If you're a rookie in the realm of icebox cakes, there are two things you should know: There's no ice cream, and there's no actual cake.
There are, however, 10 layers of chocolate cookies, plus a convenience that rivals driving to the store to buy dessert. The name refers to the nonmechanical device of the early 1900s used to keep food cool—the OG refrigerator—which doubles as an “oven” to set the cake, making it ideal for hot summer days and busy weeknights alike.
The salted caramel-doctored whipped cream seeps moisture into the snappy chocolate wafers, rendering them one with the cream so the texture is the same. A few hours in the refrigerator is all it takes to set the dessert if you're in a rush, but let it sit overnight for the full effect.
Salted Caramel Icebox Cake
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup caramel sauce
1½ teaspoons salt
One 9-ounce package chocolate wafer cookies (preferably Nabisco)
1. Line an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with two layers of plastic wrap, leaving excess hanging over the sides.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until it begins to fluff, about 1 minute. Add the caramel sauce and salt, and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
3. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Place one cookie on its edge against the long side of the pan. Spread about 1 tablespoon of whipped cream on another cookie and place against the right of the last one, pressing gently. Repeat 8 times to make a row of 10 cookies, then repeat the process to make 3 total rows.
4. Cover with whipped cream, then fold over the plastic wrap tightly against the cake. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 1 day, then remove from the pan and cover with another layer of whipped cream.
5. Slice and serve with the remaining whipped cream and crumbled wafer cookies.