Cool and tasty, the perfect antidote to summer’s swelter
No-bake cake? We’re in!
Especially when it tastes like a Dark and Stormy Cocktail – with whipped cream.
So grab your bottle of rum and get ready to whip up a cool dessert. Yo ho ho!
Recipe: Dark and Stormy Icebox Cake
The Dark and Stormy Cocktail is one of our favorite summer drinks. It’s a delightful combination of ginger beer, dark rum, and lime juice. So why not take these great flavors and make them into a cool summer dessert?
Mrs. Kitchen Riffs, the dessert maven in our household, based this recipe on one she found in the Washington Post.
It takes about 30 minutes to prepare this cake. Then the cake needs to set up in the freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.
This recipe serves up to 8, depending on how large you slice the pieces. Leftovers keep for several days if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 2 cups heavy cream (divided)
- ~½ cup granulated sugar (divided)
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract (divided)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons dark rum (to taste)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lime zest (to taste)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)
- ~8 ounces ginger snaps (about 40 cookies)
- additional lime zest for garnish (optional)
- lime slices for garnish (optional)
- Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap (let the wrap hang over the sides of the pan).
- Pour one cup of the cream into a mixing bowl (see Notes). Using a whisk beater, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add about half the granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Continue whipping until the cream forms soft peaks. Add the dark rum, then whip until the cream holds firm peaks when you remove the whisk. Add more sugar and/or rum to taste if necessary, then whip again briefly to combine. Set aside.
- Pour the remaining cup of cream into a separate mixing bowl. Using a whisk beater, whip the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the rest of the granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Continue whipping until the cream forms soft peaks. Add the lime zest and lime juice, then whip until the cream holds firm peaks when you remove the whisk. Add more sugar and/or lime flavoring to taste if necessary, then whip again briefly to combine.
- Construct the cake: Using a large spoon or spatula, spread about half the rum whipped cream along the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Add a layer of ginger snaps (use about half the cookies) over the whipped cream. Then, using a spoon or spatula, spread about ¾ of the lime whipped cream over the ginger-snap layer. (Refrigerate the remaining lime whipped cream, reserving it for garnish.) Add another layer of ginger snaps, using the remaining cookies. Then add a final layer of rum whipped cream, using the remaining half of the rum cream.
- Cover the cake with additional plastic wrap, then place the cake in the freezer for at least 3 hours (or even overnight).
- When ready to serve, remove the cake from the freezer and peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Place a large plate over the loaf pan containing the cake. Quickly invert the cake onto the plate, then peel off the remaining plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, cut the cake into slices and place on serving plates. Garnish each slice with some of the reserved lime whipped cream. Add additional lime zest as garnish if desired (or use lime slices).
- Want to make this cake gluten free? Just use gluten-free ginger snaps.
- You can even make the cake alcohol free. Just use rum extract (to taste; start with 2 teaspoons, and go from there).
- The original recipe calls for 3 cups of heavy cream. But that makes almost enough for two cakes (if you’re using a standard loaf pan). So we reduced it to 2 cups – which is more than adequate.
- If you don’t want to use two separate mixing bowls for the cream, you can just whip all the cream in one bowl, then divide it before adding the rum and lime flavorings. If going this route: Whip the cream until it thickens, then add all the sugar and vanilla extract. Continue whipping until the cream forms stiffish peaks, then remove half the cream to a smaller mixing bowl. Add the rum to the original mixing bowl, then whip to combine. Add the lime zest and juice to the cream in the smaller mixing bowl. Using a spatula, fold in the lime flavorings until well combined.
- Whipped cream does not freeze “solid” in a home freezer, so the cake will still be soft when you serve it. That means the pieces probably will not hold together when you cut them. Use the reserved lime whipped cream to cover gaps.
- This cake is a bit easier to cut if you use a very sharp knife. Have an electric knife? Use that – it makes for neater cuts.
