Pumpkin Icebox Cake with Gingersnaps is an easy, no-bake fall dessert of pumpkin, cream cheese, and fresh whipped cream layered with gingersnap cookies that transforms into soft, creamy cake after chilling in the refrigerator!
Have you ever enjoyed the wonder that is icebox cake? It's really quite amazing.
What's an Icebox Cake?
What starts out as a whipped cream-based mixture layered with some sort of cookies/graham crackers/wafers turns into a soft, moist, creamy concoction, totally reminiscent of cake.
And today, I've got a Pumpkin Icebox Cake that's going to knock your socks off!
I was inspired to create this icebox cake by the flavors of a pumpkin dip that I've been making for years, courtesy of a little recipe print-out that I picked up one day while purchasing a giant tub of Nyåckers Swedish Gingersnaps at World Market. The pumpkin dip is delicious with a variety of dippers, from gingersnaps to graham crackers to apple slices. It's effortless to whip up and it's always the hit of any autumn gathering.
But don't get too excited...I'm actually not sharing that recipe with you today. 😉 There are already a million and one pumpkin dip recipes floating around on the internet, so I decided to instead take my beloved pumpkin dip and layer it into this delightful Pumpkin Icebox Cake with Gingersnaps! Now allow me to back up for a moment as I explain how this recipe evolved to its final incarnation...
Though exceptionally tasty, pumpkin dip (made with pumpkin puree, cream cheese, and spices) is rather heavy to layer into a traditional icebox cake.
So I decided to lighten it up with some freshly whipped cream.
Furthermore, while my initial plan was to use gingersnaps in this recipe, I soon realized that World Market doesn't carry their tubs of Nyåkers until later in the fall, and I felt the need to get y'all some pumpkin goodness STAT. So I deviated from my original gingersnap plan and used cinnamon graham crackers instead.
Big mistake! Don't get me wrong...the icebox cake I made with graham crackers was still yummy. However, I thought it was a bit too sweet and lacked the dimension that slightly spicy gingersnaps would have provided. So I headed back to the grocery store to pick up a couple bags of gingersnaps in order to try, try again. I also slightly bumped up the cream cheese in the recipe for that characteristic underlying tang that I love so much.
The verdict? Pumpkin Icebox Cake is a winner! And I'm actually glad that Nyåkers weren't available after all, because I ended up using Stouffer's brand gingersnaps and their thicker, chewier texture really lent itself to softening into icebox cake while chilling.
Aside from how yummy it is, I love this icebox cake because it's a way to enjoy pumpkin goodness this fall without ever having to turn on the oven. It's also fabulous for holiday parties and gatherings since it's made ahead of time, freeing you (and your oven!) up for other holiday recipes.
So have you made icebox cake before? Are you a fan of pumpkin? What's the first pumpkin recipe you've already made (or will be making) this season? At any rate, I hope you'll be adding this Pumpkin Icebox Cake to your list!
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bread
- Homemade Pumpkin Butter
- Warm Pumpkin Spice Drink
- Quick and Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal
Pumpkin Icebox Cake
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, DIVIDED
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Gingersnaps, see NOTES
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Gradually mix in ½ cup powdered sugar. Beat until soft peaks form. Scrape whipped cream into a separate bowl and set aside.
- In the same bowl used to whip the cream, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Slowly blend in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Blend in pumpkin, spices, and vanilla and beat until well combined. Gently fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture and set aside.
- Dollop a bit of the pumpkin mixture into the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and spread into a thin layer. Cover with a layer of gingersnaps. Spoon about ⅓ of the remaining pumpkin mixture over the gingersnaps and spread into an even layer. Repeat gingersnap layer and pumpkin layer two more times. Sprinkle with a few crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Is the nutrition information based on 12 or 16 servings?
Nutrition calculations are based on 16 servings. 🙂
I haven't tried this .... but it looks delicious !! Would I be able to substitute "Cool Whip" for the whipped cream? I've never tried whipping cream.... kinda afraid of messing it up. So if you could let me know about using Cool Whip in lieu of doing whipped cream I would really appreciate it!! 🙂 Thanks. 🙂
Hi Tess! Cool Whip should work fine in this recipe! I do worry that it's sweeter than homemade whipped cream, so your overall dessert might end up on the slightly sweeter side. But you could always slightly reduce the amount of powdered sugar in the pumpkin mixture to balance out the Cool Whip if you think it's necessary. Hope it's a hit!
Thanks for your suggestion! I'll give that a try .... definitely looks heavenly! 🙂
Anna's Ginger Thins, Delicate Swedish Cookies work really well in this recipe, doubled up in the layers, as suggested. I also doubled the ginger and used Neufchatel cream cheese which has one-third less fat than regular cream cheese.
Did you use our pumpkin or pumpkin pie filling? They are very different, so I want to be sure! Thanks
Samantha at Five Heart Home
Hi Sandy! Just pumpkin. The sugar and spices are added separately. 🙂
Can I use mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese? If so, what I use 8 ounces of that also.
Hi Lynda! I haven't made this recipe before with marscarpone in place of the cream cheese, but I don't see why it wouldn't work (although it may slightly change the taste and texture of the final dessert). If you decide to give it a try, yes, I'd substitute the same amount (8 ounces). Good luck...please let us know how it turns out! 🙂
Thank you!! The reason I asked was I just made Ina Garten's Mocha Kahlua Ice Box Cake and I used mascarpone as the recipe called for and it was delicious,
If it's good enough for Ina, it's good enough for me! 😉 Seriously though, I think marscarpone will work great in this recipe. Enjoy!
This was fabulous!!! I made Barefoot Contessa's mocha icebox cake a couple of weeks ago and wanted to make a fall version and found a bunch of recipes - very glad I went with yours! Putting this on our permanent rotation and making your pumpkin scones next. 🙂 Thank you!
This was really good, but when I make again, I'll whip cream to stiff peaks - it was a little loose. Delicious flavor and everyone loved. I made it in a spring form pan and presented it on a pedestal cake plate. Excellent autum dessert.
Samantha at Five Heart Home
Sounds like a lovely presentation, Cheri! Glad it was a hit. 🙂