chocolate peanut butter icebox cake

Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl, happy and in love. He liked chocolate and cheesecake and peanut butter and coffee and she, rather luckily for him, liked to bake. When they’d been married for one year, she made him a chocolate caramel cheesecake on his birthday. Year two, another cheesecake, this one with cubes of brownie throughout. Three, an epic chocolate peanut butter cake. Four, an espresso chiffon cake with fudge frosting. And then a month later a baby came along and it appears she next made him a birthday cake five years after that, and only, from what I can gather, because she was procrastinating and didn’t want to pack for their move. I’m not saying that if you like homemade birthday cake you might consider not having kids (gasp!) but I’m also not saying it either, you know?

two cocoas, no worries if you don't have bothmade it in a food processortrimming the edgescooled, stacked cookiespeanut butter + heavy cream = hold mepeanut butter whipped cream is my new favorite everything

Things get a little better from there. She did throw together one of these things together the following year, when they had a one month-old no less, equally a testament to the ease of that recipe and also, realistically, the quality of the substitute baby-holders we had lined up. And this year? Well, it was a day late. Fortunately, as this could be their House Gif, nobody minded. Because all days that end with cake are better than those that do not.

thick swooshes of whipped cream
stacked like a big oreo

There’s so much to love here, though. Instead of using storebought chocolate wafers, which I can never find anyway, I made some, but not my usual recipe. I love it, it’s grand, but it also uses so much butter than when I did the math to scale it up to cake size, it got crazy, even by my butter-happy standards. Instead I used the recipe from King Arthur and I will never use another; with some tweaks (in technique, the recipe is as fine as can be) it exceeded all of my chocolate wafer hopes and dreams. And then I made massive, cake-sized cookies instead of tiny ones, and it’s the best thing since icebox cake. For the filling, I made peanut butter whipped cream and I’m sorry, but it’s going to ruin your life. I had significant doubts about whipped cream’s ability to showcase the nuance of peanut butter and each of them were wrong. This whipped cream is terrifically peanut butter-y with zero textural compromise and together, this cake manages to be dead simple but exceeding all of our icebox cake hopes and dreams.

chocolate peanut butter icebox cake
chocolate peanut butter icebox cake
chocolate peanut butter icebox cake

Some upcoming events!

I am definitely behind on sharing things I’m doing outside this site. I’ve re-added the (needs updating and tweaking, but mostly intact) Events page under the More link above. Relevant to the next couple months, however:

  • Next Friday, 8/19, I’ll be on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC at noon talking about breakfast grains and baked goods. I might bike there, because that’s my thing these days, in case Lopate sounds like he’s holding his nose during the segment.
  • On Thursday, 9/16, Julia Turshen, author of the upcoming, excellent Small Victories cookbook and our favorite avocado salad, and I are going to be on stage at the 92nd Street Y, talking about writing recipes and favorite New York things. I can’t wait. This is a ticketed event. You can buy them here.
  • On Friday, 10/21, I’ll be keynoting (!!) the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference in Toronto. This is a ticketed event and it sold out quickly (but there’s a waitlist), but if you’re there, I’ll be around all weekend, going to sessions (yay). If you’re in Toronto but not going to the conference, we are almost certainly going to be scheduling a bookstore event that weekend, and I’ll let you know when, well, as soon as I do.

One year ago: Raspberry Crushed Ice
Two years ago: Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
Three years ago: Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts
Four years ago: My Favorite Brownies
Five years ago: Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons
Six years ago: Raspberry Limeade Slushies
Seven years ago: Summer Pea and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad
Eight years ago: How to Poach an Egg, Smitten Kitchen-Style
Nine years ago: Mixed Bean Salad and Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Belgian Brownie Cakelets
1.5 Years Ago: Pecan Sticky Buns
2.5 Years Ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
3.5 Years Ago: Italian Stuffed Cabbage
4.5 Years Ago: Lasagna Bolognese

Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Chocolate wafer recipe adapted from King Arthur.

The recipe, as shown, make a small family-sized cake, 7 inches in diameter. For a larger cake that could easily serve 16, double everything and roll the discs to 10 inches in diameter.

For the darkest, most authentically Oreo/packaged chocolate wafer-ish color, you’ll want to swap half the cocoa with black cocoa powder, also sold as onyx cocoa powder. It’s available here, or in any baking supply shop.

  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (20 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (20 grams) black cocoa powder (see Note; just use more Dutched cocoa powder if you don’t have it)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine if using a food processor
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
  • 3 tablespoons (50 grams) smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A couple pinches salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy (355 ml) or whipping cream, cold
  • To finish
  • Chocolate sprinkles, shavings, crunchy pearls or chopped chocolate-peanut butter candies

Make wafers in a food processor: Combine flour, cocoa powders, sugar, salt and baking powder in the work bowl of a food processor, pulsing until mixed. Add butter and run machine until it is powdery. Add egg and vanilla and run machine until the dough begins to clump/ball together.

Make wafers with an electric mixer: Beat butter and sugar together until combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add baking powder, salt and cocoa and beat until combined. Add flour and mix just until it disapepars.

Both methods: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll first between 2 pieces of parchment paper until very, very thin and just over 7 inches across. Slide onto board (parchment paper and all) and place in freezer for 10 minutes, until firm. Once firm, peel back top piece of parchment paper (it should now come off cleanly, with a gently pulling back) and use a stencil or bowl with a 7-inch rim to trim it into a neater circle. Slide cookie round and lower piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool completely on paper, which you can slice onto a cooling rack so that you can use the tray again. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough.

It sounds like a lot of work but the best thing is to get into a pattern where one piece is being rolled while another is freezing while the third one bakes and fourth one is cooling so you’re never working with more than one piece at a time. By the time one piece bakes, the next is ready to leave the freezer.

While cookies cool, make peanut butter whipped cream: In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, vanilla, salt and sugar until smooth. Beating the whole time, slowly add heavy cream, a small splash at a time, until peanut butter-cream mixture is loose enough that you can add the rest of the cream without breaking it into clumps. Whip cream, watching it carefully as it’s very easy to overbeat with an electric mixer, until soft peaks form.

