Insanely Easy Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread

Lemon Blueberry Ice Cream Bread

Want to give new meaning to the term quick bread? Recently there's been a lot of buzz on the web about 2-ingredient ice cream bread. Could ice cream and self-rising flour turn into something tasty, without eggs or butter? As a "serious baker" I was skeptical.

One of the things I love about my job is that we can test concepts like this on the spot. I wondered: Is it a fluke? Does it only work with super-premium ice cream? What if you don't have self-rising flour?... you get the idea. So off we went. Laura Arnold, from Davidson College, who is interning with us this summer, enthusiastically helped me with testing. We plotted pan treatment, ice cream brands, ice cream flavors, extra add-ins, and more.

Our first tests were the basics: self-rising flour and vanilla ice cream. I thought premium would be best as it has less air and more fat and solids. The first brand of ice cream we used was Haagen Dasz, trying it with both Gold Medal self-rising flour and our own self-rising flour mix (for those of us who don't keep self-rising flour in the pantry). While the recipe worked beautifully with both Gold Medal and GH's blend, some tasters preferred our homemade self-rising blend.

Related: Sweet Recipes Turned Savory

Next, we decided to customize add-ins to see if they'd sink or disturb the process. Both banana chunks and chocolate chips, and blueberry-lemon, took an extra 5 minutes to bake, but otherwise gave the same results.

And then we were onto doing more tests: We tried the recipe with 2 supermarket brands of ice cream, both of which had less fat. Though the formula worked, the breads were not as moist and tender. Next up: Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream that has lots of add-ins. It's a friend's favorite flavor: Studded with chocolate fish, and swirled with chocolate fudge and marshmallow, we get why she loves it! Although we thought we might need to reduce the flour because of the solid goodies, it proved to be unnecessary. In fact, the Phish Food bread was a favorite with our staff. We also tried Ben and Jerry's vanilla which produced a nice moist, close-to-cakey texture.

Will these be the butteriest, tenderest loaves you'll ever bake? No. On the other hand, they're fun and super-easy to mix. They're a perfect project to do with kids- and when they lick the bowl, you won't have to worry that they're eating raw egg!

GH advice: to create a luscious loaf, start with a pint of your favorite flavor premium ice cream.

Loaf leftovers? Toast slices and use them as a base for a sundae or your favorite fruit shortcake, or an indulgent breakfast.

Related: Scoop Up Some Fun! 11 Ice Cream Must-Haves

Ice Cream Bread

2 cups premium vanilla ice cream, softened (we microwaved for 30 to 40 seconds)

11/2 cups self rising flour (or 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 81/2 x 41/2 loaf pan with baking spray.

2. In large bowl, stir ice cream until smooth; stir in flour until just blended. Scoop into prepared pan. Bake 43 to 48 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

3. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert loaf onto cooling rack. Serve warm or cool completely.

Add-ins: Mix and match up to 1 cup of add-ins

1 Chopped banana (about 2/3 cup)

1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped peanut butter cups, or other candy bar

1/2 cup raisins, dates, dried cranberries or other dried fruit

1 Tsp. grated lemon, orange, or lime zest

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or cranberries

1 large apple, cored and chopped and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (about 1 cup)

- By Susan Westmoreland

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