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Scoot (Ice Box Cake)

When I was in New York this week, I saw a troupe of elite modern dancers scoot around in nude body suits.  They scooted under mylar “balloon-pillows” designed by Andy Warhol.  They scooted to the sweet, freaky sound of Radiohead banging a ballet slipper against a drum.

In my experience, things get really weird, really fast when nude body suits are involved.  This performance was no exception.  There’s an 80% chance the dancers had this conversation backstage at intermission:

The balloon-pillows did not respond well to the escalating commotion.  Some of them floated off into the audience, and one came to rest near my face.

The problem with batting a Warhol balloon-pillow out of your personal space is that it might pop and it’s a Warhol balloon-pillow.  When the Brooklyn Academy of Music retires them, they will be sold at a charity auction for a million dollars.  If I told Scott that I broke–and had to buy–a million dollar deflated balloon, he’d be so mad he’d donate me to the local ferret shelter.

So the balloon-pillow and I waited it out while a bunch of not-G-rated things happened onstage.  And do you know what I thought about while I waited?  I thought about how this problem doesn’t come up in Alabama.

I’m not saying we don’t have other issues.

This is a classic "check your work" situation.

For one thing, in Alabama there’s probably a law prohibiting 90% of what those dancers were doing.  In any event, we just don’t do cutting-edge scooting down here.

We keep it simple.  And when I was in New York, I actually missed that.

So this is a simple recipe that you probably know already.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth repeating.  After all, we already knew that a ballet slipper can be banged against a drum, but nobody complains when Radiohead reiterates this from time to time.

All this ice box cake requires is a little cream, a package of chocolate wafers, anything you want to sprinkle on top (I used Valrhona chocolate pearls), and a refrigerator.

It’s the easiest, no-bake Christmas log ever.  And for a cocktail party, you can cut it into rounds 1 1/2″ thick, cut the rounds into fourths, stick a toothpick in each, and serve as tiny layer cakes.

Ice Box Cake


1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 package Nabisco famous chocolate wafers

1 tsp. vanilla


Beat cream with an electric mixer, on high, until stiff peaks form (about 2-3 minutes).  Stir in vanilla.

Spread whipped cream about 1/8 ” thick onto a wafer.  Do the same on another wafer and add the empty side of that wafer to the creamed side of the first wafer. Repeat, stacking them until it gets precarious.  Lay the tower on its side and continue adding wafers as desired.

Using a butter knife, frost the top and sides of the log with whipped cream.

Refrigerate for about 4 hours, so that the cream softens the wafers.  Cut in diagonal slices to serve.


1.  This cake does not get better the more whipped cream you use.  It will get soggy and not chocolatey if you put 1/2 inch of whipped cream in between each cookie.

2. Do not make this more than 4-5 hours in advance.  It tastes fine the next day, but the brown chocolate color of the wafers will start to show through the white of the cream.  And  nobody likes that.  It’s like being able to see everything under your nude body suit: awkward.

Thunder after watching too many vampire tv shows.

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19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chiara #

    Thanks, Eggton! Having a few easy recipes (especially ones that bring back fond memories of my childhood) is the only thing that keeps me from going over the edge. Children do love to help with this one. A little green food coloring in the cream, licorice or jellied candy for antennae and mouth, chocolate pearls for eyes, and presto: “the very hungry caterpillar”!


    December 16, 2011
    • That is such a great idea! We have a little kid coming to visit on Sunday…maybe we’ll make it again since, like you said, it’s so easy!

      December 16, 2011
  2. Angie #

    What the hell is scooting? 🙂

    December 16, 2011
    • Ah, Angie, I am glad you understand. We could discuss it if it weren’t too racy for the interweb.

      December 16, 2011
  3. April was in CT now CA #

    My sister in law does this scooting-type-dance stuff, sometimes involving paint. If I ever figure it out I’ll let you know.

    My mom made a super trashy version of this when I was a kid. I grew up in GA so Cool Whip was a food group; it involved that and chocolate graham crackers and it was SO GOOD. I’ve since gotten all hoity toity with it and made my own whipped cream (scandalous!). In Mom’s version you dip the graham cracker quickly in milk and layer it (thinly) with the whipped cream in a trifle dish and it does sit overnight so the grahams get soft and cakey.

    I love the idea of making it into a caterpillar, how cute!

    December 17, 2011
    • April, that sounds amazing. Have you ever used any liqueurs in the dipping? Someone suggested that if you incorporated amaretto somehow (in the whipped cream or maybe dipping the cookies) it might be great. Kind of like how the ladyfingers in tiramisu are dipped in Marsala or rum.

      December 17, 2011
      • April was in CT now CA #

        I haven’t ever tried that, but it sounds like it would be really good, especially with the chocolate graham crackers. If you want to get all fancy making your own chocolate grahams AND adding liqueur to the whipped cream would be fantastic! I just remembered I would sometimes add chopped nuts (usually pecans) sprinkled on the whipped cream layers, but not everyone likes nuts. It’s been a few years since I made it, but now I’m craving it.

        December 17, 2011
  4. Krisann #

    Followed the link from the Blogess. So glad I did, and for three important reasons:

    1. It is never a bad thing to read about food.
    2. Your dog is the shit.
    3. I was considering a career in scooting, and waiting for a sign. I realize now what an embarrassing mistake that would have been, and I thank you.

    December 17, 2011
    • Krisann, I’m so glad you visited, too! I agree with everything you said except that a career in scooting could be so much fun if you’re good at scooting, no? I fall down too often for this to be a possibility for me. Have you read ? She has an awesome food blog and she scoots for a living. Just in case you secretly want a sign going back in the other direction…

      December 17, 2011
      • Dude! Thanks for the shout out. I’m doing a celebratory scoot right now…

        December 18, 2011
        • Word. I am at this moment going through hundreds of goofy, ill-lit photos of our gingerbread farm. That’s right. FARM.

          December 18, 2011
  5. You are hilarious. I am so glad I found your blog, too!

    December 18, 2011
    • Horray! We’re even, then.

      December 20, 2011
  6. Caterpillar is a good idea, but if we could figure out how to make it look like a French bulldog, that would be a GREAT idea.

    December 20, 2011
    • I LOVE IT. I may try that. Maybe I’ll cover some tostitos in whipped cream. They are the perfect (i.e., enormous) triangular size if I am going to build a Thunder Cake.

      That is one cute picture of a baby seal you’ve got on your site.

      December 20, 2011
      • Don’t let that baby seal fool you, I’m sure it’s up to no good.

        December 20, 2011
  7. Ooo, you know what else? I’ll bet you could make something much better than my gingerbread pugs:

    December 20, 2011
    • Those are AWESOME. One of my neighbors has a pug and would love these! Thanks for sharing.

      December 20, 2011
  8. Any thoughts on substitutes for the cookies? I live in NYC and can’t find them anywhere!!!

    February 20, 2013

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