You only need a
stack of chocolate wafer cookies and some lightly sweetened whipped cream to
make these cute no-bake Icebox Cupcakes. They are a simpler version of
an Icebox Cake (also known as a Refrigerator or Zebra Cake) that calls for stacking
a full package of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers with lots of whipped
cream and then turning the stack on its side to form a log. The log is then
placed in the refrigerator (also known as an Icebox), for several hours or overnight, so the
cream has time to be absorbed into the chocolate wafers, giving them a dense,
almost cake-like texture. If the cake is sliced on the diagonal, the stripes
of dark brown (almost black) and white makes you think of a zebra, hence the
name Zebra Cake.
This type of Icebox Cake has been around for more than half a century. It is an impressive looking
cake, but it is also a large cake, so I decided to make individual
Icebox Cupcakes. Each cupcake is made by simply taking three homemade chocolate wafer cookies
(you may want to use more than three wafers if using the Nabisco Famous
Chocolate Wafers) and layering them with whipped cream. You can scale the
recipe up or down depending on how many servings you want to make. And don't feel you have to use vanilla
flavored whipped cream, as you flavor the cream with instant coffee, jam,
fruit purees, or even finely chopped nuts. I often like to decorate the
tops of the Icebox Cupcakes with fresh berries, shaved chocolate, or
Now, while you can use store bought Chocolate Wafers, I prefer homemade.
I like how they are relatively low in fat, their
texture is wonderfully crisp and crunchy, they have an appealing chocolate
flavor, and they store very well. Homemade Chocolate Wafers use the most basic of
ingredients, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, and cocoa powder. What
is so different about this recipe is the reduction in fat. This chocolate
wafer recipe has just three tablespoons (45 grams) of butter along with
three tablespoons (45 grams) of either margarine or a soft buttery spread,
like Smart Balance, that contains oil but not hydrogenated or partially
hydrogenated oils. But keep in mind that if you use a soft buttery spread
the batter needs a longer chilling time to become firm. Also, instead of
using the whole egg, only the egg white is used which also keeps the fat
content down. Another way to keep the fat content to a minimum is to use
cocoa powder instead of semi sweet chocolate. Cocoa powder has a lot less
fat in it than semi sweet chocolate and this is because cocoa powder is
made when chocolate liquor that is pressed to remove three quarters of its
cocoa butter. You can use either regular unsweetened or Dutch-Processed
cocoa powder in this recipe. Once the cookie batter is made it is formed into a log shape and
refrigerated until firm and this will take several hours or you can even
chill it overnight. Then slice the log into thin wafers and bake until they
are puffed with cracks (ripples).
Wafers: In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and
In the bowl of your electric mixer
(or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and margarine
until well blended. Add the sugars and vanilla extract and beat on high
speed for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg
white. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
Place the dough on
your counter and, using your hands, evenly form the dough into a log shape that is
about 9 inches (23 cm) long. Carefully wrap the dough in aluminum foil,
parchment paper or wax paper and fold or twist the ends. Try not to flatten the
log. Refrigerate until firm. This will take several hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven
to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the
oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a sharp
knife, slice the log into about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick wafers. Place the wafers on the baking sheet spacing, about
1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake for approximately 10 - 12 minutes
or until the the cookies puff and the tops of the cookies have cracks (ripples).
Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5
minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Can be stored in an
airtight container, at room temperature, for about 10 days. They can also be
frozen. Makes 36 chocolate wafers.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, (or with a wire
whisk) beat the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Take one
chocolate wafer and spread a scant tablespoon of whipped cream over the top of
the cookie. Cover with another cookie, then another layer of cream, another cookie, and a
final layer of cream. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours, or
overnight. Decorate with shaved chocolate or fresh berries.
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