Celebrate the peach season with this no bake Salted Caramel Peach Icebox Cake! Creamy mascarpone cream, sweet peach compote, rich salted caramel sauce and graham crackers. Beautifully layered. It’s a fun dessert for any small summer party!
Walking around the Farmers’ Market, we were surrounded by summer stone fruits, like peaches, plums, and plumcots. Bryan is a huge fan of plums and plumcots. They’re especially sweet from Farmers’ Market, so we got a bunch. But I also picked up a few ripe peaches for this fun icebox cake.
What is an icebox cake? The term “icebox” refers to a non-mechanical form of refrigeration. In the time before electricity, people use ice to keep things cool inside of a box. Icebox cake is a cake that is being kept in the fridge in today’s world. But this cake doesn’t require any baking. It’s actually made with layers of cookies and some sort of whipped cream. All you need is to let the cake set for overnight. That will softened the cookies and cookies will have a cake like texture. It will be ready to be sliced the next day.
My version has a few more components than a basic icebox cake. I have included salted caramel and peach compote. It will take a little extra steps, but I promise it added more layers of flavors. Totally worth it!
First, peel the peaches. I used a vegetable peeler, which was quick and easy. Cut them into about 1/2-inch. Combine with light brown sugar, lemon zest, lemon and water in a saucepan. Cook for about 10 minutes until the peaches are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool to room temperature. This can be made 1 day ahead and kept in the fridge.
This compote is good on not just this icebox cake. You can put it on all kind of stuffs, like yogurt, pancakes or ice cream.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Caramel sauce is actually very easy to do. Just have to be a bit more careful, because hot sugar burnt is no joke at all. Combine sugar and water in a sturdy medium saucepan and give a good mix. Do not use a small saucepan, because things could spill out. Then cook the mixture until it has a deep amber color. Carefully pour in the cream as it will bubble vigorously. Reduce heat and stir for a couple minutes until smooth. Remove from heat and add butter and salt. That’s the sauce.
You don’t want to use the hot sauce on the whipped cream, because it would melt everything. Set aside to cool. Sauce will thicken as it cools, so use the sauce when it’s still slightly warm and still runny enough to use as a drizzle. Reheat over low heat if the sauce got too thick. You can also make this ahead. Caramel sauce actually can last for a month in the fridge. Reheat in microwave for 20 – 30 seconds. Give it a good stir and it’s ready to be used.
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
For the whipped cream, I blended in mascarpone cheese. I like that mild and slightly sweet flavor. Start with room temperature mascarpone cheese, so it’s easy to incorporate. Whisk the cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. It can be a bit stiff at first, but it will get smooth after a few stirs. Set aside. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer (or hand mixer), whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Mix in the mascarpone mixture in 2 additions until just combined. This cream is now ready. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Line a loaf pan with 2 pieces of plastic wraps. Put one lengthwise with overhang and then another one widthwise with overhang. Spread a thin layer of mascarpone cream evenly at the bottom. Fit a layer of graham crackers on top. Breaking the graham crackers to fill the gap if needed. Then, spread a layer of peaches. Make sure there is no gap and even. Drizzle a thin layer of salted caramel over. Now, cover with 1/3 of the mascarpone cream. Repeat with a layer of graham cracker, peaches, salted caramel, and mascarpone. Finish the last layer with graham crackers. Fold in the plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Reserve the rest of the mascarpone cream and keep in an airtight container. That will be used for the frosting. Also transfer the caramel sauce into another airtight container. That will be used to decorate the cake.
Unmold and Frost
To make it easier to unmold and slice, I actually put the loaf pan in the freezer 1 – 2 hours before serving. Once it’s out of the freezer, unfold the plastic wrap on top and flip into a serving plate. Remove the plastic wrap. Frost with the reserved mascarpone cream. You can either smooth the cream or do simple patterns with an offset spatula. Last, top with peach slices and drizzle with more salted caramel sauce. It’s ready to be served.
This icebox cake is gorgeous and would be really fun for a small gathering. It’s creamy and little sweet with the tasty peaches and slightly salted caramel. The graham crackers are softened and has a cakelike texture. It was absolutely delicious! I couldn’t stop eating. Perfect for summer! Can’t wait for you guys to try this! For any leftover, I covered with a foil and put it back in the freezer. When I want to eat it, I take down to the fridge a couple hours ahead to defrost. Taste just as good!
Salted Caramel Peach Icebox Cake
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (at room temperature)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 8 sheets graham crackers (1 sleeve)
- 1½ cups peach compote (recipe followed)
- ½ cup salted caramel sauce (recipe followed)
- 1 peach (pitted and sliced)
- 4 cups peaches (about 30 ounces) (peeled, pitted and cut into ½-inch dices)
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Zest of half lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Sauce:
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cold water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the peach compote, in a medium saucepan, combine peaches, light brown sugar, water, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until peaches are soften and mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container to keep in the fridge.
- For the salted caramel sauce, in a medium saucepan, add sugar and ¼ cup cold water. Stir to combine. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar has turned into a deep amber color, about 8 – 10 minutes. Do not stir. Carefully add the heavy cream, as the mixture will bubble vigorously. Reduce the heat to low, whisk until smooth, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the unsalted butter and salt. Set aside to cool to slightly warm.
- For the icebox cake, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone mixture in 2 additions, beat until just combined. Do not overmix. Transfer the bowl in the fridge to keep cool.
- In the meantime, line a loaf pan (9×5-inch) with 2 pieces of plastic wraps. One lengthwise with overhang and one widthwise with overhang.
- To assemble the cake, spread a thin layer of mascarpone at the bottom. Add a layer of graham crackers. Break apart some of them if needed. Add an even layer of peach compote. Fill in all the gaps. Drizzle a thin layer of salted caramel over the peaches. Add 1/3 of mascarpone and smooth the top. Add another layer of graham crackers. Then, a layer of peach compote and a layer of salted caramel. Next, spread another 1/3 of mascarpone and smooth the top. Finish the last layer with graham crackers. Fold in the plastic wrap overhang to cover up. Keep in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
- Reserve the rest of the mascarpone in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Transfer the caramel into another airtight container and keep in the fridge as well.
- 1 – 2 hours before serving, put the loaf pan in the freezer. This is not necessary, but it makes it easier to unmold, frost and slice. Unfold the plastic wrap and unmold the cake onto a serving plate and remove the plastic wrap. Frost the cake with the reserved mascarpone cream. Decorate with fresh peach slices. Reheat a couple tablespoons of salted caramel in a small bowl in microwave until just runny enough to drizzle (not too hot). Drizzle over the cake. Slice and serve.
- I peel the peaches with a vegetable peeler. Quick and easy.
- Peach compote can be made 1 day ahead. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Salted caramel can be kept for a month, so you can definitely make it ahead. It will solidify. Reheat in microwave for 20 – 30 seconds to turn back into sauce.
- For leftover, I keep in the freezer. It can be kept for a few days. Transfer to fridge for at least 2½ hours or leave at counter for about 30 minutes before serving.
- If you don’t feel like unmolding, you can do this in a glass or ceramic loaf pan directly. And decorate right in the pan. Scoop and serve. But keep in mind that some of the orders of the layers may need a slight rearrange (upside down).