How to Make Icebox Cake

This sophisticated icebox cake will bring back childhood memories, but also impress grown-up taste buds.

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Icebox Cake

Zoe Francois revamps this old-school treat using homemade chocolate wafers and a decadent caramel whip cream. The result? A striped "cake" that's pretty to behold, but doesn't require a ton of mixing, measuring and baking.


Follow this step-by-step guide to make the retro dessert. For the ingredients list, go to the Icebox Cake recipe.

To Make the Homemade Wafers:

To start, you'll need a batch of chocolate wafers. Click on the recipe below for the ingredient list to Zoe's homemade version.

Cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until light, about 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt. If there are any lumps of cocoa powder, sift the dry ingredients before adding to the butter.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just to combine. Add the milk and mix just to combine. 

Get the Recipe: Homemade Chocolate Wafer Cookies

Form the dough into two 1 1/2-inch-thick logs. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

To Bake the Wafers:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. 

Slice the log of cookie dough into 1/8-inch-thick coins. 

Arrange on the baking sheets with about 1 1/2 inches between the cookies. Bake for 8 minutes and then rotate the trays back to front and switch from top and bottom racks. Bake for another 2 minutes or until they are dry looking and firm. Because the cookies are so dark, you can't go by color on these.

To Make the Caramel Whip Cream:

In a medium-large saucepan put the sugar in a mound in the center of the pan, be sure it doesn't hit the sides. Gently add the water and corn syrup, making sure the sugar doesn't splash up on the sides of the pan. If any of the sugar is not disolved very gently stir, but make sure none of the sugar hits the sides of the pan. (All of this care to keep the sugar off the side of the pan will prevent your sugar from crystalizing while it cooks.)

Cook over high heat, without stiring. When the sugar starts to color on the edges, gently stir the sugar. Until it is quite dark, it will smoke a bit.

Once the caramel is dark in color, reduce the heat and add half the cream. The caramel will sputter and sieze up, which is normal. Gently whisk the caramel until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining cream and stir.

Strain the caramel cream into a shallow container. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

Using a whisk or stand mixer whip 2/3 of the chilled caramel cream until soft peaks. Reserve the remaining 1/3 of the cream for topping the cake.

To Assemble the Icebox Cake:

Line an 8 by 4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap.

Coat the bottom of the prepared pan with about a 1/4-inch-thick layer of the cream. Line the outside of the pan with the cookies.

 Spread a layer of the cream on each cookie and layer them together in the pan.

You should end up with about 3 rows of cookies and cream.

Cover the top with more of the cream so the cookies are completely covered. Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours or overnight.

When you're ready to serve, invert the cake onto a serving platter. 

Whip the remaining 1/3 of the cream and decorate the cake as you wish.

Get the Recipe: Icebox Cake

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