There is no question that this cake, straight from the pages of my book, The Vintage Baker, is exactly what your Easter dessert spread needs. It is an easy peasy icebox cake (which is code for: a cake that you do not need to bake), made with store-bought chocolate wafer cookies (you’re welcome), layered with coconut whipped cream and topped with toasted almonds. It may remind you of an Almond Joy bar, and that was my intention, as I love a dessert inspired by a favorite candy. The coconut whipped cream is made using chilled coconut milk, giving the cake a deeply coconut flavor, and the toasted almonds add just the right amount of crunch. The cake takes about 8 hours to set up in the fridge, which is where the cookies absorb the whipped cream and become cake-like, so plan accordingly.
To take a peek at the original blog post for my coconut chocolate icebox cake with toasted almonds and to peruse my collection of original recipes, click here.
- 3 cans full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 to 1 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- 9 oz crisp chocolate wafer cookies
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Place the cans of coconut milk in the coldest spot in your refrigerator upside-down and leave them there for 24 hours. This will allow the coconut cream in the milk to solidify and separate from the liquid.
Line a 9-by-5-by-3-in [23-by-12-by-7.5-cm] loaf pan with plastic wrap that hangs slightly over the sides of the pan.
Flip the cans of coconut milk right-side up, open the cans, and, using a rubber spatula, carefully scrape the solid coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Save the liquid for another purpose. Add the almond extract and confectioners’ sugar, and whisk on medium speed until smooth and thick. Add the heavy cream and whisk on medium-high speed until the cream holds stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Add the toasted coconut and fold it into the cream with a rubber spatula.
Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on the bottom of the lined pan. Cover as much of the cream as possible with a layer of wafers, filling any gaps with broken wafers, to create a solid layer of wafers.
Continue layering whipped cream and wafers until you run out or reach the top of the pan, ending with a layer of wafers. Gently cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hours, or preferably overnight. If you have whipped cream left over, store this in the refrigerator along with the cake.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator prior to serving and peel off the plastic wrap. Place a serving plate over the pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Carefully remove the pan and plastic wrap lining and, if using, thinly spread the remaining whipped cream over the sides and top of the cake. Re-whip the cream if it looks too soft to spread. Sprinkle the cake with the toasted almonds, lightly pressing them into the cake.
Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into slices and serve. The cake will keep, lightly wrapped with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
When buying coconut milk, gently turn the can up and down in the store to make sure the contents sound full and solid. If it sounds watery and seems like the can is filled only with liquid, grab a different one.