no bake desserts small batch spring and summer recipes

blackberry tiramisu icebox cake

this blackberry tiramisu icebox cake features espresso soaked ladyfingers, wine soaked berries, a creamy mascarpone filling and dusting of cocoa powder. the result is an impossibly easy no bake dessert that is perfect for the hot summer months ahead.

this is a sponsored post on behalf of Oregon Berries. all opinions are my own.

hot sunny summer days are almost here. this time of year, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven. enter no bake desserts. specifically, icebox cakes. more specifically, this glorious blackberry tiramisu icebox cake!

if you’ve never tried making an icebox cake, you are in for a treat. it’s simply a little mixing, whipping, layering and chilling. let it sit all day or overnight and you’ve got an impossibly easy treat that’s made for a hot summer day.

a little more about these fabulously delicious berries

I was first introduced to these fantastic berries back in February through a cooking class hosted by Oregon Berries. during the class, I was able to work with the berries and get to know the wonderful people in the Oregon Berry. I am so, so excited to share these berries with you! a few (of the many) highlights:


  • picked at the peak of ripeness
  • allowed to ripen in the fields
  • flash frozen within 24 hours to lock in all the flavor and nutrients possible
    • side note: these berries taste sweet, jammy, full of flavor. it’s like eating them straight from the field…you can almost taste the sunshine!
  • Oregon berries are used in many high quality and delicious products

what makes Oregon berries so special?

  • berries are grown on multi-generational family farms
  • farmers support environmentally sustainable practices
  • Oregon has the perfect growing conditions for the perfect berries

why frozen?

  • freezing the berries locks in the perfect flavor and maximum nutrients
  • fresh tasting berries are available year round
  • consistently great quality at a very good price point
  • longer shelf life!!
blackberry tiramisu icebox cake

in a few words, this blackberry tiramisu icebox cake is

  • lush
  • sweet
  • creamy
  • full of espresso flavor
  • a balance of sweet, jammy and bitter flavors
  • as simple as whipping, mixing, layering and chilling
  • like a sweeter, fruiter version of the classic Italian dessert

the short and sweet ingredients list

this blackberry tiramisu icebox cake is simple to assemble, but does require some key ingredients

  • fresh and/or frozen blackberries
  • espresso powder or very strongly brewed coffee
  • marsala wine
    • sweet or dry
    • optional, but pairs really nicely with the berries
  • heavy whipping cream
  • mascarpone cheese
  • superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
    • see recipe notes for more information
  • vanilla extract
  • Savoiadri ladyfingers
  • unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
blackberry tiramisu icebox cake

(no) baking tools for the “berry” best icebox cake

  • 9X5 loaf pan
    • any other 8-10 cup capacity dish would work
    • I like the loaf pan to show off the sides
    • a springform pan would be lovely here, too
  • stand mixer with whisk attachment
    • or electric hand mixer with beaters
  • large, medium and small mixing bowls
    • large : mascarpone and whipped cream filling
    • medium : for dipping ladyfingers in espresso
    • small : for soaking the berries in marsala wine
  • slotted spoon
    • for straining wine soaked berries
  • small mesh strainer
    • for dusting the cocoa powder
  • spoon or small icing spatula
    • for smoothing the filling around the pan
  • parchment paper or plastic cling wrap
    • only if you want to remove the icebox cake from the container
  • plastic wrap
    • to cover the top of the icebox cake while it chills
blackberry tiramisu icebox cake

tips and tricks for the easiest icebox cake

  • use cold heavy cream
    • it whips better and faster than room temp
    • leave this out once it is whipped
    • cold whipped cream can break room temperature mascarpone
  • bring the mascarpone to room temperature
    • make sure it’s fresh!
  • brewed espresso is recommend
    • VERY strong coffee is ok
  • marsala wine adds a nice flavor, but is optional
    • see recipe notes for good flavor substitutions
  • defrost and drain the berries
    • the brewed espresso adds plenty of liquid
  • dust with unsweetened cocoa powder
    • adds a lovely bitterness to an otherwise sweet dessert
    • highlights the flavors of the espresso and wine soaked berries
  • allow the cake to chill for at least 6-8 hours
    • overnight or all day (for serving in the evening) is best
  • pull from the fridge right before serving

blackberry tiramisu icebox cake
blackberry tiramisu icebox cake
blackberry tiramisu icebox cake

blackberry tiramisu icebox cake

this blackberry tiramisu icebox cake features espresso soaked ladyfingers, wine soaked berries, a creamy mascarpone filling and dusting of cocoa powder.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Chill Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Course Celebrations, Dessert