Place first cookie on a cake stand. If it’s sliding around, as cookies do, put a dab of whipped cream down first. Once it softens the cookie, it will make it stick. Thickly frost first cookie all the way to the edges with about 1/2 cup peanut butter cream. Repeat with remaining cookies, decoratively swirling the top cookie. Garnish with sprinkles or candy.

Place cake in the fridge overnight or ideally closer to 24 hours so that the cookies soften into cake layers. A knife dipped in warm water will make clean cuts.

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211 comments on chocolate peanut butter icebox cake

  1. SallyT

    I need this in my life RIGHT NOW. I love that you made your own “wafers;” one of the annoying things about using small cookies is that cutting is reallllly messy. ENJOY all of these great new events!

  2. Kathy M

    Hi, Do you think Cacao Powder would be okay instead of black cocoa powder? Any thoughts on using 1/2 whole wheat flour? Either way, I’ve got to make this, it sounds amazing!! Thank you!!

      1. Elisabeth Heien

        I always substitute at least half the flour with whole wheat flour as we can get a 100% wholewheat sifted variety over here (hello fromNorway!😃)but you may need to add a little more liquid to prevent it from turning out slightly dry.

  3. Robby H

    This is my answer to dessert for a guest coming next week. He is visiting the US and adores PB and chocolate. Fancy enough for company, but great basic flavors. Thanks!

  4. I only just recently tried an icebox cake for the first time (I know, what!?) and it was amazing! Your version here pretty much combines all my favorite things. And with how hot it is in TX right now, I need no-bake desserts!

  5. I have this Lucy-and-Ethel-in-the-candy-factory vision of this cake being made (with the disclaimer that the assembly line you’re describing for shaping/freezing/baking is *totally* reasonable and wonderful), which I can’t stop giggling about.

  6. Maro

    I’ve made your icebox cupcakes with peanut butter whipped cream (and strawberry, and coffee rum) and I can attest that it’s amazing.

    gorgeous cake!

    currently standing at my “kitchen desk” prepping to make the apricot pistachio squares with pecans and nectarines. Thanks, Deb!

  7. Ellen N.

    Deb, this looks perfect. I adore chocolate and peanut butter together and I’m partial to cold desserts. Will you please add weights? Thanks for this and all of your scrumptious recipes.

  8. Anna

    I see you specify “smooth” peanut butter; are you talking smooth like Skippy creamy or can it be any non-chunky peanut butter? I ask since Skippy, Jif, and the like have a lot of added sugar, while brands with no sugar tend to have a coarser texture. Can I use a non-commercial brand with no added sugar that has a coarser texture or will it ruin the whipped cream? If I do use Skippy, could I potentially leave out the granulated sugar?

    1. Tonia

      Anna – if you use the non-sugar kind of PB make sure to use one that is pre-stirred as I think the ones you need to stir wouldn’t incorporate as well with the whipping cream. Being slightly coarser in texture won’t ruin the whipped cream as long as you stir it in as Deb describes. :-)

    2. Sarah

      I haven’t made this exact cake, but I have a similar one I’ve made for years (although I’ll now definitely be trying homemade wafers–YUM) and I’ve always used natural peanut butter without any issues. I do sometimes mix the whole jar with a hand mixer to make sure that the oil is very evenly incorporated. I have not adjusted the sugar.

  9. Amelia

    Do you use natural peanut butter, or “regular” (Skippy, Jiff, etc)? How much would you recommend adjusting the sugar and salt if swapping out one for the other?

  10. JP

    I get all the instructions on how to make this beautiful cake, but what I don’t get is how you can take the photos without anyone throwing a “Stop it! Just let me eat this cake!” fit? You must be a pretty quick photographer to pull that off!

  11. This looks so amazing. I have made the cake that broke the blog so many times over the years for my PB-Choc friend. I can’t wait to try this. Do you cover in the fridge? (upturned bowl? plastic wrap? leave out in open?) I love the clean lines of your cake stands, but I always wonder about practicality of storing between assembly>eating>leftover stages.

    1. deb

      I leave it uncovered. I do have one cake stand with a dome but it would never fit in our fridge. I suppose if it were more than a few days (how long I assume this one will last) I might cover it loosely.

      1. deb

        This one. My servers were overwhelmed and it took almost a full day to get back online. :) (My servers are more robust these days, as are most of the web’s, so it’s less of an issue.)

          1. Carol Minor

            Hi,Just made your unshrinkable tart shell and it was fab.Here in Belgium I think the all purpose flour(#55)differs from the U.S.The dough was very tacky to pat.Maybe I blitzed it to smithereens?Anyway,regarding the wafers,would patting them into cake pans be an alternative to rolling?

      1. Jennifer Lee

        Mmm….mint…suggestions for quantities if I’m swapping out peanut butter for mint? I’m assuming mint extract here…?

    1. QuakerMom

      We are huge fans of dulce de leche here. I’m going to try it as a substitution for the peanut butter, minus the sugar. (The jarred dulce de leche from the store is about the same consistency.)

  12. Hi Deb, this looks amazing!! I am obsessed with the chocolate peanut butter combination! The grocery store by me sells the Nabisco chocolate wafers…to save time, can I use the chocolate wafter cookies (rather than making them myself) to save time. Do you think the cake will still work out? Thanks :)

  13. Mel

    I may sound lame but I’m a huge “Food Friday” fan and I’m so excited that you’ll be on next week!!! Love hearing you on the radio! :-)

  14. Allyn

    I live out in the country, and I can never find those blasted chocolate wafer cookies either!!! Thanks so much for the recipe . . . I will definitely use it in the future. This recipe looks so deadly . . . I’m having a dinner party next week and I think this could be a show-stopper!

  15. Ben

    Running to the kitchen to make this right now.

    Can’t wait to see you in Toronto again! Looking forward to hearing the details of your bookstore event!

  16. Sarah

    You say this is your new go-to chocolate wafer. I make your Oreos often, do you recommend switching to this recipe? What are their differences? Thanks!

    1. Natalie Radcliff

      I was wondering the same thing. Do you now prefer this King Arthur recipe for chocolate wafers over the one you were using before (your usual)? You said you will never use another, so I wasn’t sure. Thanks!

