Cooking 101: IceBox Cake!
Cake minus the bake! A summertime favorite, icebox cakes are a great way to whip up a tasty dessert no-oven!
Instead of baking your cake to cook and develop the flavors, icebox cakes instead chill the ingredients into one solid cake. Amazing things happen in the time it takes to chill – the cream thickens as it also moistens those crunchy cookies or crackers to a cake-like consistency as all the flavors meld together. Usually prepared in a tall baking dish, they are constructed layer-by-layer with whatever ingredient combos you desire.
Created in the 1930’s to promote the sale of electric ice boxes in the home, ice box cake recipes gained traction for their ease and lack of baking required. Popular retro icebox recipes include trifles, banana pudding, tiramisu and ice cream sandwich cakes.
For the most part, icebox cakes follow a similar formula:
From ice cream and pudding to whipped cream and sweet ricotta, the cream in icebox cakes can be any thick cream that will solidify once chilled while lending its moisture to soften the crunchy cookies within. Cool Whip is a popular and safe bet for this, but your choice of cream, mouse, ice cream, etcetera is where you can really have fun, express yourself and experiment with icebox cakes.
- Cookie Bits
- Peanut Butter
Icebox cake is very much like a no-bake cheesecake until you reach that layer of soft cookie or graham cracker! The magic of icebox cakes is that the once crunchy treat absorbs the moisture of the cream around it, making it soft and perfectly cake-like. For this reason, any cookie or sweet cracker is excellent in icebox cake – from Oreos and chocolate chips to vanilla wafers and beyond:
- Graham Crackers
- Ginger Bread
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Ritz Crackers
Let It Chill
One you have assembled your cream and crunch together, the fridge is where the rest of the magic happens. Most recipes call for 4 hours of chill time, but most of them can be prepared as much as 24 hours ahead of time. How long you go depends on how moist you want your crunchy cookies/crackers to become. For them to still have some crunch, less time in the fridge is for you. But to turn those crunchy treats into moist, cake-like goodness, the longer the better!
Do you have a favorite icebox cake recipe we should know about? Tag us with #BestMarket, we would love to see!
June 16, 2020