The Washington Post

Dark and Stormy Icebox Cake

Dark and Stormy Icebox Cake 12.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Aug 1, 2019

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 ginger snaps 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 rum.

Make Ahead: 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, tighly 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.

Storage Notes: Once you cut the cake, leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated, and are best within a day.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings

  • 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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Jessie Sheehan.

Tested by Jacob Brogan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 390

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 25g 38%

Saturated Fat: 15g 75%

Cholesterol: 80mg 27%

Sodium: 190mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 36g 12%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 17g

Protein: 3g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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