Peach melba (poached peaches drizzled with raspberry sauce and served with scoops of vanilla ice cream) is what summer icebox cake dreams are made of — seasonal and perfect to fight the sweltering heat. Here, peach jam is folded into almond-flavored whipped cream, which is studded with chunks of ripe peaches. The cream is layered with fresh raspberries and thin, crispy almond wafers, then topped with toasted almond slices for flavor and texture.

Peaches are lovely when paired with almond extract, but feel free to flavor your cream with vanilla extract instead, and to substitute a different flavored cookie for the almond ones. In place of nuts, garnish the cake with crushed cookies.

The author prefers Bonne Maman peach jam. You may want to add more jam, depending on the sweetness of your peaches.

Recipe notes: The cake will keep loosely covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen, after it has set up in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for up to 1 month. Defrost the cake in the refrigerator overnight before you plan to serve it. Once you cut the cake, leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated, and are best within a day.

Ultrathin Anna’s Swedish Thins are available in grocery stores nationwide. If using a different brand of crispy almond cookies, keep in mind that you will need the same number of cookies, but they will weigh more.

Toast the almonds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (185 grams) peach jam, or more as needed
  • 1/3 cup (80 grams) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 medium peaches, halved, pitted and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 140 grams)
  • 5 cups (595 grams) fresh raspberries
  • 25 (120 grams) crisp, thin almond wafer cookies, such as Anna’s Swedish Thins, or 70 (285 grams) vanilla wafers or 20 sheets (285 grams) graham crackers
  • Toasted almond slices, for garnish

Step 1

Add the cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium to medium-high speed, 2 to 3 minutes, until the cream begins to thicken. Add the jam, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract, to taste, and continue to whisk on medium to medium-high speed for about 3 more minutes, until stiff peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the peaches into the cream.

Step 2

Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread a layer of cream, about 1 1/2 cups, on the bottom of an 8-inch square pan. Cover the cream with a layer of raspberries and then a layer of almond cookies, filling any gaps with broken cookies (breaking them yourself, if necessary). The pieces should touch; the goal is a solid layer of cookies.

Step 3

Continue with additional layers of whipped cream, raspberries and cookies, ending with a layer of whipped cream. Gently cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the cake for 6 to 8 hours, or preferably overnight.

Step 4

Peel off the plastic wrap. Garnish the top of the cake with the toasted almonds.

Cut the cake into slices while in the pan and serve.

From cookbook author Jessie Sheehan.

Tested by Sophia Nguyen; email questions to

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Calories: 330; Total Fat: 16 g; Saturated Fat: 10 g; Cholesterol: 55 mg; Sodium: 160 mg; Carbohydrates: 42 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 25 g; Protein: 2 g.