Recipe: Fancy Icebox Cake

My family has been making a thing called Snake Cake for as long as I can remember. It’s a family tradition; the first dessert to be gobbled up and gone at any holiday or family party. This thing is the gospel. For some reason Easter made me want to make one real bad. So I Googled Snake Cake. Yeah, that’s not what it’s really called – don’t Google that phrase. I quickly realized that what we’ve been calling Snake Cake all these years was just a traditional icebox cake or refrigerator cake. Who knew? I looked at a few recipes online (and even on the chocolate wafers box) but ultimately came up with my own. I call this Fancy Icebox Cake because it’s topped with espresso whipped cream. Boom! Fancy!

Domestocrat’s Fancy Ice Box Cake
1 box Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (40 cookies, but if some go missing I won’t tell)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. espresso powder
2 tbsp. cocoa pearls for garnish (if you don’t have these you could use chocolate shavings or sprinkle of cocoa powder)

You really can’t make this recipe without Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies. I’ve never seen any other brand. You could make your own if you were super ambitious. I’m obviously not. Plus, these things are classic and I wasn’t about to mess with tradition.


Hey, the recipe is even on the box!


On to making the espresso whipped cream!


Add the cream, espresso powder, sugar, and vanilla into the bowl of stand mixer with the whisk attachment hooked up (you can also make the whipped cream with a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer).


Let it rip! It took about 6-7 minutes for my cream to fully whip up.


Fluffy, creamy, with the hint of espresso. Decadent!


Once the whipped cream is ready, it’s time for assembly!


To start, spread a wafer with a little whipped cream, press another wafer on top, and repeat! It’s seriously that simple.



To make life easier I created three stacks of wafers and cream.


I then tipped each stack over, added whipped cream to the conjoining wafer, and carefully pressed them together.


Once the whole thing was together I evened the wafers out to form a straight tube.


To frost the whole cake I started with three big blobs up on top. I spread the whipped cream out evenly to cover everything. Don’t worry about getting perfect coverage, that will come at the next step.



When you have the base layer of whipped cream down, add another layer to cover the whole cake.


Now it’s time to garnish the top! I found these great cocoa pearls at Trader Joe’s around the holidays last year. They made the perfect garnish. As I mentioned above, if you don’t have these you could use chocolate shavings or sprinkle of cocoa powder.



The last step is to refrigerate it! It’s not called icebox cake for no reason. There is some magic that happens in the fridge stage. Basically the moisture from the whipped cream breaks down the hard, crunchy cookies into soft layers of cakey pillows. I can’t explain it, you just need to try it. Loosely wrap the cake with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. I left mine in there for 24 hours and it was perfect.


After the long wait it’s time to eat your Fancy Icebox Cake! Can you sort of see what I was talking about here with the layers? They all meld together and become soft and delicious. So good. You really have to make this. It couldn’t be easier and anyone you feed it to will think you slaved over it.


Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

10 thoughts

  1. I have to admit, I was skeptical until I saw the finished project. That’s awesome. I’m adding it the recipes I want to try.

    1. When John saw it in the fridge he was like “that’s not really my idea of a good dessert” and then he proceeded to eat half of the whole thing in one sitting.

  2. My mom made these growing up and we called them “Logs”. I think I might have loved them more if they’d been called “Fancy Icebox Cakes”!

  3. My Mother-In-Law makes a similar thing as a yule log at Christmas but using ginger biscuits instead. It’s great as an alternative dessert for those who don’t like dried fruit…

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