Chocolate-Butterscotch Icebox Cake

With homemade chocolate wafer cookies and a maple-laced butterscotch whipped cream, this recipe takes icebox cake to a more sophisticated level without sacrificing any of its lusciousness. You can build the cookies and cream into any shape you like — a round, a rectangle or a heart, which is what we do here. If you have cookies and cream left over, you can sandwich them together, whoopee-pie style. The wafers can be made up to a week ahead of when you’d like to assemble the cake. Store them airtight and try not to eat them all before you make the rest of the cake.

More romantic recipes, from dinner for two to chocolate for all, can be found here.


For the chocolate wafers:

  • 1 ½ sticks/170 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons/230 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters milk
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon/3 grams baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon/5 grams kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup/88 grams unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process

For the maple-butterscotch cream:

  • ½ cup/100 grams firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons/28 grams unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 3 ½ cups/840 milliliters cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters bourbon
  • 1 ounce/28 grams semisweet chocolate, for serving
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters coconut oil, for serving
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

      745 calories; 48 grams fat; 30 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 13 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 77 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 57 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 175 milligrams cholesterol; 288 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

8 to 12 servings


Make the chocolate wafers:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract; mix until smooth. Whisk together baking powder, salt, flour and cocoa, then add to mixer bowl and mix until combined. Roll into a 10-inch-long log, wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough into 1/8-inch rounds and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. You should have about 48 cookies. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool.

Make the maple-butterscotch cream:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and salt. Stir continuously until mixture is combined and sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking without stirring until mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup cream, then stir in bourbon. Let butterscotch cool completely.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine remaining 3 cups cold cream and the butterscotch. Whisk until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Divide wafers into six batches, about eight cookies per batch. On a serving platter, arrange one batch of cookies into a heart shape, breaking into pieces to fill in gaps if necessary. Top wafers with about 11/4 cups butterscotch cream, smoothing into a heart shape with an offset spatula. Repeat layers until cookies and cream are finished, ending with a layer of cream. (There may be extra cookies and cream; build the cake higher if you like.) Cover with plastic wrap and chill cake in the refrigerator until cold, at least 1 hour, before decorating the top.

Decorate the cake:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir in coconut oil. Let chocolate cool until lukewarm but still fluid. Drizzle over cold cake. Return cake to the refrigerator and let sit overnight or up to 2 days before serving.

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