Admittedly, icebox cake is by far the laziest type of cake to make. It's not even a cake at all--just a chilled confection consisting of graham crackers stacked with layers upon layers of sweetened whipped cream and topped with fruit like it's some kind of torte recipe. Due to its simplicity, however, it's also one of the most popular cakes to make these days.

One would have to be very adventurous in the kitchen to bypass this one in fear of boredom but there are still some interesting things one can do with this concept. Personally, I think that icebox cake's extremely simple design opens the door for more possibilities compared to a traditional torte.

In fact, almost anything can be used as a substitute for the graham crackers, whipped cream, and fruit for a recipe. Even other cakes and desserts will do.

Today, I'm going to share with all icebox cake fans a little variation of mine that takes its inspiration from the Italian classic tiramisu. Usually, this dessert consists of stacks of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with brandy-spiked mascarpone mousse and dusted with cocoa powder. Sounds complicated, but what's great about this variation is that it substitute sheets of graham crackers for a ladyfingers recipe, though these can be bought from the store a well.

Also, the mousse is pretty easy to make as already demonstrated in my simple classic tiramisu recipe whereas it substitutes whipped cream for the whipped egg whites which require more care.

Just follow this recipe and it will be ready to refrigerate within minutes.

The recipe


  • 2 cups (16 oz) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (8 oz) powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 packs (8 oz each) mascarpone cheese
  • 28 graham crackers
  • Cocoa powder as needed

The directions

  1. Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, brandy, and vanilla extract together with an electric mixer until the mixture forms soft peaks.
  2. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks. This completes the mascarpone mousse
  3. Use a rubber spatula to transfer a small amount of the mascarpone mousse onto the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan and spread it evenly. Layout 6 graham crackers on top, then spread 1/3 of the mascarpone mousse across the surface of the crackers and smooth evenly. repeat this stacking order two more times.
  4. Sift the cocoa powder and use it to dust the surface of the last layer of mascarpone mouse evenly. Use only enough to conceal the mousse.
  5. Place the tiramisu icebox cake into the fridge to chill for 4 hours.
  6. Serve with tea.

Serves: Six