1Vanilla cake mix (and ingredients listed on box to make cake)
½gallonVanilla ice cream
½tspcream of tartar
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Soften a ½ gallon of ice cream on the counter for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line a medium sized mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Scoop the ice cream into the bowl, pressing firmly to remove any air pockets. Cover, and freeze for at least 4 hours. (Can be done up to a week in advance.)
Prepare cake according to package directions and pour ⅔ full into a 9-inch cake pan. Bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool. Then invert the ice cream onto the cake, wrap together, and freeze until ready to serve.
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium-high speed with a whisk attachment, until foamy. Slowly add sugar and continue beating several more minutes until mixture is glossy and has formed stiff peaks.
Fold 2 strips of aluminum foil, using enough to fold over several times to create sturdy "holders" for the cake. Lay across a baking sheet. Place the cake and ice cream onto the foil strips. Using a spatula, spread meringue in a thick layer all over the ice cream cake, making sure it is completely covered all the way to the baking sheet, to seal. Use the back of a spoon to create valleys and swirls.
Bake in the oven at 500 degrees for 3 minutes, or until peaks are golden brown. Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly. Let cake rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Freeze leftovers.
I make this cake in a round cake plan, but if you purchase a rectangular block of ice cream this can also be done in a 9x13 and cut about a half-inch bigger than the ice cream cube.