Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake

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This chocolate peanut butter icebox cake is entirely make-ahead, easy enough for the kids to pitch in, and doesn’t require an oven.

chocolate peanut butter icebox cake

Wondering what to make for Father’s Day this weekend? May I suggest one of the simplest but most impressive summer desserts I know? This chocolate peanut butter icebox cake is entirely make-ahead, easy enough for the kids to pitch in, and doesn’t even require an oven.

You simply layer store-bought chocolate wafers with peanut butter-flavored whipped cream in a loaf pan and then chill the dessert overnight. In the fridge, the cookies soften and meld with the cream, creating a dessert that resembles a fancy layered mousse cake. Can’t beat that!

What you’ll need to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake

Cake ingredients including chocolate wafers, peanut butter, and peanuts.

The hardest part about this recipe (other than waiting for it to set in the fridge) is finding Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers. My local supermarket, Giant Food, stocks them near the Oreos, but they can be tough to spot; be sure to ask if you don’t see them. Some grocery stores don’t carry them, so it’s a good idea to call ahead to be sure. And, though not pictured here, I always buy two boxes for one recipe because the cookies break easily.

How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake

Whipped cream in a stand mixer.

Begin by whipping the cream to stiff peaks; set aside. In another bowl, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt.

Cream cheese, peanut butter, and other ingredients in a bowl.

Beat until smooth and creamy.

Electric mixer in a bowl with a peanut butter mixture.

Add about a third of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture.

Whipped cream in a bowl of peanut butter mixture.

Beat until well combined. This lightens the mixture so you can fold in the remaining cream.

Bowl of beaten peanut butter and whipped cream mixture.

Add the remaining cream.

Large pile of whipped cream in a bowl with a peanut butter mixture.

Fold into the peanut butter mixture, turning the bowl as you go.

Spatula folding whipped cream into a peanut butter mixture.

When the mixture is even in color and texture, it’s ready.

Whipped cream and peanut butter mixture in a bowl.

Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap so that it hangs over the edges. Fill the pan with about two-thirds of the cream.

Peanut butter cream in a lined loaf pan.

Starting at a short side of the pan, arrange 12 cookies in the cream, standing them on their edge in a row. Do the same with a second row of cookies, slightly overlapping the cookies from the second row with the cookies in the first row. Continue with two more rows for a total of four rows.

Rows of chocolate wafers in a pan of peanut butter cream.

Cover the cookies with the remaining cream.

Loaf pan full of peanut butter cream.

Pull the plastic wrap over the edges and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

Cake wrapped in plastic wrap in a loaf pan.

Unmold the cake onto a serving platter.

Upside down pan on a plate.

Decorate with cocoa powder, crushed wafers and peanuts.

Chocolate peanut butter icebox cake topped with cocoa powder, crushed wafers, and peanuts.

Slice with a sharp knife and serve cold.

Chocolate peanut butter icebox cake on a plate.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake

This chocolate peanut butter icebox cake is entirely make-ahead, easy enough for the kids to pitch in, and doesn’t require an oven.

Servings: 8
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus an overnight chill in the fridge


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (I use Skippy All Natural, No Need To Stir)
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 50 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, from one box (see note)
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
  • ¼ cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts


  1. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with two pieces of overlapping plastic wrap, allowing the excess to hang over the edges of the pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Do not over-whip. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt together until smooth.
  4. Add ⅓ of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and beat with the mixer until smooth. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold with a rubber spatula, turning the bowl as may go, until the mixture is evenly combined and uniform in color and texture.
  5. Spoon about two-thirds of the cream into the prepared pan. Starting at a short side of the pan, arrange 12 cookies in the cream, standing them on their edge in a row. Do the same with a second row of cookies, slightly overlapping the cookies from the first row. Continue with two more rows for a total of four rows. Save the last two cookies for the topping.
  6. Cover the cookies with the remaining cream. Smooth the cream with a spatula, gently pressing to make sure any gaps between the cookies are filled.
  7. Cover the cake with the excess plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours. When ready to serve, peel the plastic wrap from the top. Set a platter on top of the pan and invert the cake onto it. Lift the pan off and gently peel away the plastic wrap. Use a warm offset spatula to smooth the edges, if desired. Dust the cake lightly with cocoa powder through a fine sieve. Crush the remaining wafers and scatter the peanuts over top, pressing down on them slightly so they adhere. Slice with a sharp knife and serve cold.
  8. Note: I recommend buying two boxes of chocolate wafers, as they tend to break easily. But don't worry if you have to use the broken ones; just try to piece them together as best you can when you place them in the cream.

