When it comes to easy no-bake desserts, icebox cakes are right at the top of the list. And the genius is in their simplicity. Just a few ingredients transform into a spectacularly delicious dessert — all without turning on the oven.
There are a few ways to go about making an icebox cake. You can make it extra special by using a springform cake pan and showcasing it on a pedestal when it's all done, or you can just layer and serve it right out of a rectangular pan. But no matter what you use to hold it, the method is all the same.
The basic foundation for any icebox cake isn’t actually cake — it's alternating layers of cookies and fresh whipped cream in a cake pan, which is refrigerated until it’s set.
For the cookies, you can use Oreos, chocolate wafers, vanilla wafers, graham crackers or even chocolate chip cookies chock full of your favorite unexpected ingredients. Next is the whipped cream, which you can infuse with different flavors or mix with add-ins, fresh fruit, nuts or toppings.
While it sits in the refrigerator, the cookies or graham crackers soften just enough to be tender like cake, marrying perfectly with the whipped cream to create something that looks like an impressive layered torte.
Some flavor combinations to try include chocolate wafers and whipped cream, vanilla wafers with lemon whipped cream or graham crackers and whipped cream with strawberries folded in. There are so many different combinations you can try to put your own spin on this childhood treat.
To make an icebox cake, follow the basic recipe below:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or any flavoring you want
- 1 package wafers or graham cracker
In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat or it will turn to butter.
Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on the bottom of a springform pan or any pan you’re using, then top with an even layer of cookies.
Spread more whipped cream on top of cookies and repeat the layering process until you have at least four layers of cookies.
Spread the last layer of whipped cream on top and smooth it out. Refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.
When it’s time to serve, garnish and serve by the slice.
Icebox cakes are just one of many vintage recipes that you shouldn’t forget about.
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