Little Cakes With Grappa

Posted by Dani on July 3, 2013

mini icebox cake with grappa
Easy as pie, and decadently delicious – you really need to try these. The adults in your life with thank you, I promise.

Growing up in an Italian family, we learned early on that a touch of grappa enhances just about any dessert. That’s what my mother taught me. And mothers are always right, right?

She always added a splash of this strong liquor to her homemade Gubana, the classic Northern Italian cake she made for special occasions. Another splash in the tiramisu. And if dessert was served after a big dinner, the men around the table would douse their serving with a shot from the grappa bottle that was always handy.

Who am I to mess with tradition? So when it came time to update my recipe for Little Icebox Cakes, I pulled out my trusty grappa bottle. This particular bottle comes from my dad, like many of the delicious things in my life. He says it’s good quality, and he knows his grappa. So I suggest if you’re going to try this for yourself, and you want the best results, make sure you get the good stuff. Ask your trusty liquor store expert for a recommendation. Or any handy old Italian man you find.

I often like to make Little Icebox Cakes when I need something delicious and quick that still feels special. You can throw these together in no time at all, and the best part is – no baking required! Read the instructions here for my original all-ages recipe. And if you want to make an adult-only version, here’s all you need to know.

The secret ingredient, besides the grappa, is Mr. Christie’s Chocolate Wafers. Normally, I like to bake from scratch, but these are perfect when you need a fast, no-bake dessert. The deep chocolate flavour is delicious. And it goes perfectly with grappa!

Mr. Christie chocolate wafers

The recipe is simple: all you do is layer the cookies with fresh whipped cream, and frost with whipped cream. I add peanut butter to one layer, since we are fans in this family. I stacked the cookies 5 high. And in this adult version, I gave 2 of the cookies a quick dip in a shallow bowl of grappa, old-school style! This just gives you a hint of flavour, without overwhelming the taste. And make a few without the grappa for the under-19 crowd while you’re at it.

mini icebox cakes recipe

Allow the cakes to rest in the fridge for about 8 hours, or as long as you can stand to wait. They will soften up, and you’ll have delicious mini-cakes with a grappa twist. I’m sure my parents would approve.

mini chocolate icebox cakes recipe


14 Responses to “Little Cakes With Grappa”

  1. mmmmmmmmmm, sounds delish!!

  2. Wow, the pic drew me in as some fancy la di da dessert… turns out I can whip them up in minutes. Nice work!

    • Dani says:

      In fact, your kids could probably make them for you while you sit back and relax. Isn’t that the best kind of recipe?

  3. 1. I thought your post said “GranDpa”. I was kind of like, mmm that’s nice, spending time with family and dessert.

    2. Then I read “Growing up in an Italian family, we learned early on that a touch of granDpa (grappa) enhances just about any dessert” .. Shaked my head twice and re-read and found my error. LOL

    3. I don’t think I have those cookies here. I tried looking before because I thought I could cut some calories from my dessert intake. No luck yet.

    p.s. I just realized there are 2 writers in this blog, who is the one reading ME? LOL. Dani – I’m an engineer too. 🙂

    • Dani says:

      That’s funny! Although in my family grandpa and grappa go together, haha! Maybe you can snag some wafers from your next friend that comes visit from Toronto – I will definitely bring you some if I’m ever out that way! I am the one who usually drops into your blog, although Nads also cruises around the blogs as well. And you are now the only other engineer blogger I know! We def need to stick together 😉

  4. Oh they do look sooo yummy! I’ve tried Grappa once, bought it for a recipe that called for marinating berries (can’t remember what kind of berries…) and it marinated for days and days in the stuff with some sugar too and then we put the berry recipe on ice cream – it was soooo good but not for kids (waaayyy too much alcohol!) Thanks for your recipe, I’ll have to Pin this!

    • Dani says:

      My mom used to make that every year – put various fruits (berried and apricots I think) in a jar with grappa and sugar. I think grappa was a bit of a staple in her kitchen! Thanks for pinning 🙂

  5. Oh my, these look just scrumptious! I am definitely going to have to try this!

  6. These are absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this at Wonderful Food Wednesday!! Hope you had a great weekend!!

  7. Kathryn says:

    So cute and they look delicious! But really, it’s chocolate cookies and cream! You can’t go wrong there! Pinning!

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