What exactly are ice-box cakes? Simply put, an icebox cake is a type of no-bake dessert that usually consists of whipped cream topping and wafers.
Though the term may not be super popular today, icebox cakes were named after the form of refrigeration (iceboxes) that were common during the early 20th century.
Though they originated about 100 years ago, ice-box cake recipes are just as popular as ever, especially because of how easy they are to make.
If you’re in a crunch and need to make something fast, knowing how to make icebox cake can get you out of a jam and put a creative, tasty dessert in your hands fast.
1. Lemon-Buttermilk Icebox Pie
The summer season is upon us, so why not celebrate the flavors of the season with something packed with zesty lemon? The secret ingredient is, of course, some fresh lemon juice.
If you don’t have lemon juice, you can substitute it with a little bit of lime juice or orange zest. The flavors will change slightly, but it’ll still be a refreshing treat to serve guests at your next barbeque.
Likewise, if you don’t have graham cracker crust, try swapping it out with some crumbled cookies or even pretzels.
2. Lemon Icebox Cake
Wait, is this the same thing as the recipe listed above? No, and that’s because it includes lemon-flavored pudding as the secret ingredient.
Pudding already gives desserts a unique texture, and this recipe is hardly the exception. You could swap the lemon-flavored pudding out for vanilla and then mix in some lemon juice or zest if necessary.
But, if you can, try to use the lemon-flavored pudding. It adds moisture, flavor, and a completely fun and unique texture your guests will love.
In fact, it’s one of our favorite icebox cake with pudding recipes on this list.
3. Banana Split Icebox Cake Recipe
I’m sorry, but who doesn’t love a banana split after dinner? Trust us when we say that this classic dessert tastes even better in icebox cake form.
While bananas are a necessary component in a banana split, when it comes to an icebox cake recipe, the secret ingredient is cream cheese simply because it adds an extra dollop of sweetness.
If you need to, you can absolutely swap out the cream cheese for plain Greek yogurt to maintain a similar consistency.
And since this recipe includes so much fruit, you’ll still get that natural sweetness you normally would with the cream cheese.
4. Grandma’s Icebox Cake
Grandma always makes a traditional icebox cake recipe look easy. And nothing is easier than combining some whipped cream, pudding, and graham crackers together to make this tasty dessert.
Because it’s so simple, the secret ingredient comes down to the type of pudding you use. While this recipe calls for vanilla, feel free to experiment and swap it out with chocolate, banana, or even a fruity flavor.
Though icebox cake may be traditional, you don’t have to be. Feel free to make this dessert your own.
5. Key Lime Icebox Cake
I may be biased, but this is one of my favorite icebox cake recipes on this list. There’s just something about key lime-flavored anything that makes me want to kick back on a tropical island somewhere and drink a margarita.
As to (probably) be expected, key lime juice is the secret ingredient. After all, you can’t make key lime icebox cake without key lime flavoring.
Of course, if you don’t have it, lemon juice will work as a substantive alternative. Just be warned that the flavors might be a little different from what you’d normally expect.
6. Peanut Butter Oreo Icebox Cake Recipe
If you ask me, there’s nothing better than the combination of peanut butter and Oreo cookies. If you’re curious what the secret ingredient in this tasty recipe is, it’s peanut butter. Because of course, it is!
But we understand that not everyone may be able to enjoy peanut butter due to allergies.
So, if you’re looking for an allergy-friendly alternative, we recommend swapping peanut butter out for soy butter or sunflower butter.
This is a tasty treat that will be a huge hit at your next party or get-together.
7. Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake
Speaking of dynamic duos, blueberry and lemon are a power couple in terms of flavor. They really pack a sweet and sour punch. If you’re looking for a lemon icebox cake to make this weekend, this is just the ticket.
The secret ingredient is unsweetened vanilla almond milk because it adds a little bit of extra flavor that balances out the strong lemon flavor.
Of course, if you don’t have almond milk or simply don’t like it, a dairy substitute such as half and half or heavy cream will do the trick.
