Tuesday, April 08, 2008

That Famous Chocolate Icebox Cake

Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake
Though I'd never made or even eaten this before, I was always fascinated as a kid by the picture on the box, of the cookies covered with whipped cream. It really is that simple, two boxes (plus one extra to account for breakage) of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, slathered with whipped cream and stacked. The idea is that the cream is absorbed into the wafers and softens them to give the whole thing a cakey texture. I made this for a birthday dinner - and I can highly recommend it as a weekday endeavor. It's so quick and easy, you can slap it together in the morning, and by nightfall? Cake.
For the icebox cake
It certainly looked pretty when it was freshly made...
Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake
When I cut into it after dinner though, I was a little disappointed. All of the cream in the center had been absorbed, and the cookies were a grainy, solid mass. I had used the half cup of whipped cream on each layer as recommended - but I guess I must have spread it a little too thin. I might have also whipped it a little soft - I thought it needed to be soft to soak in, but you don't want it to ALL soak in. In the end, it tasted pretty good, it was certainly easy, and fun to make, but it wasn't quite as fabulous as I'd hoped it would be.

If you're feeling extra ambitious, you could try Deb's homemade chocolate wafers, but it kinda seems like it defeats the purpose of making something so easy if part of it has to be baked, doesn't it? I bet they'd make great ice cream sandwiches too though...

There's a sad little epilogue to this story - as I was carrying the leftovers into work to fob off on co-workers, the bottom fell off of my chrome cake carrier and the cake fell out and splatted on the parking garage floor - but worse than that, my new  favorite cake plate broke!  I'm obsessively hunting a replacement.  If I could, I'd get a whole set.

Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake
That Famous Chocolate Icebox Cake
As seen on the cookie box, Magnolia Bakery, Oprah, Smitten Kitchen, and other blogs, magazines and websites too numerous to mention!



2-3 packages of Famous Chocolate Wafers
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoons of powdered sugar

Beat the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

On a serving plate, arrange seven cookies in a circle, with one in the center. Spread the cookies with half a cup of the whipped cream. Don't be like me and spread it too far out to the edges, it should be at least a quarter inch thick between the layers. Repeat until you get to about four or five inches high, finishing with a layer of cream. Do a little decorative stack on the top if you like.

Cover with plastic wrap (I used my cake dome) and refrigerate for at least four to six hours. Dust with cocoa powder or top with chocolate shavings before serving.

Serves about 8-10.


29 comments:

  1. I'll bring the tea if you provide the forks. That's a gorgeous cake!

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  2. It was DELICIOUS -- I ate my entire piece!
    -the birthday girl.

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  3. My aunt does a cake like this with graham crackers and Kahlua whipped cream, with crushed pistachios as a topping. Once everything melds together and the crackers are a solid mass, it's really good!

    I'm sorry to hear about your plate... I hope you find a replacement! That cake pan is awesome, though, and I love the Russel Wright dinnerware.

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  4. Erin - make it coffee and you've got a deal! :-)

    Anonymous - I'm so glad you liked it. It was so fun to see you guys, I miss you again already!

    Marie - that sounds AWESOME! Really, when you get started thinking about it the possibilities are endless!

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  5. Great photos, Alice. Sorry about your plate though.

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  6. It really is a gorgeous cake! I think you're on the right track with the mint idea!

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  7. u did such an amazing job putting this together. it's stunning. how ever did you eat it? ok that's a stupid question. :) glad to have found ur blog.

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  8. Mmmmm... This is the simplest thing in the world and yet it's delightful. I have a lemon variation of this on my blog.

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  9. What a beautiful looking dessert! Next time I'm looking for a wow dessert I know what to make.

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  10. What a beautiful picture! I've made a variation of this using chocolate graham crackers. You dip each sheet of graham cracker in milk and layer it with chopped pecans and cool whip in a trifle dish. After it sits overnight the graham crackers are cakey and it's SO good. It's been ages since I've made this so thanks for the memory jolt to an old favorite.

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  11. YES! Do the mint variation and tell me how it turns out!! I love me some chocolate and mint. This looks devine. The whipped cream seems perfectly whipped to me- but ya know, thats just me. I have a thing against over-whipped cream. It looks grainy. Yours looks nice and luscious. : )

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  12. wow. i've never seen those chocolate wafers around. but that icebox cake looks great.

