Wednesday, August 6, 2008

icebox cake

Icebox Birthday Cake 050

Here I sit, just 30 minutes left to a year, an age, I will miss. I’ve always been the nostalgic type, the type to appreciate the present and then miss it when it’s gone…sometimes even before it’s gone. It’s a good quality, but one that keeps me awake at moments like this, watching the minutes tick by on the clock. Only 24 left. Kenny Chesney’s “Back Where I Come From” floats out of the speakers as I type. This was a big year for me. I moved thousands of miles away from everything I hold dear to a place I knew nothing about, all in pursuit of a dream that I just can’t shake. I don’t have any regrets, but the sacrifice is steep, and times like these are when I'm most aware of what I've chosen to give up. I suppose it's no surprise that I just booked a flight home. In a perfect world, that's where I'd be right now, asleep in my bed, knowing the next day would bring kisses and hugs, celebration and cake.

Today is my 25th birthday.

Icebox Birthday Cake 047

Icebox cake is simple to make, but here are a few tips to help you turn out a cake that is both tasty and pretty: Use a rotating cake stand to assemble your cake. Mine is made by Ateco and is a little pricey at $75 (Thanks, Santa!), but Wilton makes a cheaper version. Also, when you are adding the layers of wafers, lean over the cake so you are looking directly down at it and can align your wafers correctly. This will keep your cake from looking like the leaning tower of Pisa when you are finished. Finally, keep your whipped cream in the fridge while you are assembling your cake (i.e., assemble near the fridge so you can just reach in and grab two scoops of cream for every layer). Sloppy cream = sloppy cake. Enjoy!

Icebox Cake
A recipe from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, via Smitten Kitchen

3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 (9-ounce) packages Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies
Unsweetened cocoa or chocolate shavings for garnish

In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

On a flat serving plate, arrange 6 cookies in a circle, and then place 1 additional cookie in the center of the circle. All the cookies should be touching, but not overlapping.

Spread 1/2 cup whipped cream on top of the cookie layer making a 7-inch circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 11-12 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream (11 layers will leave you with a few cookies left over for garnish; 12 will not). Cover with a cake dome and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

To serve, dust top lightly with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.


  1. Happy Birthday to my Favorite Cousin Born on August 6th!


  2. Thanks, Jami -- Happy Birthday to you, too! (Isn't oh-so-unique that we were born on the same day? Good thing I showed up early, huh?)

  3. happy birthday (a day late)! i've been 25 for a few months now, and 24 was a big year for me, too. we're in shockingly similar situations--i just moved pretty far away from everything and everyone i love, too. hang in there! :)
    oh, and obviously, this is an amazing cake. that should go without saying. :)

  4. Its been a while since I've been on, and I was looking for a good recipe for my daughter's 2nd birthday party this weekend when I saw this posting. After I read the comments, I thought it would be interesting to mention that my daughter and my brother's son were both born on the same day. Isn't it so unique sharing something so special? Happy birthday late. I think we will try the old fashion chocolate cupcakes for Kennedy's bday!