It’s unclear exactly what’s going on with Dreyer’s-Edy’s ice cream right now. There used to be a clear distinction between the Slow Churned and Grand lines, but right now it seems as though all the new products are presented as a regular ice cream but utilize light bases at their core. Whatever the case may be, with grocery ice cream season in full swing the company is rolling out seemingly endless amounts of limited edition flavors, including the plainly named re-release Birthday Cake, which combines yellow cake light ice cream with a frosting swirl and multi-colored sprinkles.
The light yellow cake ice cream is exceptionally smooth and fluffy without any unpleasant gummy texture. Yellow cake has always been one of my favorite types of sponge due to its higher amount of egg yolks and rich flavor, and some of that distinct-ness comes through in the base. It has a more custard-y feel to it than a vanilla or sweet cream, and a bit of eggy cake batter flavor that helps set it apart from a regular white cake flavoring. It’s kind of like the difference between a plain bagel and an egg bagel, they’re very similar but one is just more elevated, and some of that nuance is on display here.
There are a lot of sprinkles in this container, and to my surprise they add a lot more than I had anticipated. Oftentimes rainbow jimmies in ice cream add a weird food dye flavor and muddy texture that doesn’t actually add much beyond a visual pop, but Dreyer’s sprinkles are a little heftier and have a nice soft bite to them to notch the scoop up a bit. Rather than the standard long skinny jimmies they remind me more of the circular confetti style sprinkles, popping up in varying sizes, and hold up without dissolving or creating a birthday mess. Still, they’re just sprinkles and there’s only so far they can go before becoming a bit redundant no matter how good they are.
The frosting swirl is good, but it’s not quite great. It has a nice smooth texture to it and adds a pleasing visual contrast to the fluffy yellow base, but doesn’t have as much cloying sweet flavor as I want. It’s sweet no doubt, but the thickness isn’t there to really take it over the edge. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by super high end brands like Little G, or even one of my all time favorite Baskin Robbins scoops America’s Birthday Cake, but when I’m eating a spoonful of frosting I want it to make my teeth hurt, and I don’t get much more than a tingle here.
While Birthday Cake is a pretty honorable attempt for a light ice cream, it’s missing a very important component – cake. The container is full of childhood whimsy and party hats but it’s missing some depth, and actual pieces of cake would have done a lot to make this a more successful outing. That being said, it is prime for adding your own choice of mix-ins, and from personal experience of adding different cookies, Pop Tarts, and crumbled candies to the top of it, I can assure you it’s ready for you to embrace your inner celebratory mixologist.
Found at: Safeway ($3.99)