  17. Marcia

    King Arthur catalogue also has black cocoa.. Their double Dutch cocoa is nearly as dark. Also, I know the homemade wafers are better, but all the IGA supermarkets on the east end of Long Island always have Nabisco chocolate wafers.

  18. LH

    ok actual question – if the point of ice box cake is not to cook and to make cookies + ice cream = cake, then the baking of the cookies seems to defeat the purpose! Why not bake cake and ice with this? hmmmmmmmm

    1. tone

      Have you ever tried an icebox cake? Their texture is kinda tricky to describe but they’re nothing like cake. Each is delicious is its own right. The baking of cookies is time consuming, but if you love ice box cake, so worth it. Plopping a pile of the PB Whipped cream on to of chocolate cake is a delicious idea though!

    2. I think the point of ice box cake is that it tastes delicious. A baked cake does not yield the same texture or flavor as an icebox cake, so they’re really two different animals. If you want to buy the cookies I’m sure you can, but sometimes it’s fun to make things from scratch. I’d love to make this recipe.

  19. Severus Snape

    I’m allergic to chocolate (so sad, I know) but really want to make this. How can I adjust the cookies part to be choco free?

        1. Helen

          Did you ever hear about the australian wattleseed? The flavour profile is that of chocolate, coffee, toasted hazelnuts. It must be the closest flavour to chocolate that I’ve tasted. Not sure where to get it outside Australia but it’s delicious and definitely worth to track down to have a substitute.

    1. Lisa

      I have made the other chocolate wafer recipe on this site with spices (cinnamon, ginger, etc.) as maybe about half of the amount of cocoa and flour to fill the rest. They had a similar texture and made lovely ice cream sandwiches with lemon ice cream! I’ve been meaning to try a gingerbread-oid icebox cake sometime.

  20. Shannon Murphy


    I can’t eat peanuts, but when I find a recipe like this I swap out the peanut butter with some tahini and it’s always amazing. Even more so if you can sneak some maple syrup in there.

  21. Anna

    Hi…This is my dinner party dessert tmw. So, this is now assembled and in my fridge…the whipped cream, however – tasted very ‘not sweet’ – and I’m worried about it. I added 1.5T of granulated sugar…does it taste “sweeter” once it sits and melds with the cookies? Was your test batch also a bit on the less sweet side. I used Skippy, btw! Thank you!

    1. Heather

      Three years late to reply to this but I had the same misgivings when I assembled it. I would like to report that the ‘melding of flavors’ is nothing short of a miracle. Amazing!

  22. tone

    Is there a reason you suggest baking off one cookie at a time? Will the oven temp dip significantly if I do 2 at once to cut down on total baking time.

  23. Marianne Henderson

    Your site needs “tweaking” since on the emails I’ve gotten lately (at least the past 3) where you say: “read the rest of>>” then clicking on it does nothing & it’s verrrry frustrating. If I copy/paste the name of the item you’re featuring then click on “Smitten Kitchen” and paste the name of the item, THEN I get the entire article but…… could you please fix it? Am I the only one this happens to?? Otherwise love your site, instructions, pictures & your comments. Well done!!

    1. sparkgrrl658

      this is a known issue deb is working on (i asked before on an earlier post) but in the meantime clicking the lead photo in the email will bring you to the full recipe page :)

      1. AuntieM1996

        Clicking on the lead photo got me to a dead link this morning. I was told the page I was looking for didn’t exist, and gave me options of the newer recipes, this being first in the list.

        1. sparkgrrl658

          okay, fair enough – that happened to me too with this one for some reason. but i swear it works/worked on all the other emails! figures… ;)

  24. The “read more” on your email does not work when your email first arrives on my browser (which it just did this morning). I had to go to your web site to read the rest of the recipe for the icebox cake. It says “read more >>” but is not active.
    I love your posts and faithfully make many of your recipes to great acclaim. Thank you so much!

  25. Merryl Frankel

    Don’t know if anyone else has had thismproblem with icebox cakes but….when making the original chocolate wafer one, the whipped cream always wept through and disintegrated the wafers wafers. Was it something I have been doing wrong and do you think these home made ones will hold up better?

  26. If I make this, and die of sugar/fat overload can my family sue you?? I mean just because I’m weak-willed and will probably eat the whole thing in one sitting does not translate that I’m at fault. Did you put a warning with that cake recipe?? I didn’t see one – ergo it’s You! You! You! that we will hold responsible and King Arthur as co-defendant. Have a wonderful weekend.

  27. Love the story behind the cake(s) here. :) My husband’s bday is in July and I’m weird about baking during the summer so I’ve gotten creative with his birthday solutions. Sounds like your man has similar tastes!

  28. Linda Michaluk

    Perhaps an anathema, given that on was to be featured…but I may try this with caramel sauce instead of pub, and use Skor chips sprinkled over, inbetween whatever…any thoughts?

  29. Nearly perfect for my husbands birthday end of August. He’s not crazy for peanut butter, but I married him anyway. Any suggestions for a great fruit to put into the cream instead? Peaches? or raspberries? (Then I’m make the real thing for my own birthday in the dark days of winter when chocolate and peanut butter give you a reason to live!) THX>

    Love the new site..but the click through at the end of the introduction to the recipe — to read more click here– doesn’t work. my email is in IE, I have to go to another browser and download the website, which seems interminable when you want to know more about massive chocolate wafers. Just thought I’d mention. Thanks as ever for all the pleasure you share with us!

  30. Hi! Can I just say here that I so appreciate the comment box at the top. PLUS, I love this tab “I made this,” which is so amazingly helpful. I look for just that kind of comment to see others’ attempts. Very cool and very much appreciated! Thank you!

  31. juggledad

    the editor in me is coming out :>)

    “Bake for 10 minutes and let cool completely on paper, which you can slice onto a cooling rack so that you can use the tray again. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough.”

    do you really mean ‘slice” or did you mean ‘slide”?

