posted by Allison on December 1, 2016
Gingerbread Icebox Cupcakes could not be easier or more delicious! A simple No-Bake dessert topped with Salted Caramel Sugar and sprinkled with Cinnamon.
Icebox Cupcakes are so fun to make! Honestly, that’s not something I usually say when it comes to cupcakes. I normally do consent to make cupcakes for my kids’ birthdays, and I’ve even had a few cupcake successes. However, most of the time, cupcakes stress me out. I’m baking at high altitudes and it takes some real effort on my part to make cupcakes turn out just right.
The solution to my cupcake woes was inspired by the classic icebox cakes my grandmother used to make. Her cakes were as simple as layering pudding and her favorite vanilla wafers, but I still think of them fondly.
These days, the icebox cakes have upped the ante. They’re still not much more difficult than the wafer and pudding version, but the flavor game has improved by leaps and bounds. This Peanut Butter Cup Eclair Cake is the perfect example of an icebox cake that really means business. I couldn’t say no to a slice (or two) even if I tried.
And if icebox cakes can be so good, why not an icebox cupcake?
These Gingerbread Icebox Cupcakes are a cinch to make. Really, dessert doesn’t get easier than this! It’s as simple as layering whipped cream with some quality gingersnap cookies, and a sprinkle of cinnamon later, you’ve got a tasty dessert. It’s hardly even a recipe, and yet, it will only take one bite to convince you that it’s earned its cupcake title fair and square.
As the layered cookies and cream chill in the fridge, the cream soaks into the cookie layers and slowly but surely turns them into a soft, tender cake like texture. Even the cream, after being refrigerated for hours, turns into something almost frosting-like. It’s pure genius, really. So easy, but so good.
Icebox cupcakes are so easy to make that I didn’t mind taking an extra five minutes to make a batch of Salted Caramel Sugar to top them with. It’s a simple addition to an already simplified recipe, but it makes the cupcakes that much more special. The added sweet-salty crunch is a tasty bonus too!
When you are selecting cookies for these Gingerbread Icebox Cupcakes, look for varieties that are a little bit thicker. If they are too thin, as some gingersnaps are, they won’t achieve that perfect, cake-like texture. I used a brand called McVitie’s that I found at Cost Plus/World Market. If you feel so inclined, you could even make your own.
These easy icebox cupcakes are perfect for entertaining. They make for a no-stress, no-bake dessert that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. You can serve them in jumbo cupcake liners or even in small jars. Just plan ahead so you can leave them to their refrigerator magic overnight.
Gingerbread Icebox Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Cook Time:Overnight Rest Time
- 48 gingersnap cookies (look for thicker cookies)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- a splash of pure vanilla extract
- ground cinnamon
For the Salted Caramel Sugar:
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- maldon sea salt flakes
- Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until thick.
- Prepare 12 jumbo cupcake liners and place a gingersnap in the bottom of each. Top the cookie with a spoonful of whipped cream then layer with a second cookie. Repeat until each cupcake liner has four cookies topped with cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours. When the cupcakes are ready, they will be easy to slice and have a cake-like texture.
- To make the Salted Caramel Sugar, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour 3/4 cup sugar into a heavy bottomed pan and spread evenly. Heat over medium-low heat, watching constantly and carefully.
- The sugar will begin to liquefy along the edges first. Watch it carefully as it liquefies, using a high heat spatula to break up any clumps. When it has liquefied completely and resembles a shiny penny in color, remove from heat. Temperature should be about 340 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour evenly onto the prepared parchment paper and sprinkle generously with sea salt flakes.
- The sugar will have hardened in about 5 minutes, at which point you can crush it up and sprinkle it on top of the cupcakes.