Get ready, because I’m going to make your mouth water! I can’t believe I had never heard of an icebox cake before I made my first one this summer. Want to know what an icebox cake is? It’s basically a no bake dessert where you stack cookies and cream and after you stick it in the refrigerator, aka the icebox, the cookies get soft enough to resemble a cake. I believe it is traditionally made with graham crackers and cool whip, but I’m all about choosing the best ingredients to really make your taste buds sing.
Which is why I made my cream layer with coconut rum, cream of coconut, heavy whipping cream, and powdered sugar instead of cool whip. This combination of ingredients is so insanely delicious that I’ve come to love it more than plain whipped cream, especially when fresh fruit is involved.
In between the cream, you alternate layers of fresh mango and triple ginger cookie thins. Don’t be fooled by their round appearance. These are not crackers – they are cookies.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s nearby where you can buy these delicious beauties, have no fear. You can easily substitute with graham crackers or ginger snaps. I prefer this brand, however, because of the way the cream really soaks into them. Ugh – so good.
I happened to buy a mango that wasn’t fully ripe. This was not intentional. I just needed to make this cake for an auction that was happening in a few day’s time and assumed that the mangos at the store would be ripe. They weren’t, but I had already committed to making this dessert. When I tasted how tart and hard the mango was, I was a wee bit worried.
That was, of course, until I gave the fruit a little bath in coconut rum and sugar. That made all things better.
All you need to do is layer your ingredients, making sure that there is cream in between every layer. I made this cake into a square shape but after making both a round and a square version of this cake, I think I prefer the round, mostly because you can rotate the placement of your cookies which provides a more dependable shape. I hope that makes sense.
See all those wonderful layers?
I’m sure you’re skeptical about how this cake will turn out. Trust me, I was too. But something magical happens while it sits in the refrigerator. The cookies hold their shape but get oh so soft. I can only compare it to tiramisu. I brought an icebox cake like this into work and my co-workers said it was the best dessert they had had in months! So next time you’re headed to a summer potluck or are having friends over for dinner, you’ll know just want to make ahead of time!
- 1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut rum divided
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 9 ounce box Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Cookie Thins can substitute with other ginger snaps or 2-3 sleeves of graham crackers
- 2-3 large mangos sliced very thin
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar optional
- To make cream filling, start by whipping coconut cream in bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add confectioners sugar and mix on low until incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon of the coconut rum and mix on low until combined. Scrape sides, add heavy whipping cream, mix on low to incorporate and then increase speed to medium high for about a minute. Scrape walls and base of bowl, then continue mixing on medium high speed until nice peaks form, about 3-5 minutes.
- Arrange sliced mango in a dish and mix with 1 tablespoon of coconut rum. This will preserve the fruit and keep it vibrant and beautiful. If mangos aren't perfectly ripe and are tart, you may sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of sugar and let sit for 30 minutes to let the natural sweetness come out.
- To make the cake, spread some cream on the base of the plate. Arrange cookies so that their sides are touching but they do not over lap. Cover cookies with a spoonful of cream, using the spatula to spread. Top with a second layer of cookies, rotating their pattern to cover any gaps (if making a circular cake), then follow with a layer of cream. Thickness in between layers should be thick enough so that there is a creamy layer in between, but not so thick that your ingredients aren't level or they slide around.
- Next, cover with a single layer of fresh mango. Top with cream, then top with two cookie/cream layers.
- Repeat until you run out of ingredients. I portioned everything so that my top and bottom layers would be the cookies surrounded by the cream.
- Garnish with additional mango slices and some fresh berries for color on top.
- Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or up to several days before serving.
If you think you’ll love the mango coconut combination, be sure to check out this mango coconut daiquiri.