Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake

Light and creamy vanilla-scented whipped cream comes together with decadently rich layers of homemade Chocolate Wafers to create this Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake. Once constructed, this cake will rival any traditional chocolate cake in both taste and appearance.

Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake
Makes 1 (9×5-inch) cake
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) cold water
  • 2¼ teaspoons (6 grams) unflavored gelatin
  • 4½ cups (1,080 grams) cold heavy whipping cream
  • 2¼ cups (270 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons (27 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • Chocolate Wafers (recipe follows)
  1. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. In a microwave-safe measuring cup with a spout, place 3 tablespoons (45 grams) cold water; sprinkle gelatin evenly on top. Let stand until hydrated, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cold cream at low speed, and gradually add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt, beating until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium-low, and beat until beginning to thicken.
  4. Microwave hydrated gelatin on high in 5-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely dissolved and mixture is warm. (Do not boil.)
  5. Gradually stir 2 tablespoons cream mixture from bowl into warm gelatin mixture until combined. With mixer on medium-low speed, add gelatin mixture to cream in bowl in a slow, thin, steady stream; increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until stiff peaks form. Reserve 2 cups (about 250 grams) whipped cream in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Spread a thin layer of remaining whipped cream in bottom of prepared pan. Arrange 6 to 8 Chocolate Wafers in a single layer over whipped cream, breaking wafers and overlapping slightly as needed. Top with another thin layer of whipped cream and a layer of 6 to 8 wafers. Cover with enough whipped cream to fill pan about three-fourths full. Gently tap pan on a kitchen towel-lined counter to settle whipped cream. Press 4 rows of 10 Chocolate Wafers vertically into whipped cream, overlapping rows if needed and avoiding sides of pan. Put remaining whipped cream in a pastry bag, and cut a ¼-inch opening in tip. Pipe whipped cream on top and between wafers to fully cover. Smooth into an even layer. (It’s OK if cream sits a bit higher than top of pan or if cookies peek through cream slightly.) Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight. (Add any remaining whipped cream in pastry bag to reserved 2 cups in refrigerator.)
  7. Using a spatula, gently stir reserved whipped cream until soft. Invert cake onto a serving platter; discard parchment. Using an offset spatula, smooth top and sides, adding a little whipped cream as needed to cover any exposed wafers or fill holes.
  8. Place remaining whipped cream in a large pastry bag fitted with a large petal piping tip (Wilton No. 125). With large end of piping tip touching cake and smaller end pointing up, pipe a border around top edge of cake. Pipe one ruffle at a time, left and then right, along each side of cake. (It should look like hearts stacked on top of each other.) Refrigerate until ready to serve. Finely crush 5 to 10 Chocolate Wafers, and decorate cake as desired. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Chocolate Wafers
Makes about 90 wafers
  • ½ cup (43 grams) black cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1⅔ cups (208 grams) all-purpose flour
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together black cocoa and melted butter. Let cool slightly.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened butter, brown sugar, and salt at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in cocoa mixture. Add egg and vanilla, beating until well combined. Add flour, and beat until well combined and a smooth dough forms.
  3. Divide dough in half (about 1 cup or 263 grams each). Between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll each half to ¼-inch thickness. Freeze dough between parchment until set, about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Working in batches, remove top sheet of parchment. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut dough, twisting to release from parchment. Place ½ inch apart on prepared pans. (If dough tears when removing from parchment, freeze for 5 minutes.) Reroll scraps between 2 sheets of parchment paper to ¼-inch thickness, and freeze for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
  6. Bake until fragrant, tops are dry, and a slight indentation is left when pressed with a finger, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
Note: You will not need all of the wafers for the icebox cake. Find our Vanilla Filling recipe on our website ( and use your leftover wafers to make sandwich cookies.

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