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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

November 22, 2009

Ginger-Mascarpone Icebox Cake

This past weekend I met up for a potluck with a few of the folks that I went river rafting with back in September. I wanted to make something that would appeal to a lot of people, was creamy and cold, and didn't involve chocolate. I was having a bit of trouble finding a recipe that would meet all my requirements until last weekend. I was in the Houston International Airport, on my way home to Seattle after visiting my dad in Florida, when I picked up Fine Cooking's Sweet Cakes magazine. I saw a photo of this recipe and knew I had found a winner.
If you love the flavor of spicy gingersnap cookies and the cold, creamy texture of tiramisu, you'll love this easy to prepare no-bake dessert. In less than thirty minutes of work in the kitchen and an overnight stay in the refrigerator, you can have a wonderful company worthy dessert that will have everyone begging for the recipe.

Ginger-Mascarpone Icebox Cake
Yield: 8 to 10 slices
adapted from Fine Cooking

12 ounces gingersnap cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 8oz package full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2/3 cup sugar; more for the pan
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (if you have vanilla paste, use it!)
2/3 cup crystallized ginger, minced finely (check the bulk section of your grocery store)
16 oz full-fat mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream

Grease an 8 or 9oz spring-form pan lightly with butter. Dust the pan with a little sugar and knock out any excess. Set aside.

Run the gingersnap cookies through a food processor or blender on high until a you get fine, consistently shaped crumbs (no big clumps). Combine the gingersnap crumbs and butter, rubbing them together with your fingertips to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle half of the crumbs over the bottom of the pan and pat down evenly; set the rest aside.

With an electric mixer, whip together the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and candied ginger until smooth, scraping down the sides. Add the mascarpone and whip until the mixture for 2 minutes. Add the cream and whip for 1 minute. Don’t over whip or the mixture may separate.

Carefully spoon half of the mascarpone cream over the gingersnap crust, spreading it evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle *half* of the remaining crumbs over the mascarpone cream in the pan (it doesn't have to be a perfect layer of crumbs, but be sure to pay attention to the edge of the pan.) Top with remaining mascarpone cream and finish with the remaining crumbs.

Gently tap the pan on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, warm a sharp knife under hot water and dry it off. Cut one slice, clean the knife and warm it again before cutting the next slice.

Would I Make This Again? Yes, it was very easy, unique, and the texture takes everyone by surprise. This cake made a lot of people really happy!


  1. seriously, that sounds perfect. I love the gingersnaps as the crust, yummy!

  2. You seem to have accidentally omitted the measurement on the gingersnap crumbs from the recipe? (or I'm just really not awake this morning!) This sounds delicious, can't wait to try it!

  3. Mmmmm, sounds and looks good Julia! The kids and I love mascarpone cheese.

    Hope you have the Happiest Thanksgiving!

  4. Ooops, I just went to read the recipe a little better and it looks like you ommitted the gingersnaps in the ingredients list. :)

  5. Thanks Ingrid and Liz! I can't believe I omited the gingersnaps! I fixed it though -- sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know.

  6. I think you've convinced me to make this for Thanksgiving! It looks awesome!

  7. This looks amazing. Sounds perfect for Thanksgiving. Thanks

  8. That is simply divine.

  9. That sounds sooo good - thanks for the recipe.

  10. Oh my! The recipe title grabbed me right away! Delicious!

  11. Oh, Julia! This sounds AMAZING!!! I love gingersnaps & combined with all of that creamy goodness...heaven!

    OH...the "word verification" below is "talented"...YES! Perfect for you! ;)

  12. how was your layover in houston? good i hope :) i'd hate to have my city give you a bad experience :)

  13. Thanks everyone! You REALLY need to try this recipe. It's so wonderful!

    And Houston airport was fabulous - they have a wonderful cooking magazine selection! Oh and they had free WiFi too :)

  14. Oh wow, I would LOVE this, it sounds so amazing!

  15. I want to reach in and grab some of this lovliness.


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