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  13. That is beautiful! I have never had anything like this cake before.

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  14. icebox cake is the BEST CAKE IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. seriously. i will always pick icebox cake over any other kind of cake.

    i really, really love icebox cake.

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  15. I have never heard of the cookies nor the cake. However, it looks really beautiful and tempting.

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  16. This is an old recipe which we had at home in the 50's.
    WE made it in a log so that the cookies had uniform exposure to the cream and the log was covered with cream, chocloate shavings on top.

    So easy and delicious. But it is hard to find the cookies now.

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  17. Hi Alice -
    My grandmother made these for me, my sisters and 2 cousins when we were growing up and we used to call them "whipped cream cookies." She, of course, made her own (delicious) whipped cream - no Cool Whip for Nana - but she'd make individual stacks with maybe 5 or 6 cookies and the whipped cream in between each. They were, and still are, my favorite dessert! I make them for special occasions and think of Nana with love as I do!

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  18. Sorry about the plate. Did you try www.replacements.com? They have almost everything (though it is not cheap!).

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  19. I have a good recipe for homemade chocolate wafers. I made them stacked on their edge and cut them on the diagonal for the zebra cake effect. They are made with melted semisweet chocolate chips and a little corn syrup. Much better and less expensive than the Nabisco cookies.

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  20. Stumbled across this Googling "Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers." My mom used to make this for block parties in the 80's, and her mom used to make it as well in the 50's. I love the history and the ease of this dish. I have continued the tradition and have made it for a few get-togethers. It is still, to this day, a huge hit. Great for those of us who aren't cooks or bakers. I'm getting ready to make it again tonight for a potluck we have to go to tomorrow night. I'm so happy my local grocery store carries the wafers. They are so hard to find sometimes. I whip the cream and vanilla myself--wouldn't dream of using pre-made whipped cream. Mom always told me to put the beaters and the bowl in the fridge for an hour before whipping the cream. She always layered it in a dish as do I. People are always scraping the sides of the bowl trying to get that last bit!

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  21. OK, so I know this was posted more than a year ago, but as a chef, i thought i might respond to help you attempt this again. Try finding 40% milk fat heavy cream. It is tough to find, but it will make a world of difference in the final product

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  22. Wowwww. I just asked my best friend to make this for me. It looks beautiful and she's the one with the skills. :)

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  23. As I type this, my 11-year old grandson is making "the log" for the first time.........that makes 5 generations. We have it for every family holiday get-together. I'm 61 years old, and I remember having it for my 5th birthday!! My grandmother made it in the '30s, so I know the wafers have been around a LONG time! If you're having trouble finding them, they're often "hidden" with ice cream toppings (syrup, ice cream cones, etc.). Never, ever skimp by trying to use Cool Whip or something similar.....HAS to be fresh, REAL whipped cream!!

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  24. I make mine with oreos, and it comes out AMAZINGLY rich :)

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  25. Looks amazing and something I think the kids would LOVE to try! Thanks!

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  26. The version in our family is with gingernuts, dipped in brandy, stuck together with fresh whipped cream. Yum! It's always been a log but I love the idea of the cake shape. It's back on my list of things to make and eat soon!

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  27. I recently made one but varied it a bit. I made what would essentially be the filling to a peanut butter cheesecake, but instead of using a springform pan and crust, I used the famous wafer cookies and made it in icebox cake format, layering the peanut butter cheesecake filling with cookies. Refrigerated overnight, added crushed reese's peanut butter cups to the top, and the next day it was the greatest cake ever. It even looked fantastic when cut and plated.

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  28. My mother use to make this and her secret for slicing it smoothly was wrapping it loosely in foil and freezing it for several hours before it was served. It was quite delicious served frozen. It tasted like an ice cream cake. Sometimes we added red or green food coloring to the cream for the holidays.

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  29. This has been a Christmas favorite with the addition of finely crushed starlight mints. Put the log together on wax paper. Add 2/3 C finely crushed candy to 1/2 pint whipped cream, mix, and layer between wafers. Mix another batch of the same and cover all around, then cover with the wax paper. Put in refrigerator 12+ hours. It turns a beautiful pink that is festive and is a wonderful combination of chocolate and mint!

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