vanilla bean icebox cake / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

in a little over 2 weeks my mr. and i will be getting married! as i sit here now and try to describe my feelings about this, i can't.  it's an emotion too big for words, and too meaningful to describe.  we just recently applied for our marriage license which made it all the more real and exciting.  we went to city hall in downtown manhattan.  we waited in lines, waited for our number to be called (as if we were at the DMV), filled out online forms, and signed our printed license!  it was much more formal than romantic, but we loved the experience nonetheless.  i thought i would be more scared, but it was really nice writing what my future surname will be!  in any event, it was awesome being with so many other people who are in a similar place as frank and i are in.  and it was especially beautiful to see ALL couples being given the right and opportunity to devote their lives and love to one another in front of their family and friends.  

i dedicate this little cake to my fiance.  a man who loves me, and understands me in a way no one else can. and importantly, a man who loves cookies and cream.  so, this cake is for you, my love.  

this cake was inspired by a Barefoot Contessa cake i used make back in the day when ate dairy, sugar, wheat, all that good stuff.  however, my cake here is vegan, gluten free, and dairy free.  the wafers here are handmade, but you could easily swap them for store bought wafers or cookies to save yourself some time - make sure to buy crisp cookies, not chewy (the Contessa suggests Tate's Bake Shop).  in addition, the cream is made from coconut milk, which can easily be substituted with heavy cream, if that's what you prefer.   this is perfect summer time cake, that stays in the refrigerator until ready, and will please just about anyone.

vanilla bean icebox cake

(gluten free + vegan) 

| makes one 8" cake

chocolate wafers - adapted from Real Sustenance 

  • 3 cups almond flour (Honeyville brand or another fine-grain, blanched almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 3 tablespoons decaffeinated espresso powder  
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 - 6 tablespoons filtered water

coconut cream

  • 3 cans unsweetened, full fat organic coconut milk - refrigerated overnight 
  • 2-4 tablespoons good quality maple syrup (or honey, agave, or powdered sugar)
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)


  • 8" springform pan
  • 2" round cookie or biscuit cutter
  • food processor
  • electric mixer
  • rolling pin
  • 2 large pieces of parchment paper (for rolling) 


make the wafers - makes 45 chocolate wafers

  • preheat oven to 350°.  line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  • in a food processor, combine almond flour, cocoa powder, sugar, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt; pulse to mix.  with the food processor on, drizzle the vanilla extract and 5 tablespoons of water through the hole (the "food pusher" on top of your processor).  the dough will come together in a ball.  if your mixture is too dry, add the additional tablespoon of water (this process can easily be done by hand as well; the dough is quite thick, so a food processor just makes it easier.)
  • turn dough out onto flat surface; divide the dough into 3 even pieces.  wrap 2 pieces in parchment, and let rest in the refrigerator
  • roll dough out to 1/8" thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper.  gently, remove the top piece of parchment.  using a 2" circular cookie or biscuit cutter, cut the dough.  re-roll the dough until it has all been used.  place the circles of dough onto the lined baking sheets
  • place in the oven, and bake for 10 - 12 minutes, rotating halfway through.  repeat with remaining dough, and let the wafers cool completely 

make the cream - makes ~3 cups

  • place hand mixer attachments, and a large metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes (this makes the cream stay super cold, and prevents any melting - especially in the warm, summer months.)
  • remove the coconut milk cans from the refrigerator and turn upside down.  using a can opener, open the bottom of each can and pour coconut water into a lidded container and reserve in the refrigerator (the water can be used for smoothies or broth/soup).  using a rubber spatula, scoop out the solidified coconut cream from the bottom of the can into your bowl.  with the mixer on medium-high, beat the coconut cream; add the scraped vanilla bean and the maple syrup. mix and taste - adjust the sweetness to your liking


assemble the cake

  • arrange the wafers flat in the bottom of the the 8" springform pan, covering as much of the bottom as you can (you may need to break some cookies apart to fill in the gaps).  spread a good amount of the cream over the wafers (about a fifth of what you have in the bowl) and spread evenly.  continue layering with wafers and cream until you have 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream.  smooth the top, cover with parchment, plastic wrap, or tin foil, and refrigerate overnight
  • before serving, run a thin knife around the edges of the cake.  unhook the latches, and remove the sides of the pan.  using a fine mesh sieve, dust the top of the cake with reserved cocoa powder

slice and enjoy! 


 *the cake will stay for a week, covered and refrigerated