a guide to the classic chocolate ice box cake

Are you familiar with ice box cake? The traditional chocolate wafer ice box cake is a nostalgic American dessert. It’s super easy to make and tastes like a giant Oreo. It’s a favorite around here.

a guide to chocolate ice box cake

The cake does not require baking and all you need are chocolate wafers and cream. That’s it! Like I said, super easy. The cake was created around the 1920-30s when salesmen were pitching ice boxes to housewives. Hence the name.

a guide to chocolate ice box cake

The Nabisco chocolate wafer package has the recipe right on the back of the box. I make a few tweaks to the recipe, which I will share with you below. I believe the cake reached popularity in the 1950s and it definitely gives me retro vibes.

a guide to chocolate ice box cake

recipe for the classic chocolate ice box roll


  • 9 oz. package of chocolate wafers
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a guide to chocolate ice box cake


  • Beat cream in electric mixer on medium-high.
  • As the cream mixes add sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Beat until soft peaks form.
  • Coat bottom of cake tray with a layer of the whipped cream.
  • Cover a chocolate wafer with whipped cream and stand on one end of platter.
  • Cover another chocolate wafer with whipped cream and stack next to first wafer.
  • Continue doing this to all the wafers forming a log down the cake tray.
  • Once all the wafers are lined up then cover the entire log with whipped cream.
  • Decorate ice box cake with chocolate shavings or curls.
  • Refrigerate cake overnight or for at least 4-5 hours.
a guide to chocolate ice box cake

tips for making a traditional ice box cake

The recipe on the box only calls for 2 cups of heavy cream, but I like to use 3 to make sure I have plenty of cream for full coverage. If you have extra whipped cream left over, I recommend using it in hot chocolates.

a guide to chocolate ice box cake

The recipe on the box also does not include confectioners sugar, but I prefer to sweeten the cream. I feel the sweetness pairs better with the chocolate wafers.

a guide to chocolate ice box cake

Make sure to not over churn the cream. Pay attention as the whipped cream starts to firm up and stiffen. If you continue to mix past the whipped cream point it will turn into butter.

a guide to chocolate ice box cake

Also allow plenty of time for the cake to set and refrigerate before slicing. While it chills and sets, the cream softens the wafers so it reaches a cake like texture.

a guide to chocolate ice box cake

When you slice the cake make sure to cut on a diagonal. This makes the layers of the ice box cake in each slice show better and look prettier.

a guide to chocolate ice box cake

If you don’t want to miss out on any of the upcoming projects you can subscribe to receive all my new posts to your in-box.

other dessert recipes

lavender honey posset recipe

lavender honey posset recipe

chocolate | pistachio cake

on the menu – chocolate | pistachio cake

orange | naked cake

on the menu – orange, naked cake

“A homemade, home-baked and handcrafted cake makes any occasion feel more joyful.”

Martha Stewart

sharing @ between naps on the porch


  1. Vicki says:

    Looks delicious

    1. Thanks Vicki. Super yummy & super easy. XO- MJ

  2. Barbara at Mantel and Table says:

    Mmmmm – that sounds fabulous, and your description has a very vivid image in my mind of the refrigerator salesman using this cake to entice the housewife! Thanks for the great post!

    1. Yes, Barbara! I can envision it too. Like something out of a movie. Thanks for the visit. XO- MJ

  3. I had no idea this was a thing! Happy to learn of it. Thanks for sharing at the Fabulous Friday Link Party. We are so happy to be featuring your cake this week.

    1. Omgosh! What a sweet (no pun intended) surprise! Thanks so much for the feature & the visit. XO-MJ

  4. Pingback: -
  5. Donna says:

    I am not familiar with an icebox cake! It looks so yummy! Thanks for teaching me something new today! Have a great week! Blessings, Donna

    1. It’s a total throw back retro dessert. I wonder if it’s a regional thing? It’s a giant delicious fluffy Oreo. 🙂 XO- MJ

I love hearing from you!