Icebox cakes

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By Chef Ed Dychauco

Pots and Pans

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ONE of the easiest desserts anyone can make at home, from ages 3 to 103!

In the days gone by, icebox (or refrigerator) cakes were a craze during the 1920s & 1930s when it started way back then.

And with the introduction of pre-made ingredients like condensed milk, wafers cookies and other cake ingredients, it definitely became a wonderful treat to all.


And everyone started making desserts, not really from scratch but from the available over-the- counter goodies.

Like charlotte and the trifle, icebox cake was of almost the same level with them, so to say.

It uses cakes or breads as “liners” and filled or layered with fruit purees, cream or custards.

It is usually a chilled dessert, but some are offered as warm sweets.

This is definitely one recipe that doesn’t need exact measurements or ingredients.

But a trial and error in which what goes well with what helps in coming up with the ultimate winner.

What do I mean by this? Well, an icebox cake is typically made of two or maybe more ingredients that are readily available in stores or supermarkets.

It is something one can “create” or develop depending on one’s ability and skills, plus a lot of imagination!

Wafer cookies, Marie biscuits, Oreos, Graham or our local counterparts, peanut butter, vanilla and all in-between cookies or even bakery made cookies can be turned into something unique.

This becomes the base of the “cake.”

The other important ingredient would be the cream.
All-purpose cream or heavy cream, used as it is or with the addition of some sweeteners like powdered sugar or cane sugar, flavoring, cocoa powders or melted chocolate, and/or flavoring like vanilla, lemon, strawberry , etc. to enhance the finished product.

Naturally, we need a pan, square, round, rectangular, whatever. If not, aluminum foil or cling wrap can do the trick in the assembly of this chilled delight.

One word of caution: Make sure the whipped cream is chilled enough to hold and adhere to the wafer or cookies.

With these 2 major ingredients, anything or everything can be added to take this ice box cake to the next level.

The cookie will then “soften” once it comes in contact with the sweet cream, that eventually give a “melt-in-your-mouth” sensation! What a feeling!

Fruits, (pureed, fresh or dried), nuts of all kinds, chocolate chips, mocha chips, sprinkles, custard cream, Bavarian cream, mousse or even ice cream can be used as fillers or incorporated into the whipped cream.

As I have said, anything or everything!

Once everything is “constructed”, freeze or chill for several hours to make sure it firmly holds its shape.

Once it is firm, it can be transferred to a serving platter then decorated with more whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkled with cookie crumbs and topped with more fruits or nuts for that special presentation.

Again, using a knife that has been dipped in hot water will make the slicing easier & neat.

But make sure this decadent dessert is served right away!

However, with a lot of sweet tooth around, plus the humid weather like ours, I doubt if this dessert can last long in the chiller!!

Another “cool” dessert coming up!

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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 24, 2014.


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