Icebox cakes are some of my all time favorite cakes (as is perhaps evidenced by the fact that I wrote an entire book about them). I love an icebox cake for its versatility, its simplicity and its off the charts deliciousness.
For those not in the know, an icebox cake is a cake that is not baked in an oven, but instead “sets-up” in the refrigerator. Cookies (or graham crackers or lady fingers) are layered with whipped cream or pudding and once placed in the refrigerator the cookies (or “cakey” layer) is absorbed by the whipped cream or pudding (the “creamy” layer) and lo and behold a cake is born.
The texture is soft, as the cookies lose all of their crispiness while in the refrigerator; and because you can flavor the cream or pudding in an infinite variety of ways, icebox cakes never get boring.
Below are a few of my all-time fave flavor combos. A note: some of these recipes call for homemade cookies and graham crackers, but feel free to use store-bought.
This is a special cake that is just perfect for summer. It calls for homemade graham crackers, but I highly recommend using store-bought ones. The pudding is easy as can be, despite the fact it is homemade and although the marshmallow whipped cream takes a little bit of time, it is time well spent.
If there is a better combo than that of chocolate cookies and marshmallow whipped cream, I have yet to be introduced.
Part of the beauty of an icebox cake is its infinite versatility. For instance, in the case of this cake, all you do is add some eggnog to your whipped cream and voila: a delicious, festive holiday cake!
Adding sweetened condensed milk to whipped cream in an icebox cake is a game-changer. Check out this cake to see what I mean.
Like your favorite coconut chocolate almond candy bar, this one hits all the right notes.
All you need to do is fold some of your favorite jam into whipped cream and layer it with some shortbread cookies and wow – you have the perfect icebox cake for all your fruity occasions.
A cake in honor of my favorite milkshake – the black and white malted. Malted milk whipped cream is layered with cookies and milk chocolate ganache.
Strawberry whipped cream and Nilla Wafers – cake does not get much better than this.
My Favorite 8 Icebox Cake Recipes (Strawberry & More!)
- 2 cups strawberries chopped
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 8 1/2 ounces Nilla Wafers
- Red Sanding Sugar for sprinkling
- Puree the strawberries and granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until pourable, but still slightly chunky.
- Have ready a 2-quart dish.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream on medium to medium-high speed until the cream begins to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining vanilla, and whisk until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the strawberries into the cream.
- Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a layer of cream on the bottom of the pan. Cover as much of the cream as possible with a layer of vanilla wafers, filling any gaps with broken wafers (breaking them yourself, if necessary). The pieces should touch. The goal is a solid layer of cookies.
- Continue layering whipped cream and cookies until you run out or reach the top of the pan. Spread the top of the cake with whipped cream and gently cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the cake for 6 to 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator prior to serving and peel off the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the top of the cake with red sanding sugar.
- Serve directly from the pan. The cake will keep, tightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.