Originally published May 23, 2019.
I’m not the first person to come up with a lucky charms ice cream recipe but this one stands apart and here’s why: I include whole marshmallow bits, and lots of them, in the ice cream base itself. This means your ice cream base won’t be ‘flavored cereal milk’ nor will it be just gently flavored with marshmallows that were sieved out of the milk. It will be a full-blown experience of every bite tasting like lucky charms marshmallow milk. How wonderful does that sound??!! This is for the inner child in all of us!
2023 note: When I tell you the people I live with (husband, kids) GOBBLED this up before I could get proper photos… and actually fought over it… I’m glad I brought this one back!
I spent a good chunk of March playing with lucky charms cake batter. Cereal milk cakes (of the cornflake variety) have been around for awhile thanks to Milk Bar and I guess that spurned a trend of baking with lucky charms cereal as well. I made a ‘lucky charms cake’ for Lily’s 6 month bday (+two years ago now!), by flavoring the milk with the grain part of the cereal and adding a handful of marshmallows to the batter to look like funfetti.
But with that cake and other cereal cakes I’ve had, I always felt something was missing. The actual cereal milk taste wasn’t really distinguishable to me, no matter how long I left it to soak. I noticed most recipes make up for this with imitation vanilla so it becomes a hybrid of birthday/cereal cake. It’s fun, it’s delicious, but it doesn’t taste like lucky charms.
I really wanted a dessert that tasted like the actual lucky charm marshmallow milk. Because let’s be real, nobody cares or wants the grain part. We’re in it for the colorful marshmallows and the sweet, sweet taste they impart onto the milk. That marshmallow milk is what I wanted my cake to taste like. So I made a white cake with cereal milk, left out the vanilla to remove any distraction, and brought in some serious marshmallow dust.
I will preface this to tell you – yes it is possible to make this and can be DELICIOUS. The issue is that it makes a terribly ugly batter and even worse colored cake (the baking process will always yellow or ‘golden’ the batter). My batter turned light gray and, once baked, the cake went full greenish-gray. We ate it, loved it, and I shelved the idea because of the color. Careful readers will note that when I made the lucky charms version of my rainbow cake, I left out the marshmallows to ensure a white background.
In some of the photos you’ll see the ice cream is green (2023 photos) and in some it’s purple (2019 photos). I got the purple coloring tip from here. The author removes the green and yellow charms from the mallows she soaks into the milk (which she then sieves out). Curious if it would work and in pursuit of a non-gray color, I also sorted my charms which is why I had leftovers for decorating, but oops, once I tempered in the yolks, the base turned grayish-green anyway! For this reason I don’t believe it’s necessary to separate the mallows you put in the base if you plan to color it.
I left out any vanilla flavoring (as I did when cake testing). I personally think it interrupts the marshmallow charms taste. But, if you desire it, once you’ve got your base off the heat, taste it – if you think you would like some vanilla, add 1/2 teaspoon at a time until it gets to your desired flavor.
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