I don't know about you, but I tend to have a real procrastination problem when it comes to party desserts. I get so swept up in the rest of the preparations that I wind up either frantically baking cookies in the last 45 minutes before the guests arrive or buying a few pints of ice cream and calling it a day.
As much as I wish that I were the sort of person, like my mother, who can produce a dozen strawberry rhubarb pies before 10:00AM, sometimes I need a simpler option; something festive and seasonal that I can make for a crowd without too much work the day of the party.
So here you have it: a red velvet icebox cake that you can make ahead, pull out of your freezer when the time comes, cut into frosty little striped slices, and serve with a pile of the summer's best blueberries.
It all starts with thin, delicate layers of red velvet cake. In this recipe, which is a loose adaptation of Martha Stewart's ice cream sandwich cookies, a small amount of cake batter is spread out over a cookie sheet and baked briefly, yielding a soft, crisp-around-the-edges cookie-cake hybrid that only gets better as it absorbs moisture from the filling. The layers of red velvet are stacked with blankets of whipped cream, made slightly acidic by a tiny bit of cream cheese. Once the the cake has become firm in the freezer, a sharp knife yields perfect red-and-white striped slices.
1 stick of butter, melted 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon white vinegar 30 drops of red food coloring 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 3/4 cup flour 1 1/2 cup heavy cream 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, divided Blueberries for garnish