I will admit it has been a hot second since I made an icebox cake. They are straightforward in the sense of being just layers of wafers and cream, and the fun is seeing how the cream softens the wafers, giving them that cake-y feel when you cut into one! In this case, I went with an Oreo-flavored cake, using black cacao and malted milk powder to give my wafer layers an Oreo-like flavor profile and appearance. The black cacao gives a richer chocolate flavor, while the malted milk powder gives the wafers that familiar grocery store-consumer packaged goods-flavor that you would expect from things like an Oreo or a Nutter-Butter. Using malted milk to accomplish that was a trick I picked up at when I staged at L’Espalier(RIP) years ago, when we used it to make Oreo crumble for a dessert! For the cream between, I did a white chocolate cream cheese mousse, since that kind of mousse is fairly stable and it will hold its shape well when being spread between the wafer layers. What I love about these kinds of cakes is the many layers you can create from the super thin cookies. It becomes a giant surprise when you cut into one and you find about 10+ layers of the wafers sandwiched with 10+ layers of the cream!
For my recipe, you can get anywhere from 14 to 18 6-inch rounds of the wafers, which are then sandwiched together to form your cake. Whatever wafers you don’t use, along with the scrap pieces of dough, can be crushed together and used to enrobe the exterior of the cake with as well, so there is minimal waste when it comes to this dessert! I will admit that this dessert is probably a 2-hour commitment from start to finish, with the sheer quantity of wafers that need to be rolled and baked, as well as the amount of time needed to assemble the cake, but you cannot tell me that the above cross section picture does not bring you a ton of joy! That and this cake is OREO flavored! I feel like 9/10 people I have met in life enjoy Oreos, so that’s like a 90% chance that you will like this recipe as well! I will admit that I need to work on a vegan version of this, as a true Oreo IS vegan, but that will be another project for another day.
For the “Oreo” wafers:
1 stick unsalted butter; browned
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup for rolling
1/3 cup black cacao powder
2 tbsp malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
In a bowl, mix together the eggs, brown butter, and sugar first. Sift flour, cacao powder, milk powder, salt, and baking powder together into that bowl, and fold together to form your dough. Split the dough into 16 equal parts. Roll out as thin as possible, using flour, and cut out 16 6 inch disks. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. With the scraps, bake those off separately, as 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Blitz until they form a fine crumb. Reserve the crumbs in an airtight container for the final assembly.
For the whipped cream cheese mousse:
2 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp water
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup white chocolate
a pinch of salt
16oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff
In a pot, heat up the gelatin, milk, white chocolate, and salt. Once the white chocolate and gelatin are dissolved fully, mix that heated mixture into softened cream cheese, whipping until combined. Fold into the cream cheese the heavy cream.
Black cacao powder
Alternate between layers of cookie and layers of cream cheese mousse, applying about 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese per layer. Spread the mixture evenly and then transfer the cake to the freezer for at least 1 hour. While the cake is still frozen, press the sides with the crumbs. Dust with black cacao powder to finish.