A dark and stormy cocktail is made with dark rum and ginger beer, garnished with a slice of lime. The drink’s flavors translate beautifully when refashioned as an icebox cake. Layers of crispy gingersnaps replace the beer and are alternated with two flavors of whipped cream — dark rum and lime. The cake is assembled in a loaf pan, and once sliced, every layer is charmingly displayed.

For an alcohol-free cake, use rum extract to taste in place of the rum.

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.


  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, plus more for decorating
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more as needed
  • About 56 (400 grams) gingersnaps, preferably Stauffer’s, or other crisp ginger cookie

Step 1

Line a 9-by-5-by-2-inch loaf pan with a large sheet or two of plastic wrap so the wrap overhangs the pan on all sides.

Put the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium to medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cream begins to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk about 3 more minutes, until stiff peaks form. Transfer half of the cream to a small mixing bowl. Add the rum to the cream still in the stand mixer bowl and whisk on medium-high speed about 30 seconds, or until combined. By hand, gently whisk the lime juice and zest (to taste) into the remaining whipped cream.

Step 2

Use a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread a layer of rum cream, about 1 cup, on the bottom of the pan. Cover as much of the cream as possible with a layer of gingersnaps, filling any gaps with broken snaps (breaking them yourself, if necessary). The pieces should touch; the goal is a solid layer of cookies. Add a layer of the lime whipped cream, about 1 cup, and cover with another solid layer of snaps.

Step 3

Continue layering, alternating flavors of whipped cream and cookies until you run out, ending with a layer of lime whipped cream that rises slightly above the edge of the pan. Cover the cake with the overhang of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, or preferably overnight.

Step 4

Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Lift the pan off and peel away the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the top of the cake with additional lime zest.

When ready to serve, slice the cake with a long serrated knife and garnish with additional lime zest grated on top.

From cookbook author Jessie Sheehan.

Tested by Jacob Brogan; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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Calories: 390; Total Fat: 25 g; Saturated Fat: 15 g; Cholesterol: 80 mg; Sodium: 190 mg; Carbohydrates: 36 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugars: 17 g; Protein: 3 g.