November 2, 2010

Isa VS The Cookiepuss

by IsaChandra

I admit, at some point during this production I was ready to just throw in the dishtowel. My childhood sort of sucked anyway so why was I trying to recreate this cake? In reality, I never even got to have one for my birthday. It was always the kids in the Benetton shirts who got the Cookiepuss. So sometimes ice cream cake can turn into existential crisis at the drop of a hat.

But I really wanted that Cookiepuss. And Halloween was the perfect time to do it! If you didn’t grow up in NYC the prospect might actually a little but frightening I suppose. You can wikipedia it, but in brief, Cookiepuss is a space alien who arrived at Carvel Ice Cream Bakeries with an ice cream cone for a nose and cookies for eyes and lots of frosting and sprinkles for embellishments (like a hat! and hands!) She’s made, of course, of ice cream – one layer of chocolate then a layer of cookie crumbles, then a layer of vanilla. Instead of going for the traditional shape, I thought a teardrop pan would make my life easier. No big whoop.

But I guess I didn’t think it through enough because when everything was assembled I realized that my plan wasn’t going to work. For one, I had made my own cashew ice cream which was way too hard for an ice cream cake. For another, how was I going to get it out of the pan?

Problem one was easily solved with some So Delicious ice cream. It’s perfectly creamy and easily accessible, and their Chocolate Velvet and Creamy Vanilla soy varieties really just can’t be beat.

But even with the ice cream I was still left with the engineering issues. The parchment paper I counted on was clearly not going to work, it was just way too slippery. I considered fashioning something together with springform pans. Ultimately I went with tin foil and prayed to Fudgy the Whale that it would work. And it did. So who’s wearing the Benetton shirt now, huh?!

So learn from my mistakes! Maybe you’re not going to be making a Cookiepuss, but for any molded ice cream cake in general I think these are a few good rules of thumb.

1) Line your pan with tin foil and have plenty of extra foil overhanging the edges. This will make it easy to pull out.

2) Spray twice. Use oil to spray the pan before lining with tin foil and then spray the tin foil.

3) Make sure that the ice cream is creamy! I mean, duh, it’s called ice cream. But make sure it’s a spreadable consistency. Plopping it into the tray won’t work.

4) You’ll need twice as much ice cream as you think you’ll need! Remember that once the ice cream gets to s spreadable consistency it loses a lot of air.

And here is how Vegan Cookiepuss came together.

I scraped a bunch of oreo type of cookie cream free from its wafery imprisonment. You can reserve the cream to use in your frosting, but I didn’t because I gave up on life at some point. Newman-Os used to sell just the cookies sans cream, but I’m not sure they still do and in any case I couldn’t find any.

Cookie crumbs! Just grind ’em up in a food processor.

Spread a layer of vanilla into the foil lined pan. This took me an astonishing 2 quarts of ice cream! Get it nice and even and the sprinkle on a layer of cookie crumbs. You can reserve some of the crumbs for decorating, too. They taste so good when some are mushy and some are still crispy when you’re eating the cake.

Flash forward! Add the chocolate layer. Freeze for several hours. Carefully invert CP and coax her out of the pan. Frost with buttercream. Then decorate like crazy, and as ridiculously as possible. (Aim for Cake Wrecks). And voila! You’ve got your very own Cookiepuss!

For my Halloween party, best costume won the ice cream nose. Or just the first totally adorable kiddo who asked! Far be it from me to deprive a child of Cookiepuss, they might turn out completely off-kilter and try to recreate one as an adult.

Oh and if you’d like to see the Carvel commercials, go ahead and live the dream!

  • November 2, 2010 at 6:11 am: kittee

    does fudgy the whale sing at synagogue, too?


  • November 2, 2010 at 9:51 am: Andrea

    As a vegan who worked at Carvel for 7 years and decorated many Cookiepusses, this makes me happy on so many levels. Congrats on your achievement. You are endlessly inspirational.

  • November 2, 2010 at 10:09 am: tanita

    Dude, your Cookiepuss looks FAR AND AWAY better than the thing of your childhood. You have triumphed! Woot!

  • November 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm: SeitanSaidDance

    Awesome! What brand are your red sprinkles? I have trouble finding anything that isn’t pastel or a mix.

  • November 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm: Lauren

    Best Halloween ever. Not even kidding. It was amazing.

  • November 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm: Mo

    Isa, I let out an audible squee. This is beyond AMAZING! It’s just super fantastic and so frickin’ awesome!!!!

  • November 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm: ian


    Can I commission a Whale of a Dad for Father’s Day??

  • November 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm: Maija Haavisto

    I’ve never heard of this dessert, but the name (and the contents) makes me want to try it!

    Also, every time I see instructions involving tin foil in a recipe, I expect to read “Fold the tin foil into a hat”. But it could be just me.

  • November 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm: Lorin

    Your Cookiepuss came out very nicely and now I want cookies, so thanks. It also reminded me that I need to buy a new food processor, so thanks again.

  • November 2, 2010 at 4:29 pm: Dave Laser

    That cookiepuss was so awesome to read about, and even more awesome to eat a 2nd slice of it when nobody was looking! YOINK!

