Icebox cake is the perfect dessert for your end-of-summer gatherings. Why? Because there’s absolutely no baking involved. After all, there’s nothing better than a recipe that doesn’t require you to turn on your oven when it’s especially hot out.
As the name implies, all you need to make this delectable treat is an icebox—which is just an old-fashioned way of saying refrigerator.
Inspired by a popular recipe from the ‘20s and ‘30s, our six-ingredient cake uses layers of freshly-made whipped cream and chocolate wafer cookies. Despite our shift from iceboxes to freezers, icebox cake has remained a classic throughout the decades because it’s both easy to make and delicious.
We love the sweet cream flavor and silky-smooth texture of freshly made whipped cream. Nothing beats making it from scratch, especially since the prep time is so minimal. Just a couple of minutes of whisking heavy cream and powdered sugar, followed by adding a dash of almond liqueur and a few drops of vanilla extract, and you’re good to go!
(Adding the liqueur is of course optional.)
Build the cake by spreading a thin layer of freshly whipped cream to the bottom of a flat serving or cake dish. Arrange seven cookies side-by-side around the circumference of the whipped cream layer, placing one cookie in the middle. Repeat the layering with the rest of the whipped cream and cookies, finishing the top off with cream.
A four-hour to overnight rest period in the fridge allows everything to chill and set, during which time the cookies will absorb some of the moisture from the whipped cream. This is what gives this dessert its soft, cake-like texture.
Before slicing and serving, put the finishing touches on your cake by garnishing it with flaky, dark chocolate shavings. You can never have enough excess chocolate!
Generously layered, creamy and delicious, icebox cake is a retro dessert staple and our pick for the dessert of the summer.
Icebox Cake Recipe
4 Cups Heavy Cream
½ Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Almond Liqueur
2 9-Ounce Packages Chocolate Wafer Cookies
5 Ounces Dark Chocolate
Make the whipped cream
In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar; using a whisk, beat until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the vanilla extract and almond liqueur.
Assemble & refrigerate the cake
Spread a thin, round layer (about 4 inches in diameter) of the whipped cream onto the bottom of a flat serving dish or cake dish. Arrange 7 cookies, side by side, in a circle around the circumference of the whipped cream layer. Place 1 cookie in the center. Carefully and evenly spread about ¾ cup of the whipped cream over the cookies to create another round layer. Repeat with the remaining whipped cream and cookies, finishing with the whipped cream on top. Carefully cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or up to overnight).
Shave the chocolate & finish the cake
Just before serving the cake, place the chocolate on a clean, dry work surface. Carefully drag the blade of a knife over the surface of the chocolate to create thin shavings. Garnish the cake with the chocolate shavings.
Tell us – what are your favorite no-bake recipes for summer?