed in the amazing woman you are. Your cup over floweth and it makes me happy.

  4. Jeannine

    Ashley, I’m fairly new to your site and just love it. Great birthday ideas and that cake! Plus, it would be easy to do gluten free. An added benefit in my case. Thanks,

  5. la domestique

    How exciting that you are in Food & Wine! The “cake” looks just lovely and I wish you a very happy (belated) birthday!

  6. Vegan Woman

    Wowza! Roasted Strawberries! I am in charge of the birthday cake for my sister’s party in April and I am going to make this!

  7. Laura

    Happy birthday! What a beautiful cake, interview with you and Gabe and recipes in April Food and Wine! A splendid birthday. You are both so inspiring, kind and generous! So grateful to live in Seattle and have the opportunity to learn from you both – live, in person.
    Cheers to following your passions and dreams and not settling for anything less.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Thanks so much, Laura. We love and appreciate your support and I always love having you in class. You make it fun and give me such great confidence.

  8. Lisa @ Simple Pairings

    I am impressed. You make an ice cream cake look like… a piece of cake! It’s been requested of me to make one before, but I’ve never really had the guts. Love this post because not only do you make it look so easy, but I love the flavor combinations you put with it! Strawberry and rhubarb – what a great pair!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Ice cream cakes are so easy, I promise. This one came together so quickly. I posted a chocolate version last year that I really like too.

  9. Allison

    That sounds like a wonderful birthday celebration! Happy birthday. 🙂 I look forward to reading a future post about living out our dreams, and “who we were created to be.” For me, I struggle with knowing exactly what that is- I can identify being unhappy with my current job/work, but how do I go about changing it, or knowing what to do next?

  10. susan

    Cake looks great and sounds delicious – it will be at least 3 more months before we see signs of rhubarb here in Maine. Thanks.

  11. jwlucasnc

    That’s exactly my idea of a prefect cake. Happy birthday and congrats on Food & Wine.

  12. Cheri

    This looks amazing! I have a question though-is it REALLY 2 gallons of ice cream? I can’t imagine that much ice cream fitting into a 9 or 10 ” springform pan, maybe quarts or the paper cartons which are about a half gallon??? Thank you, I can’t wait for the snow to melt and my rhubarb to emerge this spring so that I can prepare this.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      THANK YOU! For some reason I had it in my head that a container was a gallon. No, I used 2 1.75 quart containers of ice cream. Thank you so much!!

      • Sis

        I see that you changed the ingredient list to the correct size ice cream, but in the assembly instructions, it still says ‘gallon’ in each of the ice cream steps.

        This looks really fabulously good! I always host Easter dinner for my family and this year, it falls on my younger brother’s 49th birthday – this ice cream cake WILL be on the menu. 🙂

  13. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    Have never really enjoyed the ice cream cakes that you buy at grocery stores or Baskin Robbins that everyone else got so excited about. But this is a whole other story, the toasty granola/nuts + the tart strawberries and rhubarb would be amazing with the creamy vanilla ice cream. Very grown up ice cream cake 🙂

  14. Giulia

    Happy belated Birthday! You sure have it figured out on how to celebrate appropriately. I’ll keep that in mind when I celebrate a milestone one this coming fall. I look forward to seeing what the two us will work on in the next couple of months.

  15. Lucy

    Have never been a fan of rhubarb but you have made it look tantalizing. Hope you had a wonderful birthday. I believe every birthday should be celebrated to the fullest regardless of the number. 🙂

  16. Amanda

    Happy Birthday lovely! Wonderful post! It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday celebration! And this recipe! Wow. I may have to make it for A’s big birthday coming up! I read the feature on you and Gabe and loved it! I can’t wait to hear more of your thoughts on working together as a couple. 🙂 And now I need to go grab Food & Wine! Congratulations! Have I told you lately, you are brilliant! Happy 32nd!

  17. Bonnie Sanders

    Wow , this looks awesome will make it for a friends birthday celebration on Friday night. Thanks!

  18. marcie

    This cake looks absolutely amazing! I’m so excited that strawberry and rhubarb season is here, and this cake is such a great way to celebrate it. 🙂

  19. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

    1. Congratulations on EVERYTHING – your birthday (hooray!), the interview, and the F&W feature! That’s just amazing and in my mind a dream come true. I’d die.
    2. This cake. My perfection. The birthday description, also my perfection. So lovely. And I’m just drooling over the photos.

  20. Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens

    Congratulations on Food & Wine!! Super exciting!! I just love drooling over all the amazing foods! 😉
    Happy birthday to you! Your celebrations sound fantastic! Karaoke is always fun!!
    I’m thinking about making this cake for my upcoming birthday. But I won’t be 32. That was a few years ago. Think it’ll work for any age? 😉

  21. Nikki B

    Wow, that sounds like a perfect birthday– you got to see all the friends, but then on the actual birthday you spend with people that matter most, your family! i would not pick Seindfed 🙂 but other than that i would say it was perfect, especially if you add Food and Wine magazine. I need to pick up the issue!!
    The cake looks amaizing and i can’t wait till summer /spring will actually begin, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  22. Judi

    That is amazing, Ashley! Congratulations and happy birthday. You’ll like 32, I think. 🙂

  23. Mila

    Hi there! Congrats on everything, especially birthday! The cake, the ice-cream cake(!) looks absolutely fantastic! Love combination of strawberries and rhubarb. 🙂

  24. Alice

    Firstly, what a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday in a week of delicious events and karaoke! Secondly, love the idea of this amazing cake, (for those) who mightn’t actually eat cake. Looks so deliciously festive!

  25. kristan@the-broken-bread

    Happy belated birthday Ashley. It sounds like you had an amazing celebration filled with loved ones, and lots of wonderful things to eat and drink. This cake looks amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe and stunning pictures 🙂

  26. Christina

    Never thought of roasting strawberry! Thanks for this!

  27. Elma

    Hello dear! I am totally in love with your posts. Gorgeous and delicious recipes!
    Take a look at my blog as I also do cooking and photography posts:

    Thanks doll and have a great day!

  28. Lael

    Ashley, I recalled this beautiful cake when scoping out an easy but elegant dessert to feed to a crowd coming over to celebrate my birthday with me this weekend. It should be a hit, and I’m excited to get around to finally trying it as my own birthday cake. I have some kumquats in the fridge needing some love, though, so I think I’ll skip the rhubarb and morph the strawberry topping a bit. Also, craving ganache in this more than butterscotch, for whatever reason. So hard to pass by brown butter butterscotch though…! Both, perhaps…? 😉

  29. Maureen

    I just read this and it sounded like a great birthday! And the cake looks perfectly amazing! Every detail of it is just beyond great. It really is one of a kind!

  30. Talia

    This is totally drool-worthy.

    I want to make it for my coworkers’ birthdays, but I imagine getting an ice cream cake to work via King County Metro would be sloppy/stressful/potentially disastrous.

    I think I’ll attempt to convert this to a cake-cake but bring over the roasted fruit, whipped cream, butterscotch, and maybe even toasted oats… My cake brain is firing on all cylinders now.