Icebox cake is the best cake, period. Don't even with your red velvet and your Funfetti. Icebox cake for-ev-er. When I tried Rouge Tomate's gorgeous, simple, perfect take on the dessert, my first reaction was the usual garbled stream of ecstatic mumbling. You know, that first-taste-of-icebox-cake sound. It was the cool, chocolate-and-cream magic I'd know anywhere. Imagine my complete surprise when, after licking the plate clean, I found out this particular recipe was vegan and gluten-free.
Never have I been so stunned by a dish. Pastry chef Breanne Butler swung by the table — while I was still high on her cake — and just casually mentioned that she'd created this dessert voodoo. I had absolutely thought this was the original, dairy- and flour-based cookies, and all. But, no!
By some miracle, Butler kindly agreed to adapt the recipe for easy-peasy home cooking. Here, friends, is your new Saturday project. Seriously, do it.
Vegan Gluten-Free Icebox Cake:
Makes 14 cakes
3 1/2 cups almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
3/4 cup stone-ground white rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill) + 1/4 cup for rolling
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (Valrhona)
3/4 cup beet sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup coconut water
1. Place all of your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Slowly stream in the coconut water until dough comes together.
2. Using the 1/4 cup of rice flour, lightly flour your surface and the top of the dough. Roll out to 1/8-inch thick. Make sure to turn the dough as you roll so it doesn’t stick to your surface.
3. Cut dough into 2 1/2-inch circles. Don’t stress if you don’t have the proper cookie cutter — a wineglass dipped in flour does the trick just as well! And, who doesn’t have a wineglass?
4. Once you cut out all of your circles, you can roll the dough one more time and repeat the cutting process. Save any dough scraps after this and set aside.
5. Bake the wafers on a lightly greased sheet tray at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes. The dough scraps can be baked on a separate tray for the same amount of time. Once the wafers are cooled, match up into stacks of 3. You should have roughly 14 stacks.
6. Using either a food processor or a blender, process your dough scraps until you have a fine crumb. Set aside.
Banana Ice Cream
5 medium bananas
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp salt
1. Take 5 medium bananas (the browner, the better!) and poke holes through the skin using a fork. Place on a sheet tray and bake at 350ºF for roughly 30 minutes or until juices run clear.
2. Once cooled, peel off the skin and roughly chop bananas into small pieces. Freeze. When they are completely frozen, place bananas in a blender with the espresso powder and salt, blending until smooth. This will hold in the freezer for up to 3 months, if you can keep it around that long!
2 5-ounce containers of coconut yogurt (Breanne recommends Organic Avenue)
1. Place a wafer on a flat surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of coconut yogurt in the center and then place another wafer on top. Do this once more so you have 3 wafers with 2 layers of filling. Repeat until all of the wafers are assembled.
2. Spread a little coconut yogurt along the sides and top of each cake. Roll in the crumbs until coated. Leave in your “icebox” at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
3. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt and serve with the banana-espresso ice cream.
These will hold up in your freezer up to three months, which means they're great to keep on hand for last-minute company and urgent chocolate cravings.