  32. heatherleebea

    Hey this looks awesome! I make an Icelandic -Canadian layered cake called Vinarterta made with similar cookie like layers and fruit that softens in the fridge. HOT TIPS (from my BF’s grandma who made it) : Divide the dough and roll out directly onto upside-down round cake tins. Then run a sharp knife around the edge to make perfect circles. I usually put 2 in the oven at once. I have a giant flat spatula that is very useful for transferring to a cooling rack.

  33. I am glad to be here Deb. I am not good at cooking specially making cakes. I tried many a times but always got failed. I found the tips you’ve given here in this article. I’ll try making a chocolate peanut butter icebox cake today. Hope this I’ll be succeed.

  34. Marjorie Berger

    Does anyone have the patience to explain to me how you get the sound to work on that GIF with Amy Poehler? Pandora is working, so it’s not just my system. And what is a GIF? Apologies for having to ask this here instead of just wallowing in the happiness of SK.

    1. sparkgrrl658

      hi marjorie, GIFs do not have sound. (that is why if the words are important there will be subtitles.) GIF is a file extension, like .doc .pdf .jpg etc. it’s used for images, but in popular culture “GIFs” have come to mean specifically these little moving pictures on a loop.

      you will see what are known as “reaction GIFs” where instead of typing out a reply, someone will link to one of these moving images that sums up their emotional response, usually to humorous effect :)

  35. sparkgrrl658

    hi deb, i was wondering a couple things about the new comment system, which has everything a girl could want but…
    1. replies are only viewable in the generic comments tab, which makes the questions tab kind of a moot point if i still have to go through all the comments to find the answer(s).
    2. there needs to be an optoon to get notified of *replies* by email. the option offered now just sends you every new comment. i want to know when someone answers my question/comment, not 50-200 emails for every other comment on a given post. (those are for you to go through, not me ;)) i quickly & easily unsubscribed from those notifications, but having to periodically come back to posts and do a find for my name to see if there’s any response makes it essentially the same as the old site. (which i loved dearly, but…)

    also, there doesn’t seem to be any spellcheck here. (if i notice an error i can still click to rectify it, but the red underline is not there – i have to catch it on my own.) not sure if that’s even something under your control. (ipad air using chrome.)

    anyway, thank you for all that you do and your consistent great content – recipes & otherwise! :) (and apologies if these issues have already been heard & addressed of course.)

  36. PennyC

    By coincidence, I had been planning to make Ina Garten’s Mocha Chocolate Ice Box Cake as soon as my taste buds recovered from chemo. You just pushed me over the edge! I made your cookies and used her filling, which is tiramisu-adjacent. The cookies, even with supermarket cocoa, are incredible. There was extra dough, and I made small round cookies with it. I’m not much of a baker, but this looks and tastes like my idea of Heaven!

  37. Erica

    Thanks for this recipe, I’m pinning it for future birthday cakes. I recently made the epic chocolate peanut butter cake from your blog, it was amazing! Now I’m off to google icebox cakes, as I’ve never seen them here in Australia. PS- I LOVE that you’ve added the 6 month list on your “previously” list. I would often pin something, but if it was season I would forget about it by the time the appropriate season came around down under!

  38. Laura

    I made this last night — haven’t yet tried it, but I tasted the components separately and they were delicious so I’m sure it will be great. I doubled and did 10 inch rounds (I conveniently had the removable bottom of a tart pan that was exactly 10 inches!). I also used natural peanut butter and it was fine, maybe a bit coarser but I prefer the flavor.

    The only issue I had is that I think the whipped cream part maybe needs to be 2.5x when making the 10 inch layers. I didn’t have as much between the layers as you did in the picture, and I almost ran out when it came time to cover the top, had to do a pretty thin layer.

  39. Carol

    THANK YOU DEB! I was looking for a simple, fun and summery dessert for a bbq on Saturday and this was exactly what I needed. I was tossing around the idea of an icebox cake and I thought “those wafers are impossible to find, are super expensive, and I don’t feel like baking a bunch of cookies only to layer them into something to disappear”. Giant cookie rounds are genius!! The recipe was delicious. I made 1.5x for 8″ rounds. I also found that the baking process goes pretty fast – after the first cake – I was able to bake two at a time. If you keep everything cold, minimal chilling is needed before they go in the oven.

    A note to anyone was hoping to make this a “one-bowl” cake and use their food processor to make the filling/topping: I would advise against it. I used this method and while it was still delicious and I knew it would be thicker than cream whipped with a mixer (I made 2X the filling to compensate), I found it to be a little too thick and I didn’t have enough to complete the final layer and I couldn’t get all my filling fully to the edge on the other layers. I just whipped some plain sweetened cream to finish the cake and it all worked out, but I would just follow the instructions the next time. :-)

    I also put some of the Valrhona chocolate balls (not the crunchy ones, the pure chocolate ones) in the alternating layers with the filling, but it was truely gilding the lily and not really worth it.

    So, in summary, FOLLOW THE RECIPE and you’ll be rewarded with a delicious dessert!

  40. John

    Deb, where did you find the black cocoa? I went all over the place around Williamsburg. I assumed the Brooklyn Kitchen would have it and they didn’t! I made this with just regular cocoa and I’m still so excited to try it tonight!

      1. deb

        What? Can’t believe BK didn’t have it (hope they’ll fix this). Thanks for the Sur La Table tip. You should be able to get it at NY Cake on 22nd. Whisk has it on their website so they might at their Brooklyn or Manhattan store (actually I remember buying it at their Brooklyn store once, but a couple years ago).

  41. Susan

    “Because all days that end with cake are better than those that do not.” Never were truer words said. You should print that on T-shirts and sell them.

  42. Cathy

    This was delicious ! It was too hot to bake, so I used nabisco chocolate wafers. It was a huge hit with my family. Thanks for another great recipe !

  43. Do you think this would work equally well with cashew butter, almond butter, or sun butter? I feel like the almond butter might be a bit too grainy mixed with the whipped cream?

    1. deb

      Absolutely. The only concern is grit and also you might find you need more of these other butters (perhaps 3T per cup) to have their flavor present.

  44. swissmelk

    Hi. I am pressed for time and need to make a cake for Friday. Can I make the wafers on Wednesday and then make and assemble the PB whipped cream on Thursday to have on Friday night? Will this work out or be too soggy?

