Strawberries-and-Cream Gelato Cake

As stunning as it is delicious, this creamy strawberry-and-sour-cream gelato cake from Jon Snyder is the perfect centerpiece for summer celebrations.

Strawberries-and-Cream Gelato Cake
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Refrigerate Time:
2 hrs
Freeze Time:
8 hrs
14 servings

With only two ingredients (berries and sugar), Jon Snyder’s vivid sorbet explodes with fresh fruit flavor. This super-simple recipe calls for the ripest strawberries and requires an ice cream maker.

Follow the links below for gelato recipes, or use your favorite flavor combinations of store-bought gelatos, ice creams, and sorbets to build the cake using the method below.


  • 6 cups strawberry sorbet, divided

  • 7 cups Strawberry Gelato or favorite store-bought gelato or ice cream, divided

  • 6 cups Sour Cream Gelato or favorite store-bought gelato or ice cream

  • 1 quart strawberries, washed, or favorite ice cream toppings and decorations

Strawberry Sorbet

  • 4 pounds fresh strawberries (about 16 cups), hulled and quartered

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar


Make the Strawberry Sorbet

  1. Using a potato masher, mash strawberries in a large bowl until mostly pureed (there will still be small chunks of pulverized berries) to yield about 6 cups strawberry puree. Stir sugar into berry puree. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.

  2. Pour half of the chilled strawberry mixture into the freezer bowl of a 1 1/2-quart electric ice cream maker, and proceed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  3. Transfer sorbet to a freezer-safe container; press a sheet of parchment paper directly on surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Place in freezer. Repeat procedure with remaining chilled strawberry mixture. Freeze sorbet at least 8 hours or overnight.

Strawberry Sorbet
Victor Protasio

Make the cake

  1. Scoop 3 cups strawberry sorbet into a large bowl. Using head of ice cream scoop, break up the sorbet. Once it begins to melt around edges, fold sorbet with a flexible spatula until smooth, spreadable, and still holds its shape, like smooth peanut butter.

  2. Using a large offset spatula, spread the softened sorbet evenly in a round 9-inch (12-cup) springform pan, spreading to edges. Use flat side of a plastic bowl scraper to smooth surface. Place a 9-inch round sheet of parchment paper directly on the surface; freeze 45 minutes.

  3. Repeat Step 1 with 3 cups Strawberry Gelato. Peel parchment off sorbet layer; spread Strawberry Gelato over sorbet, and smooth with bowl scraper. Cover with parchment; freeze 45 minutes.

  4. Repeat softening and layering procedures with 3 cups strawberry sorbet and 3 cups Strawberry Gelato, freezing between layers. On final Strawberry Gelato layer, fill pan to top, using an additional 1 cup Strawberry Gelato; smooth and level with bowl scraper. Cover with a 9- x 13-inch sheet of parchment. Freeze 8 hours.

  5. To unmold, dampen a kitchen towel with hot water; wrap around pan to release cake from sides of pan. Remove parchment and pan sides. Replace parchment, and invert cake onto a cutting board or cookie sheet. Freeze 1 hour.

  6. Repeat Step 1 with 6 cups Sour Cream Gelato. Mound 4 cups softened Sour Cream Gelato on top of cake. Using a large offset spatula, frost cake with gelato evenly over top and just past edges of cake. Using parchment to turn cake, frost cake sides with remaining 2 cups Sour Cream Gelato. Use bowl scraper to smooth top and sides of cake. Return to freezer; freeze at least 4 hours before serving.

  7. Transfer cake to refrigerator for 10 minutes before cutting. Slide cake from parchment onto a serving plate. Garnish with 1 quart of fresh strawberries. Slice and serve immediately.

Sour Cream Gelato
Victor Protasio

Make ahead

Cake may be assembled up to 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.

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