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This Chocolate Raspberry No-Bake Cake is an easy icebox cake made with just 6 ingredients! It’s easy enough for kids to help with, and everyone will love the combination of dark chocolate, vanilla whipped cream, and tangy fresh raspberries.
I’m a sucker for a good no-bake cake (aka icebox cake). I think it’s because I’ve always been a cookie dunker. You know how when you dunk your Oreo in milk, there’s a fleeting moment when the cookie is perfectly saturated with milk, and it’s not too crunchy but not so soft it’s disintegrating? THAT is my nirvana. So of course I would love a cake that’s basically a giant dunked Oreo, but without all the mess and gross floating crumbs in the bottom of the glass.
…Am I selling you on the concept yet, or what?
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Let me start over.
I thought no-bake cakes were pretty familiar, but after getting a bunch of questions about it on snapchat, it seems a quick run-down might be in order. No-bake cakes are also called icebox cakes, because after they’re assembled, they’re put in the refrigerator (or icebox, if you’re an old-timey person) overnight.
They’re most commonly made with chocolate wafer cookies, but really, any thin cookie will work for this concept. The cookies are layered with a moist filling, like whipped cream or cream cheese frosting, and the overnight resting period allows the cookies to soak up lots of moisture, and become soft and cake-like. It’s the best kind of time-lapse magic I know.
So icebox cakes are not good for people with immediate sugar cravings or short attention spans, but they are EXCELLENT for those who like minimal effort for maximum flavor, people who are new to baking (or bake with young kids!), or just folks like me with an insatiable love of milk-drenched Oreos.
Let’s talk about the cookies for a moment, because you might not know what I mean when I say “chocolate wafers.” The brand I use (and, truthfully, the only brand I’m familiar with) is Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers, and they come in a narrow, eye-catching yellow box like this. I think they basically exist to be turned into no-bake cakes, because I have literally never seen them served any other way. The bad news is that they can be hard to track down—not every grocery store in my area carries them. The good news is that you don’t really need them!
The chocolate wafers literally taste just like the chocolate cookie in an Oreo, so if you can’t find the wafers themselves, you can just dissect a bunch of Oreos and use the cookie portion in this recipe. (I won’t ask what you do with the excess cream. What goes on in your personal kitchen is between you, the Oreo cream, and a spoon.) The wafers are a little better, just because they’re larger and thinner, so you can use less of them for the same result. However, the Oreos will give you the same flavor, so don’t be afraid to experiment and use whatever you can find.
I wanted to keep things simple, to let the chocolate and fresh raspberries shine, so I just filled the cake with vanilla whipped cream and fresh berries. You can swap in any berries you have, and feel free to add other components, like chocolate ganache or fudge sauce. I also think a lemon curd would be nice in there, but maybe I’m just a lemon-loving weirdo.
Another great thing about this Chocolate Raspberry No-Bake Cake is that is keeps amazingly well. You could probably guess this, since it needs at minimum 8 hours in the fridge before serving, but it is a champ when stored, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator.
Assuming you use fresh berries that aren’t on the verge of going bad, it can be made several days ahead of time, wrapped loosely in plastic wrap so it doesn’t pick up any weird fridge smells, and then presented with a flourish a few days later. Your dinner companions will call you the new Martha Stewart and rave about how you pulled a cake out of thin air, while you sit back and smirk at how easy it all was.
The last thing I wanted to mention is how flexible the recipe is. I made one large cake, so I could slice it and serve it like a traditional cake, but you can easily take this concept and make mini cakes, either like a 6-inch size, or even single-serving stacks of wafers and cream, like this. Use larger or smaller quantities, add more layers or subtract a few…really, it’s kind of impossible to mess up. So get in the kitchen, fire up the old icebox (heh) and start non-baking!
Chocolate Raspberry No-Bake Cake
- Combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip until medium peaks form and the cream is the texture of shaving cream.
- Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on the bottom of your serving platter, in about an 8-inch circle. Arrange a layer of chocolate wafer cookies on top of the cream in a circle, overlapping them slightly to get them to fit (some blank spaces are okay too!). I used about 15 cookies per layer: 10 cookies in the outer circle, 4 cookies in the inner circle, and a cookie in the middle, but your exact numbers will depend on the size of your serving platter.
- Spread a thin layer of cream on top of the cookies, around ¼-inch thick. You can go all the way to the edge, or leave about ½-inch uncovered at the edge if you want the cookies to poke out. Press fresh berries into the whipped cream—if they’re large, cut them in half lengthwise so they don’t poke up too much. Spread another thin layer of whipped cream on top of the berries, just to make the surface smooth for the next layer of cookies.
- Repeat with a second layer of cookies, and top with more cream and berries. Continue until you’ve used up all the cookies—I got 6 layers of cookies for my 8-inch cake. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, to let the cookies absorb the moisture and soften—longer refrigeration is okay, too.
- When the cookies are soft, top the cake with fresh raspberries, chocolate curls, and a light dusting of powdered sugar, if desired. Slice and serve!