When I asked Mother Cookie what kind of dessert she was craving for Christmas, I wasn’t expecting her answer to be coconut cream pie. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some coconut cream anything, but it didn’t seem like the kind of thing I’d be craving in the middle of winter. However, I asked, and she gave me her request, so I was determined to honor it.
That being said, y’all know how I am, and I can’t just make coconut cream pie; I had to Smart Cookie-ify it. So, I opted for an easy, make-ahead treat: Mini Coconut Cream Ice Box Cakes.
By this point, I’m an ice box cake expert. I’ve whipped up a plethora of creative ice box cakes, every one of them turning out fantastic. There was a Halloween Pumpkin Ice Box Cake, Red, White, & Blue Ice Box Cake, Peppermint Gingerbread Cookies & Cream Ice Box Cake, and even an E.L. Fudge Cookie Ice Box Cake.
With all those tasty successes, why fix something that ain’t broken? I used my same fundamentals for a perfect ice box cake, and switched things up by making multiple mini ones instead of one big guy. This way, nobody has to share.
I’m a proud mama, so it’s hard to pick a favorite ice box cake of mine, but these might take the cake (pun intended). I love the perfect portion size, and they’re so light yet rich at the same time. I assembled them in just 10 minutes, which makes these ice box cakes as much of a breeze as they are bliss. That fluffy, creamy filling is on point. It’s just the right amount of sweet and kissed by a coconut angel. That means the flavor is present, but not overwhelming.
Layer that heavenly stuff with crunchy, robust toasted coconut to create a textural balance and add another layer of coconut flavor. And as is the magic of every ice box cake, the simple sugar cookies we layer with the filling turn soft, and cake-like so they melt in your mouth and absorb the flavors of the filling.
It’s an exceptionally scrumptious dessert, like a blissful vacation for your taste buds. I never would’ve thought coconut anything would be the perfect way to cap off my holiday meal, but these light and pretty Mini Coconut Cream Ice Box Cakes were. They’re the kind of treat that’s so good, it’ll fit into any occasion.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- You’ll need at least 8 hours for these to chill, preferably 12 if you want the cookies to turn soft all the way through.
- A chocolate cookie would work instead of the sugar cookies.
- If you’re not feeling the mini style, feel free to build this as one big cake. It’ll taste the same.
- Mascarpone is like a softer, less tangy Italian version of cream cheese. Find it in the specialty cheese section of the grocery store.
- Make sure you keep a good eye on the coconut while it’s toasting. It turns burnt in the blink of an eye.
Mini Coconut Cream Ice Box Cakes
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield – 8 cakes
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 24 sugar cookies
- 3 cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1 box vanilla Jell-O instant pudding (not Cook & Serve)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. coconut extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the coconut out in an even layer and bake until golden brown, about 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes so it doesn’t burn. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, place the cream, sugar, mascarpone, pudding mix, vanilla, and coconut in a large mixing bowl and beat on high with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. It should be whipped and thickened.
- On whatever plate you plan on serving the cakes on, spread 8 thin circles of filling about the size of the cookies. Stick a cookie on top of each one. Add a thick layer of filling to each cookie so you use about a third of the filling total. Spread it in an even layer then top with a handful of toasted coconut. Continue twice more, so that your layers are: cookie, filling, coconut; cookie, filling, coconut; cookie, filling, coconut. That’s three layers of each, if you’re counting.
- Cover the cakes and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. Enjoy.