Sweet layers of yuzu citrus whipped cream meet buttery shortbread in this no-bake icebox cake. I know what you’re thinking: “But yuzu is a winter fruit!” You’re right, but this recipe relies on yuzucha, the Korean yuzu jam traditionally used to make tea, to act as a reminder that it will once again get cold — promise.
In the United States, icebox cake recipes can be found as far back as the 1920s. They require only three key ingredients: cookies, a whipped topping and time to set. The cookies are layered between rich whipped cream, which lends its moisture and fat to transform any crunchy cookie into a spongy “cake” when chilled long enough. The more time an icebox cake can set, the softer and dreamier the texture becomes. Its name comes from the old-school refrigerators you stored them in, but in modern times it lends a vintage feel to these no-bake treats.
Strawberries and shiso (perilla) add brightness and texture as the final garnishes on top. Shortbread cookies give it an elevated taste, which is definitely not due to the high-butter content. But feel free to experiment with whatever cookies, fruits and herbs you prefer. There are countless icebox cake variations out there, so customize away!
Beyond the simplicity of this recipe, it’s also very fast to put together, which means there’s more time for summer activities like swimming, hiking or eating more icebox cake. Whatever comes first.
Prep time: 15 mins., plus chilling
• 480 grams (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
• 32 grams (¼ cup) powdered sugar
• 200 grams (1½ cups) yuzucha jam
• 412 grams shortbread cookies
• 156 grams (1¼ cups) strawberries, rinsed
• 2 shiso leaves, thinly sliced
1. In a medium bowl, use an electric hand mixer or whisk to beat heavy cream to nearly stiff peaks, about three minutes. Once peaks start to form, sift in powdered sugar and beat again until peaks hold, being careful to not overmix.
2. Add yuzucha into the bowl. Gently fold it into the whipped cream using a rubber spatula until fully incorporated.
3. Spread a thin layer of the yuzu whipped cream along the bottom of a 20-by-20-centimeter (8-by-8-inch) glass dish. Top with a layer of cookies (about 14), but avoid too much overlap. Don’t be afraid to break the cookies in half to fit along the edges.
4. Top the cookie layer with about ⅓ of the remaining yuzu whipped cream, using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Repeat the cookie and whipped cream layering process two more times, for a total of three cookie layers. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for at least three hours or overnight.
5. Just before serving, slice the larger strawberries. Garnish the top of the icebox cake with an assortment of sliced and whole strawberries and shiso slivers for an array of colors and textures. Serve immediately while cold.
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