    1. deb

      Absolutely. First, you want to give the wafers a day to soften with the cream, so your timing is great. The wafers are just cookies — I actually baked 2 almost a week before the rest closer to when I used them — i.e. they keep just fine at room temperature in an airtight container, even for 1 to 2 weeks.

  45. tunie

    looks amazingly good : )

    Have you ever heard of a dessert bar called raspberry ice…or something like that? I think it’s Australian maybe? Now that Google has hyper optimized itself, it is no longer capable of searching outside of it’s own very narrow parameters and is becoming useless for anything outside the box…(rant over…). Or maybe it’s called something else..Am looking for that recipe!

    1. deb

      LOL, I too find it increasingly harder to find what I’m looking for via Google, which sounds absurd, but I always find myself on pages that are optimized for those words but not specifically answering my question. So, I get it. But not sure what a raspberry bar is. Does it look like one of these?

  46. wildlycraving

    I have never even considered making a blah-blah-blah “refrigerator cake” until seeing this. You’ve really done it this time! Thanks!

  47. Mary Moss

    Hey there Deb. Sorry to post this here, but i can’t seem to figure out how to email you otherwise. I am having great difficulty accessing your recipes since the switch.
    Basically the only way for me to get the recipe is to wait until you post a newer recipe, like i did with the chocolate peanut butter cake, by clicking on read recent posts. It’s pretty annoying for someone who often will make whatever it is you are posting either that day or the next couple days.
    So where it says to read more, there is no hyperlink for me to get the recipe. I use gmail, like thousands of other subscribers, so i can’t imagine i am the only one with this problem? Is anyone else experiencing this strange problem?
    I’d appreciate any help on this.

    1. deb

      You’re speaking of the Feedblitz email? I know the link at the bottom isn’t working but the top photo always links to the full post. The logo should take you to the site. The old newsletter is not a very good system, which is why we launched a new one last fall: the template is clean, everything works, the ads don’t exist yet but there will soon be two and they will be tasteful and it goes out weekly. You can sign up in the sidebar or from this link:

  48. It should be noted in this recipe that one should not use natural peanut butter, the kind you need to stir. I suspect that the whole operation of getting the cream into the peanut butter relies on the emulsifiers in the peanut butter not to break. I was not able to get this to work without using the more traditional method of first loosening up the peanutbutter and sugar with some cream and then beating the remaining cream in another bowl and then folding them gently together.

  49. mtn girl

    Needed an easy to assemble cake & this was perfect! I baked the rounds (using all regular cocoa) 5 days ahead and just stuck them in a ziplock in the freezer – worked great. Went with a coffee whipped cream instead of PB – dissolved one of those Via instant packets in 2 Tbs of the cream and then whipped it up with the rest of the cream, some vanilla and 3 Tbs confectioner sugar – perfect!! I agree with a couple other folks who found they needed to double the whipped cream recipe; I think my rounds were slightly bigger than yours, and I needed about 2x what I made originally. Drizzled the top with chocolate before serving – so good!!

  50. ClaireB

    I made this with 7 layers for my seventh wedding anniversary, and half the layers with pumpkin puree from our garden. Yum!

    1. Cristina

      I made this from your cookbook, and it was fantastic- except that I agree with other commenters, doubling the cream is not enough when making the 10 inch version. I doubled the filling recipe since I made 10 inch layers, and even when only using 1/2 cup for each layer (which made them a lot thinner than yours pictured), I was completely out of filling by the top. I had to make a 1/2 recipe of the cream to finish it off, but that meant a trip to the store for more cream, mid-assembly. I measured accurately by weight, so I’m not sure how it’s possible I got so much less. It might be worth adding a note to save future bakers the trouble! Absolutely delicious, though!

    2. Teegan

      I’m making this right now, and it’s not cooperating at all! My wafer dough is just crumbling every step of the way. Did anyone else have this issue?

  51. Anastasia

    If you don’t need a round cake, using half sheet pans, cutting wafer squares, and frosting around the outside with the whip cream may save a bit of effort. ATK used that technique for a carrot cake a few years ago.

  52. Brittany

    My husband and I have been following this blog since 2010 and I have never left a comment before. Deb, just want to say thanks for always bringing us the best recipes. I am enjoying the new site design. Also, just made this yesterday and it is delicious. I didn’t cut the perfect circles, because, lets face it, I don’t want to waste any chocolate wafer. Turned out imperfectly perfect. We added peanut butter candy pieces to our first serving, but decided it is better without. Will be making again!!

      1. deb

        I wouldn’t freeze it with frosting on. I wouldn’t expect the frosting to defrost well on top of the cake. A slice or two, i.e. leftovers, shouldn’t be an issue to freeze.

  53. I think it’s completely dreamy! But I ran out of cream for the last layer so I made half a cup more – I’m fairly sure I was measuring right?? Either way every component tasted great, can’t wait to eat it tomorrow!

  54. Rebecca

    I made this last week for a family party and it was awesome. I doubled the recipe and make 10″ rounds, as you suggested. It worked really well, but like others, I had to increase the whipped cream. I ended up using a whole quart of cream instead of the 3 cups that the doubled recipe would have used (and a bit more PB to match). And even then, it could have used a bit more if I’d had it, although it was plenty delicious as it was.

  55. Seattlecook

    Delicious! I was able to bake the wafers in just 2 batches. Subbed in Bailey’s Irish cream for peanut butter due to an anti-pb spouse (he was many redeeming qualities). Brought this to a summer bbq and found it served 8 adults with a bit left over. Really tasty and it looks pretty impressive too. Will absolutely make again.

  56. Diane Goshgarian

    I made this for dessert last night for a dinner party of 6. It was fantastic! Also, I love things that I can make the night before. It leaves a little less for me to do on the day of, when I’m trying to prepare for guests.

  57. Liz

    This cake was awesome. I was making dinner for 9. So I made 1.5x the recipe (my cookies were 8.5″). I totally struck out finding Dutch cocoa AND black cocoa, so I used regular cocoa with baking soda subbed for baking powder. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a T, and it was a hit!

  58. Truc-Ha


    I made this Wednesday night for serving Saturday at noon and it disappeared!

