photo by @rachelgurjar
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In the summer, I’m all about low maintenance entertaining. Save those tiered layered cakes for November, please and thank you. August is all about the no bake recipes! And what could be better than an icebox cake complete with tart cherries and creamy mascarpone filling? Crisp cookies go into the refrigerator and emerge transformed into a magical cake-like texture, no oven, measuring or sifting required.
This recipe was inspired by one of the first desserts I ever made; the old school icebox cake straight off the package of chocolate wafer cookies. It’s hard to improve a classic, but adding bourbon and cherries always helps. The resulting cake is truly a stunner, and the best part is you can make it in advance and add the finishing touches right before serving. I like to just dollop the chilled cake with whipped cream, but feel free to pipe it on top if you’re feeling fancy.
Whatever you do, make this recipe for your next summer gathering. Pinky promise you won’t regret it!
Recipe and Headnote Molly Adams
- 1 cup pitted and halved cherries
- 1/ 2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/ 4 cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (9 ounce) package chocolate wafer cookies
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
- Dark chocolate, shaved, for garnish
- Cherries, fresh, for garnish
Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and set aside.
Add cherries, 2 tablespoons of sugar and bourbon to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl, then whisk into cherry mixture and cook for another minute, or until very thick. Remove from heat, mash cherries with the back of a fork, then transfer to a bowl and set in the fridge to cool.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 1 pint of heavy cream with remaining ½ cup sugar and vanilla bean paste until soft peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a large bowl, then add mascarpone and cooled cherries to the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat for about 1 minute, or until combined*.
Fold the cherry and mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream.
Add ⅓ of the whipped cream mixture of the bottom of the loaf pan and spread into an even layer. Stand 1 layer of cookies up along the outside of the pan, you should have three rows. Using the remaining cookies and cream, make 15 sandwiches by layering cream between two cookies then add them into the pan. You should have 3 rows of 10 cookies. If there is any dead space, fill it in with extra cookies, standing upright.
Spread the remaining cream filling on top of cookies, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. After the four hour chill, place in the freezer for 1-2 hours so the cake is easier to slice.
When ready to serve, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the remaining cream with sugar and vanilla until medium peaks form.
Unwrap and invert the cake onto a platter then pipe or frost with whipped cream. Garnish with shaved chocolate and fresh cherries and serve.
*Note: Alternatively, you can fold the mascarpone and cooled cherries together by hand until well combined instead of beating them together with the stand mixer.