Icebox cakes are magic! Layer a few components together, place in the refrigerator, and hours later you have something transcendent — moist, creamy and irresistibly delicious. Icebox cakes gained prominence in the 1920s when companies were promoting a new home appliance — the electric icebox! The cake’s popularity soared when Nabisco included a recipe for an icebox cake on the packaging for their Famous Chocolate Wafers in 1929. Variations proliferated, some with ladyfingers, crisp wafers, and cake, and fillings ranging from Bavarian cream to ice cream to whipped cream. Our spin on the classic makes an elegant Valentine’s Day treat or dessert for your next dinner party. It features chocolate cake, fresh raspberries, Project Barnstorm Raspberry Conserve, and rose scented sweetened whipped cream.
Printable PDF of the recipe here.
Makes 6-8 servings
¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1¾ cup granulated sugar
1½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup boiling water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1¼ tsp rose extract
48 fresh raspberries (about 2 pints)
⅔ cup Project Barnstorm Raspberry Conserve (or similar)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a 9-inch square cake pan by brushing it with oil and lining it with a 9-inch x 14-inch piece of parchment. The overhang will help you lift the cake from the pan after baking.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the stand mixer bowl. Mix on low for 1 minute. With the mixer running at medium speed, add the egg mixture and mix for 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to ensure all is well incorporated. With the mixer running at medium speed, slowly add the boiling water in a slow stream and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds).
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for 30 minutes. Using a paring knife, release the cake on the two unlined sides. Use the parchment edges to carefully lift the cake from the pan. Cutting top down, slice the cake in half. Then cut the two pieces in half horizontally to produce 4 rectangular layers (each roughly three-quarters of an inch thick).
Fit a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and place the heavy whipping cream in the bowl. Sprinkle in the sugar and rose extract. Whisk the cream until it has medium-firm peaks. Set aside.
ASSEMBLY PART ONE
Place one cake layer on your serving platter. Evenly spread 1/3 cup raspberry conserve on the top of the layer. Top the conserve with fresh raspberries by placing 24 berries, hollow end down, in a loose 6 by 4 grid. Layer a third of the whipped cream over the raspberries and level with a spatula. Top with another cake layer and repeat the same procedure. Top with the third layer and press gently to level the cake. Spread the sides with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Use the remaining cake layer to make cake crumbles. Preheat the oven to 325°F. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, break up the remaining cake layer into small pieces. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. Place the dried cake pieces in the food processor and pulse to make crumbs. Set aside.
To make the ganache, place the heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate chips, and whisk until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.
ASSEMBLY PART TWO
Pull the chilled cake from the refrigerator and top it with the ganache. You can spread the ganache just on top or allow it to cascade over the sides, as you wish. Top the ganache with the reserved cake crumbs. Keep the cake refrigerated and serve it chilled. Port, coffee or tea make great accompaniments. Enjoy!