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Black Forest Icebox Cake

This Black Forest Icebox Cake is completely no bake - perfect for hot summer days! It's made with layers of chocolate graham crackers, sweet cherry preserves, and homemade whipped cream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Keyword No Bake Desserts, Icebox Cake, Summer Desserts
Prep Time 45 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Servings 12 slices
Author Stephanie Simmons


For the Whipped Cream

  • 2 and 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cherry kirsch *can omit if needed
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

For the Cherry Filling

  • 1 jar cherry preserves (One 12-13 ounce jar)
  • 2 tbsp cherry kirsch *can omit if needed
  • Splash of almond extract

For the Rest of the Cake

  • 1 box chocolate graham crackers
  • fresh cherries, for garnish
  • chocolate shavings, for garnish


  • Prep: Line your serving platter/plate with wax paper or parchment paper. Get your graham crackers out, and break each sheet in half. Stir the kirsch and almond extract into the cherry preserves.
  • Make the Whipped Cream: Add the heavy cream, kirsch, powdered sugar, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Mix on high speed with an electric mixer until the cream begins to thicken. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form. Don't overmix!
  • Assemble the Icebox Cake: Spread a spoonful of cherry preserves onto a graham cracker square. Add a generous spoonful of whipped cream on top. Repeat this, placing one coated graham cracker on top of the previous until you have a tower that's 4 pieces tall. Flip this on its side and place it on your tray. See photos above if you need help visualizing this. Repeat this two more times to finish the row - it should have 12 graham crackers, with the end pieces having nothing on their outside-facing sides.
    After you've finished the whole row of 12 squares, repeat that whole process two more times so that you end up with 3 rows of 12 graham pieces in each. If any of your rows don't line up perfectly, you can always add another coated graham where needed to even things out.
    Chill this in the freezer for 20-40 minutes. Cover the remaining whipped cream with a kitchen towel, and pop it in the fridge while the cake chills. Chilling the cake here is important so that you can cover it with the whipped cream without knocking down the rows you just made.
    Once the cake has chilled, cover it on all sides and the top with the remaining whipped cream. (You may have to do this in layers, especially on particularly hot and humid days, letting the cake chill between each layer or side "frosted" to keep the whipped cream set.)
  • Chill, Serve, + Store: Chill the cake at least 2 hours in the fridge, and up to overnight before serving. If chilling overnight, cover the cake. This gives the graham crackers time to soften, making it a true icebox cake. Decorate with fresh cherries and chocolate shavings before serving.
    Cut into slices, and enjoy! Leftovers can be kept in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.