Biscoff Mascarpone Icebox Cake

You can’t avert your eyes and you know it. It’s a Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake and it is killer. This beauty is the easy, prep-ahead holiday dessert you’ve been looking for. Building an icebox cake is not difficult, the trick is chilling the cake untouched. Overnight, magic happens. The cream will soften the cookie layers in the cake, and you will end up with the perfect soft, creamy, not to mention fluffy, icebox cake that requires no baking whatsoever. Score.

But before I speak more about this lovely Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake, let me share a little history about these amazing biscuit cookies most of us had a billion times without even knowing it.

Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake

The History of Lotus Biscoff

Known in Europe as Lotus Speculoos, this cookie was invented in Belgium, in the town of Lembeke, in 1932. Biscoff cookies have been baked according to the original recipe since their invention. These famous caramelized biscuits are made from natural ingredients and because of it’s simplicity, the Boone brothers named them “Lotus“, after the flower that symbolizes purity.

The Boone Brothers decided to introduce their Lotus cookie paired with coffee to attract more attention. Biscoff and coffee became an instant hit and the uniquely spiced cookie skyrocketed in popularity in Europe shortly after being served at the 1958 World’s Fair. By 1960 the biscuit and coffee trend became a routine in Belgian and Biscoff cookies were quickly crowned Europe’s favorite cookie.  Around the late 1980s, these famous biscuits made their way across the pond. Once in North America, the name Lotus Speculoos quickly got changed to “Biscoff,” a combination of the words “biscuit” and “coffee“, meant to highlight what this cookie did best: pair with a cup of coffee.

Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake

Biscoff And Delta Airlines

The Belgian cookie first appeared stateside in the late ’80s, but that would not have happened without the help of Delta Air Lines. Delta was the first to popularize the cookie and, during pre-pandemic times, handed out over 80 million packages of the buttery, crumbly, spiced cookies each year.

Over the past 30 years, these simple cookies have been served as the on-board snack of many domestic airlines and a few international carriers. Biscoff is now also available all over the country in grocery stores and as “cookie butter,” a tasty spread made from the well-known cookie itself.

Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake

America can thank a US-based food broker, Michael McGuire, for discovering Biscoff cookies. McGuire was traveling in Europe, where he tasted the cookie and liked it so much that he brought it back to the US and introduced it to Delta. The airline did not hesitate, snapped it up, and began serving Biscoff cookies in-flight around 1985.

According to Dan Mord, general manager of domestic product design for Delta, with their long history in the in-flight food space, neither he nor his colleagues, are aware of any other food success of the same magnitude. The Biscoff cookie “has become an iconic part of the Delta brand itself.”

Delta first began by serving a smaller package of Biscoff cookies, but now, Delta serves a bigger double pack and each cookie is emblazoned with Delta’s name. That is branding like no other.

Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake

Icebox Cake Invention

The icebox cake is derived from similar desserts such as the Charlotte and the trifle, but made to be more accessible for housewives to prepare. Icebox cakes were first introduced to the United States in the 1930’s, as companies were promoting the icebox as a kitchen appliance.

The trick to making the perfect icebox cake is all about the chill time. It’s best to chill an icebox cake in the refrigerator, lightly covered with plastic wrap, for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight. If the cookies you are using are very thin, less chill time could work, but the fluffy cake-like texture is only obtained with longer chill times.

Icebox Cake Myth

Contrary to popular belief, an icebox cake is not a frozen dessert. An icebox cake should never go in the freezer, despite the “ice” in the name. The icebox name relates to the invention of refrigeration itself. An icebox (also called a cold closet) was a compact non-mechanical refrigerator that was common in the early-twentieth-century, before electric refrigerators were invented, iceboxes were referred to as “refrigerators“. Only after the invention of the modern-day electric refrigerator did early non-electric refrigerators become known as iceboxes. The terms icebox and refrigerator were used interchangeably in advertising as long ago as 1848.

Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake

Now that I’ve cleared up that confusion, nothing should be stopping you now. People tell me often, “I hate to bake” or “I hate making cakes because I’m terrible at it“, well, this Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake is your answer to that. And it’s honestly foolproof. Just make sure to get those biscuits soon, they fly off the shelves around the holiday season.

Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

6 thoughts on "Biscoff Mascarpone Icebox Cake"

  1. Avatar photo Sheila says:

    Can this cake be frozen before added the Swiss merengue?

    1. Hi Sheila. Thanks for reaching out. Sorry for my delay, I have been traveling. This is not a cake that can be made and frozen in advance of serving. Anything with whipped cream is tricky and I don’t typically advise it. One can always try and see how it turns out, but I would be concerned it gets too mushy/watery.

  2. Avatar photo Michelle says:

    Amazing. Everyone loved this dessert and my friends still talk about it after quite a lot of time has passed!

    1. Hi Michelle- This is so lovely to hear! I am so glad you enjoyed this fun dessert. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, for reading my posts, and for making my recipe. I hope you try others!

  3. Avatar photo Karen Dearing says:

    Made this for Christmas dinner/dessert and OH MY so easy and delicious! Loved by all!! I will say I could have cut the amount of meringue I made in half because I didn’t come close to using it all, but I’ll just come up with some other use for it!

    1. So happy you liked this recipe. You are right, it yields a good about of Swiss meringue. Hard to make a little, but I like to slice and serve more on top each slice or decorate the bottom of the cake before serving.

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