Fridge Cakes Are The Lazy Girl's Ultimate Summer Dessert

Photographed by Isabelle Kanako.
"Let's bake a cake," said no one ever on a 90-plus-degree summer day. Cakes are a budget-friendly and easily divvied up dessert option for group gatherings. But does anyone really want to turn on the oven in the middle of summer and sweat it out over a series of greased pans and messy batter bowls? No amount of layered, icing-covered dessert love could make that appealing.
Before we give up altogether and dash out last-minute for a lackluster store-bought situation, there may be an enticing at home alternative: fridge cakes. Never heard of a fridge cake? Well, we hadn't either. That is until we happened upon Jean-Luc Sady's inventive cookbook of the same name. The term refers to a cake that is essentially baked — or rather, not baked — in your refrigerator. Say what?! That's right, there are no ovens involved whatsoever in the making of these sweet masterpieces. And get ready for the real cake-y kicker: All the book's recipes take around 25 minutes total (fridge and freezer time included). Add that to the fact that most of the ingredients can be scrounged up from on-hand pantry and refrigerator staples (e.g. packaged cookies, honey, butter, cream cheese, etc.).
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To get you started, we've included three of Sady's sweetest recipes ahead — from strawberry to salted caramel, and even an Oreo fudge stunner. So next time you're in a bind and need a last-minute dessert for that impending summer cookout, don't sweat it — just fridge it.
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Strawberry & Sugared Almonds
Makes an 8 in. round cake tin

Cake Ingredients
14 fl. oz. whipping cream
10 1⁄2 oz. strawberries
10 1⁄2 oz. mascarpone
2 1⁄2 oz. caster (superfine) sugar
10 1⁄2 oz. cereal biscuits

Topping Ingredients
4 oz. strawberry jam
2 oz. sugared almonds, crushed

Instructions
1. Pour the cream into a large bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

2. Hull the strawberries and chop them into small pieces.

3. Using an electric whisk or a food processor, whip the mascarpone and chilled cream together until thick. Gradually whisk in the sugar.

4. Line the tin with cling film (plastic wrap). Spread a third of the cream in the bottom. Sprinkle with a third of the chopped strawberries. Cover with a third of the biscuits, ensuring that they don’t touch the sides. Repeat these layers twice more. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

5. Turn the cake out onto a plate. Cover with strawberry jam and decorate with pieces of sugared almonds.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Fridge Cakes by Jean-Luc Sady, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $11.99 hardcover.
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Salted Caramel & Shortbread
Makes 1 loaf tin

Cake Ingredients
14 fl. oz. whipping cream
14 oz. cream cheese
2 3⁄4 oz. caster (superfine) sugar
15 shortbread fingers

Topping Ingredients
4 fl. oz. whipping cream
4 oz. dark muscovado sugar
2 oz. salted butter
2 oz. honey

Instructions
1. Pour the cream into a large bowl and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

2. Using an electric whisk or a food processor, whip the cream cheese and chilled cream together until thick. Gradually whisk in the sugar.

3. Line the tin with cling film (plastic wrap). Cover the base and sides with the cream. Add a quarter of biscuits. Repeat these layers three times, finishing with a layer of biscuits. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

4. Prepare the topping: heat the cream, sugar, butter and honey together in a saucepan over low heat. Stir for several minutes.

5. Turn the cake out onto a plate and pour over the salted caramel.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Fridge Cakes by Jean-Luc Sady, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $11.99 hardcover.
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Choco Fudge & Oreo®
Makes an 8 in. round cake tin

Cake Ingredients
7 fl. oz. whipping cream
10 1⁄2 oz. cream cheese
2 oz. caster (superfine) sugar
7 1/2 oz. Oreo® biscuits

Topping Ingredients
2 fl. oz. whipping cream
3⁄4 oz. butter
1 oz. honey
2 1⁄2 oz. dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Instructions
1. Pour the cream into a large bowl and place in the freezer for 25 minutes.

2. Using an electric whisk or a food processor, whip the cream cheese and chilled cream together until thick. Gradually whisk in the sugar.

3. Line the tin with cling film (plastic wrap). Spread a third of the cream in the bottom of the mould, then add a third of the Oreo® biscuits, making sure they don’t touch the edges. Repeat these layers twice. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

4. Prepare the topping. Put the cream, butter and honey in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Leave to cool slightly.

5. Turn the cake out onto a plate and pour over the chocolate sauce.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Fridge Cakes by Jean-Luc Sady, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $11.99 hardcover.
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Fridge Cakes by Jean-Luc Sady, $4.13, available at Amazon.
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