Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

You know a dessert is a winner when you see non-dessert people scarfing it up. That’s what happened with the Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake. First, I served it at a gal’s scrapbooking day. All the gals took one bite after another until the hunky pieces I served vanished.

Then, I sent some home with each person and they regaled me with stories of how their family members raved. And one gal, whose mother is a primo baker, asked me for the recipe to share with her mom.

So, let’s just say that this recipe is a definite WINNER!

I saw it early in the summer on the Barefoot Contessa show on the Food Network channel, and I waited all summer for a reason to make it and finally found one toward the end of August.

Basically, it’s a layered “cake.” You alternate layers of thin chocolate chip cookies with a chocolate and coffee flavored whipped cream/mascarpone blend. Then you pop it in the fridge overnight and that’s it. Easy…unless, like me, you insist on making the thin chocolate chip cookies yourself rather than buying some. Hey, I like making it all from scratch. But you can buy the cookies at Trader Joe’s from what I read from reviewers on

Now, everyone who tasted it loved it as is. I, however, think I would like to make a couple of changes the next time I make this.

First of all, I made my own thin cookies and used an entire package of mini chocolate chips. I thought the cookies ended up with too many chips and would reduce the amount next time just to lessen the overall sweet factor a bit.

Second, the recipe calls for five layers, but I only managed four. And even with four, I thought the whipped cream/mascarpone layers were on the thin side. I want to make those layers thicker next time, so I might go for three layers. That would also reduce the overall sweetness because then the cake would have less chocolate chip cookie layers. Personally, I loved the lightness of the whipped cream layer to offset the sweetness of the cookie layers.

The final cake makes for a very pretty presentation, especially when you add slivers of chocolate to decorate the top. By the way, that is very easy to do using a bar of chocolate and a potato peeler. Love those simple decorating techniques!

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

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  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 (8ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies (make the recipe from Tate’s Bake Shop which I’ll post in my  next entry or buy Highbrow Chocolate Chip cookies from Trader Joe’s)
  • shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish (use vegetable peeler and microwave chocolate briefly to soften it)


To make filling

  1. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and the slowly raise the speed until it forms firm peaks. Keep your eye on the mixing; it can get overbeat within seconds of firming those peaks.

To assemble the cake

  1. Arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. Break cookies into pieces to fill in the spaces.
  2. Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. (I made 4 layers, not five, and will probably make three next time I make this, so you might want to use more than a 5th of the filling.)
  3. Place another layer of cookies on top, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  4. To remove cake from springform pan, run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan.
  5. Sprinkle the top with shaved curls of chocolate; do this by using a vegetable peeler on the chocolate.
  6. Serve cold.

SOURCE: (from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa show)

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2 thoughts on “Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

  1. Ina . . I LOVE your show, the old ones as well as the brand new ones!! I have made several of your recipes, always turning out yummy delicious. My husband, Doug and I have something in common with you and Jeffrey . . Doug is the SAME age as Jeffrey and I am the same age as YOU! (Doug is from CT and I am from CA but we are now retiring in AZ where the grandkids are) I marvel at your adventures, trips and just everything about you. I know you feel blessed to be where you are at in this time of your lives. The mocha chocolate icebox cake brings back memories.. .my mom used to buy a flat chocolate cookie pkg (Famous Chocolate Wafers by Nabisco) and put whipped cream in-between each cookie displaying them on their sides, let it sit overnight and be dessert for her church ladies’ group that next evening. I like your interpretation even more and plan to do it next week when I have my stitching group over for our dessert . . I am wondering if instead of Kahlua if Bailey’s Irish Cream would work just as well??

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