Nutella Icebox Cake Features A Nostalgic Childhood Cookie

Icebox cake is a dessert that's as easy to make as it is classic. Usually, a rendition that features a certain favorite packaged cookie brand can give your icebox cake a sugary, nostalgic boost. The secret is a layer of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies that bring an extra level of crumble, sweetness, and creativity to your icebox cake.

The history of Icebox cakes is intertwined with name-brand cookies. In fact, the dessert first got its start in American kitchens in the 1920s, when a package of Nabisco wafers featured the recipe. That's not to say comparable recipes didn't already exist — Tiramisu and Charlotte (or Carlota), for example, are both similar concepts to an icebox cake. However, the honor of elevating crunchy junk food cookies into a multi-dimensional dessert mostly rests on Nabisco's shoulders. It's the confectionary giant's 1963 invention, Chips Ahoy cookies, that make a starring appearance in many Nutella icebox cake recipes.

Chips Ahoy cookies are the secret to Nutella icebox cake

All in all, Nutella icebox cake is delicious and incredibly simple to make. First, you'll want to whip up some heavy cream by hand or in a standing mixer. Some might take a shortcut and use Cool Whip here, but trust us, whipping the cream yourself makes all the difference. When you've created the trademark stiff peaks, you can begin layering your icebox cake. It's best to use a loaf pan rather than a baking dish to maximize the height and layers.

After spreading an even layer of homemade whipped cream on the bottom, you can begin to add on the Chips Ahoy cookies — preferably dunking them in milk first to help soften them a bit. After your first cookie mosaic is complete, you can spread on however thick or thin a layer of Nutella as you'd like. From here, you repeat the layering steps until you've filled up the pan or run out of cookies and Nutella — whichever comes first. Just make sure to finish with a layer of whipped cream. Any remaining cookies can be saved and crumbled into a garnish. After this, all you have to do is cover the cake and freeze it for at least 3 hours. If you don't feel like making a Nutella icebox cake yourself, you can check your local bakery or grocery store — though you're probably more likely to find more classic versions of icebox cake before this one.

Nutella icebox cake can come in other varieties

There are many variations on this sweet treat, each ranging in their levels of sophistication. However, all recipes opt for the fridge or freezer instead of an oven, making it the perfect dessert to enjoy on a hot day.

If you're not a huge fan of Chips Ahoy, try your own childhood favorite cookie in your Nutella icebox cake. Beyond Chips Ahoy, plenty of icebox cake recipes use Oreos, graham crackers, or other name-brand or boxed favorites to complement the creamy components of the cake. While the texture of Chips Ahoy pairs well with the richness of Nutella, using another type of homemade cookie could also work well. You could ditch the crumble of Chips Ahoy to add a layer of soft, homemade chocolate chip or chunk cookies instead.

While chewier cookies like oatmeal raisin might not be advised, the icebox cake is a template meant to be tinkered with. Other things can be added into the mix too — like strawberries, which feature in a Chocolate Strawberry Icebox Cake recipe, and bring a welcome fruity punch to the cookies-and-cream formula. In other words, experimentation can be your friend here when it comes to icebox cake — just don't leave out the Nutella in this one.