8. Old Fashioned Chocolate Icebox Cake
Despite its name, there’s nothing old-fashioned about this tasty icebox cake recipe.
Chocolate wafers are the secret ingredient simply because they add to the chocolate flavor.
If you don’t have chocolate wafers, you could still use traditional vanilla ones. Either works great with this recipe.
Serve with some chocolate curls as a garnish, or your favorite type of nut or fruit and you’ll have a new dessert to make at every holiday gathering moving forward.
I guess that’s why they call it old-fashioned; it’ll be your go-to for years and years to come.
9. Mountain Mama Icebox Cake
Ain’t no mountain high enough…oh sorry, that’s the wrong kind of mountain introduction!
Despite its name, you won’t have to break out your hiking boots to enjoy this classic dessert. The secret ingredient is french vanilla pudding because it has a slightly sweeter flavor profile than just regular vanilla pudding.
However, french vanilla can be a desired taste so don’t worry if you’re not a fan of it.
You can still swap it out with traditional vanilla pudding mix or something similar.
10. Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake Recipe
Do you have a baby shower or bridal shower coming up? Looking for a tasty treat to serve your guests? Well, this recipe is one we highly recommend.
The secret ingredient is strawberry ice cream since that’s where you’re going to get all that deliciously sweet strawberry flavor from.
Of course, that’s not your only option. Feel free to swap strawberry-flavored ice cream out for strawberry syrup.
Or, mash up some fresh strawberries yourself to integrate with the cream cheese.
11. Lemon Icebox Cake
There’s a reason lemon icebox cake is featured so much on this list: there are plenty of different and unique ways to make it and still have it taste great.
The secret ingredient in this particular lemon icebox cake recipe is whipped topping because it really balances out the strong and tart flavor of the lemon.
If you don’t have whipped topping, you could swap it out with whipped coconut milk or even silken tofu.
There are a few different ways to customize this tasty treat even down to the type of fruit you use as garnish.
12. Cherry Oreo Icebox Cake
Alright, who else is surprised by this combination? Strawberries and chocolate go great together, as does peanut butter…but cherries? Trust us, it’s a combo you’ll fall in love with.
Believe it or not, chocolate and cherries go pretty well together, which is why the cherries are this recipe’s secret ingredient. Though, the dark chocolate Oreos were a close contender.
The darker the chocolate, the sweeter it is and that actually works really well with the cherry flavoring.
Of course, you don’t have to use dark chocolate Oreos. Any type of Oreo will suffice, even the vanilla-flavored ones.
13. 3 ingredient Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe
What’s better than making a dessert that ONLY has three ingredients? Though the list of ingredients isn’t super long, one ingredient that can’t be overlooked is the strawberries, which is why they rank as this recipe’s secret ingredient.
Strawberries have a great texture and flavor and both are apparent with every bite of this popular icebox cake.
If you have to swap an ingredient out, swap out the graham cracker crust for pretzels, crushed nuts, cookies, or even wafers.
Or, if you want, use this recipe as a basis for using any type of fruit you prefer. Peaches would be a great substitute if you ask us!
14. Peanut Butter Caramel No-Bake Icebox Cake
Are you looking for an easy icebox cake to make this weekend? Look no further than this sweet recipe.
There are almost too many ingredients to choose from, but if we had to select just one secret ingredient, it’d have to be the sweet caramel topping.
This just adds that melt-in-your-mouth, ooey-gooey texture caramel lovers can’t get enough of.
Of course, you can swap this out for chocolate sauce or even hazelnut spread, instead. Just, keep in mind this will omit the caramel flavors.
15. Easy No-Bake Chocolate-Pumpkin Icebox Cake
Is it ever really too early to start planning ahead for the autumn season? I hope not, because this no-bake chocolate and pumpkin cake is just too good to pass up.
The secret ingredient is pumpkin. After all, you can’t have a pumpkin-inspired dessert without it.
