Ginger Bourbon Peach Icebox Cake
This is the ultimate no bake dessert featuring fresh peaches and cream. Layers of fresh peaches that are macerated in some brown sugar, maple syrup and bourbon, in between layers of vanilla cream made a bit richer with a mix of yoghurt and mascarpone and a layer of ginger cookies or snaps that add that sort of cake layer to any ice box cake. Its a beautiful dessert to serve in a trifle bowl or some sort of glass vessel to show off the lovely layers that you can spoon right out of the bowl but you can easily make this layered into a baking pan and remove in slices.
What is an icebox cake?
Apart from being my favorite kind of summer dessert, it’s a dessert that is typically made with layers of cream, fruits, nuts, and wafer cookies and set in the refrigerator or the freezer. They are so fun to make and require no baking and very little prep. The best dessert for summer because of those same reasons. No hot oven and can easily feed a crowd if you are making it for a family bbq or taking it to one. I love that they are lighter than an ice cream cake yet still have that cooling effect.
How do I make an icebox cake?
The principle components of any icebox cake are the same. It must have a whipped cream component, a cookie component and some sort of other component like fruit or fruit and nuts. You can adjust almost any icebox cake recipes out there including this one to taste if you just maintain the same amounts of each component. For example - don’t have ginger cookies or ginger snaps - but do have graham crackers - boom substitute! Don’t have peaches but have plums or any other fruit for that matter - boom substitute! Don’t have mascarpone - but have cream cheese - boom - ok ok I just slid that one in cause i know there will be one person who asks that at least. Just keep the measurements the same and have fun with the combo and the favourings - this would be amazing with cherries mascerated in some Kirsch and with chocolate wafers instead of ginger ones - similar to my No Bake Black Forest Icebox Cake except that one is frozen not chilled. More info about that difference in my recipe notes below as well as info about using gluten free cookies.
Nothing beats a good peaches and cream combo especially when the peaches are at their best. I have said it before but our Niagara peaches are to die for and I literally can’t get enough when they are in season - this is a fun way to have them fresh but with a little something something extra. Not as fancy as my Grilled Peaches With Vanilla Maple Mascarpone or my Vanilla Yoghurt Panna Cotta With Balsamic Thyme Roasted Peaches And Nectarines but I promise you it’s just as good and a fun way of enjoying the peaches fresh. It’s the easiest to assemble and super hard to mess up! Just my kind of dessert. You are welcome!
Servings: Serves 10 to 12
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Chill time: 4 hrs
Total time: 4 hrs 20 mins
- 3 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (150 g) container vanilla Greek yogurt
- 6 fresh peaches (about 2 lb - peeled or unpeeled)
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup
- ¼ cup bourbon whiskey
- 1 (400 g) package of ginger snaps or ginger cookies about 27-30) - alternatively you can use graham crackers.
- Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
- Slice peaches into ⅛-inch-thick slices. Toss them in a bowl with the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and bourbon (You will have about 8 cups.) Set aside.
- Beat cream, sugar, and vanilla extract, with mixer on high speed to stiff peaks
- In a separate bowl beat the mascarpone and vanilla yoghurt on medium until smooth. Fold into whipped cream mixture, and set aside.
- Spread a thin layer of cream mixture in the bottom of a trifle dish. Layers cream with a single layer of ginger snaps, breaking some if needed to fill in any gaps. Add a layer of peach slices to completely cover the cookies. Repeat layers 5 to 6 times, ending with cream mixture. Cover and chill 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Top with any remaining broken cracker pieces or extra slices of peaches, garnish with mint and spoon out to serve and enjoy.
Stored in the refrigerator, icebox cake should last 2-3 days, or until you eat every last bite. The longer it sits in the fridge the softer the cookies get so it’s best to eat it sooner than later!
- If you are using gluten free cookies or crackers I would recommend chilling only 2-4 hours as gluten free cookies don’t hold up as well. They sort of melt away into a caramel swirl in the creamy mixture - they will lose there texture if left too long. It will still taste delicious but the texture will not be the same and the layers as distinct
- This can be frozen as a true ice box cake usually sets in the freezer for a former cream based treat. But if you want a lighter frothier treat keep it chilled in the refrigerator. The fresh peaches are way better this way. They get chilled but a lot more pleasant to bite through unfrozen.
- Adding the bourbon is completely optional. You don’t need to replace it with any other liquid for the recipe to work. In fact if you want to leave the peaches plain without the sugar or maple syrup that is fine too if you want a lighter tasting less sweet kind of a dessert.
Adapted from Southern Living