The first time I had one, I thought I was eating the best cake in the world. Let it be noted I am picky about cakes – give me a cookie or brownie over a cake any day. So my Mom made a chocolate mint cake, which I have yet to share here (yes, failing at blogging as always). I literally thought I was eating a cake that was baked in the thinnest of layers, and was so moist and delicious I just couldn’t believe it. Imagine my shock and awe when my mom told me the cake was just chocolate wafer cookies and mint whipped cream, thrown in a fridge and then *poof* morphed into one of the easiest and greatest treats I had ever had.That, my friends, is the magic behind icebox cakes. No turning on the oven – not many crazy ingredients. You just have to find yourself some good crunchy cookies at the store and have a good springform pan. Okay – you are buying store bought cookies, try not to freak out. That is why these are called icebox cakes instead of refrigerator cakes – they are retro! But not so retro that they came before the time of anything from out of a box. Moving on!
This icebox cake, however, had a tad more to it. Here we use fresh peaches and we have to add a little bit of gelatin to get the fruit to thicken up. It’s still really easy! We used Anna’s Ginger Thins, but regular ginger snaps would work well too.After getting the fruit mixture thickened up, fold it with some whipped cream, then simply layer your springform pan with cookies, then fruit cream, then repeat. Even though you may be putting some broken pieces of cookies into your cookie layer, no one will ever notice after the cake has been in the refrigerator for a few hours. I mean, look at my layering job…Stay tuned…I can’t wait to share our next icebox cake recipe with you!
Peaches N’ Cream Ginger Icebox Cake
by Lulu and Lauren
makes 1 icebox cake ( about 12 servings)
Special Equipment: Food Processor, Springform Pan, hand mixer
- 1 lb. (about 4 large) fresh peaches
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 envelopes knox gelatin
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup fat free greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp diced candied ginger
- Ginger Wafer Cookies (about 2 boxes)
Peel peaches the best that you can and remove the pit. Add peaches, sugar, and vanilla to food processor and pulse until smooth, but some small chunks remaining are ok. Transfer 1/4 cup of the fruit mixture to a saucepan, spinkle with the 1 1/4 envelopes of knox gelatin. (Yes, I hate leaving 3/4 of envelope of gelatin, but at least these icebox cakes are so good you know you will probably be making one again in the future). Cook fruit and gelatin over low heat, stirring until gelatin dissolves (about 2 minutes). Transfer the mixture to the remaining fruit in the food processor, and pulse again until smooth.
With a hand mixer, beat heavy cream and yogurt in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Add about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, depending on how sweet you would like your cream to be. Add about 2 tbsp of diced candied ginger. Candied ginger is kind of spendy, so this step is totally optional, but good! Beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
Fold about 2/3 of the cream into the fruit mixture. Reserve the remaining cream in the refrigerator for the finished cake.
Take a springform pan and place it on a larger plate or platter. Layer the bottom of the pan with ginger cookies. The layering doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to cover the bottom of the pan. You can break cookies, it really doesn’t have to be pretty! The cookies will soften in the fridge anyways. Alternate a few laters of cookies, then cream, cookies, then cream. I did about 4 layers for my cake, but do whatever works for the springfrom pan you are using. The top layer should be a few cookies, this is where you can make a pretty design. Place the cake in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. It’s best when done overnight. The cake will be firm and the cookies on the top will have softened after the appropriate amount of time.
Place the springform pan on a platter or cake stand and remove the sprinform (we kept the bottom part of the springform for serving). Place some of the reserved whipped cream and a few extra peaches on the top of the cake. Slice and serve!