Classic Icebox Cake

This recipe was originally created for Parents Magazine.

The Original Icebox Cake with polka dots on a platter and missing a slice.
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The Original Icebox Cake – but make it Polka Dot

Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Servings 12 Slices


  • 40 Nabisco Chocolate Wafer Cookies, one box, or another similarly thin and crispy chocolate cookie
  • sparkling sugar for decorating, optional

Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tbsps confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl and using a hand mixer, whisk the cream sugar and vanilla on medium speed until thickened. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whisk until medium to stiff peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Line a six-cup glass bowl with two long, overlapping pieces of plastic wrap. Place a cookie on the bottom of the bowl and prop six more along the sides of the bowl–the friction of the plastic wrap will keep them in place temporarily. These cookies should not touch the one on the bottom, but instead should be slightly suspended above it
  • With the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula, spread a cup or so of cream over the bottom of the bowl and just up the sides enough to secure the lower half of the cookies resting there. Cover the cream in a layer of cookies, breaking them up to fill in any gaps and to create a solid layer of cookies. Repeat with another cup or so of cream and another solid layer of cookies
  • Continue layering in this fashion until you are two inches or so away from reaching the top. Break 3 or 4 cookies in half and place/suspend them along the sides of the bowl, with their broken flat edge flush with the top edge of the bowl and proceed with layering until you reach the top, finishing with a layer of whipped cream.
  • Fold the long ends of the plastic wrap lining over the cake and place in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from–what will now be–the bottom of the cake, place a serving platter over it and flip the bowl over. Peel off the plastic wrap from the top of the cake and sprinkle around the polka dots with sparkling sugar, if using.
  • Slice the cake in wedges with a large, serrated knife, dipping the knife in hot water in between cuts for the cleanest slices. The cake will keep in the refrigerator, lightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to three days.

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