This icebox cake has a rich flavor from the combination of warm, floral honey and smooth mascarpone cheese.
Layers of crisp ladyfingers are the foundation for the creamy filling, and the cake is studded with shining fresh blackberries.
This cakes sets up very well after its overnight stay in the refrigerator, and looks lovely with the dark berries peeking through the light filling.
We found that the flavors of this cake really stand out if the chilled cake is given a few minutes to stand at room temperature before serving. Honey and blackberries impart a decidedly summery feel to this dessert!
Blackberries are often confused with black raspberries. The blackberries I see at the store tend to be much larger (1-2 inches) than black raspberries (about 1/2″ – 3/4″.) Another way to tell them apart is that blackberries are shiny and have a white plug in the center where they came off the stem. Black raspberries have a fuzzy appearance and are hollow in the center.
If you have fresh blackberries available to you, take advantage of them with this chilly treat!
Honey Cream Blackberry Icebox Cake
*Plan ahead for this recipe as it requires an overnight stay in the refrigerator!
- 24 crisp ladyfingers (such as Vicenzovo brand)
- 12 ounces blackberries
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 cups whipping cream, cold
- 1/2 cup honey
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
Have an 8" x 8" pan ready and a space available in the coldest corner of your refrigerator. Place the bowl and beater from your mixer into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Place the blackberries in a small bowl, and add the lemon juice. Gently toss the berries in the juice, and allow them to sit while preparing the whipped cream.
Make the whipped cream: assemble the bowl and beater on the mixer. Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour in the whipping cream. Increase the speed to medium-low or medium. The cream will whip faster the higher you can have your speed: find the highest speed you can go to without cream flying all over the kitchen!
As the cream begins to thicken, add in the honey. Beat the mixture until it has thickened and holds loose peaks. Depending on the speed you use, expect this to take between 10 to 14 minutes. (Warm weather may also make the whipping process take a little longer.)
Remove 1-1/2 cups of whipped cream from the bowl and transfer to a small bowl. Wrap this reserved cream tightly and refrigerate it. (This will be used when serving the cake.)
Add the mascarpone cheese to the mixer bowl with the remaining whipped cream, and turn the mixer on low. Mix the ingredients for just a couple of minutes until they look incorporated. Do not over-beat the mixture as the mascarpone will curdle.
Assemble the cake: place a layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of the pan, trimming or cutting a few as needed to fit them in and cover the bottom.
Spoon about half of the mascarpone-whipped cream mixture over the ladyfingers and smooth it into an even layer.
Use about half of the blackberries in the bowl and lay them one at a time on top the cream layer, spacing them out evenly. Drizzle a bit of the juice from the bowl over the berries.
Place another layer of ladyfingers over the berry layer, cutting them as before, as needed to make a tight-fitting layer. It's alright to push them down a little as you put them in over the berries.
Spoon the rest of the cream over the ladyfingers and spread it in to an even layer.
Place the remaining berries on the top evenly over the cream layer, pushing them into the cream. Drizzle a bit more of the juice from the bowl over the berries.
Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap. Place a small, firm cutting board on top of the wrapped pan and then place something heavy (like a heavy mug or bowl) on the board. This is to help the layers compress while refrigerating.
Place the pan and weight into the coldest corner of your refrigerator and allow the cake to chill 8-10 hours or ideally overnight.
Remove the cake from the fridge about 20 minutes before you wish to serve it and allow it to sit at room temperature. Slice the cake and serve immediately, with a dollop of the reserved whipped cream on top.