Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Icebox cake

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Course  Dessert
Main ingredients  Whipped cream, Chocolate
Icebox cake wwwseriouseatscomrecipesassetsc20120620120
Alternative names  Zebra cake, Chocolate Ripple cake
Similar  Chocolate, Whipped cream, Graham cracker, Cookie Cake Pie, Lemon ice box pie

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An icebox cake (American) or chocolate ripple cake/log (Australian) is a dessert consisting of whipped cream and chocolate wafers. The back-of-the-box recipe on Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers indicates that the wafers are stacked to form a log with whipped cream cementing them together, and then the log is laid on its side. A second log is formed and the two are set side-by-side and more whipped cream covers the exterior. The cake is then left overnight in the refrigerator (or "icebox"). The wafers absorb moisture from the whipped cream and the whole can be served in slices. The dessert is usually served by cutting it into slices at a 45-degree angle, so bands of chocolate and cream are visible across each slice. The traditional wafers are the thin and dark Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, but they may be hard to find in some areas so other cookies are sometimes substituted.


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The icebox cake is derived from similar desserts such as the charlotte and the trifle. It was first introduced to the US during World War I. Its popularity took off in the 1920s and 30s, as it used many commercial shortcuts and premade ingredients. In response to the dish’s popularity, companies that manufactured ingredients for the cake, such as condensed milk and wafer cookies, began printing “back of the box” recipes.

American variations

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A variation of icebox cake is made using pudding (usually chocolate) and graham crackers or vanilla wafers layered in a square or rectangular baking dish. Ernestine Emanuel, an Italian immigrant from New York, has been credited with creating the graham cracker version. She had originally created the cake after having graham crackers with chocolate pudding, while on her honeymoon in Atlantic City, NJ. Additional variations include alternating layers of chocolate and vanilla pudding, or the addition of sliced bananas or pineapples between the layers. While this can be done with cold instant pudding, if given ample time in the "icebox," the best results come from assembling the dessert with still-hot stove-cooked pudding, and then refrigerating overnight.

Australian version

In Australia the cake is made from Arnott's Chocolate Ripple biscuits, hence the name in that country of Chocolate Ripple cake. The biscuits are covered in sweetened whipped cream, and placed in a log formation. It is often decorated with crumbled Peppermint Crisp.

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