9 (Mostly) No-Bake Icebox Cakes

On the hottest of days, icebox cake is your secret weapon. Pick from Food Network's best recipes.

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KO_FN_05ChocolateHazelnut_169.tif

Photo by: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2014

Kana Okada, Kana Okada 2014

When summer decides to crank up the heat, it’s almost impossible to think about turning on the oven. Blueberry cobbler and cherry pie may be your favorite seasonal treats, but baking isn’t fun when the temperature rises past the 90s (as it did in much of the country this week). Don’t discount, however, the possibility of a showstopping cake. On the hottest of days, icebox cake is your secret weapon.

Traditionally, icebox cake is composed of layers of whipped cream and chocolate wafers. Left to chill in the fridge overnight, the wafers soften and take on the texture of cake but keep the taste of cookie. While the classic formula is perfect in itself, there’s a lot of room for creativity using the same technique. 

Take Ina Garten’s 5-star recipe, for example, which sandwiches spiked mocha mascarpone cream between crispy chocolate chip cookies. The result is known to “make grown men weep,” according to Ina, and she herself has declared it as being not only the easiest cake she’s ever made but also her favorite. That said, her recipe is a good place to start.

Get the Recipe: Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

But don’t fret if you’re not a coffee lover — there’s an icebox cake for everyone.

For the Unofficial Nutella Spokesperson: Chocolate-Hazelnut Icebox Cake (pictured above)

The creamy chocolate-and-hazelnut combination is irresistible to just about everyone. In Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe, it pairs wonderfully with slightly tangy whipped cream and chocolate graham crackers.

For the Lovebirds: Mini Banana Split Icebox Cakes

Kelsey Nixon’s dessert for two requires only three to four hours in the fridge, making the sundae-inspired stacks ideal for a weekend date. It can also easily be doubled or tripled to serve a dinner party, because — let’s face it — a cherry on top is just as exciting to adults as it is to kids.

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FNK_3IngredientBananaIceboxCake_H

Chef Name: Food Network KitchenFull Recipe Name: 3-Ingredient Banana Icebox CakeTalent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s 3-Ingredient Banana Icebox Cake, as seen on Foodnetwork.comProject: Foodnetwork.com, WINTER RECIPES/COCKTAILS/FNK VIDEOSShow Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network,Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: 3-Ingredient Banana Icebox Cake Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s 3-Ingredient Banana Icebox Cake, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, WINTER RECIPES/COCKTAILS/FNK VIDEOS Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

For the Kiddos (or the Kid at Heart): 3-Ingredient Banana Icebox Cake

This is one of the easiest (and quite possibly the cutest) icebox cakes you will come across. The bananas and crunchy zoo cookies add the perfect amount of sweetness, so there’s no need to add sugar while whipping the cream.

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KO_FN_08Opener_241.tif

Photo by: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2014

Kana Okada, Kana Okada 2014

For the Person Who Can Pass Up Chocolate: Lemon-Berry Icebox Cake

It may be hard to believe, but some people prefer tart and fruity desserts to chocolate ones. If you tend to pass on the rich cocoa confections, try Food Network Magazine’s lemon icebox cake. Even the chocoholics will be tempted by the berry-studded pink-layered slice.

For the No-Nonsense Cook: Ginger Icebox Cake

Skip using an extra pan and limit your dishes by arranging gingersnaps directly on the serving plate. Sure, you can stop this recipe at just two ingredients — the spicy cookies and the whipped cream — but the decadent caramel drizzle will not go unappreciated.

COCONUTCARAMEL ICEBOX CAKE STACKS Food Network Kitchen Shredded Sweetened Coconut, Cream Cheese, Confectioners’ Sugar, Dulce De Leche, Heavy Cream, Chocolate Wafer Cookies, Semisweet Chocolate, Coconut Oil or Vegetable Oil

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

For the Cookie Monster: Coconut-Caramel Icebox Cake

The trio of chocolate, caramel and coconut in these mini towers tastes impressively similar to the beloved coconut-covered Girl Scout cookie. Keep in mind that the instructions call for toasting the coconut in the oven, but skipping that step should still yield delicious results if your kitchen is too warm. An insider tip from our Food Network Kitchen: Let the leftover chocolate-coconut coating on the baking sheet harden, then break it into shards and let a piece melt in your mouth!

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

For the From-Scratch Baker: Red Velvet Icebox Cake

If you really want to show off, bake your own cookies. Make them red velvet to up the ante. This goes against the whole no-bake policy, so you may want to save the cookie step for a mild summer day — though you might not care about the weather forecast once you think about the whipped cream cheese frosting and milk chocolate shavings involved.

This is another cake that includes its own cookie recipe, but it deserves the attention of anyone drawn to peanut butter desserts. If you don’t feel like baking a batch of peanut butter sandies, any store-bought crunchy peanut butter cookie should work. Perhaps there’s even a box of the peanut-shaped sandwich cookies in your cabinet right now.

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