S’mores Icebox Cake
I think you all know by now that my sweet tooth is real. Yes it is true — I will eat almost anything sweet. *However,* there are a few sweet treats that alllways win in my book. Anything s’mores flavored falls under that category. Whether it’s an actual s’more, a s’mores oreo, s’mores ice cream (the BEST) or a s’mores cake…I want it and I want it immediately. I know this is contradictory, but I actually prefer frozen s’more desserts over hot s’mores. More (or should I say s’more) specifically I LOVE graham cracker ice cream. There is nothing like it. Truly. Godspeed. Okay, I digress…
Another one of the sweet treats I live for is the good old icebox cake. It’s nothing special — just cookies or wafers layered with whipped cream or mousse that melts together in the fridge —but WOW, does it deliver. When the cookies and whipped cream sit together in what used to traditionally be an “icebox” (get it?), the whipped cream softens the cookies to basically turn them into little soft cakes. While the name icebox cake has stuck around, you can make this in a glass, a cake pan, a loaf pan… anything that will hold a shape and that you don’t mind eating out of. I also love to serve mini icebox cake shooters or mason jars at parties (#tbt to having parties!!!) and they make a great dessert for groups. Here’s how that meltiness and silkiness happens: layer the whipped cream and cookies until your pan is full, wait minimum of 4 hours for it to set, and then when you finally dig in with a fork, there are layers upon layers of whipped cream and soft, silky cookies. It basically mimics the effect of a layered cake. Except, in my humble opinion, it may be better than a regular cake. Icebox cakes are NEVER dry, unless you skimp on the whipped cream.
A long time ago in 2014, I made a video on YouTube about picking the perfect icebox cake from Magnolia Bakery for my 21st birthday. They were one of the ONLY bakeries in NYC that sold them! You can find that video on my Youtube, I am too embarrassed to publicly share it. I was platinum blonde and my eyebrow arches touched the New York City skyline. #TBT as they say. What I will share from YouTube is the entire tutorial on how to make this delicious s’mores icebox cake that you MUST MAKE!
And one more thing before we get started. I want to give you some slacker shortcuts so you can make this, even if you don’t want to make your own whipped cream (which I highly recommend but I also stan Coolwhip…did I say that right?)
SHORTCUTS + MODIFICATIONS
1. You can use store bought whipped cream, just make sure you buy it in a tub so you can spread it nicely. I also find tub whipped cream to be creamier and less airy, which is better for this recipe.
2. You can skip the Nutella mousse and just use Nutella, but it will give you a much more rich, sticky taste. If you love Nutella and hate mousse, then go for it! But I do recommend mousse.
3. Another thing you can do with the Nutella instead of whip it with heavy cream, is combine it with softened cream cheese to make a cream cheese frosting. I honestly love to add a little cream cheese to my Nutella mousse because its like a Nutella cheesecake, but this is extremely optional. I didn’t include it in the recipe because why would I add one more unnecessary ingredient that costs more money? If you have cream cheese already, go for it!
4. For dietary restrictions: feel free to use dairy-free whipped cream and gluten-free graham crackers as well.
S’mores Icebox Cake
- 11 x 7 baking dish or something similar
- 2 boxes graham crackers
- 3 1/2 cups whipped cream
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- Mini marshmallows for topping, can use any size you want
- Milk chocolate for topping (optional, can sub any other kind of chocolate, sprinkles or candy)
Whipped Cream (you can use pre-made as well)
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp confectioners sugar can sub for granulated
- 1/8 tsp salt
- If you are making your own whipped cream, let's start with that! If you're using pre-made, go to the next step. In a mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, confectioners sugar and salt. Mix on high with a hand mixer until creamy and you have stiff peaks. If you prefer softer whipped cream, you can also stop when you have soft peaks.
- Separate the whipped cream in two bowls, so half is in one mixing bowl and the other half is in the other mixing bowl. You can eyeball this, you don't have to actually measure.
- Leave one bowl as is. With the other bowl, add 1/2 cup of the Nutella and fold in with a spoon or spatula, until there are no white swirls and it's fully brown. You can also mix with your mixer, but you have to be careful not to deflate the whipped cream too much!
- In a baking dish of your choice, spread a thin layer of the plain whipped cream on the bottom of the dish. Place a layer of graham crackers on top.
- Now, generously spread some Nutella mousse over the graham crackers. Top with another layer of graham crackers, fully covering the mousse (as much as you can.) When the layer of graham crackers is done, spread another layer of regular whipped cream on top of the graham crackers. Repeat by putting more graham crackers on top, and then spreading the mousse on top of the graham crackers. Repeat the layers until your pan is full, make sure to save about 1/4-1/2 cup of whipped cream and mousse for topping.
- Swirl any leftover whipped whipped cream and mousse on top of the final layer of graham crackers. Sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top, along with mini marshmallows, milk chocolate chunks and a Nutella drizzle. Feel free to add anything else. Also feel free to toast your marshmallows with a lighter or blow torch to give that extra s'mores effect.
- Cover and chill for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight. Keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve cold. Enjoy!