Strawberry-Rhubarb Icebox Cake With Pistachio Brittle

May  5, 2022
12 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Prep time 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • makes One 9-inch icebox cake
What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Strawberry-Rhubarb Icebox Cake With Pistachio Brittle
  • Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 pound red ripe rhubarb, leaves trimmed and discarded, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 wide strips orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more if necessary
  • Icebox Cake, Pistachio Brittle & Assembly
  • 8 ounces mascarpone or plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 48 Biscoff cookies or ginger snaps, or 12 sheets graham crackers
  • 1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries, lightly crushed
  1. Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
  2. In a large skillet and off the heat, stir strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and a pinch of salt until strawberries and rhubarb are coated in sugar.
  3. Cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally and skimming foam off the top, until strawberries and rhubarb are very tender and sauce is very thick and jammy, 16 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest and lemon juice. Set aside until cool, then cover and chill.
  1. Icebox Cake, Pistachio Brittle & Assembly
  2. Line a 9x5" loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving overhang on all sides.
  3. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat mascarpone, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla seeds until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add in heavy cream. Increase speed to medium as mixture thickens, and continue to beat until medium peaks form.
  4. Using a small offset spatula, evenly spread 1 cup of mascarpone cream over bottom of prepared pan. Dollop ½ cup jam over top, then using a knife or toothpick, swirl the jam into the cream layer to make a marbled layer.
  5. Arrange 1/2 cup quartered strawberries evenly over marbled cream. Place a single layer of cookies over strawberries, breaking as needed to fit and pushing the berries into the cream.
  6. Repeat layering process 3 more times, creating 4 layers total and ending with the cookies.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap; freeze at least 6 hours. Cover and chill any remaining jam until ready to serve cake.
  8. Meanwhile, make the brittle. Arrange a rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.
  9. In a medium bowl, toss pistachios, pine nuts, honey, and salt. Scrape onto a silpat or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in a single layer.
  10. Bake brittle until pistachios are golden brown and honey is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with freeze-dried strawberries, lightly pressing them into the cooling brittle to adhere.
  11. Let cool until fully hardened, then break up into small pieces; discard any dark brown, bitter pieces.
  12. After it has fully chilled, uncover cake and invert pan onto a platter. Using the plastic overhang to help you, unmold cake; peel off plastic.
  13. Slice cake and serve with brittle and remaining jam spooned over.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LaBreah Welliver
    LaBreah Welliver
  • JasonS
  • Lauren
  • cronima
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

5 Reviews

LaBreah W. May 2, 2023
I wanted to love this recipe but honestly felt like a frozen block of sugar to me. The strawberry rhubarb jam was delicious but the mascarpone whipped cream was just sweet with little else going on. And the strawberries layered throughout were so frozen after 6 hours they didn’t taste like nice and were rock solid. I’ll make the jam recipe again and again but everything else was a flop.
JasonS June 29, 2022
I really like the concept. I am not sure I like the brittle part of it or using ill-fitting graham crackers. I am going to make this the next time with vanilla wafers. I really liked the tip of using fruit cooked, fresh, and freeze-dried. That's a great tip.
Lauren June 3, 2022
Concept is good but the "ice cream" part is not. It ends up tasting like frozen cool-whip with a light lemon flavor. If you're into that great, but I'm definitely not a fan. Instead either make your own proper ice cream or soften your preferred store bought kind & use that instead. The other layers tasted great, just not the frozen cream part.
Lauren June 3, 2022
Oh, also make sure to take it out of the freezer for a little bit before trying to unmold & cut.
cronima May 31, 2022
This recipe has a lot of components, but none of them are super technical. The jam is SO good. It may look thin at first, but it thickens up as it cools. The only thing I would do differently is cut the strawberries smaller than quarters as they are tough to get through once frozen. Oh and double the brittle recipe- it is divine!! I will definitely make this again.