If you don’t have pumpkin but still want to make this, sweet potatoes work as a good alternative.
And before you start thinking, “ew, gross, veggies and chocolate together?” you can sprinkle on some sweet cinnamon on the sweet potatoes. You won’t even be able to tell it’s not pumpkin!
16. Strawberry Cream Icebox Cake
This delicious strawberry cream icebox cake is one that is sure to impress friends and family when they try it out for themselves.
The secret ingredient for this one is strawberry gelatin. Even though there are actual strawberries in this recipe, adding the gelatin reinforces the flavor and makes the strawberry flavor much more pronounced.
If you need to change things up, try swapping out the confectioner’s sugar for granulated sugar. There shouldn’t be much of a texture change and the flavor will remain the same.
17. No Bake Peanut Butter Icebox Cake
Who doesn’t love the taste of peanut butter in their dessert? This icebox cake recipe is a favorite for us and we recommend you try this one out the next time you’re looking to try something different.
The secret ingredient is the peanut butter sandwich cookies. These provide a lot of flavor and texture for this recipe and are the basis for the rest of the recipe.
If you’re looking for alternatives, you can use either vanilla or cheesecake pudding mix when making this recipe.
They’re two different flavors but should provide a tasty experience either way.
18. Chocolate Eclair Cake
Chocolate eclairs are delicious on their own. When it’s turned into a tasty no-bake icebox cake, then you turn a classic dessert into something new and delicious.
The secret ingredient for this one is the french vanilla pudding. This is going to provide the flavor for most of this dish and is the basis for the rest of the ingredients to come together.
If you need to change anything up, try swapping the vanilla for maple syrup. There shouldn’t be much of a flavor change and the sweetness stays the same.
Plus, the french vanilla pudding will make up for whatever vanilla flavor you lose by using maple syrup instead.
19. No Bake Pistachio Icebox Cake
This is a unique take on an icebox cake. If you’re a fan of pistachio-flavored anything, you should try this dessert out.
The secret ingredient for this one is the graham crackers. They provide the crust for this one as well and provide a place for the rest of the ingredients to come together and form this dessert.
If you need to change things up, you can add some chopped-up pistachios on top for decoration and a little extra pistachio flavor.
20. Chocolate Chip Mocha Icebox Cake
This coffee-infused cake not only has a sweet taste to it but it will probably wake you up a little bit, as well.
The secret ingredient for this one is the mocha latte iced coffee. Might not seem like the biggest secret since the word “mocha” is in the title for this one, but this ingredient has a prominent presence in the flavor of this dessert.
If you need to change things up, try swapping out chocolate chips for chocolate chunks.
Not a huge change in the flavor department but something a little bit different than using traditional chocolate chips.
21. Mini Chocolate Icebox Cakes
These small, bite-sized chocolate cakes are the perfect dessert if you’re looking for something chocolate flavored but don’t want something that will be too filling.
However, these are so good that you’ll probably fill yourself up on eating more than one in a single sitting.
The secret ingredient for this one is the whipping cream. It provides the thickness that the icing needs in order to allow all of the other elements to bond together.
If you need to change anything up, go with whatever brand of the chocolate wafer you prefer. This can change up slight flavor differences or texture depending on which brand you go for. This is an easy icebox cake everyone in the whole family will enjoy.
22. No Bake Funfetti Icebox Cake
Who doesn’t want some fun with their food? This icebox cake-take on Funfetti takes a classic and makes it even easier to make and enjoy.
The secret ingredient for this one is the graham crackers, providing a delicious and crunchy crust for this cake.
If you need to change anything up, you can substitute powdered sugar for granulated sugar. It won’t change the texture or flavor and can be used almost interchangeably. Try this one out for your child’s next birthday party.
23. Cannoli Icebox Cake
This might just be the best icebox cake recipe on this entire list. If you’re a fan of cannolis, then this is the perfect icebox cake for you.
The secret ingredient for this one is mascarpone cheese. This is what makes a cannoli a cannoli and it’s what makes this cake taste like this classic Italian dessert.