  • November 2, 2010 at 4:30 pm: Luciana

    Yours looks way better than the original! I never had a Cookiepuss growing up, either. Or asparagus.

  • November 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm: admin

    Thanks everyone! I wish I could do Fudgy The Whale but my ice cream cake making days might be over.

    @SSD- I used India Tree red sugar crystals. Well, more like magenta.

  • November 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm: Gail

    I totally remember this commercial, and I never had one of those cakes, either! Yours is way better, anyway, and I think I’m going to make one for myself on my next birthday!

  • November 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm: JoLynn-dreaminitvegan

    I totally remember Carvel and they are making a comback in the past years.
    Awesome cake. you go girl!

  • November 2, 2010 at 8:13 pm: Angela M Cable

    Famous Chocolate Wafers are probably what you were looking for for the cookie crumbs, rather than ripping apart Oreos :-) I think K-Mart carries them.

  • November 2, 2010 at 9:33 pm: Imitation Of Chris

    Your cookiepuss kicks the other puss to the curb. It would at least win in a bar fight or balloon animal contest.

  • November 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm: Cecilia

    Ah, no way! Oreos in America are vegan?! What?!
    In Sweden they contain milk :(((((

  • November 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm: Cecilia

    ^Oh. Newman O’s.
    And I just sent Kraft Foods an email demanding them to make vegan Oreos here as well… Oh, well.

  • November 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm: Andrea

    I came for the post, but I’m having a great time reading all the funny comments, too! The last one from Cecilia about demanding that Kraft Foods make vegan Oreos had me falling out of my seat!

  • November 3, 2010 at 4:18 am: Susan Kelley

    I had a Carvel cake for every birthday growing up (not Cookiepuss though). That cookie crumb center is the shit. It’s worth scraping Newman-Os to recreate. Brilliant!

  • November 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm: Lisa

    Oh! A miracle. My son’s birthday is next weekend, and I was thinking ice cream cake! He’s going to be 27, and wanted to argue that it would be too complicated, but you did all of the figuring out (he’s a pastry chef, and I hate it when he says too complicated, because he is wrong, and messing with me, and he never makes dessert anyway, I always have to do it, but this is such an awesome cake I’ll do it anyway.)!

  • November 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm: Tomato

    If you are not bent on the oblong shape consider a springform pan. I made a vegan ice cream cake for my son’s birthday in June and I used So Delicious, chocolate cookies crushed (yes, Carvel was my inspiration too!) for the botton, a layer of vanila So Delicious, crumbs, then a layer of chocolate. I think I put some melted margerine in the cookie crumbs to make a bottom crust. I topped it off with chocolate sauce that I made myself. The springform pan made it so easy!

  • November 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm: Tomato

    I forgot to add, my husband who grew up in the south and midwest didn’t have Carvel. He had never had an ice cream cake and seriously asked me when I was going to bake it. Seriously.

  • November 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm: erin

    That cake is amazing.

  • November 3, 2010 at 11:47 pm: Taylor

    We don’t have a Carvel in WA, but this is the most amazingly creepy thing I have ever seen. AND I’m calling everyone cookiepuss for the rest of the day.

  • November 4, 2010 at 12:42 am: Desdemona

    Oh my god. This made me laugh harder than I have in awhile – thanks! I grew up in Massachusetts, but we also had Carvel (and the creepy, insane commercials). Now that you’ve lived the Cookiepuss dream/nightmare, you do realize that you’ll have to create his Irish cousin, Cookie O’Puss, in March, to say nothing of Fudgy the Whale for father’s Day (cue crusty Carvel voiceover dude: “yeah, that’s a great gift”)!

  • November 4, 2010 at 1:04 am: Lisa

    I must have lived a very sheltered life. I have never heard of Cookiepuss. I don’t even know if there’s a Carvel around here…

  • November 5, 2010 at 11:45 pm: Leinana

    This is just amazing. I never had a Cookiepuss cake as a kid, but I think I know what I’m going to make for my 35th birthday!

  • November 6, 2010 at 12:05 am: Andy Dufresne

    The original is super creepy and yours is super cute. Love this post so much!

  • November 6, 2010 at 6:08 am: Sabine

    You DO have very frightening food over there in America. COOKIEPUSS ice cream cakes?!? Wow. That name. That commercial.

    I kind of understand this sort of upbringing makes a grown woman try to recreate childhood nightmares… but you do it so well it must be better than any other kind of therapy, Isa.

    Congratulations. I have been shocked, entertained and thrilled by this recipe so much I don´t need to recreate anything spooky for Halloween or even celebrate it anymore…

    Greetings from Germany

  • November 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm: Dawn

    So cute! I don’t remember Cookie Puss, but I do remember Fudgy the Whale.

  • February 6, 2011 at 2:40 am: Molly Parr

    That is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

  • March 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm: jpod

    Newman’s Own makes a chocolate alphabet cookie (comes in a sac-looking bag, usually sold near the Newman Os) that works well when you need chocolate cookie crumbs. I can never find the filling-less Os anymore either, unfortunately.
    Great looking Cookiepuss.