When we think of some of our favorite dynamic duos when it comes to cooking, we naturally think of salt and pepper, peas and carrots, and of course chocolate and peanut butter. This last combination has to be one of our most favorite pairings for so many reasons, but one simple explanation comes to mind: salty creamy peanut butter and sweet rich chocolate are simply meant to be together.
We’ve combined our love of ice cream, cakes, chocolate, and peanut butter into one perfect no-bake icebox cake. And the fact that we don’t even need to turn on the oven makes this dessert feel even more indulgent! As if this weren’t good enough on its own, we had to be “extra” and add some roasted and lightly salted peanuts into the peanut butter; we hope you can forgive us this indulgence.
Next, we grab a gallon of our favorite vanilla ice cream and whip up the peanut butter cream and make a chocolate ganache. Once the ingredients are ready, it’s time to start building the layers. Prepare a loaf pan by placing a layer of plastic wrap (or aluminum foil) inside, covering up the sides as well. Take the softened ice cream spread a layer about 3/4-inch deep. Do the same with a layer of the peanut butter whip and drizzle with chocolate. Repeat the layers, finishing with the chocolate ganache and a scattering of roasted peanuts to garnish the top. Gently cover with the plastic wrap and freeze until set.
You’ll need to set the cake out for a few minutes prior to serving so the cake is easier to cut, and a warm knife can help with this process too. Cut a generous serving to share with your guests and expect to hear a few oohs and aahs – the layers give the cake a rustic elegance and then after the first bite, expect to hear only silence or just a few mmm-mmms as everyone enjoys the perfect combination of sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy chocolate and peanut butter.
Peanut Butter Layer Icebox Cake
20 minutes + 6 hours to freeze to prepare serves 8
- 8 oz condensed milk, sweetened
- 3 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 2 pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
- 1 cup peanuts, roasted and lightly salted
- Line an 8x5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, with extra wrap around the sides.
- Beat peanut butter, 2 cups heavy cream, and sweetened condensed milk with an electric mixer until creamy and thickened.
- Roughly chop ¾ cup peanuts and fold into peanut butter cream mixture.
- Melt 1 cup cream and 2 cups chocolate chips together in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 20-second increments, stirring after each until ganache is smooth. Set aside to cool just slightly.
- Add 1 pint of vanilla ice cream into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan, drizzle over several spoonfuls of the ganache mixture.
- Pour ⅓ of the peanut butter cream over top of the ganache and drizzle a layer of chocolate ganache over top. Repeat two more times, finishing with a third layer of peanut butter and chocolate.
- Top with a second pint of vanilla ice cream and then drizzle chocolate ganache over top. Sprinkle over reserved ¼ cup of whole peanuts.
- Cover with plastic wrap (or aluminum foil) overhang and place in freezer for at least 6 hours.
- Remove cake from the loaf pan. Slice with a warm knife to serve. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Sweetest Menu.