All summer long I planned to make an icebox cake. If you’re unfamiliar with an icebox cake let me just say this….impressive NO BAKE layer cake. No bake! Perfect summer dessert, no?
I had several varieties planned to test and it just didn’t happen. I think I just had too many great ideas that I got overwhelmed and before I knew it the summer was gone. So I bought a box of ginger snaps because….well, it’s fall and that’s what you do, besides consuming large quantities of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and buying dead corn to place around your front door attracting all kinds of critters.
Then I got an idea…..ginger snap icebox cake. I really wasn’t sure how this would turn out at all, I was a little scared. And since I wasn’t able to find a recipe online that indicated this feat had already been attempted it made me a little more concerned that I was about to waste a box of ginger snaps. Some would call this a travesty. Some moms would say, “There are starving children in Africa.”
It was not a waste, not at all. In fact, this is an easy cake to whip up and so different from any other fall dessert recipe I’ve had. This would be perfect as a Thanksgiving dessert since you can make it the day before.
After assembly (yea, it’s like Lincoln Logs!), the ginger snaps soften and become a moist cake layered with light pumpkin filling, almost like a mousse, and then topped with a layer of freshly made whipped cream. The cake is not heavy but it does scream “ginger snap” so a small piece will be sufficient. For five or ten minutes, and then you’ll go back for more. Like Chinese food.
The cake is only good for about a day or two max but I doubt you’ll have any left beyond the first day. It’s that good.
Ginger Snap Pumpkin Icebox Cake
Makes 8-10 servings
72 Ginger Snap cookies (I used Nabisco)
8 ounces canned pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s. Not pumpkin pie filling!)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whip 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream with 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and the mascarpone cheese with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.
Begin to fold in 1/2 cup of the whipped cream to the pumpkin mixture until combined. Continue to fold in the remaining whipped cream to the pumpkin mixture 1 cup at a time until all the cream is combined thoroughly.
On a large cake plate, place nine ginger snaps in a circle and fill the circle with 3 more cookies being sure all the cookies are touching.
Spread a layer of the pumpkin cream over the cookies evenly.
Place another layer of cookies on top of the cream and continue layering the cream and cookies until you reach 6 cookie layers.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Before serving, whip the remaining cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake and serve immediately.