Cherries-and-Cream Icebox Cake 

5.0
(2)

Easier than cherry pie.

Active Time:
25 mins
Chill Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
12

We always love to have a homemade dessert on the table, but sometimes, it's just too hot to turn on the oven. That's where this Cherries-and-Cream Icebox Cake comes in. This stunning mealtime finale looks just like a classic Southern layer cake—but there's no baking required. This cool, creamy (make-ahead!) dessert is a real treat on a hot day.

Layers of graham cracker, a cool whipped filling, and cherry preserves compose this beautiful, no-bake dessert. While most icebox cakes are made with whipped cream ice cream, this version gets a more substantial, extra-decadent base mixture of whipped cream and—the secret ingredient—cream cheese. The whipped cream, with a light pink hue and a hint of almond, pairs well with the ribbons of pureed cherry preserves that run through the layers of this dessert. Here's how to construct it: Dollop the center of each whipped cream layer with 1 tablespoon preserves. Use a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife to drag and swirl the preserves evenly throughout the whipped cream.

After chilling for 8 hours (or overnight), the graham crackers soften and are easily sliced. Quick tip: Use a serrated knife to cut clean slices of this cherry icebox cake.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. cherry preserves (from 1 [13-oz.] jar, such as Bonne Maman)

  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided 

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided 

  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract, divided 

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 

  • ¾ cup plus 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar, divided 

  • 21 (2 ¼- x 5-inch) graham crackers (from 1 [14.4-oz. pkg.]) 

  • Fresh cherries, for topping

Directions

  1. Process cherry preserves in a food processor until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside.

  2. Beat 3 cups of the cream, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and ½ teaspoon of the almond extract with a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside.

  3. Beat cream cheese, ¾ cup of the powdered sugar, and 3 tablespoons of pureed cherry preserves in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and completely combined, about 2 minutes. Gently fold one-third of whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture until thoroughly combined. Repeat in 2 more additions with remaining whipped cream mixture.

  4. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with a layer of graham crackers, breaking them in order to cover bottom (don't worry if there are some small gaps). Spread 2 cups whipped cream mixture over graham crackers. Dollop with 1 tablespoon pureed cherry preserves; swirl with a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife. Repeat layers 3 more times with remaining graham crackers and whipped cream mixture and 3 tablespoons of the remaining preserves, ending with whipped cream mixture and preserves. Cover; chill 8 to 24 hours.

  5. Before serving, beat remaining 1 cup cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and ¼ teaspoon almond extract with a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high, and gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons powdered sugar; beat until medium peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove cake from springform pan; spread top with whipped cream. Dollop remaining 1 tablespoon preserves onto whipped cream; swirl gently with a wooden skewer or the tip of a knife. Top with fresh cherries.

    Cherries-and-Cream Icebox Cake
    Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner
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