I made this chocolate icebox cake with homemade wafer cookies and caramel cream in the middle of summer for season 3 episode 6 of Zoë Bakes! It’s hilarious that it just so happens to be available for streaming today, in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard with dangerous wind chills and after 8 inches of snowfall! Nevertheless it’s a fabulous dessert that I know you’ll love in any weather.
Be sure to check out the other recipe from this episode: grapefruit posset!
Season 3, Episode 6: Icebox Cake
Zoë’s mom is in town during a Minnesota summer scorcher. To help them stay cool, Zoë makes an icebox cake with homemade chocolate wafers and caramel cream, and a refreshing no-bake British dessert called a posset topped with tropical fruit.
Frequently Asked Question
Some people have let me know that when they made this recipe their dough was crumbly. I re-tested the recipe both with 1/2 cup of butter and with 3/4 cup of butter (some of you noticed 1 1/2 sticks butter in the mise en place on the show!). Both work, but I prefer the 1/2 cup recipe because the cookies are smoother and prettier. Here are some suggestions if your cookie dough is crumbly:
- This may happen for those people who don’t use a scale to measure ingredients. It’s likely they end up putting in too much flour. I always recommend using a kitchen scale for best results.
- I used Softasilk brand cake flour. King Arthur unbleached may have more protein, which would result in a dry dough.
- If it crumbles after chilling, when slicing, let the dough warm up slightly so it isn’t so brittle.
- Use a thin, sharp knife to cut. A thick blade will tend to crack the dough as it moves through.
Chocolate Wafer Cookies
- 1 1/4 cups (133g) cake flour
- 1/3 cup (37g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Caramel Whipped Cream
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp corn syrup
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar or more to taste
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Chocolate shavings for decorating
Chocolate Wafer Cookies
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract. Cream together on medium speed for a minute, then add the flour mixture and mix just until evenly combined.
- On a sheet of plastic wrap, form the dough into a 1 1/2-inch-thick log. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. The cookie dough can be made the day before.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough log into thin rounds, about 1/8-inch-thick. Arrange on the baking sheets and bake for about 8 minutes or until set (they will no longer be shiny). If baking more than one sheet at a time, you may want to rotate the trays back to front and switch from top to bottom racks midway through baking. Let the cookies cool completely. Makes about 75 cookies.
Caramel Whipped Cream
- In a medium saucepan, put the sugar in a mound in the center of the pan, being sure it doesn’t hit the sides. Gently add the corn syrup and 1/4 cup water, making sure the sugar doesn’t splash up on the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat, without stirring.
- When the sugar starts to color on the edges, gently stir the sugar until it is quite dark and smokes a bit. Once the caramel is dark, reduce the heat and slowly add half the cream. The caramel will sputter and seize up, which is normal. Gently whisk the caramel until the caramelized sugar dissolves. Add the remaining cream and stir.
- Pour the caramel cream into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. This can be made a day ahead.
- To assemble, line an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the chilled caramel cream until very soft, slouchy peaks form.
- 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 some of the cookies. Spread a layer of the cream on each cookie and layer them together in the pan vertically. You should end up with about 3 rows of cookies and cream. This may vary slightly depending on how large your cookies are. Cover the top with more cream, so the cookies are completely covered. Next add a layer of cookies, this time laying them over the cream horizontally. Add two more layers of cream and cookies, ending with a layer of cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake for at least 6 hours, but ideally overnight.
- To make the topping: After the cake has chilled, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until just stiff (do not over beat). Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking by beating in more sugar.
- Invert the icebox cake onto a serving platter. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream. If desired, pipe a design on the top of the cake using a pastry bag fitted with a rose tip or other piping tip. Top with chocolate shavings. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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