  • 9X5 loaf pan or other dish with 8-10 c capacity
  • stand mixer with paddle and whisk attachment OR
  • electric hand mixer with beaters
  • small spoon, spatula or icing spatula
  • plastic wrap


  • 1 1/2 c fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
  • 1 c fresh blackberries for topping, optional
  • 1 c (237ml) freshly brewed espresso or very strong coffee
  • 6 tbsp (89ml) marsala wine, divided see notes
  • 1 1/2 c (355ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 8 oz. (250g) mascarpone cheese, room temperature see notes
  • 1/2 c (100g) superfine or caster sugar sub with regular granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 7 oz (200g) Savoiadri ladyfingers
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder for dusting


  • If you would like to remove the ice box cake from the pan: Line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper or pastic wrap on all sides. Smooth along the sides as much as possible. Set aside. Otherwise, have the preferred serving pan ready to go.
    Brew the 1 c (237ml) espresso according to the package directions. Cool slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Whisk in 2 tbsp marsala wine (or alcohol of choice).
    Remove the frozen berries from the freezer into a bowl. Toss in 2 tbsp marsala wine (or other liquid). Allow the berries to thaw at room temperature for 20-25 minutes. If omitting alcohol from this recipe, use 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp granulated sugar.
  • Pour heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed to medium-soft peaks. Scoop into another bowl and set aside.
  • Using the same bowl as the one used to mix the whipped cream (no need to clean), slowly beat the mascarpone. The mascarpone should be smooth across the bottom. Go slowly or the cheese could break. Pour in the final 2 tbsp marsala wine, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Slowly beat to incorporate. Beat on the lowest setting until smooth and well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Beat on low to incorporate. 
    By hand or on the lowest mixer setting, fold in the whipped cream. Again, go slowly or you risk the mascarpone breaking.
  • To assemble:
    Quickly dip ladyfingers in the brewed espresso. Make sure to dip both sides. Layer 1/3 of the ladyfingers across the bottom of the pan. Break the cookies if needed to mostly cover the bottom. 
    Scoop about 1/3 mascarpone filling on top of the layer of espresso ladyfingers. .
    Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1/2 of the wine soaked berries on top of the masacrpone filling. Try to drain the excess liquid from the berries before spooning onto the filling.
    Repeat with another layer of espresso ladyfingers on top of the berries. Top with 1/3 masacrpone filling and then the remaining 1/2 wine soaked berries (drained). Add the final layer of ladyfingers, followed with the final 1/3 of the mascarpone filling.
    Smooth the top with a spoon, small spatula or icing spatula.
  • Chill the prepared blackberry tiramisu icebox cake in the fridge for about 2 hours to set the top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill an additional 6 hrs- overnight. 
    Before serving, top with a dusting of powdered cocoa and more fresh blackberries. Mint leaves are a nice touch if you have them. Slice and serve.


marsala wine: this is available in sweet or dry. this tiramisu cake was developed with sweet wine, but dry would pair very nicely. 
  • optional substitutions: port, brandy, bourbon whisky, coffee flavored liquor or omit in favor of more brewed espresso.
mascarpone cheese: is a soft, spreadable, sweet Italian cheese. this is the most commonly used cheese for tiramisu. cream cheese is a possible substitute. however, the flavor will be tangier than mascarpone cheese. 
superfine or caster sugar: is like it sounds, very fine granules of cane sugar. if possible, this is preferred here. if not, regular granulated sugar works fine. 
storing: any unused portion of this icebox cake should be rewrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or freezer 3-4 weeks. 
Keyword berry tiramisu cake, blackberry icebox cake, no bake berry dessert
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