Icebox Cake for the ultimate no bake, make ahead dessert!
This is Ice Box Cake is layered with Oreo Coconut Fudge Cream Cookies, sandwiched and smothered in coconut whipped cream, enveloped in toasted coconut and topped with mangos. It’s sweet yet refreshing and the perfect summer dessert!
Icebox Cake is the quintessential no bake, light, refreshing summer cake – so what is icebox cake? There are many variations of icebox cake but it is essentially a cake made by layering cookies, often wafer cookies, and whipped cream and then refrigerated until the cookies are softened.
Icebox Cake is a ridiculously easy, ridiculously delicious dessert that should be part of your summer repertoire. It is the most light, summer cake that requires hardly any effort or even baking but delivers sensational results every time.
WHERE DID ICEBOX CAKE COME FROM?
The deliciously simple and easy icebox cake dessert arrived in the US around the time of World War 1 when the refrigerator used to be called an “icebox.” The cake is characterized by the cookie or wafer layers softening while it sets up in the “icebox,” hence, the name “icebox cake.”
In the 1920s and 1930s, icebox cake became so popular that companies who produced its ingredients (like wafer cookies or condensed milk) began to print recipes for this cake on the back of their product boxes.
The first icebox cakes were made with chocolate wafers but now it can be made with any cookie that will soften. Other fillings such as pudding are often used as well, like in my Chocolate Eclair Cake.
For this Icebox Cake recipe, I’ve kept the traditional elements of chocolate by using Oreo Coconut Fudge Cookies and whipped cream by elevated by transforming it into coconut whipped cream. The resulting icebox cake is a fool proof dessert but FULL of exotic tropical flavor!
Icebox Cake Recipe
This Icebox Cake recipe all started with the discovery of my new favorite cookie which became the center (literally) of my new favorite summer cake – Coconut Delight Oreo Fudge Cremes! And NO this is not a sponsored post, I just have to share my new addiction. You might thank me for it, you might hate for it me when you can’t stop eating…and eating…and eating…
I first spotted these cookies when looking for an alternative to gingersnaps (too hard in my opinion for icebox cake) and thought they would be perfect layered with airy coconut cream and then smothered in coconut cream, toasted coconut and fresh mangos to create the perfect light, refreshing summer cake…and then I tried them…OMY (oh my yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Just don’t buy the Oreos too ahead of time before making this icebox cake recipe or you will definitely run out, no matter how many you start with unless you have willpower of steel, STEEL I tell you!
What’s in Icebox Cake?
This Icebox Cake recipe only requires a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- heavy cream: you must use cold heavy cream in order to create whipped cream; milk, half and half or dairy substitutes will not work.
- cream of coconut: please do not be tempted to substitute it with coconut milk or coconut cream – the are not the same. When you open a can of coconut milk (specifically full fat), you will notice the solidified cream that has risen to the top – that is coconut cream – NOT what we want for this recipe. Instead, Cream of Coconut, is a sweetened version of coconut cream boasting an intense sweet coconut flavor. It’s lusciously smooth and thick much like sweetened condensed milk. Cream of Coconut is most often used in mixed drinks and can be found near other drink mixers at your grocery store but does NOT contain alcohol. If you have trouble locating it, just ask someone at the store as it is a very common ingredient. There are both liquid and powered forms so just take care you get the liquid form. I use Coco Real Cream of Coconut in the convenient squeezable form.
- Coconut Delight Oreo Fudge Cremes: these cookies are unreal. If you can’t find them, you can substitute with chocolate wafers.
- coconut flakes: use sweetened flakes.
- mangos: these sweet, juicy morsels add an incredible dimension to this icebox cake. I HIGHLY suggest them, but you may also substitute with ripe, sweet pineapple.
- lime juice: you may use fresh or bottled. Don’t use lime juice if you substitute the mangos with pineapple.
How to make Icebox Cake
So is it possible to make the most addicting cookie ever even more delicious – in less than 20 minutes?!!! Yes! Here’s how to make Icebox Cake:
- Make coconut whipped cream. Whip heavy cream and coconut cream together.
- Layer cookies. Spoon the cream onto each cookie – they don’t need to be neat because they are all going to be stacked together.
- Stack together. Stack the cookies and cream together and turn on their side to create a long log.
- Cover with cream. Smother the remaining coconut cream all over the cookies.
- Top with coconut. Sprinkle toasted coconut all over cream and gently pat into the cream. Top with mangos bathed in lime juice and a touch of sugar. And if you are intimidated by cutting mangos – don’t be, just check out my How to Cut A Mango Post that teaches everything you could ever want to know about mangos!
CAN I PREPARE ANYTHING AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, you can prepare your toasted coconut ahead of time.
Fun food fact: you can store cooled toasted coconut on your countertop in an airtight container for one week!
CAN I REFRIGERATE LEFTOVER ICEBOX CAKE?
Yes, you can! Any uneaten icebox cake will store well for up to 3 days. Make sure you cover your cake tightly with plastic wrap or seal it in an airtight container. Be advised that the longer icebox cake sits, the more the cookie or wafer layers will soften.
CAN I FREEZE LEFTOVERS ICEBOX CAKE?
Icebox Cake with pudding filling doesn’t freeze well but THIS icebox cake recipe does freeze well – should you be so lucky to have any leftovers!
To freeze, remove any mangos (they will not freeze well) and wrap your icebox cake securely with plastic wrap a few times or place leftovers in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, let cake defrost in the refrigerator.
Recipe inspired by Food Network Magazine July/August 2014 Gingersnap Mango Icebox Cake, pg.74