No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake

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This No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake has layers of a light and airy eggnog mousse, classic shortbread and whipped cream. If you’re an eggnog fan, this is for you! It’s easy to make and perfect for the holidays!

Why You’ll Love No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake

I’m a huge eggnog fan! As soon as stores start stocking the shelves, I’m indulging. I’ve also been known to whip up a homemade batch of eggnog from time to time. So naturally the idea of flavoring a delicious icebox cake with eggnog was perfect! Here’s what makes this icebox cake irresistible.

  • So much eggnog flavor. Eggnog can be a subtle flavor if you don’t use enough, and I wanted to be sure that the eggnog shined bright. This icebox cake is made by layering eggnog mousse (made with real eggnog!) over crisp cookies that have been dipped in an eggnog mixture. The cookies soften in the mousse and absorb all the flavors of eggnog.
  • Made with shortbread. I decided to use shortbread cookies for this no bake beauty because I’m also a huge fan of shortbread! The crisp, buttery cookies really compliment the creamy spiced eggnog and hold onto the flavor, while also maintaining shape enough for cutting.
  • It’s a no bake recipe! As the holiday season ramps up, it can be hard to find enough time and oven space to bake. I love a good no bake recipe that can quickly and easily be made ahead of time. This eggnog icebox cake really is the ideal holiday treat! It’s so easy to make and it makes a great presentation.

Over the years, I’ve really gotten into eggnog flavored desserts. Don’t miss my Eggnog Layer Cake, Eggnog Blondie Cheesecake, Eggnog Pound Cake and Soft and Chewy Eggnog Cookies!

A No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake on a white cake plate with eggnog in the background.

What You’ll Need to Make a No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake

I want to share a few ingredient tips so that you can feel like a pro in the kitchen. You can also find full ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.

Labeled ingredients for a No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake.
  • Eggnog – I like to use Southern Comfort Eggnog, but you can use any brand you enjoy. Even homemade eggnog should be fine, as long as it’s got good flavor.
  • Cornstarch & powdered gelatin – These two ingredients go hand in hand to create a thick creamy mousse that remains stable. If you are new to using gelatin, see the tips for success section below to get a few extra pointers.
  • Cream cheese – I recommend using full-fat cream cheese for the best taste and texture. Reduced fat cream cheese can often be on the softer side. You’ll want to bring it to room temperature before beginning the recipe. It’s ready to use when you can press your thumb gently on the side and leave a light indent.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar helps to balance out the cream cheese tang and eggnog spice.
  • Ground nutmeg – You’ll need a little extra nutmeg to enhance the eggnog flavor of the icebox cake.
  • Heavy whipping cream – To achieve a light and pillowy mousse we are going to make whipped cream to fold into the batter. We will also make whipped cream for the topping of the cake. Make sure to use cold heavy whipping cream for the best results. You can even chill the bowl and beaters before making the whipped cream to help speed up the whipping process.
  • Powdered sugar – Because powdered sugar has cornstarch in it, it helps to sweeten and thicken the whipped cream. The thickening properties of the cornstarch help with overall stability of the mousse and whipped topping.
  • Milk – You can use any percentage of milk you have on hand, although higher fat percentages will taste better. Do not replace the milk with extra eggnog. Milk is thinner than eggnog and helps the eggnog mixture absorb into the cookies more easily.
  • Shortbread cookies – I love shortbread cookies because of their dense, buttery texture, but you can use any cookie you like such as sugar cookies, Nilla Wafers or even graham crackers
  • Vanilla extract – I love the flavor the vanilla gives the whipped topping.
A slice of No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake on a small white plate.

How to Make This Easy Icebox Cake

Here are some easy to follow, step-by-step directions for making an Eggnog Icebox Cake. For more comprehensive directions, check the recipe card below.

Make Eggnog Mousse:

  • Pour eggnog in a bowl: Add 2 tablespoons of eggnog to a small bowl and set aside for later.
  • Mix eggnog and cornstarch: In a separate bowl, mix another 2 tablespoons of eggnog with the cornstarch and let it dissolve.
  • Mix and heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and the remaining ½ cup of eggnog to a saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the eggnog begins to thicken. Do not boil.
  • Cool the cornstarch mixture. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir regularly so that it doesn’t get lumpy.
  • Prepare gelatin mixture. Sprinkle gelatin over the other small bowl of eggnog that was set aside, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave in 10 second increments, stirring between, until it’s melted and smooth.
  • Combine cornstarch and gelatin mixtures. Whisk the gelatin mixture into the warm cornstarch mixture until smooth. Continue to let it cool until it’s a little warmer than room temperature.
  • Mix cream cheese, sugar and nutmeg in a bowl. When the eggnog mixture has cooled, add the cream cheese, sugar and nutmeg to a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined and smooth.
  • Mix in the cooled eggnog mixture and nutmeg. Add the cooled eggnog mixture and nutmeg to the cream cheese mixture and mix until well combined. Set aside.
  • Beat cream and powdered sugar. Add the whipping cream and the powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold in the whipped cream. Fold the whipped cream into the eggnog mixture in 2-3 parts, gently folding until well combined to finish the eggnog mousse. 