- BTW, cutting the frozen cake right before serving (Step 6) results in fairly firm pieces. If you want a softer serve, we suggest cutting the cake about half an hour before serving. Then put the plated pieces of cake in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them.
- You can crumble the ginger snaps if you want, although we like to keep them whole.
- You could also make this cake into a parfait: Just place alternate layers of whipped cream and crumbled ginger snaps in serving glasses.
The Perfect Storm
“This is like having a cocktail for dessert,” I said. “I could get whipped into a frenzy over it.”
“Icebox cake is the cream of the crop,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Limey tell you.”
“I’ve made snappy work of finishing off this piece,” I said.
“Rum thing,” said Mrs K R. “I suppose you’ll be begging for more. Like a cat around a bowl of cream?”
Yup. I’m just a whipping boy.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Dark and Stormy Cocktail
Peachy Cream Shortcake
Atlantic Beach Pie
Easy, No-Cook Fruit Fool
Homemade Meringues with Strawberry Sauce
Root Beer Floats
Or check out the index for more
I LOVE ice box cakes! Easy to make and delicious to eat… win, win! Though,I’ve never made with rum or beer, which sounds totally delightful.
Hi Balvinder, rum-flavored whipped cream is wonderful! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Basically, you've found a way to eat pure whipped cream, lightly flavored, with a few ginger snaps for garnish. WOW! What a great idea. Unless you have a weight problem.
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Mae, yup, you've pretty much summed up what this dessert is about. :-) This is one of those dishes that when you serve it, conversation stops at the table as people are too busy tucking into their cake. Well, whipped cream. :-) Thanks for the comment.
YUM! It looks wonderful and I know my entire family would love it.
No bake cakes are fun to make and very delicious too. This looks incredibly delicious with the combo of flavours, John.
Hi Pam, I'll bet they would! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Angie. isn't this neat? Really good, and a bit different. Thanks for the comment.
Wow you did not just put booze in a dessert, you put the whole cocktail. I don't think I ever saw that. i so want to eat that cocktail lol.
Hi Evelyne, it basically IS the entire cocktail, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
I remember the first time I had a dark and stormy and I fell in love. I imagine it put into cake form is out of this world!
Perfect dessert for warm weather. We are still having some nice summer days here in the Pacific Northwest and we don't always want to turn on the oven. Dark and stormy should cool things down :)
Hi Ashley that's a good drink, isn't it? And this is a wonderful cake! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Dahn, yup, the dark and stormy cake tastes light and zesty. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I was planning on getting back on keto tomorrow, but I might wait one extra day just to make and eat this! (I could do it today but I am tired and just don't want to go to the store today)
Hi Anne, with all you've been going through, you deserve a treat like this! Thanks for the comment.
Now this looks nice and cool on a hot summer's day! I could see myself eating this cake along with the matching cocktail. Gluten-free ginger snaps? Thank God I am 'gluten-tolerant and can indulge myself!
Hi Fran, this would be SO nice with the cocktail in the side. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have not had an ice box cake for ages...and I love this recipe...so summer look and the hint of rum sounds amazing...great finding!
Thanks for sharing it...have a great rest of the week John!
Hi Juliana, the rum is really nice in this! As is the lime. And the ginger snaps. Just a good all around dish! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh Yum! What a perfect dessert for the heat this summer. I was wondering how the whipped cream became firm enough to cut - The freezer of course! I love this! Thanks for sharing!
Hi MJ, isn't this neat? And so good. But with whipped cream, how could it not be? :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a great idea for hot days, love this recipe☺
Oh my goodness, John this cake looks fantastic! We are having some company this weekend and now I know what I'm serving the grown-ups for dessert! Yum!
Hi Natalia, isn't this nice? SO good! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Marcelle, they'll love it! :-) Thanks for the comment.
This dessert is rich and creamy, rummy (if thats even a word) and can't wait to give it a try. Love the flavor profile. Wishing you a super week ahead.