If you need to swap anything out, swap the vanilla extract for maple syrup. It shouldn’t change the flavor much and still provide the sweetness that you get out of the vanilla extract.
24. Oreo Cheesecake Icebox Cake
The idea of a no-bake cheesecake is already enticing enough. Throw Oreos into the mix, and you have an ice box cake that is delicious in more ways than one.
The secret ingredient for this one is the cream cheese. It’s a key ingredient in the making of the cheesecake part of this recipe and there would be no cheesecake without it.
If you need to swap out any ingredient, we recommend you change out milk for cream. It should not disrupt the flavor too much but it may thicken the cake significantly.
25. No-Bake Coconut Icebox Cake
This is one of our favorite easy icebox desserts on this list. If you’re a fan of coconut, this is the icebox cake for you.
The secret ingredient for this one is shortbread cookie rounds. They help provide a lot of texture to this dessert while also being the base on which the other ingredients can build off-of.
If you need to change anything out, you can always use regular coconut milk instead of coconut milk solids. It achieves the same flavor goals and won’t disrupt the texture of the final dish.
26. No-Bake Black Forest Icebox Cake
This chocolate icebox cake is easy to make and sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone who tries it.
The secret ingredient for this one is the cherries. Not only are they used for an excellent garnish but they’re mixed into the cake itself to add a bit of fruity flavor to this delicious dessert.
If you need to change anything out, try adding some dark chocolate shavings for an extra sweet garnish on top of an already tasty Ina Garten icebox cake.
27. No-Bake Eclair Cake
Who doesn’t enjoy a good eclair? A delicious puff pastry with cream in the middle and some chocolate on top. It’s a great fluffy dessert that goes down easy.
This dessert takes that classic puff pastry and turns it into a delicious cake. The secret ingredient is whipped topping. Much like in a regular eclair, the cream is what brings it all together, and it’s no different with this dessert.
If you need to change things up, try buying pre-made vanilla pudding instead of pudding mix. It shouldn’t change the texture much and keeps the flavor intact.
28. Hawaiian Dream Cake
This ice-box cake truly is a dream to taste. This tropical dream will rest easy in your stomach and wake up your taste buds in the process.
The secret ingredient for this one is pineapple. While there are a few other ingredients we could probably list here as the secret ingredient, the pineapple provides a lot of flavor for this dessert, making it essential.
If you need to change things up, try swapping out the chopped pecans for another chopped nut of your choice like walnuts.
29. No-Bake Snowball Cake
This fun take on an icebox cake is light, fluffy, and cool. Best of all, you don’t have to wait for winter to enjoy these snowballs.
The secret ingredient is the angel food cake. This provides a lot of flavor and texture to this cake.
It’s what the rest of the cake is built around and is also delicious to enjoy on its own.
If you need to change anything out, we recommend swapping the gelatin for cornstarch if you’re looking for a vegan-friendly alternative to this recipe.
30. Strawberry Icebox Cake
This delicious strawberry icebox cake is not only tasty but easy to make. The secret ingredient for this one has to be the graham crackers.
Not only do they provide flavor and a crunchy texture, but they provide the base for this recipe that the other ingredients come together and form.
If you’re looking to change anything out, we recommend swapping the vanilla for maple syrup.
It shouldn’t change up the flavor too much and still provide the same amount of sweetness to it.
31 Icebox Cake Recipes for Your Next Summer Party
- 2 cheavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsps confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers
- Chocolate curls, optional
- Together in a large bowl, beat the cream until you see soft peaks forming. Once the peaks are formed, add vanilla and sugar and beat until the ingredients are stiff.
- Scoop up teaspoonfuls and place them on the cookies. Make sure to make several stacks of cookies to form a 14”-long cake.
- Frost the tops and sides of cookie stacks with whipped cream.
- If you want, sprinkle some chocolate curls on top for garnish.
- Refrigerate for four to six hours, then serve.