Layer Together:

  • Line pan with parchment. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by lining the sides with parchment paper that sticks about an inch above the sides of the pan. You can also place a cardboard cake circle in the bottom, if you’d like to be able to remove the cake from the bottom of the pan easily later.
  • Combine milk and eggnog dip. In a small bowl, combine an additional 6 tablespoons of eggnog and 6 tablespoons of milk.
  • Dip and layer. Start making the bottom layer of the icebox cake by dipping cookies in the eggnog and milk for 3-4 seconds each. Continue dipping until you have created a single layer of dipped shortbread on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add a layer of eggnog mousse. Add half of the eggnog mousse to the top of the cookie layer and spread into an even layer.
  • Repeat. Add another layer of dipped shortbread and then the remaining eggnog mousse.
  • Chill. Place cake in the fridge for 5-6 hours or until firm. 

Decorate and Serve:

  • Remove from pan. When chilled and firm, gently remove the sides of the springform pan and peel the parchment paper off. Place the cake on a serving platter and touch up any areas that need it with an offset spatula.
  • Make the whipped cream topping. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Pipe on whipped cream. Use the whipped cream to pipe a border around the cake.
  • Sprinkle with ground nutmeg. As optional garnishment, sprinkle the top of the cake with ground nutmeg.
  • Storage. Store cake in refrigerator until ready to serve. It’s best stored well covered or in an air-tight container. Consume within 3-4 days. 
The side of a No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake on a white cake plate with nutmeg under it.

Tips for Success

These are my top tips for making the best No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake. Read through my tips to avoid common mistakes.

  • Use gelatin. Using gelatin in the mousse provides stability. If you aren’t familiar with gelatin, do not fear. It’s really easy to use, especially in this recipe. All you’ll need to do is sprinkle the gelatin over the small bowl of eggnog. You want all the gelatin to touch eggnog. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then heat the gelatin in 10 second increments in the microwave, stirring between, until it’s melted and smooth. Give it a little time to cool and that’s all you’ll need to do before using it in the recipe.
  • Cool the gelatin and cornstarch mixture. Once the gelatin and cornstarch mixtures are well combined, set it aside to cool. It doesn’t have to cool all the way to room temperature, but you do want it to be cool enough that it won’t melt or soften the other ingredients. Stir regularly and don’t let it get too firm, or it’ll be lumpy when you add it to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Fold the whipped cream in gently. The final step for the mousse is to add the whipped cream. You’ll want to gently fold it in so that you don’t deflate it. This is crucial for keeping the mousse fluffy and soft.
  • Use a springform pan. With the removable sides, a 9-inch springform pan makes it much easier to remove the cake once it’s ready. I also find it’s best to line the sides of the pan with parchment paper or cake collars to be sure nothing sticks. Then when you remove the cake, you can just peel the parchment or cake collar away.
  • Use milk in the cookie dip mixture. When it’s time to dip the cookies, you might be temped to use all eggnog, instead of the eggnog and milk mixture. Take it from me that the dipping mixture is the better way to go. Eggnog alone is quite thick and doesn’t soak into the shortbread and soften it as well.
  • Chill for the full amount of time. The icebox cake needs to be refrigerated for 5-6 hours before removing it from the pan so that it’s nice and firm. I don’t recommend freezing it to speed up the chill time. It has better taste and texture if you just give it the right amount of time to set and absorb all the flavors. The mousse is light and eggnog-y, the shortbread softens up and the buttery cookies add the perfect flavor.
A slice of No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake on a small white plate.

More Holiday Cakes

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A slice of No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake on a small white plate.
Recipe

No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Chill Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 14-16 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake has layers of a light and airy eggnog mousse, classic shortbread and whipped cream. It’s easy to make and perfect for the holidays!


