When we talk about simple pleasures, icebox cake always comes to mind. This no-bake treat straight out of our grandmothers' playbooks traditionally consists of thin, crisp chocolate wafers tucked between fluffy layers of whipped cream. Stacked high and chilled overnight, the dessert that emerges from the refrigerator in the morning is airy yet sliceable, laced with wafer crumbs that have softened thanks to the whip. Perfect as it is in its simplest incarnation, the concept also works beautifully with new combinations of flavors and cookie textures. From a latte-inspired icebox cake for all the caffeine fiends out there to an elegant peach-and-graham cracker version fit for a summer soiree, here is one beautiful way to bring back the icebox cake.
Caramel Latte Icebox Cake
Give your barista a break and make this caramel latte-inspired treat instead. With just six ingredients, you'll build an impressive layered dessert that softens and sets up in the fridge as it chills.
Deselect All 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder One 13.4-ounce jar dulce de leche 3 1/2 cups heavy cream 9 chocolate wafer cookies 24 ladyfinger cookies 1/4 cup chocolate-covered espresso beans, lightly crushed
Whisk together the espresso powder and 1/4 cup hot water in a medium bowl until the espresso powder completely dissolves. Add 3/4 cup of the dulce de leche and stir until well combined.
Beat 3 cups of the heavy cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed to medium peaks, about 2 minutes. Add the espresso and dulce de leche mixture to the cream and beat to very stiff peaks, about 1 minute more.
Arrange the chocolate wafer cookies to make a 9 1/2-by-4-inch rectangle directly in the center of a large, flat serving platter (breaking up 1 of the cookies to fill in any gaps). Spread 1/4 cup of the espresso-dulce de leche cream on top of the cookies. Lay 8 ladyfingers flat across this cream layer and then spread a third of the remaining cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers. Repeat this process 2 more times with the remaining ladyfingers and cream mixture. Use an offset spatula to spread the top layer of cream mixture evenly over the top and down the sides to cover the icebox cake completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours and up to overnight.
Once completely chilled, remove the plastic wrap from the cake. Beat the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer (or by hand) to medium peaks. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake. Microwave the remaining dulce de leche in a small microwave-safe bowl until it is loose enough to drizzle. Drizzle evenly on top of the cake, then sprinkle with the crushed espresso beans.