mocha chocolate icebox cake

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake (adapted from Ina Garten, 2010, Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?)
It’s AJ’s birthday today. So last night I made this cake and popped it in the refrigerator to chill overnight. It is extraordinarily easy to make, just cream and cookies. The cookies must be thin and crisp, like Tate’s Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies. I used chocolate chip, but vanilla or chocolate wafer cookies would do fine.

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 12 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
Level:  Easy
Serves: 8 servings

2 cups cold heavy cream
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese (see Cake Baker’s Note)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coffee liqueur or espresso coffee (see Cake Baker’s Note)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 (7-ounce) packages thin and crisp chocolate chip cookies
Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar, coffee liqueur or espresso coffee, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks, about 3 minutes.

To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. Break some cookies to fill the spaces. Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies, spreading the cream to the edge as level as possible. Place another layer of cookies on top, so they lie flat and touch, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold the cake, run a thin sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut cake in wedges, and serve cold.

Cake Baker’s Notes:

  • Coffee Liqueur – To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, which has been mixed in 2 tablespoons of water. Can also substitute espresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract or coffee syrup. To make espresso coffee, mix 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder to 2 oz hot water. Cool before adding to the ingredients.
  • Mascarpone Cheese– An Italian cream cheese, mascarpone is expensive and difficult to find. You can make this mascarpone substitute from
    • 1x8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • Mix together all ingredients until well blended. Use instead of mascarpone cheese in recipes.

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