Hazelnut Bushwacker Cake

The Bushwacker cocktail was created in the Virgin Islands during the mid-seventies, which may tell you all you need to know about this boozy icebox cake. The ingredients read as an all-star roster of deliciousness—there’s coffee liqueur, chocolate-hazelnut spread, and whipped cream, all layered between chocolate wafer cookies. It’s almost too good to be true. Set this one out for the grownups after the kids have gone to bed, then settle in for a deliciously fun night. Of course, you can always use decaf brewed coffee, instead of the liqueur, for a more kid-friendly version.

Hazelnut Bushwacker Cake Recipe
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 30 mins
12 serves


  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream

  • ¼ cup coffee liqueur (such as Kahlúa) or brewed coffee, cooled

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • ½ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)

  • 2 ½ 9-oz. pkg. chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous)

  • Chocolate shavings and chopped toasted hazelnuts, for serving


  1. Beat whipping cream, liqueur, and sugar with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chocolate-hazelnut spread and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.

  2. Spread ¼ cup whipped cream mixture in a 6-inch circle on a cake stand or plate. Arrange 6 cookies around circle, with 1 inch of each cookie extending beyond whipped cream mixture. Place 1 cookie in center of circle. Spread ½ cup whipped cream mixture over cookies, leaving about 1 inch of outer cookies exposed.

  3. Top with another layer of cookies, staggering so they aren’t directly on top of one another. Repeat until you have 16 layers of cookies; top with remaining whipped cream mixture. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 5 hours and up to 8 hours. Top with chocolate shavings and chopped toasted hazelnuts.

Chef's Notes

For a sturdy cake, slightly taper the construction toward the top—think of building a squat pyramid.

Related Articles