    * doubled the recipe =1200 g dough. Divided into 8 balls of 150g, but ended up with a lot of scraps and re-rolled them for a final total of 11 layers for a 9″ cake.
    * valhrona only for the cocoa.
    * used roughly the whipped cream instructions from the previous icebox cake recipe as I wanted to be peanut-free. Almost 4 c cream, 3.5 T sugar, 1 t and another splash of vanilla and wished I could have added bourbon.
    * didn’t have time to decorate AND lost the licorice and red vines I was going to use to turn it into a Pokeball, so stuck a tiny Pikachu figure in the middle of a ring of candles and called it done.
    * will make again just for the cookies! I’d rather eat them all crispy and yum. I want to try the black cocoa.
    *I made the other icebox cake 3 years ago; this one was so much easier, and it assembled into a much prettier cake.

    Thanks Deb. I never knew how to bake before, and things never turned out when I tried until I started cooking and baking from the blog 4 years ago, and now people think I know what I’m doing! My kids love you! Can we do a recurring donation to your blog somehow? I use it constantly.

  59. Sarah

    I don’t currently have a food processor or an electric mixer. Would a blender or just regular old fashioned hand mixing significantly alter the quality of the wafers?

  60. Nicole

    My cookies look good, and the whipped cream was smooth for a minute, but as I added the last of the cream, it started looking almost curdled…

  61. Hi Deb,

    Love your recipes and writing. One question with this cake–how are you supposed to roll out the dough between the parchment paper? I had to have my boyfriend hold down each side of the parchment to keep it from sliding all over the counter. I love this recipe, and even got into the roll-freeze-bake routine fine, but the rolling between parchment business got me really twisted up.


  62. Eve

    This was delicious, didn’t take as long as I thought it would, and was the perfect level of sweetness! The finished cake definitely had a pleasant peanut buttery taste, although when I first tried the frosting by itself I was underwhelmed with the peanut butter flavor. I think the pairing with the chocolate cookie really elevated both. It wasn’t too sweet and the leftovers kept well for a few days in the fridge.

  63. I made this with my niece to celebrate our birthdays and it was the hit of the party! I doubled the cookie (cake) recipe to make the larger cake. In doing this, I ended up having to quadruple the pb whipped cream filling recipe (maybe I was a little heavy handed?). Whatever, it was delicious and I will be making it again since I just stocked up on black cocoa powder! Thank you so much for many years of great reading and eating!

  64. Frustrated Baker

    This was a disaster! My dough was so dry. I froze it as instructed but it just fell apart. I had to wait for it to warm, add water and then cook it. It tasted good but this recipe needs reworking. Maybe if the butter is melted? Or maybe you have to use the black cocoa powder? You said to just use more regular cocoa powder.I couldn’t even get 6 layers our of it. Two and they’re thin. Now, I have a hell of a mess in my kitchen and a ordinary cake.

  65. As a peanut butter lover, I bookmarked this recipe as soon as I saw it. I finally made a cheater’s version with Nabisco chocolate wafers for a dinner party. With the storebought wafers, it didn’t look like a showstopper (kind of squat and uneven – I ended up making two batches of whipped cream to make it taller), but it was a perfect light dessert after a hearty pasta meal.

  66. Bibi

    After much lamenting that “not everyone likes the chocolate peanut butter combination,” my husband declared this may be the best cake I’ve ever made, and I bake alot. Thanks for the update on a classic!

  67. lene

    I have a friend that cannot eat eggs. This seems like a recipe that I could perhaps substitute something for the egg? Would you have a suggestion? I would try it out and let you know how it goes…Thanks

  68. Sheila

    Hi Deb. I love you and your recipes! Question…Sorry if this has been addressed…Want to make it for a friend’s bday but I’m pressed for time…Can I use the store bought wafers??? I feel I need your permission for this short cut :) I’ll try the homemade another time but I don’t have the time to hunt for the onyx Coco and bake all the layers. Thanks so much!

      1. Robin

        Am planning on making this today for my hubby’s birthday. If I use the store bought wafers or the nabisco chocolate crumbs as mentioned elsewhere how much do I use? And… I’m assuming I then skip the the flour, cocoa and granulated sugar? Hoping you are around to answer quickly today. Thanks.

        1. Robin

          Updating. I made this as written and so far so good. It’s in the fridge setting up but the components tasted great. The only thing I would do differently next time is inwd reserve a 1/2 cup of the frosting for the top layer. I almost ran out and don’t mind if the middle layers are a drop thin. In addition, some of the peanut butter didn’t dissolve (i probably did something wrong there) so why I don’t care on the middle layers I wanted the smooth frosting on the top. I am certain it is going to taste fabulous. Thanks deb. Can always rely on you.
          Actually one question. If I wanted to make the frosting with coffee flavor do you have measurements for that??

      2. Christina Mallet

        Hi, I tried to make this. The wafers turned out great but the cream was a disaster. I live in Germany and can’t get American style peanut butter so I make my own in my food processor. I use only nuts.

        The cream broke and turned into a clumpy mess. Even doing it by hand. It looked like cottage cheese. The cream never had a consistency like cream. It went from cream to cottage cheese. It was really strange. I have the wafers, which are great so I’ll make something different with them.

        Do you think this has to do with a lack of emulsifier in the peanut butter?


        Christina in Berlin

  69. Shannon

    I made this for my husband’s birthday — he’s a PB fiend. Good results, just a few comments that may help others:
    *Made by hand — using the electric mixer method.
    *I only had enough filling for 5 layers, so I broke up the sixth layer for a crunchy topping
    *For me, the recipe is a little too sweet. I would leave out the sugar in the whipped cream topping (when using a Skippy type sweetened PB)

  70. Jane

    I doubled the recipe and made a 10″ one. Dividing dough into 6 x 200g I ended up with about 250g trimmings for seventh layer plus dough to snack on. 9 mins was perfect for my fan oven.

    I used about 2.5x filling, extra crunchy Jif (the chunks of peanut softened a bit but I liked them still), and dark brown sugar instead of white in the filling because I like that Butterfingers combination of peanut and molasses.

    It looked wonderfully contrasty and elegant on a white cake stand and made beautiful stripy slices. It got a lot of compliments, but I might reduce the sugar in the filling next time.

