This is one icebox cake recipe you don’t want to miss! This Peppermint Ganache Icebox Cake is super easy and is completely no bake. Velvety layers of peppermint whipped cream and chocolatey cookies and ganache make it so rich. If you are looking for a Christmas cake recipe to serve over the holidays, this one is a showstopper!
One time when my dad was a little kid, he and his brothers unwrapped ALL of their Christmas presents under the tree. BEFORE Christmas. Their parents were gone for the day, and 3 rambunctious boys were left at home with a tree full of presents, what do you expect?
When I heard that story as a kid I thought he was crazy. I would never have done something like that when I was little (I was way goody two shoes. Is that the nice way of saying boring?)
But I think my kids are turning out to be more like Grandpa than like me. I’m pretty sure if we left them alone in the house right now, they would have them all unwrapped, or at least peaked into them. They are constantly counting, shaking, palm-weighing.
The difference is that I don’t think my kids are skilled enough to rewrap everything without detection. My dad’s parents never found out until the boys told them years later!! Can you believe that? Little rascals. My kids will have another thing coming if they try this on me. Truman is always asking about the eyes on the back of my head.
Do you have any favorite Christmas cake recipes? I always make my favorite Candy Cane Brownie Trifle. (Yes, it’s just as decadent as it sounds and it’s AMAZING.) But I don’t have any peppermint cake recipes, so I wanted to try one out. But I was feeling kind of lazy. It’s been so busy this December, right?!
How to make Peppermint Ganache Icebox Cake
I decided to try out a no-bake version. This icebox cake is SO good and just like the Candy Cane Trifle, it’s super decadent. Rich layers of peppermint whipped cream, ultra smooth chocolate ganache, and those magical Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (NOTE: these have been discontinued! But you can still make this with alternatives, like Oreo thins, chocolate graham crackers, or Goya brand Chocolate Maria cookies). The chocolate wafers soften overnight in the fridge to create this super fudgy cake layer.
It’s one of those desserts that looks super impressive but is REALLY easy to put together. All you’re doing is making chocolate sauce and whipping up some cream. Then layer it all up and let the fridge do the work. This is the first icebox cake I’ve ever made, and I think I’m a new convert.
Here’s how I covered the cake before I put it in the fridge. Use toothpicks so you don’t mess up the ganache on top.
Have you figured out your Christmas menu yet? Add this icebox cake to the list! Or heck make it this weekend, tis the season my friends.
More Christmas dessert ideas!
Candy Cane Brownie Trifle << this is the recipe I based today’s ice box cake on! I love this dessert and make it every Christmas.
Nana’s Famous Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream << we make this every year and eat it with Christmas cookies and Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies! So decadent, so good.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies << you are going to LOVE these.
One more: these Frosted Peppermint Gingerbread Bars are a huge favorite of mine. You might be thinking that ginger flavors don’t go with peppermint, but you’re wrong. :) It’s SO GOOD.
More icebox cakes you are going to love!
Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Box Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
No Bake Nutella Oreo Ice Box Cake from Inside Brucrew Life
Lemon Ice Box Cake from Princess Pinky Girl
Pumpkin Spice Ice Box Cake from The View From Great Island
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Peppermint Ganache Icebox Cake
For the ganache
- 1 (6-oz) cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 & 1/4 cup half-and-half , OR cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
For the whipped cream
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, optional
- 1 (9-oz) package Chocolate Wafers, (see recipe notes for substitutions)
- 1 cup crushed candy canes, about 12 candy canes
For the ganache:
- In a saucepan combine chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons of butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted.
- Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups half and half or cream, 3/4 cup sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes (set a timer!) or until sauce is reduced to about 2 and 1/3 cups. Remove from heat. Let cool for a minute or two, until it stops bubbling.
- Stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Cool to room temperature; mixture thickens as it cools. (You can stick it in the fridge or freezer if you want).
For the whipped cream:
- For the whipped cream, in a large bowl or stand mixer combine 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (you can leave out the peppermint extract if it sounds like too much peppermint in one dessert for you). Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Crush the candy canes. You can either do this in the food processor or in a ziplock bag. I used a rolling pin to crush them in the bag. You can make them as coarse or as fine as you like.
- Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with two strips of parchment paper or parchment paper. Make sure they hang over the edge so that you can lift the cake out once it is chilled.
- Spread a very thin layer of whipped cream on the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of chocolate wafer cookies. It's okay if they overlap a little bit, and it doesn't matter if they break. It's all going to soften up in the fridge.
- Spread another thin layer of whipped cream on top of the cookies.
- Drizzle a thick layer of peppermint ganache over the whipped cream. Make sure it is completely cool!
- Top with a layer of crushed candy canes.
- Repeat: Layer of cookies, top with whipped cream, top with peppermint ganache, then top with candy canes. Keep going until you run out! The layers don't have to be perfect. I'm pretty sure I messed a few of my layers. I like to have the final top layer be ganache and a sprinkle of peppermint, but you could easily make whipped cream the top too.
- Poke toothpicks all over the top of the cake and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. (The cookies need some time to soften up.)
- When you are ready to serve, lift the cake out of the pan and place on a serving plate. Slice with a sharp knife.
- Store leftovers in the fridge. Cake can be made 2 days ahead of time.
This recipe is based on one of my favorite holiday desserts, Candy Cane Brownie Trifle. Nabisco has discontinued their chocolate wafer cookies, bummer! You can try any of the following instead:
- Oreo thins
- Chocolate graham crackers
- Goya brand Chocolate Maria cookies
Karen, I asked about recipe a few weeks ago, could you please check out my question? Many thanks.
Thanks for the reminder JK! So, we haven’t tested this recipe with a substitute for the Nabisco chocolate wafers yet, but I think that trying Oreo Thins, chocolate graham crackers, or Goya brand Chocolate Maria cookies could all work pretty well. If you try it, come back and let us know how it turns out :-)
Karen, I was browsing your website (love your recipes), and came across this Peppermint Ganache Icebox cake. Did you know Nabisco has stopped making their chocolate wafers?
I am so disappointed, I use them often.
I couldn’t find them for weeks in my grocery store. I called Nabisco and was told they were no longer available. They gave no specific reason.
Do you think the thin Oreos could be substituted in your recipe?
I can’t wait to make this recipe – it looks so good! I have one question though, in the recipe instructions you’ve said to line the pan with 2 strips of parchment paper or parchment paper …. did you mean parchment paper or wax paper? Also, do you think it would work to line the pan with plastic wrap instead? If you could clarify the parchment paper and also let me know your thoughts on the plastic wrap, I’d appreciate it.
Thanks so much!
No I really meant parchment paper or parchment paper. omg, I’m joking haha!! What a dumb typo! I’m a dork. I’ll go fix it. And yes, I think plastic wrap would totally work! Pretty much anything will peel off once the cake is chilled thoroughly. You could even try foil. I haven’t tried anything but parchement, but I feel pretty confident any of these would be fine. Enjoy the cake!! Thanks for commenting!!