An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

The Ultimate Ice-Breaker


You may not yet find the VegNews July/August 2012 issue on newsstands or in your mailbox, but because advance issues are now available online, I see that as free rein to start talking about it. Honestly, I can’t help myself- The summer edition is always a joy to work on, now that fresh fruits and vegetables are flooding back into stores, and every recipe sounds equally compelling. Best of all, it means I can bust out the frozen and chilled treats like there’s no tomorrow, better suited to tempering the summer sun than any blast of artificial air conditioning. Returning triumphantly with my thrice annual column, this sweet idea is one grand finale that will beat the pants off of picnic fruit salads and watery popsicles.

Key Lime Icebox Cake, complete with dozens of crunchy macadamia-flecked cookies and a tropical coconut and citrus creme. A single towering cake feeds a crowd with ease, and is best after sitting in the chill chest for at least a day, so advance prep makes it an ideal party guest. It’s the dessert that friends and family will be talking about long after the crowds go home and the summer sun goes back into hibernation. Yes, it’s that good.

It shouldn’t be long now before the issue officially lands, so you may as well start clearing space for this cake in your fridge right now!

Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

40 thoughts on “The Ultimate Ice-Breaker

  1. Key Lime pie is one of my dad’s favorites, so this would be awesome to make for Father’s Day. That looks amazing! Can’t wait to see it in the issue.

  2. We can always count on you for a stylish dessert! That is extraordinary for sure. Such a beautiful photo too!

  3. The summer issue really is the best. Summer desserts are always my favorite. How can you say no to all the berries and stone fruits?!

  4. Oh my heavens, yes must go make room for this cake ;)

  5. This looks so amazing and yummy! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hannah, you never stop amazing me with your beautiful and original desserts.

  7. oh wow – I will definitely be on the lookout for this!

  8. This magazine sounds fantastic :D
    If its offering up recipes like this, I totally understand why you are tempted to make it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. What an amazing looking cake!

  10. That cake looks awesome but what I can’t take my eyes off of is your DIY cake stand! Love your creativity. :)

  11. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled at Whole Foods for it! Because damn I need that in my life.

  12. wow wow wow! that looks SO delicious! i love a good icebox cake…perfect for summer! thanks for sharing such a beautiful dessert!

  13. Hannah this photo deserves the front page of that magazine. By the way who wrote the article on Hospital Food Horrors? Oh my goodness that is so funny. Take care, BAM

  14. A few more layers. Tier it to make an Xmas tree, perfect of an Aussie summer xmas!

  15. I see that you’re in Connecticut. Have you ever put together a meal made entirely from foods that are native to your area? Ingredients could be corn, sunflower seeds, squashes, beans, etc.

    [You may want to cut this part of my comment. In your post you wrote “free reign” but the expression is actually “free rein.” It goes back to the days when a rider would drop the reins and let a horse wander wherever it wanted to. The opposite expression is “to keep a tight rein on [someone or something].”]

    Steve Schwartzman

    • Hi Steve,

      That’s a great idea! I haven’t yet tried making a completely locally-sourced dish, but I’d love to someday, especially as the fruits and veggies reach their peak in the coming months. I’ll keep thinking about that concept.

      And thanks for catching that typo. It’s those little things you never really give much thought to, right? Nice to actually know the reason why it’s rein over reign here.

  16. This looks delicious, I love summer cooking and baking! I have a question about Vegan A La Mode (which I pre-ordered and am patiently awaiting), is there a recipe for Corn Ice Cream in it?

    • Yes! There’s both a Fresh Corn Ice Cream and a Buttery Popcorn Ice Cream, to satisfying all you corny frozen dessert needs. :)

      • Yay! I can’t wait to get it. Just bought a new ice cream maker too!

      • Hi Hannah, I’m so excited, Vegan a la Mode arrived today and its such a gorgeous book. Congrats!
        I have a question for you, what is your non-dairy milk of preference when making ice cream? I made a corn ice cream (my own concoction) this weekend while awaiting the arrival of you book and used Original Almond+Plus. I found even though there was only a cup of almond milk and the rest, soy creamer, its still had a distinct almond milk flavor competing with the flavor of the sweet corn. What is your preference?

      • Hooray, I’m so excited, too! Thank you, I’m thrilled that it’s made a good first impression.

        I’m surprised that you found the So Delicious almond milk so noticeable- Almond milk is definitely my “milk” of choice, but I typically go with Silk Pure Almond. I just find it creamier, smoother, and slightly thicker than the rest. Perhaps that would make a difference? Otherwise, it might simply be an issue of the corn flavor being too subtle. Next time around, you could experiment with adding more corn to bump that up a bit. Good luck!

      • thanks! I’ll give that one a try. I liked your idea about cooking the corn first. I removed mine from the cob and boiled the loose corn and empty cobs in the milk mixture and let it sit covered for an hour to infuse. I think your way will definitely intensify the corn flavor. Thanks for the advice!

      • No problem! I also have a Fresh Corn Ice Cream recipe in Vegan a la Mode, if you’d be interested in checking it out.

  17. What an awesome idea for a cake stand AND cake. Love it. I have never seen anything like it!

  18. Yes, I have just the spot for that cake in my fridge. When are you sending it over? :-) Can’t wait to get that issue!

  19. Really love your blog and the way you photograph your food! Makes them look extra yummy! Really must try this out with some leftover limes! :)

  20. Absolutely beautiful, Hannah! Such a show-stopper…I can imagine the look of enticement when I bring that to the table for dessert at my next gathering!

  21. wowza! that is definitely going to knock the pants off pretty much everything.. we are still rained out.. but who cares! i think i should go check my mail now!

  22. Saw this in VegNews and can’t wait to try it … Did you create the recipe? Also, it looks like I own a couple of your cookbooks :)

  23. I love this idea! It looks delicious. Lime is my favorite flavor.
    Fianna @

  24. Pretty original !
    How does one eat the cake ? Do you take a cookie and are more or less lucky to have (or not) a lot of icing on it, or does it need to be sliced ? (I am not sure of the second idea, which sounds not good, more like a “how to ruin you dessert in a few steps :
    take a sharp knife
    TRY to cut the cookie cake into slices
    FAIL and make the place dirty
    serve (not) proud of the massacre you just did)

    • It’s not as difficult as it seems! You do actually slice it like a standard layer cake- The cookies soften significantly after some time in the fridge, so they’re much more yielding than normal. Think of how the cookies in an ice cream sandwich get softer over time, for example, and it’s very much the same principal that holds this together. However, if it does turn into a cake massacre, it’s still quite tasty all the same. ;)

      • Okay, I see.
        It is true that the icing looks thick and a lot of it is put on the cookies so it probably adds quite a lot of humidity to the cookies.
        I agree sometimes recipes do not look great but the taste is wonderful :D (which is not the case here because it looks amazing and probably is very good too !)

  25. This looks absolutely amazing, I’d love to make it tomorrow for a party but I can’t find any way to access the recipe and I live in Australia :(

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