  71. Cat

    I made this for a birthday party and it was a huge hit for kids and adults alike. Multiple people asked for the recipe. I doubled everything and didn’t need more whipped cream, unlike some other commenters (which is good because I was out), but of course it would be fine with extra, too! No problems with the recipe at all, tasted divine, A+, would recommend!

  72. Megan

    I made this tonight for a second time. First time I made as written, and it was fantastic.
    Tonight I made it with mint instead of peanut butter. I doubled the cookie part for 10″ cookies and used mostly black cocoa. For the whipped cream layers I did 2.5x the amount of cream and sugar and a tablespoon and a half of mint extract. I topped with chopped up chocolate mint patties. Success!

    1. Jeni

      This sounds amazing and I’m now contemplating a peppermint version using red cocoa and peppermint candies … 😍

      Thanks for the inspiration!!

  73. Lois Peterson

    Hello, I heard Deb’s interview with Sheryl on CBC’ North X Northwest yesterday morning. Lovely to hear about her Smitten Kitchen book, have it on my Christmas gift shopping list. Could you please email to me the recipe for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake ? ! Pretty Please and Thank You. Lois P.

  74. Ben

    Made this for Christmas lunch with plain whipped cream rather than peanut butter and worked out perfectly. I would recommend it as a low stress dessert – might seem strange to say that when you have to cook so many separate bits but (i) it is all finished the day before (ii) there is no wondering whether your enormous cake will be cooked in the middle, you know that the super thin wafers will all be cooked after ten minutes and then go soft in the fridge.

  75. Loni

    I adapted this for Valentine’s Day. Loved it! I made the chocolate wafers per the recipe – I was pleasantly surprised by how straightforward they were and how easy it was to roll the dough (I used a Silpat mat, which made a huge difference – I noticed the dough would tear while rolling on parchment). I froze the wafers after baking and cooling in between parchment sheets and did not defrost them before I assembled the cake. Instead of the peanut butter frosting, I used whipped cream (2 cups cream, 2 tbsp confectioner sugar, 2 tsp vanilla) and raspberry sauce (all I did was reduce a bag frozen raspberries on the stove and then strain out the seeds). I assembled the cake, spreading some raspberry sauce on each wafer and then topping with cream. For the topmost wafer, I just covered in raspberry sauce. I left the cake in the fridge overnight covered with the big bowl of my salad spinner. The finished product was delicious and not too sweet!

  76. I made this, and it was delicious. I did regular whipped cream due to nut allergies, but the wafers were amazing! I had no issues. I covered the top with chocolate ganache. I used dutch process cocoa because I didn’t have time to wait for the black cocoa to come in.

  77. Anita

    Deb, I finally bought black cocoa powder! I noticed in your original recipe for wafer cookies, you recommended cutting the sugar significantly for an Oreo flavor. Should we do the same if we use the King Arthur recipe? Or is it the right amount of sugar to achieve that Oreo (not so sweet) taste? Thanks!

  78. ali

    Hi Deb, This cake is amazing. The wafers were the best! Followed the recipe using the food processor method and it was a breeze. I ended up making 8 layers of 7.5″ wafers with the recipe above just by reusing the trimmed off pieces of dough. (Maybe my layers were thinner??) Either way, made this cake for a surprise birthday and everyone was so impressed when we cut into it and they all went absolutely bananas for the cake. It was delicious and I would definitely make it again. Thanks for the amazing recipe. I love your work! xo, ali

  79. Jennifer Doherty

    Another awesome cake! Easy to make. Took 2 hours total. With the leftovers I made a mini layered cake and made a mocha frosting with the decaf via packet, the extra whipped cream and some powdered sugar to taste. Be sure to use parchment when rolling. I tried to sub wax sheets – mistake. They were too thin and stuck to the wet cakes. Also, I wish I had more frosting, I will use all of the whipped cream. Last, next time I will weigh out the dough and then divide it into 6 equal pieces. My pieces came out pretty even, but using the scale at first.

  80. Deb, since you have sooooo much extra time, I have to report a potentially dead link. Sadly I can’t load the GIF mentioned here: ” as this could be their House Gif”. This could be because I’m in Uganda, or it could be that it’s no longer hosted at that link. How can I possibly procrastinate successfully unless I can look at your sassy GIFs? If you don’t get to this, I will, however, 100% understand. Perhaps I shouldn’t be procrastinating by looking at delicious cake recipes anyhow…

  81. Jordan Behr

    Can you refrigerate this for more than a day? (may be more like 36h) Or will it get too mushy? Because of my schedule I don’t think I’ll be able to time it for approx 24 hour. Can’t wait to try this my boyfriend is gonna love it for his bday!

    1. deb

      I think up to two days is fine. If you’re nervous, you can always put a touch more whipped cream between the layers. There’s no such thing, IMHO, as too soft but the layers can merge and then you don’t see a distinct whipped cream layer.

  82. Kelly McIntyre

    Do you think this would be good without the peanut butter? It’s so gorgeous! I want to make this cake for my son’s birthday, but he’s got a peanut allergy.

      1. Kelly

        Thank you, Robin! I noticed the filling contained chocolate and espresso, yet it’s not brown…it’s white like whipped cream. Is the photo mismatched with the recipe? So confused!

        1. Robin

          I’m not sure! It’s not the same photo I have from when I printed that recipe which was chocolate in appearance. I did compare the recipe ingredient by ingredient and it was exactly the same. But that is def weird!!! I don’t know how to add a photo to the comment but if I can figure it out I’ll take a picture of the recipe from when I printed it about two plus years ago.

  83. Annie

    This looks really similar in taste (but not appearance) to something we make in the South called peanut butter pie! It’s basically a chocolate cookie pie crust filled with a peanut butter and whipped cream mixture

  84. Hannah

    If, say, I were to make this with ice cream in place of whipped cream, do you think the cakeyness would suffer completely?

