Nutella Icebox Cake


So the first weekend of the year has already passed! Ours was busy as usual, but we managed to do a little Greek Christmas celebrating by making some traditional cookies and we had a little barbecue with lemon chicken and roasted oregano potatoes. Serious hit. Since today is technically Greek Christmas it would probably be more fitting to post about that, but I also made the first cake of the year and I think that trumps pretty much everything else.

In 2009, I vowed to make a different pie every weekend and I ended up making 57 pies that year – with no duplicates! Here’s a messy gallery of them. The following year, we moved out to the woods and I wanted to bake a different cake every weekend, but with a serious lack of people around us, I ended up making only 45 cakes. Defeated, I didn’t even try any self inflicted challenges like this for the next three years. Now though, I think this year I can easily meet that goal.

Presenting cake #1 of 2014, the Nutella Icebox Cake.

I’ve seen a few versions of this cake online, some of them are a little lazy in that the filling is made from Nutella and whipped cream. Really? That’s pretty much just Nutella Pops, right? We can do better than that, people!

Enter this recipe! Thank you Dessert by Candy! This recipe involves making a beautiful Nutella custard/pudding from scratch and then layering it with graham crackers to make a pretty icebox cake that my Granny would have been proud of. She really would have, she was a serious force in the kitchen. If you’re not feeling the effort of assembling the cake (although seriously, making the pudding requires way more effort), I encourage you to make it just to taste the Nutella pudding. It’s even better than you think it is. No, really.

Nutella Icebox Cake

via Dessert by Candy
2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 1/2 ounces Nutella
2 tablespoons Frangelico I didn’t want to kick off my year of not drinking by spiking the cake
graham crackers (the number depends on what size pan you are using)

First, choose your pan. The original recipe says to use a 7″ square pan, which is not something all of us have on hand. 8″? Yes. 9″? of course. 7″ though? No, I don’t have one either. I almost ordered this one, but I told the Tiny Dancer that she could choose the cake this week and I didn’t realize I needed an odd pan until it was too late. So I went with my 9 x 13 and made do. Once you’ve chosen your pan, line it with plastic wrap.

Nutella Icebox Cake Nutella Icebox Cake
Whisk together the milk, cream and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and then scald that in a saucepan. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs yolks, the other 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and the cornstarch.

Nutella Icebox Cake Nutella Icebox Cake
Now weigh out the Nutella and (not pictured), temper the egg mixture with the scaling milk and cream mixture. Do this by veeeeery slooooooowly pouring the scaling milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture while whisking the egg mixture as if your life depended on it. There is no overexaggerating here. Pour slowly, whisk seriously. Easy peasy. Now, stir the Nutella into the now warm milk, cream and egg mixture.

Nutella Icebox Cake Nutella Icebox Cake
I switched from wooden spoon to whisk after the Nutella melted into the custard because I wanted to to make sure there were no lumps because I saw a little lump and my obsessive personality just could. not. let it slide. Now it’s time to make the cake – but first, try this Nutella custard/pudding. Divine right? (Little Miss D says ‘divined’ instead of ‘divine’ and I say it that way in my head every time now. Ahem.) So you start with a layer of graham crackers. This is when I realized that if you have a pan that perfectly fits any specific number of graham crackers, that’s the pan you should be using.

Nutella Icebox Cake Nutella Icebox Cake

Cover that first layer of graham crackers with about 1 cup of the Nutella custard/pudding and then another layer of graham crackers. Keep going until you run out of your Nutella layer, just make sure you end on a Nutella layer! Now it gets covered in more plastic wrap and hangs out in the freezer for a few hours.

Nutella Icebox Cake
Then tah dah! Everyone declares your cake a hit at Sunday dinner and cake year is off to a success. Or you know, whatever happens at your house. 😉

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