Nutrition Information

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  • Calories: 595
  • Fat: 40g
  • Saturated fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 52g
  • Sugar: 34g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Sodium: 324mg
  • Cholesterol: 57mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Delicious. I’m gluten free and used two boxes of Simple Mills’ Chocolate Brownie Sweet Thins in four rows. Many cookies were in pieces, thus the reason for two boxes to get the good squares. I’ll definitely make it again. Easy and great to do the day before a dinner party.

    • — Danielle M on May 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • I’m pretty sure the Tate’s would work – I’ve made a different ice box cake with the chocolate chip ones, and the texture is excellent. So sad that Nabisco discontinued the famous chocolate wafers – do you have any other ideas for substitutions? I tried Oreo thins but the ratio seems off.

    • — Geni Simon on November 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    Can I use Tate’s Bake Shoppe crispy thin double chocolate chip cookies instead of the famous chocolate wafer?
    Thank you!

    • — Carla on November 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Carla, Not sure those would work here – sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • The recipe looks delicious! I’d like to make this soon but am wondering if I can use chunky peanut butter?

    • — paula bookbinder on October 2, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Paula, I’d stick with smooth here. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on October 3, 2023
      • Reply
  • Just made the cake now…are you supposed to refrigerate or freeze? Several reviews mention freezing..

    • — Rexy Thomas on June 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • You should refrigerate it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • These cookies work great: Dewey’s Bakery Brownie Crisp Cookie Thins | I get them at my local Food Lion and they cost less than on Amazon. They also a hot chocolate flavor I haven’t tried.

    • — B. on February 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have been looking at this recipe for months and finally made it for a recent dinner party. It was a huge success, just delicious. I did have more filling than my loaf pan could hold easily, and I ended up over filling the pan which I will not do next time. Will definitely make this cake again.

    • — Raina on October 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is a fantastic dessert. It comes together quickly with ingredients that are on hand. It’s light, silky smooth, not cloyingly sweet, and the peanut butter comes through but isn’t overpowering. It freezes beautifully, and can be served right from the freezer because it doesn’t get brick hard like ice cream. I thought the texture was even richer and silkier after being frozen. I garnished the top with chopped toasted almonds and a few layers of white chocolate peanut butter drizzle and melted bittersweet chocolate. Excellent!!

    • — Sadie on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was so delicious!! I could not find the cookies and ended up using dark chocolate Oreo thins and they were perfect!

    • — Haviva on August 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I know the recipe says to chill overnight, but if I make this in the morning, how many hours would be sufficient for this to be ready? Thanks in advance, can’t wait to make you another amazing recipe of yours. I already know my husband is going to be over the moon for this one!

    • Hi Asha, I’d say that it should chill for a minimum of 8 hours. Hope that helps (and so glad you like the recipes)!

  • This was so easy and so good! Any peanut butter fan will love this. Fresh Market didn’t have the cookies stated in the recipe however they did have Dewey’s brand Brownie Crisp Cookie Thins which were a great substitute.

  • Can I substitute Nutella for the peanut butter?

    • Sure, I think it would work; just keep in mind that it will be a bit sweeter. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

  • I’ve made this multiple times & won a “sweets” contest at work with it. I don’t know how to send you pics of the winner but it was amazing!!

    • So glad to hear this was a contest winner! 🙂
      Unfortunately, the blog isn’t set up to receive pictures but you can email them to me at, or if you’re on Instagram, you can share them there; be sure to tag me @onceuponachef!

      • Great! I just emailed them to you. Thanks again for an amazing / award winning recipe!!!

  • It was a warm summer night when I made this for dessert. I put it in the freezer so it would be extra cold and refreshing. What a delicious ending to our Peel and Eat shrimp dinner (also from this site). The whole family enjoyed it. Your recipes never disappoint, Jen!

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