A light, sweet, no-bake chocolate icebox cake made with a homemade vanilla whipped cream and chocolate ganache layered over chocolate graham crackers.
Well my weekend was a complete and total blur, how about yours? I’m still recovering and trying to get caught up, so today I’m re-sharing one of my favorite summer recipes with you: an easy chocolate icebox cake.
This cake was so popular on the blog last year, so I thought I’d freshen it up and share it with you again. Until I set out to make this cake, I was fairly inexperienced with icebox cakes.
I had no idea how they were made, and was impressed at how curiously neat and thin the “cake” part was (probably obvious spoiler alert – it’s graham crackers).
I spent hours poring over different recipes and devoted my weekends to trials and experimentation in order to finally bring you this perfected simple and sweet chocolate icebox cake.
While most icebox cakes use Cool Whip as a base ingredient, I wanted something homemade and from-scratch, and so instead a combination of cream cheese and heavy cream is used here for a sweet but not too heavy dessert.
Don’t be intimidated by whipping your own cream. All you need is an electric mixer (though I’ve done it by hand before — not recommended!) and five minutes for homemade whipped cream and you’ll never want to go back to the store-bought version again.
Each layer is drizzled with a semisweet chocolate ganache that keeps this cake from being too sweet. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours so that the cracker layer softens to a cake-like texture.
The result is a decadent but light, simple but rich, chocolate icebox cake.
Enjoy, and if you’re craving a less chocolaty version of icebox cake, make sure to check out this strawberry cheesecake icebox cake that I recently shared over on The Spruce!
Chocolate Icebox Cake
- 14.4 oz box chocolate graham crackers
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cups heavy cream
- 16 oz cream cheese softened
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips optional
- Prepare your ganache by combining chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Stir frequently until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
- Remove from heat and set aside
- In stand mixer or in a large bowl with hand mixer, stir cream cheese until smooth.
- Gradually stir in about half of the heavy cream. Stir until smooth, pausing once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With mixer on medium-speed, gradually add the remaining heavy cream.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture begins to thicken (about one minute).
- Pause to scrape the bowl and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Gradually increase speed to high once again and beat until stiff peaks.
- Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with an even layer of chocolate graham crackers (break graham crackers as needed to best fit. One sleeve will not completely cover the bottom of the pan, this is fine, just evenly space the crackers.).
- Spread about ⅓ of the cream cheese mixture over the graham crackers.
- Drizzle about ⅓ of the chocolate ganache evenly over the cream layer (make sure your ganache is not too hot or it will melt the cream -- allow it to cool at least 10 minutes before drizzling).
- Place another sleeve of graham crackers over the ganache, evenly spacing as needed.
- Spread half of the remaining cream over the graham crackers. Drizzle with ½ of the remaining chocolate ganache.
- Top with another layer of graham crackers.
- Spread with the remaining cream cheese mixture.
- Drizzle with remaining ganache (I ran a toothpick point through mine for design).
- Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, if using.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This post was originally published 7/11/16, text updated 8/7/17
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This has been my number one favorite dessert for several years now. I make it for the most special occasions! (And sometimes just for fun)!
So happy to hear this, K! Thank you so much for trying my recipe, and for letting me know how it turned out for you! 🙂
Looks delicious. I’ve never made icebox cake before. How far in advanced can you prepare this ahead of time? Do the graham crackers become soggy?
Hi Autumn! The graham crackers don’t become soggy, they become more cake like, but not soggy. I think it would be ok to make about 24 hours in advance I would think. 🙂
Delicious and easy to make.
I’m so happy you enjoyed, Jill! 🙂