This recipe has been adapted from Ina Garten of the Barefoot Contessa. I love watching Ina’s show on Food Network and when I saw her make this old fashioned, updated icebox cake a couple years ago I knew I was going to make it.
Since watching Ina I have made the cake several times but the first time was almost a disaster. I had made a batch of crisp chocolate chip cookies and had been over-generous with the chocolate chips which is usually a good thing. But… because the chocolate chips were cold from being in the refrigerator it was difficult cutting through them when I sliced the cake. I had taken this to a Christmas party and the guests were drooling and waiting for me to get it on their plates and there I was struggling with those chips!
The next time I made the cookies for the cake, I just omitted the chocolate chips and every slice was perfect! I finally adapted the cookie recipe to one that I like, which is the crisp chocolate cookies listed below and this is my favorite cookie for this cake. This will be more than enough for the cake but I know any un-used cookies will not go to waste.
You can make this cake with crisp commercial cookies rather than baking your own from scratch and the filling is easily adaptable for different flavors. I’m thinking chocolate cookies and peanut-butter in the cream mixture?
I hope you give it a try as it is so wonderful and easy to make, plus it makes an elegant dessert for any special dinner. Enjoy!
Mocha-Chocolate Icebox Cake
An easy recipe that is assembled with either home-made or commercial cookies and a light, delicious mocha-chocolate flavored cream filling.
Crisp Chocolate Cookies
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 4 sticks butter, melted and cooled
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
For the Filling:
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 25-3” crisp chocolate cookies, or enough to cover the bottom 5x
- Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish
Crisp Chocolate Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt together, whisk to combine and reserve until needed.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the melted butter and the white and brown sugars and whip until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla and mix well.
- Remove the whisk attachment from the mixer and replace with the regular beater attachment.
- In a small bowl add the cocoa and coffee powder with enough hot water to make a smooth paste. Add cocoa mixture to the sugar-batter mixture and blend well.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the sugar-batter mixture and with the mixer on low-speed mix the flour well as you continue to slowly add the remaining flour mix. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until well blended.
- Drop 12 rounded teaspoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper spacing to allow for spreading. With a silicone spatula, or the bottom of a glass, dipped into flour, flatten each of the mounds to 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet before placing on a wire rack to finish cooling.
Directions for the filling:
- With an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the softened cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder and the vanilla. Whisk together briefly and with the mixing speed on low, combine the heavy cream and slowly raise the speed and beat until the mixture is thick and creamy and has formed stiff peaks.
- To assemble the cake, arrange the cookies flat in an 9-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible, fill in the spaces with broken pieces. Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- To serve, run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.