You’re craving sweets, but the weather is so hot that you can’t even fathom turning on the oven. What’s a baker to do? Turn to this Insta-worthy rainbow cookie icebox cake from Natasha Feldman’s new cookbook, Dinner Party Project.
For the uninitiated, an icebox cake is a no-bake treat consisting of layered wafers, creams and other ingredients that sets in the refrigerator. Feldman is no stranger to the confection. “Maybe it’s because the tradition started with my dad and his two siblings growing up in the Bronx, all having summer birthdays, and my bubbe didn’t want to turn the oven on,” she writes. “Maybe it’s because they’re easy and she was not at all a baker? Or maybe it’s just because it’s delicious. We’ll never know why it stuck, but I’m happy it did.”
The cake should be assembled and refrigerated for one to three days before serving (if you’re really pressed for time, an overnight chill will suffice). If you can’t find thin, crispy chocolate wafers, substitute chocolate wafer sandwich cookies or split Oreos. As for the whipped cream, lay it on thick—the cookies will expand as they chill, so you’ll want to ensure each layer is visible once the cake is sliced.
From Dinner Party Project by Natasha Feldman. Copyright © 2023 by Natasha Feldman. Reprinted by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Kit Kat Bar Ice Cream Cake
4 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Green, yellow and red food dyes
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate, chopped and melted
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 boxes Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (or other thin, crisp chocolate cookies)
Flaky sea salt, for serving
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with an electric hand mixer, whip the cream, sugar and salt into soft peaks. (If using a stand mixer, cover the top of the mixer with a large dish towel for the first minute to prevent splashing as the cream whirls around the bowl.) Once soft peaks have formed, add the vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Divide the whipped cream evenly into four bowls.
2. To the first bowl, add six drops of green food dye, two drops of yellow food dye and the almond extract. Fold to incorporate.
3. To the second bowl, add six drops of red food dye and the raspberry jam. Fold to incorporate.
4. To the third bowl, add nine drops of yellow food dye. Fold to incorporate.
5. To the fourth bowl, add the melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Fold to incorporate. (The chocolate layer may look a little marbled, and that’s okay!)
6. Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic is long enough to cover the loaf pan once it’s full.
7. Place a layer of wafers (use whole wafers and fill in with broken ones) in the bottom of the pan, then spread with a layer of half the chocolate whipped cream. Add another layer of wafers and half the pink whipped cream, followed by another layer of wafers and the rest of the pink whipped cream. Follow with a layer of wafers and a layer of yellow whipped cream and repeat, then a layer of wafers and a layer of green whipped cream and repeat.
8. End with a layer of wafers, a layer of chocolate whipped cream and a final layer of wafers. (The loaf pan will be quite full. Don’t worry—no one has ever been mad at too much icebox cake.)
9. Cover tightly with the extra plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pop the pan upside down and use a butter knife to release the plastic wrap. Unwrap, slice and serve, sprinkled with flaky sea salt.