With our two birthdays exactly a week apart in May and not that far after the birthday cake for 60 that I had made for our grandson’s first birthday bash, the idea of no-bake cakes seemed like a great one.
Now you may think that making your own birthday cake is not quite right. Well, most of the time I would agree with you. However, after several years of a Publix Key Lime Pie for my birthday dessert, I was ready for a change.
My husband is a an awesome cook when it comes to main courses. He can also make a mean apple and blackberry tart. Cakes, not so much. Many, many years ago when I was away for our anniversary for my father’s funeral and staying to help my mom for a few weeks, I came home to find my husband had baked his first (and last) cake. It might help you to imagine why when you hear that I had to ask him what kind of cake it was and he answered “chocolate”.
A simple but humiliating confusion was the reason. When the recipe called for cocoa powder he had used a hot chocolate or to clarify, a hot cocoa mix. After that, I didn’t expect him to bake my birthday cakes, in fact, I requested that he not.
My all time favorite birthday cake is homemade angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries for the icing. When one of my sisters happens to be around for my birthday that is what she makes for me. One year when she wasn’t I tried to make my own with our mother’s recipe that my sister also uses. So sad, it flopped and I vowed not to bake my own birthday cake ever again. Hence the many years of Key Lime Pie.
But not this year! I have friends out there that will like these two recipes. No-bake all the way if you use one packaged ingredient instead of the homemade version that I will include for any purists out there.
Do you remember Icebox Cake?
Nothing more than whipped cream that sandwiches together Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers.
In case you have trouble finding these elusive wafers at your local supermarkets or you don’t feel like paying $31.35 for 4 packs of these from Amazon per the link above, I like this recipe and it is what I used for my two no-bake cakes. I still count them as no-bake because I made these cookies a couple of weeks earlier and stored them in the freezer. The recipe comes from a once famous restaurant in Atlanta, part of the Pano and Paul’s Group, called Mick’s. It was famous for its Chocolate Pie. The best part of this recipe that was once printed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution is a recipe for Chocolate Wafers.
Makes 4 dozen. That’s enough for two desserts and some left over to have with your morning coffee.
2/3 Cup butter
1 Cup sugar
2 Cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 Cup cocoa, the unsweetened kind 😉
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Cup milk
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with the milk. Mix, chill. Make two large rolls, each about 2 inches in diameter. Chill or freeze until needed. Use a serrated knife to slice very thinly. Bake at 350 degrees on a a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
The second no-bake cake recipe comes from my English friend, Alison Van Dalen. Due to the British origin of the recipe it is called Chocolate Biscuit Cake. Chocolate Cookie Cake might give you a better idea of the ingredients. The original recipe calls for purchased digestive biscuits, but you can use graham crackers or, in my birthday version, the same chocolate wafers as above.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
8 oz. digestive biscuits or graham crackers, or chocolate wafers, crushed
8 oz. semi-sweet chocoate
8 oz. butter
2 oz. sugar
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water or in the microwave. Melt the butter. Beat eggs and sugar together. Stir in the melted butter, melted chocolate and graham crackers or chocolate wafers. Pour into an 8 inch loose bottomed tin or a tin lined with plastic wrap. Chill overnight. Freezes well.
Just as well that is freezes. My brother-in-law will be visiting around the time of his birthday so those wafers will have stretched to 3 birthdays by the time they are finished.