Circus Cookie Icebox Cake

It really doesn’t get any more delicious while still being easy than icebox cake. There’s no need to preheat the oven for this no-bake dessert, making it the perfect treat for a hot Summer day. While a classic icebox cake is made with chocolate wafer cookies, these circus cookies make for something fun, different, and tasty!

Circus Cookie Icebox Cake


  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces circus cookies


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the whipping cream, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a mixture on high speed until soft peaks form.
  2. On a serving plate or cake stand, spread a thin layer of the whipped mixture into a 7 inch circle to hold the first layer of cookies in place.
  3. Begin arranging the circus cookies. Each layer should have about 8-10 cookies on the outside, with 3 or 4 cookies in the middle of each layer. Since they’re not a uniformly sized cookie, it’s okay if each layer is a bit uneven. Spread a layer of the whipped mixture on top of each layer. The cake will be about 10 layers, more or less, depending on the size of your cookies with a few left over for garnish.
  4. Refrigerate for 12 hours, up to overnight.
  5. Slice and serve. Note: this version of icebox cake does not cut as easily as the classic chocolate wafer version. It might slice a bit messier, but this is okay since everyone will want to eat it right away!

circus cookie icebox cake slice 1

I Love Icebox Cake

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! A big THANK YOU to all of those who have served our country, first and foremost.

Even though Memorial Day weekend isn’t the official beginning of Summer, this is typically the weekend that all local pools, water parks, and Summer-centered activities open for the season. People here like to kick it off with barbecues and pool parties, and I am no exception to this tradition! And in my opinion, this circus cookie icebox cake is the perfect dessert for a barbecue when you want to keep it simple, but still wow a crowd.

I wrote about icebox cake in last week’s version of What Arvay Eats and I have been hooked on the idea ever since, especially with Summer on the up and up. With so many cookie options out there now, there are endless ideas for types of icebox cake! I knew immediately that I wanted to try a circus cookie version because they’re one of my absolute favorite cookies. A few notes:

  • I used the cream cheese in the whipped cream to cut the sweetness of the circus cookies with just a little tanginess.
  • the circus cookies don’t get as soft as Oreos or chocolate wafers because of the layer of hard frosting on the outside of circus cookies, which is why it’s a bit harder to cut into. The very little bit of crunch combined with the fluffy cream makes for a fun texture combination that everyone will love!

And this dessert can go beyond the BBQ! Know one of those crazy people that says they don’t like cake? Here’s their birthday dessert. Found out the night before that you need to bring something to a party? No need to stress over baking something. It may be minimal ingredients and minimal effort, but it’s still tasty and the colorful cookies and sprinkles exude fun!

Here’s to a 3-day weekend full of food, fun, and icebox cake.

circus cookie icebox cake slice 2

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