Ingredients

Eggnog Mousse

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) eggnog, divided
  • 1 tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 0.25 oz bag powdered gelatin
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (69g) sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 cups (420ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3/4 cup (86g) powdered sugar

Additional Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp (90ml) eggnog
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) milk
  • 2 1/2 packages (5.3 oz) of shortbread cookies (or something similar)

Whipped Cream Topping

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Make Eggnog Mousse

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of eggnog to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Add another 2 tablespoons of eggnog to another small bowl. Add the cornstarch and let it dissolve. Add the eggnog/cornstarch mixture and the remaining ½ cup of eggnog to a saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the eggnog begins to thicken. Do not boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir regularly so that it doesn’t get lumpy.
  3. Sprinkle gelatin over the other small bowl of eggnog that was set aside before and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Heat the gelatin in 10 second increments in the microwave, stirring between, until it’s melted and smooth. Whisk the gelatin mixture into the warm eggnog/cornstarch mixture until smooth. The mixture will thin out a little bit. Continue to let it cool until it’s a little warmer than room temperature.
  4. When the eggnog mixture has cooled, add the cream cheese, sugar and nutmeg to a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined and smooth.
  5. Add the cooled eggnog mixture and nutmeg to the cream cheese mixture and mix until well combined. Set aside.
  6. Add the whipping cream and the powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  7. Fold the whipped cream into the eggnog mixture in 2-3 parts, gently folding until well combined.

Layer Together

  1. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by lining the sides with parchment paper that sticks about an inch above the sides of the pan. You can also place a cardboard cake circle in the bottom, if you’d like to be able to remove the cake from the bottom of the pan easily later.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the additional 6 tablespoons of eggnog and the 6 tablespoons of milk.
  3. Add a single layer of shortbread to the bottom of the pan. Before you add the shortbread to the pan, dip each cookie into the eggnog and milk mixture and hold it there for 3-4 seconds before adding it to the pan.
  4. Add half of the eggnog/cream cheese mixture to the top of the cookie layer and spread into an even layer.
  5. Repeat another layer of shortbread and then the remaining eggnog/cream cheese mixture.
  6. Place cake in the fridge for 5-6 hours or until firm.
  7. When chilled and firm, gently remove the sides of the springform pan and peel the parchment paper off. Place the cake on a serving platter and touch up any areas that need it with an offset spatula.
  8. Make the whipped cream topping. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  9. Use the whipped cream to pipe a border around the cake. I used Ateco tip 847. Add ground nutmeg, if desired.
  10. Store cake in refrigerator until ready to serve. It’s best stored well covered or in an air-tight container. Best if eaten within 3-4 days.

Notes

Cake can be made ahead and frozen until ready to serve. Defrost cake in refrigerator before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 217
  • Sugar: 17.2 g
  • Sodium: 79 mg
  • Fat: 14.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 48.3 mg

Keywords: icebox cake recipe, eggnog cake, no bake cake, no bake dessert recipe, christmas cake recipe, christmas dessert

Categories

Enjoy!

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33 Comments
  1. Izzy Griffith

    Hi Lindsey – having a Christmas party & I’m short on time (shocking!) — Thinking of just making eggnog mousse cups sprinkled with crushed shortbread?  because the eggnog is really what we’re after anyway 🙂  thx for the recipe! 

  2. Jackie

    Hello, 
    Can we use a different cookie? I cannot find the round walker gluten free shortbread. I found the regular stick shape walker shortbread, but those might not fit right in the round pan and look right. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you so much. 

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, you certainly can. Were you not able to find the regular round butter shortbread? Those are my favorite! 🙂 The sticks would probably be fine, but another round firm cookie would work as well. There are usually quite a few options in the grocery store – even other shortbread options if you can’t find Walkers.

  3. Stephanie Michaud

    Hi! I just discovered your blog and your cakes looks awesome. Would you be kind enough to tell my where I can find this tin cake stand? Thank you!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I actually got this cake stand a while ago on pickyourplum.com. I don’t think it’s available anymore though.

  4. Tiffany

    Hi Lindsay,

    I was little confused about the amount of cookies. Is each package 5.3oz or is 2.5 packages equal 5.3oz? Looking forward to making this cake!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Sorry for the confusion Tiffany. Each package is 5.3 oz. So it’s 2 1/2 5.3 oz packages.

  5. Sandie Fisk

    I have a question about the amount of gelatin – the recipe calls for .25oz & my envelope says 1oz – I just use part of it ? Thank you

  6. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com

    Lindsay, this is such a beautiful dessert! I love eggnog, make it regularly during fall and winter. And I love Walker’s shortbread.

  7. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting

    I wish Dell would eat this, because I feel a little guilty make a whole cake just for myself! Maybe I will have to bring it not work!

  8. Katrina

    This looks amazing! I also love eggnog and I think you’ve paired it incredibly well with the shortbread cookies. Walkers are my favorite too! Yum!

  9. Mir

    10 cartons?! You don’t play, Lindsay! 🙂
    This looks great. Love the idea of doing it as an icebox cake. Then it can set happily in the fridge and come out gorgeous!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29