Gingersnaps don’t get nearly as much credit as say peppermint or eggnog around this time of year. So, we’re bringing it to the center stage for this no bake Gingersnap Turtle Icebox Cake. Here you have layers of gingersnap cookies with a creamy molasses mousse. It’s all topped off with plenty of caramel, pecans and hot fudge.
This very special recipe is from my cookbook No-Bake Treats, and I am so thankful to be sharing a recipe from my cookbook with you today! My cookbook is packed full of 80 recipes, and not a single one of them requires you to turn on your oven.
The chapters include: cheesecake, icebox cakes, tarts and pies, ice cream, parfaits and more. Some of my favorites include the Banana Pudding Cheesecake, the Blackberry White Chocolate Truffle and the Hot Mess Snickers Nutella pie.
I know when you typically think about food for the holiday, you immediately think about baked goods: cookies, pies and homemade candy. But I am here to tell you that my holidays are all about the no-bake desserts. These desserts are often make- ahead so you don’t have to worry about stressing out it later.
This icebox cake couldn’t be easier. The filling is a whipped molasses mousse. First you beat the softened cream cheese, then you add the molasses and other spices and then you’ll slowly add the heavy whipping cream. As you continue to beat this, the mousse will thicken to the point that it is spreadable.
For this recipe, I used my trusted springform pan so that I could peel away the edges. The first layer is gingersnaps, followed by a layer of the molasses mousse, repeat, repeat and top with the last layer of mousse.
I prefer to freeze this dessert, but I do let it sit out for about 15-20 minutes before slicing, just so it isn’t as frozen. However, you could keep this dessert in the refrigerator instead. The cookies would soften to be more cake-like. While they do soften in the freezer, they still remain slightly crunchy.
You’ll definitely impress your friends with this Gingersnap Turtle Icebox Cake. You don’t even have to tell them how easy is it!
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For the Filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (227 g)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, (48 g)
- 2 tablespoons molasses, (30 ml)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream, (414 ml)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, (65 g)
- 14 ounces gingersnap cookies, (397 grams, about 1 1/2 boxes)
For the Topping:
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, (177 ml)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, (33 g)
- 1/2 cup pecans, crushed (50 g)
- 3 tablespoons hot fudge sauce, (44 ml)
- 3 tablespoons caramel sauce, (44 ml)
- crushed gingersnaps, for garnish
For the Filling:
- Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.
- Slowly add the sugar into the cream cheese while beating the mixture and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Next, add the molasses, cinnamon and cloves, and beat until the ingredients are well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Next, slowly add the heavy whipping cream, about 1⁄4 cup (59 ml) at a time until the cream cheese mixture is a liquid consistency. Then add all of the remaining heavy whipping cream and increase the speed to high.
- As the mixture starts to thicken, add the powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form to finish the mousse filling.
To Assemble the Dessert:
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan with parchment paper, wrapping around the removable bottom of the pan. The pan will still close around the outside edge even if the parchment paper is hanging out.
- Line the bottom of the dish with 1 layer of gingersnap cookies, cutting some pieces to fit if necessary. If you are unable to get right to the edge, don’t worry; the filling will freeze everything together.
- Divide the mousse into fourths. Spread a thin layer of mousse over the gingersnaps.
- Repeat this step 3 more times with layers of gingersnaps and mousse. You should end up with 4 layers of gingersnaps and 4 layers of mousse, with a mousse layer on top.
- Cover the springform pan with aluminum foil and freeze for 4 hours.
For the Topping:
- Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
- Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream gets bubbly. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- When the cake is frozen and you are ready to serve, remove it from the freezer and remove the springform edge. You may need to run a flat-edged knife around the inside edge.
- Spread the crushed pecans on top of the cake.
- Heat the hot fudge sauce in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds until it runs off your spoon. Drizzle the hot fudge sauce and caramel sauce over the top of the pecans. I like to use a piping bag to drizzle, but you can also use a spoon.
- Pipe the whipped cream around the border and sprinkle with crushed gingersnaps. Cut with a long, sharp knife to serve.