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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Icebox Cakes for the Hot, Hot, Holiday!

Happy Wednesday everyone - hump daaaaay! I walked my dog this afternoon and was instantly sweating, reminding me that mid-summer has arrived along with the 4th of July. So in honor of keeping cool, here are some icebox cakes to wow your holiday crowd. Just remember: keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve!

Chocolate Mint Icebox Cake
Gourmet July 1992

  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine, plus, if desired, mint sprigs for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • a 9-ounce package chocolate wafers

  1. In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the mint leaves, the sugar, the cocoa powder, and the cream, beat the mixture until it holds soft peaks, and spread about 1 mounded teaspoon of it on one side of each wafer. 
  2. On a platter sandwich the wafers together on their sides to form a log and ice the log with the remaining cream mixture, covering it completely. 
  3. Chill the cake, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for at least 6 hours or overnight. 
  4. Cut the cake diagonally into 3/4-inch-thick slices and serve it garnished with the mint sprigs.

Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake
Lauren Chattman


Vanilla Pastry Cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 62 sponge cake-type ladyfingers (two and a half 3-ounce packages)
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 pints strawberries, stemmed, and thinly sliced


  1.  To make the pastry cream, combine the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, and the salt in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, cornstarch, and the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until pale yellow and smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. When the half-and-half mixture is simmering, remove from the heat and gradually whisk it into the egg mixture, going slowly and whisking constantly so as not to curdle the eggs. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, just until a few bubbles break through the surface and the mixture has thickened and is shiny, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, and the vanilla extract. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the hot pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
  5. To assemble the cake, line the sides of a 9-inch springform pan with about 20 ladyfingers, standing them up side by side, rounded side out. Arrange 14 ladyfingers on the bottom of the pan to cover it.
  6. Whip the cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Reserve about 2 cups of the whipped cream, transferring it to a smaller bowl. Gently fold the pastry cream into the remaining whipped cream.
  7. Spread half of the pastry cream mixture over the ladyfingers and smooth with a spatula. Arrange half of the strawberries in a single layer on top of the pastry cream. Arrange 14 ladyfingers over the strawberries. Smooth the remaining pastry cream over the ladyfingers. Arrange the remaining strawberries over the cream. Top with the remaining 14 ladyfingers.
  8. Smooth the reserved whipped cream over the last layer of ladyfingers. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
  9. Just before serving, release the sides of the springform pan from the cake.

Lemon Icebox Cake
Adam Randall, Stone's Restaurant and Lounge


  • 4 lemons
  • 1 cup water plus additional for blanching
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (8- by 4-inch) store-bought all-butter pound cake (3/4 to 1 pound), chilled

Make candied peel:
  1. Remove zest (peel) from 2 lemons in wide strips with a vegetable peeler (see Tips, page 118), then cut lengthwise with a sharp knife into 1/8-inch-wide julienne strips. Reserve lemons for juicing.
  2. Fill a 2-quart heavy saucepan halfway with water, then add julienned peel. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Drain peel in a sieve and rinse.
  3. Bring water (1 cup) and 1 cup granulated sugar to a boil in saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add peel and gently simmer until translucent, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove peel from syrup with a slotted spoon, letting syrup drain off into saucepan. Spread out on a sheet of wax paper and cool to room temperature.
  5. Toss peel with remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, stirring with a fork to coat and separate. Transfer sugared peel to clean dry sieve and shake off excess sugar, then spread out on a fresh sheet of wax paper to dry slightly. Make lemon filling while peel simmers and cools: Grate enough zest from remaining 2 lemons with a rasp to measure 2 teaspoon, then squeeze enough juice from all lemons to measure 2/3 cup. Whisk together zest, juice, and condensed milk. Chill until cold, at least 30 minutes.
Whip cream: 
  1. Beat heavy cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl with a whisk or electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. assemble cake: Halve cake crosswise, then trim crust from all sides. Cut each block horizontally into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) squares. Halve each square diagonally into 2 triangles.
  2. For each serving, layer 2 triangles with lemon filling, offsetting corners. Top cake with whipped cream and candied lemon peel.
  • Candied lemon peel can be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Lemon filling can be made 1 day ahead and chilled.

Lizzy Bee's Note: You can bake a pound cake for extra homemade!

Happy (oven-free!) baking!

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