Made with rich homemade chocolate wafers, fluffy peanut butter whipped cream, and a luscious homemade peanut butter frosting, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake is one of the easiest no-bake dessert recipes to serve for any occasion!
Chocolate peanut butter fans, step right up!
This Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake is packed with the classic flavors of peanut butter cups! Made with chocolate wafer cookies, fluffy whipped cream, and velvety frosting, this easy-to-whip-up chocolate, and peanut butter cake is ridiculously addicting.
And if you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I am OBSESSED with icebox cakes. They are an easy homemade (or semi-homemade!) make-ahead dessert that are always showstoppers whenever they’re served!
Plus, you don’t need any special culinary skills to make this dessert, which means this is a repeat recipe in my book!
What Is An Icebox Cake?
An icebox cake is a unique take on a traditional English trifle meaning, it’s a layered cake consisting of whipped cream and graham crackers or wafer cookies. The moisture from the whipped cream layer softens the graham crackers or wafer cookies just enough to give them a cake-like texture.
This easy, make-ahead dessert is quickly assembled and then placed in the fridge, or icebox (as the fridge was called many, many years ago when ice was literally hauled into homes to chill food), overnight or a minimum of 12 hours.
Icebox Cake Ingredients
This is the basic shopping list for this delicious make-ahead chocolate peanut butter icebox cake recipe. The full list of ingredients is in the recipe card below, so be sure to keep scrolling down to check it out!
- Chocolate wafer cookies – either homemade cookies or store-bought
- Creamy peanut butter
- Heavy cream
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Mini chocolate peanut butter cups
How To Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake
Below are the quick steps on how to make this easy chocolate wafer icebox cake. The full instructions are listed below in the recipe card, so be sure to keep scrolling down!
To Make The Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
STEP 1: In a large bowl, whip the peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and sugar until smooth.
STEP 2: With the mixer on low, slowly add heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, until the peanut butter mixture is loose enough that you can add the rest of the cream without breaking.
STEP 3: Whip the peanut butter whipped cream until soft peaks form.
To Make The Peanut Butter Frosting
STEP 1: In a medium bowl, add peanut butter, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Sift sugar into the bowl.
STEP 2: On medium-high, beat all ingredients until light and fluffy.
STEP 3: Beat in heavy cream until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
To Assemble Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake
STEP 1: Arrange a layer of cookies in the bottom of a springform pan.
STEP 2: Take a ½ cup of whipped cream and spread over top of the cookie layer. Place another cookie layer on top of whipped cream. Repeat until the final cake layer.
STEP 3: Gently swirl the peanut butter frosting over the top of the final cake layer and sprinkle the chopped peanut butter cups over the top of the cake.
STEP 4: Chill for 12 to 24 hours.
How To Store
Wrap any leftover icebox cake tightly in plastic wrap in the springform pan and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How Long Do You Refrigerate An Icebox Cake?
An icebox cake needs a minimum of 12 hours to chill before cutting, with a full 24 hours in the fridge being best. The moisture from the whipped cream needs time to seep into the wafer layer to soften the cookies just enough to give them a cake-like texture.
Can This Cake Be Frozen?
Yes! An icebox cake freezes extremely well, as long as it is made with true whipped cream, as this recipe calls for. Assemble the cake according to directions and allow it to firm up in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours. Once chilled, tightly wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.
When ready to serve, allow the cake to thaw overnight in the fridge, then serve.
Tips and Tricks
- Old-school Skippy or Jiff creamy peanut butter is best for this recipe. Avoid “natural” peanut butters as the oils will cause the whipped cream to separate.
- We recommend using Kosher salt in the peanut butter frosting and whipped cream filling. However, you can use table salt, but you will want to cut the amount used in half.
- If you cannot find mini chocolate peanut butter cups, feel free to garnish with chopped regular-size peanut butter cups, chocolate sprinkles, shavings, or pearls.
- Feel free to add fruit to the layers of your cake. Sliced bananas or strawberries would be delicious, or even add a thin layer of homemade raspberry curd throughout.
- Be sure your knife blade is piping hot when cutting the cake to ensure you get clean, beauitful pieces.
Other Easy Desserts To Try
If you are unable to locate traditional pre-packaged chocolate wafer cookies or just love making your baked goods from scratch, be sure to check out this easy homemade Chocolate Wafer Cookie recipe. Those cookies are absolutely delicious as a treat on their or own or added to so many desserts!
The traditional icebox cake recipe gets a fun holiday twist. This easy, make-ahead, no-bake Eggnog Icebox Cake is one delicious show-stopping dessert to serve any time during the holiday season.
Classic New York-style cheesecake is elevated to a quintessential holiday dessert in my Peppermint Cheesecake with the addition of peppermint oil, crème de menthe, and topped with a luscious chocolate ganache.
This Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake is what every peanut butter and chocolate lovers’ dream is made of! Layers of rich, fudgy brownie-like cake, creamy peanut butter frosting, that’s topped with a thick chocolate peanut butter ganache. This will be the ONLY birthday cake recipe you will ever need.
Peppermint Icebox Cupcakes are a fun twist on the traditional icebox cake but so much easier to eat! Homemade chocolate wafer cookies are stacked with peppermint whipped cream and garnished with crushed candy canes for the ultimate Christmastime treat!
For the cookie cake layers:
- 2 packages of Nabisco Famous Wafer Cookies (9 oz each)
For the peanut butter whipped cream filling:
- 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter (see Note below)
- ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
- A couple small pinches of Kosher salt
- 1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 cups (16 oz) heavy whipping cream, cold
For the peanut butter frosting:
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
For the topping:
- Handful of mini chocolate peanut butter cups, chilled and then roughly chopped
- To make the peanut butter whipped cream filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the peanut butter, vanilla, salt and sugar until smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add heavy whipping cream, a small splash at a time, until peanut butter-cream mixture is loose enough that you can add the rest of the cream without breaking it into clumps. Whip the peanut butter cream until soft peaks form, about 10 to 20 seconds. Be sure to watch it carefully at this point because you can easily overbeat the cream. You want soft and fluffy peaks, not stiff whipped cream.
- To make the peanut butter frosting: In a medium bowl, place the peanut butter and butter. Sift the sugar into the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Starting on low and gradually increasing (to prevent the sugar from covering your kitchen) the speed to medium-high, beat the ingredients using a hand mixer until light and fluffy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the heavy whipping cream until it is fully incorporated, about 10 to 20 seconds.
- To assemble the cake: Ready a 9-inch springform pan.
- Fill the bottom of the pan with an even layer of the cookies, breaking them up to fill in the spaces. Spread 1 cup of the whipped cream over the top of the cake layer. Repeat the layers 4 more times but end with the final cookie layer (do not top the cake with more whipped cream).
- Gently swirl the peanut butter frosting over the top of the final cake layer and then swirl the remaining whipped cream on top of the frosting. Sprinkle the chopped peanut butter cups around the top edge of the cake.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for 12 to 24 hours. Remove the side of the pan and transfer the cake to a serving platter or cake stand before serving. Slice with a hot, sharp knife to achieve nice, clean slices.
STORAGE: The cake will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge when wrapped tightly with plastic wrap.
For the peanut butter whipped cream, you'll want to use a peanut butter that isn't oily. Oil from the peanut butter will cause the whipped cream to separate. So, skip the all-natural and organic peanut butters that you have to stir up and go for old-school Skippy or Jif.
As a member of the Amazon Associate affiliate program, I earn a small percentage from your qualifying Amazon purchases when you click the Amazon links on this page. I'm not informed of who purchases what, just of what products are purchased.