Hi Bobbi, definitely rummy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I prefer my cocktails in dessert form, so this is perfect for me. :-) And no-bake, even better! Love it. Thanks!
Hi Valentina, cocktails in dessert form are fun, aren't they? And in this case, really tasty! Can't beat that. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I don't need a dark and stormy night for this! Just cut me a slice and I'll be right over!
Hi Abbe, dark and stormy nights, or clear and moonlit, this is equally good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Heck yeah! I had it in mind to make a Dark and Stormy cake, actually - but nothing like this one. I think I'll make this one first, though, because it sounds absolutely can't-put-it-down-able.
Hi Jeff, this is really good -- you'd like it, I think. I'll be really curious to see what cake you come up with when you make yours. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Yum, this sounds like the picture summer treat. I love this icebox cake.
Hi Dawn, isn't this a fun cake? Such lovely flavor! Thanks for the comment.
Wow! This sounds sooooo good to me right now. I haven't tried the cocktail yet, but it's on my to-do list.
Hi Jean, both the cocktail and this cake are SO worth having. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh, boy, I'm glad summer isn't over yet as it's the perfect time for a no-bake dessert. We adore gingersnaps at our house and it's a nice change from graham crackers. This combination of flavors and ingredients sounds terrific!
Hi Liz, it IS a terrific combo! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I am 1000% all for a no-bake cake. AND THIS ONE looks insanely delicious! Just so FLUFFY!
Hi GiGi, fluffy. And really, really rich. :-) Thanks for the comment.
No bake desserts are perfect for this season and you got everything delicious there! I love how fluffy it looks.
Hi Kankana, this is indeed really delicious! :-) Thanks for the comment.
John, this looks so creamy and dreamy! I love an icebox cake and I'm so crazy about lime. Appreciate the tip on using the extract!
Hi Kelly, the extract isn't as good as the rum IMO, but it's more than good enough. If you know what I mean. :-) A bit more difficult to figure out how much to use, but that means the cook gets to do more taste testing! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Wow, Mrs. Kitchen Riffs outdid herself. Whip cream flavored with rum and ginger snaps . Fantastic!
Hi Gerlinde, isn't this a neat dessert? Mrs KR certainly knows her stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a delicious cake, simple yet elegant. It’s perfect for a late summer meal served on the patio.
Hi Eva, really simple, and really good. :-) We love this! Thanks for the comment.
Count me in! This is along the lines of my Tequila Mousse, but in cake form! Thanks, John!
Hi David, this is very much like your Tequila Mousse. (I showed that to Mrs KR -- she's definitely going to make it!) Thanks for the comment.
Ooh, like a Grasshopper pie! I wonder if one could add some candied ginger pieces to the gingersnap crumbs for even more gingery goodness? ;)
Hi Carolyn, that's a great idea! We'll definitely be trying that. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh, wow! I love a dark and stormy. Having that in icebox cake form would be dreamy.
Hi Lisa, this is definitely dreamy.:-) Thanks for the comment.
I love easy desserts like this, particularly when it packs a boozy punch.
Hi Laura, it's really good. Really. Good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
John, you create the most beautiful cocktails but I am in love with this ice box cake. Ice box cakes are so easy and fun to make! Now you have my head spinning with ideas!
Hi Pat, we love this sort of cake! Easy and really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Well I do like the no bake aspect of this cake, since I don't really bake... and it sounds delicious! I think I'll make the cocktail instead. A few less calories!
Hi Mimi, the cocktail definitely has fewer calories. And tastes great. But this is pretty good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Love this cake so much! I have a similar recipe. I guess its time to pull it out :D
Hi Taruna, oooh, we want to see your recipe! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Rue, this is wonderful stuff! :-) Thanks for the comment.
This dessert looks so tempting to make..sounds super easy too. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Amira, this is a wonderful dish! And you're right -- really easy to put together. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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