Hot Chocolate Icebox Cake

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Hot Chocolate Icebox Cake | | #cake #hotchocoalte #christmas

Disclaimer: Ghirardelli sent me product for review, but all opinions included here are my own. I was not compensated for this review. 

Confession time, I truly dislike layer cakes. I actually don’t mind the baking part at all, I have had relatively good luck with the baking part. I always grease my pans with Crisco and generously flour them. I use a parchment paper circle at the bottom of my cake pans to prevent them from sticking and I use the Wilton Bake Even strips to prevent my cakes from doming too much in the middle. I use a cake leveler and some other special tools to help assemble my cakes. However, when it comes to frosting cakes, I just can NEVER get them to look as nice and smooth as I want and I pull out all the stops. I put on the crumb coat, I freeze it before I frost and I have turntables and different kinds of knives for smoothing. Whatever layer cakes, I will conquer you one day.

Hot Chocolate Icebox Cake | | #cake #hotchocoalte #christmas

I am bringing you another Ghirardelli recipe this week! Earlier this week, I shared my Double Chocolate Milkshake Cupcake. Well when I was asked to review some of Ghirardelli’s new Hot Chocolate mixes, I knew I would be making some more Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream. I made this recipe on a whim last Christmas and it was my first post that “went viral” on Pinterest. I could not believe that such a simple recipe was so widely popular, and still is! It is my #2 most viewed recipe on my blog! So this year, I am baking a few desserts with Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream, starting with this layer cake, which I call Hot Chocolate Icebox Cake.

Hot Chocolate Icebox Cake | | #cake #hotchocoalte #christmas

This cake is super easy to put together, but takes a little time for everything to come together. First you have to bake the cake and let it cool. Once cooled, I cut it in half and freeze the layers for a bit. I prepared the whipped cream and let it sit in the fridge until the cake is ready for frosting. You have to quickly frost the cake and then re-freeze it. Since this recipe uses whipped cream as the frosting, you have to frost it quickly so the layers don’t shift to one side or the other. Before serving, it is best to let the cake sit out for 20 or so minutes, it makes it easier to cut into! However, the ingredients are simple and it tastes delicious!



Hot Chocolate Icebox Cake

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 slices


For the cake

  • 1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1/2 C Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate
  • 1 C Milk
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1/2 C Vegetable oil
  • 3/4 C Sour cream
  • 2 tsp Pure vanilla extract

For the Hot Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • 3 1/2 C Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 C Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate

For the Ganache

  • 3 oz Dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp Corn syrup


  1. For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 8” round pans.
  2. Prepare the cake batter first. Mix together cake mix and hot chocolate.
  3. Add milk ,eggs, oil, sour cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly between each pan. Bake at 350° F for about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcakes are done. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, cut off the top dome of each layer so you are left with a flat top. Then cut each layer in half.
  7. Freeze cake layer for at least thirty minutes.
  8. For the Whipped Cream Frosting: Freeze mixing bowl and wire whisk for 15 minutes.
  9. Pour heavy whipping cream in chilled bowl and beat on medium speed for several minutes until cream starts to thicken.
  10. Add hot chocolate to whipped cream mixture, continue to beat on medium for a couple minutes and increase speed to high until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until cake is ready to frost.
  11. Prepare the ganache. Combine dark chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until chocolate starts to melt slightly. Stir vigorously until smooth.
  12. Add corn syrup to melted chocolate and whisk to incorporate. Allow ganache to cool but not harden. If necessary, you can reheat in the microwave in 20 second increments until slightly melted again.
  13. To Frost: Put a spoon full of whipped cream on your plate to help seal the bottom layer to the pan and prevent from moving.
  14. Alternate layers of cake and whipped cream. You don’t need to overfill each layer. Smooth over the top layer of whipped cream and poor cooled ganache over the top of smooth with a knife.
  15. Return cake to freezer and allow to freeze completely. Remove for 15-20 minutes before serving so cake is easier to cut into.
Nutrition Information:
1- 8" layer cake, serves 8-10
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


57 Responses
  1. Betty

    Hello! I just wanted to let you know that finding this recipe for the hot chocolate ice box cake has been a true blessing! My little one, a very picky 7 yr old with picky tastes, only likes chocolate cake. I made this cake for her birthday and she was in chocolate heaven, as well as everyone else who had a slice! (And that’s considering the fact that our family is not a group of chocolate lovers!) Since then, I’ve been asked to make this cake an additional five, YES, FIVE, times!! I’ve experimented a little with the cream, and now use the delicious chocolate whipped cream for the outer layer of the cake and found a delicious chocolate mousse to use in between the layers (also found on pinterest), AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jeanne- No, you should not follow the recipe on the box. You will notice the ingredients in this recipe call for different ingredients than are typically found on the box. Enjoy!

  2. etchzee

    Hi there,
    I reallly really want to try this recipe, like ASAP. But im from the Middle East and unfortunately Ghridalli is not easily available here.
    Do u think if i use any other hot chocolate mix it will give similar result ?
    Plz do reply 🙂

  3. cyndi

    Hey there, I am an amateur baker, trying to get better haha. I was wondering for the cake mix recipe, do I make the cake batter according to the box and then in addition to the prepared cake batter I add the oil, sour cream, vanilla, milk and eggs? And is the hot chocolate you need to add a dry mix that I just add to the recipe? Thanks, I would appreciate some help, I want to make this so bad!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Cyndi! No, you should not make this cake according to the box instructions. You use the boxed cake mix and instead of following the ingredients on the box, you follow my ingredients list! The hot chocolate is dry mix yes. Do not mix it with milk!

  4. Debbie Caraballo

    I also was wondering about the hot chocolate mix – do you use it dry or prepared? I wouldn’t want to mess this up, it looks just too good!

  5. Shannon

    I am far from an experienced baker when it comes to layer cakes and this turned out great!! It was easy and everyone loved it. It even turned out very similar to the picture which I can never seem to get!! Thanks 🙂

  6. Emily Martin

    Just made this cake for a birthday party and it was UNREAL!! — A total crowd pleaser, really delicious, not too difficult to pull off.
    I made the cake the night before and just let it freeze overnight. I was worried that it might still be rock hard if I only pulled it out of the freezer 20 mins ahead, but it sliced beautifully and was the perfect texture. (Definitely be QUICK about the frosting process, especially in the summer heat.)

    I will absolutely be making this cake again!! 5 STARS!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Emily! Thank you so much! I am glad you enjoyed it. I agree, the heat isn’t the best for the whipped cream. However, sometimes I also do it in stages and allow the middle to freeze. Best thing is, this cake keeps for a few days!

  7. Aneesa

    First question.. Is any type of hot chocolate ok to use?
    Secondly… When whipping the cream, the hot chocolate…. Do u add the powder or do you make it and add the liquid?
    Looks lovely!!! Would love to try it out!!
    P.s… Can I make my own Choco cake or is it better to use the cake mix?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Aneesa! Any type of powdered hot chocolate will work. You add the powdered mix to the whipping cream. Do not mix the pudding with the milk! You can use any chocolate cake you desire! XO Jules

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