ice cream sandwich cake with American flag in the background

This Kahlua Ice Cream Sandwich Cake is a make-ahead, no-bake dessert recipe of unknown origins. We have made it for my family’s 4th of July celebration for as long as I can remember, but it’s perfect for any warm-weather gathering. My family has dubbed it “Captain America Cake” because it is my husband’s favorite, and he once ran down the beach waving an American flag during the fireworks. It was quite a sight, and so the name stuck.

Every single year, we make two cakes: one with Kahlúa, and one kid-friendly version. The first one never lasts long around our crew. The original recipe actually uses Cool Whip, but I’ve since tested it with homemade whipped cream. Both are delicious. If you’re keen on convenience, use Cool Whip or other whipped topping. If you’re gaga for homemade whipped cream, use freshly whipped cream (which you can make ahead up to a day before assembling the cake).

I’ve tried to no avail to find the originator of this recipe, so if anyone can claim it, please let me know! It’s such a fixture in my family, we’d love to know who to thank for it!

ice cream sandwich cake
You can also prepare it in a loaf pan. For a prettier presentation, line the pan with a piece of plastic wrap so you can unmold the cake to serve it.

This Kahlua Ice Cream Sandwich Cake is something else. The coffee liqueur seeps into the wafer layer of the ice cream sandwiches, puddling into a mess of sticky, boozy deliciousness. There’s a reason I make it every year, and a 4th of July without it would be no holiday at all. The best part? No one will ever guess it’s made out of humble ice cream sandwiches. And you don’t have to tell anyone, either. It’ll be our little secret.

Kahlua Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

This is a make-ahead, no-bake dessert recipe of unknown origins. It has been prepared for my family’s 4th of July celebration for as long as I can remember. We make two cakes: one with Kahlúa, and one kid-friendly version. The first one never lasts long around our crew. The original recipe actually uses Cool Whip, but I’ve since tested it with homemade whipped cream. Both are delicious. No one will ever guess it’s made out of humble ice cream sandwiches. It’ll be our little secret.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword ice cream sandwich cake, kahlua cake, kahlua ice cream sandwich cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chilling time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 20 minutes
Servings 24
Author Amanda

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups  heavy whipping cream or one tub of Cool Whip
  • tablespoons  granulated sugar
  • teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 16-24  ice cream sandwiches unwrapped
  • 1 bottle Kahlua (you won't use the whole thing)
  • cup  toffee bits or 8 toffee and chocolate candy bars crushed and chopped

Instructions

  1. In the chilled bowl of a mixer or by hand, whip the cream until frothy, add sugar and vanilla and beat until thickened (firm peaks). Do not overbeat.
  2. Place whipped cream in the fridge to chill while you assemble the cake.
  3. Drizzle a few tablespoons of kahlua on the bottom of the pan. Place one layer of ice cream sandwiches on the bottom of a 9×13 pan, making sure to fit them snugly together. You may need to cut them in half (or vertically) to arrange them together.

  4. Pour about a cup of kahlua onto the sandwiches, waiting until the Kahlua disappears into the holes of the sandwiches.

  5. Take your whipped cream out of the fridge and smear a layer on top of the Kahlua soaked sandwiches.
  6. Repeat until you reach the top of the pan.
  7. Top last layer of whipped cream with crushed toffee bits or chopped toffee and chocolate candy bar.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
  9. Before serving, sit out 5 minutes to soften. Remove plastic wrap and cut into squares to serve.

Looking for more 4th of July desserts? Make this Berry Pavlova with strawberries and blueberries for a red, white and blue showstopper!

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pinterest image of kalhua icebox cake

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