This lovely (and easy!) Meyer Lemon Thyme Icebox Cake is the perfect celebration cake with no baking required!
Recently I was contacted by KitchenAid to participate in a recipe challenge utilizing our Side-by-Side Counter-Depth refrigerator by creating a springtime no-bake cake. The formal challenge: Elevate a No-Bake Cake.
Honestly, my first thought was “a recipe challenge with a refrigerator?” A refrigerator is a refrigerator. It’s not really something I consider as a tool for cooking. But the more I thought about it, I realized that we probably depend on our refrigerator for our meals more than anything else. If the oven or stove breaks we can still get by until it’s repaired, but the refrigerator is essential to keeping the bulk of what we eat fresh and safe. Plus, on a regular daily basis we eat smoothies and yogurt, so a reliable refrigerator is a must. And prepping meals ahead (which I like to do whenever possible) would be pretty near impossible without being able to depend on a refrigerator. Basically, our refrigerator is the busiest appliance in our kitchen. Plus, I love the simple streamlined styling and the many features it offers, like the ExtendFresh™ Plus Temperature Management System, which keeps the temperature just right so that food keeps its taste and texture. Or the AquaSense™ In-Door-Ice® ice dispensing system, which helps free up freezer space with an ice bucket which is located in the door, another fun perk of the In-Door Ice and Water dispenser system is how it shows the amount of ounces being dispensed, which helps us be more aware of our daily water intake. Finally, our refrigerator also has the AquaSense™ Base-Grille Filtration System, which uses PuR® filtration to reduce water impurities and saves storage space. The counter-depth of the refrigerator works great too. It gives our kitchen a more streamlined look and makes for a better traffic flow in the busy space.
Our KitchenAid® refrigerator has been a dependable, well-used appliance over the years and there is a newer, updated model now available. We’ve been quite pleased with the purchase, AND the good stuff it has kept fresh and cold. It’s one cool appliance.
Back to the KitchenAid® challenge: Elevate a No-Bake Cake that is seasonally relevant. Seasonally relevant … hmmm … bright, fresh, springtime flavors come to mind, like lemons, and thyme. So I gathered my favorite cake plate, a bunch of Meyer lemons, some pre-made vanilla cookies, a few other basic ingredients, and began to make a plan.
The cake should be simple to make, but still a showstopper—an impressive cake filled with loveliness and flavor, reminiscent of summertime, when the living is easy and sweetness abounds. But the best part? No baking required.
After checking the refrigerator to make space, and shifting things around a bit to make room for a new temporary occupant, I moved on to some basic mixing. Heavy cream was whipped up with fresh thyme and Meyer lemon zest, then folded into cream cheese that had been whipped with honey and lemon juice to create a smooth and fluffy filling. So aromatic too!
The cake assembly began with a layer of cookies on a cake plate.
Followed by a layer of the whipped cream cheese filling.
Then another layer of cookies, and so on until the desired height is reached.
I have to admit it was quite fun building this cake—like legos for adults, only edible. And super duper easy too! The top was garnished with Candied Lemon Slices, and more fresh thyme.
What a perfect for any spring/summertime occasion, from baby showers and Easter lunch, to Mother’s Day and barbecues. The flavor is astounding, but not overwhelming. Meyer lemons, thyme and honey are such a heavenly combination. It’s lightness and happiness on a fork!
A few recipe notes:
The whipped cream cheese filling can be made a couple of days ahead, then covered and refrigerated until ready to assemble cake.
Any thin vanilla or lemon cookies may be substituted. I used a favorite Moravian lemon cookie found at a local grocer. A thinner cookie will work better as it is easier for layering evenly, and absorbs moisture to soften nicely for slicing and serving. Vanilla wafers, and those inexpensive butter cookies would work well too (the ones we had as kids shaped liked flowers with holes in the center that we wore as rings … ya know, those?). Just be sure to adjust amounts accordingly. The recipe below is based on the very thin 2-inch Moravian cookie size.
Powdered confectioners sugar may be substituted for honey. Additional 1-2 tablespoons of cream may be needed to create a smooth consistency.
Edible Candied Lemon Slices are wonderful as a garnish for this cake. As with the whipped cream cheese filling, they can be prepared ahead and refrigerated until needed for garnish.
If fresh thyme isn’t handy, substitute dried. Use 1/3 of the amount if using dried.
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 6 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
- ¾ cup honey
- 230 2-inch thin vanilla or lemon cookies (adjust amount according to cookie size)
- optional garnish: candied lemon slices, fresh thyme
- Add heavy cream, chopped thyme and lemon zest to a large mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- Whip together cream cheese, lemon juice, and honey until smooth and light. Fold in whipped cream until combined and smooth, cover and refrigerate* until ready to assemble cake.
- Assemble cake by arranging 12 2-inch cookies in a circle on 10-inch cake plate (a ring of 9 cookies, edges touching, with 3 in the center). Gently spread ½ cup of cream cheese whipped filling over layer. Repeat cookie and filling layers until desired height. Top with final layer of cream.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until ready to serve. When ready to serve, garnish with candied lemons, and fresh thyme if desired.
This post was sponsored by KitchenAid.