  85. Emily

    Just finished assembling so I can’t speak on what it tastes like as a whole after having time to hang out in the fridge overnight. But the peanut butter whipped cream is HEAVENLY. My only advice is go easy on the salt and DO NOT over whip. I accidentally made butter the first time 😅

  86. Pam

    Hi Deb,
    I have been searching for a recipe like this for ages! My favorite bakery makes a mocha torte that looks just like this. I am wondering if you have ever tried freezing it? I want to make it for a party but due to time constraints i either need to make it 3 days before or the morning of he party, which wouldn’t give it ample time to soften.

    1. deb

      I haven’t frozen it — not sure that whipped cream freezes and then defrosts well, perhaps someone else can weigh in. I do think you could flavor the whipped cream with espresso powder instead of peanut butter with little trouble. Have you any ability to make the cookies in advance (you could do it a week or longer, they’re just cookies) and just making the whipped cream and filling it the day before? Or even 8 hours is usually enough. It takes so little time to whip and assemble…

  87. Liz

    Is black cocoa powder essential? Is it just about the color or does it impart a different flavor? It’s a bit expensive so I’m hoping I can just use all regular cocoa powder. Thank you.

  88. Alissa

    Can you put the waffers in a springform pan with a removable bottom, layer and put in the fridge overnight? I was thinking this may hold the shape better?

  89. I made this a few weeks ago for my son’s 15th birthday (he requested PB and chocolate) and it was fabulous! My only issue was that I ran out of whipped cream halfway through construction (not sure what happened) – which meant that my husband had to go out and get more whipping cream and PB so I could make another batch and have enough for adequately-filled layers and the top. I’d make this again for sure, but I’d double the whipped cream recipe from the get-go.

  90. I made this a few weeks ago for my son’s 15th birthday (he requested PB and chocolate) and it was fabulous! My only issue was that I ran out of whipped cream halfway through construction (not sure what happened) – which meant that my husband had to go out and get more whipping cream and PB so I could make another batch and have enough for adequately-filled layers and the top. I’d make this again for sure, but I’d double the whipped cream recipe from the get-go. For decoration, I baked up the scraps from cutting out the wafers, crushed them up, and sprinkled over the top along with chopped mini Reese’s!

  91. Melissa O

    We made this last night, but could you clarify the texture of the cookies. Are they supposed to be firm/crisp or more soft cookie? Eating it tonight for our family bake off- quarantine style. Can’t wait.

  92. I made this last weekend for my in-laws and it was dreamy and delicious and impressive without any stress! It does take some time rolling out and baking the layers but it’s not challenging. I did 1.5x the recipe because dessert serving sizes are kind of insulting to us during Covid and I’m glad I did. With 1.5x the recipe I measured the rounds to about 8.5 inches and everyone had embarrassingly large pieces of cake with one slice leftover. My father in- Law said of all the delicious chocolate peanut butter desserts he’s ordered or had—- this was the best. I have to say it was really good. Highly recommend!

  93. rachel

    Is this the same cake as the long mentioned Oreo birthday cake, but I assume that one was plain whipped cream or maybe a little cream cheese as stabilizer ?

    1. deb

      I actually use thin cake layers (as in, poured like 1/2-inch thick and baked in individual layers), so it’s a bit different. And I use a swiss meringue buttercream as the filling. So, for those two reasons (an incredibly fussy cake-baking experience and frosting/filling), I haven’t shared the recipe. But I still make it. I did a version for my daughter’s birthday this year, too.

      1. rachel

        Oh! You just piqued my curiosity even further! You might remember that we both have kids turning 11 this month, and I want to make it for mine, although not likely to be 11 layers ☺️ Is it the Fudgey sheet cake poured thinly? I understand that you get to keep this one to yourself but It’s hard to resist bugging you!

        1. deb

          I do remember! It is, and when I make it Oreo-ish, I swap a couple tablespoons black cocoa in. Shoot me an email ( and I will try to find more notes for you, like how many layers at which thickness you’ll get per recipe. (I’m thinking about trying a mixed chocolate and cheesecake layer this year. It might flop!)

  94. Tea

    I made 6 inch diameter wafers and was able to get 9 wafers, no scraps. That way, I was able make a 6 layer cake for my sister’s birthday while saving 3 discs for my own mini cake. I increased the frosting ingredients by a third and had no trouble getting enough frosting for both cakes. Very potent PB flavour and not overly sweet. I found the chocolate flavour did not come through as well. Maybe because I ate it after only a few hours in the fridge? I only used Dutch process cocoa. Does cocoa last a long time when stored properly? I just wonder if it’s the shelf life of my cocoa.

  95. Martha


    I used a wide-mouth Mason jar lid as my circle-cutter. That made the wafer diameter 3.5 inches. One batch yielded 24 wafers, or 4 mini-cakes.

  96. Robin

    I just assembled and put this in the fridge. I can tell it’s going to be delicious but I do recommend making more of the peanut butter whipped cream. I ran out after the 5th layer so just left the last cookie off (really no big deal—the cookie is yummy and we’ll eat it on its own tonight while we wait for the cake to soften in the fridge for tomorrow).

  97. Karen

    This is WONDERFUL!! – as is and I also tried it in a chocolate / orange version. Next up is peppermint.

    I found that weighing the dough and the filling makes it much easier to bake and assemble. I underestimated what a 6th of the filling was making it harder to frost. The disks are between 100 and 105 g leaving just a tiny bit, once trimming is complete, for a smaller disk or two as a decoration. I used the entire pint of whipping cream as I thought it needed just a bit more so in the end the filling was about 83g each layer. Keeping the layers very flat is also helpful as once if softens up it will droop a bit if you’ve created it even slightly domed. An offset spatula will help with this.

    For the chocolate orange version I substituted marmalade for the peanut butter and added the zest of 1 orange. For both versions the filling flavor is subtle but is just the right amount the next day.

    Buying the black cocoa is totally worth it for the contrast. Sur la table was out, as was King Arthur flour so I went the Amazon route.

  98. Julie

    Could the wafers be made ahead of time? Would like to make them a day or two before assembling the cake. If so, how should they be stored?

  99. Ilyssa Davidson

    Have made this with store bought wafers – was too lazy. It was great. Now thinking I’ll go for it and make the wafers from this recipe. What do you think about adding some kind of strawberry purée – or maybe blackberry- into the layering?