This simple ice box cake features light and creamy coconut filling that is resting between layers of graham crackers. This no-bake dessert couldn’t be easier!
I have been wanting to try my hand at an ice box cake for quite some time. Having a cake made with graham crackers that sets up in the refrigerator is quite intriguing. As I set out to make this simple cake however, it struck me how old-fashioned the word “ice box” actually is. I am so dependent upon my appliances and I cannot fathom that not so long ago, people used an ice box instead of a fridge.
My own kids won’t think twice about the term “ice box”. They can’t even believe there was ever a time without cell phones and wi-fi. Rotary phones, phone booths, cassette tapes, dvd’s and typewriter ribbons are part of my own past, but don’t even resonate with my kids. Things change so quickly, I cannot fathom what changes are yet to come.
One thing that never changes is our love affair with dessert. Some days I crave dense cakes with rich frosting, buttery cookies or thick brownies. Sometimes all I want is an easy, light dessert. Today, I was craving the latter which is why I decided it was time to finally give an ice box cake a try. The ingredients in these cakes can vary quite a bit. The “cake” layer can be made out of chocolate wafer cookies, chocolate chip cookies or graham crackers. The filling can be made with heavy cream, custard or pudding. As you can see the possibilities are endless. For this recipe, I used graham crackers, pudding, milk, cream of coconut, Neufschatel, and lite whipped topping.
The graham crackers soften as this dessert sets up and forms a cake-like layer that yields slightly to the ultra creamy filling. Sweet shredded coconut adds a bit of surprise to each bite while the toasted coconut on top gives you a nutty taste and a crunchy texture.
This ice box cake might be light but it’s definitely rich in taste! While the ice box may have gone the way of the record player, ice box cakes are certainly here to stay!
- 45 graham cracker halves
- 4 oz neufchatel cheese, softened
- 1 3.4 oz package vanilla instant pudding mix
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup cream of coconut (found in the mixed drink section of your grocery store)
- 1 8 oz tub of lite whipped topping, divided
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut *
- Line a 8 x 8 inch square pan with two sheets of overlapping plastic wrap allowing about 4 inches to hang over all four sides.
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip cream cheese until creamy. Mix in pudding mix, milk, and cream of coconut. Continue to whisk until mixture combines and thickens. This can take anywhere from 1 - 5 minutes. Fold in half of the whipped topping.
- Arrange 9 graham crackers in your pan. Top with one cup of filling and 1/4 cup of shredded coconut. Repeat layers ending with 9 graham crackers. Fold plastic wrap over top of cake and freeze for at least 4 hours.
- Before serving. invert cake onto a cake plate, top with remaining whipped topping and toasted coconut. Serve immediately or keep frozen.
*To toast coconut:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Arrange coconut in an even layer. Toast coconut in the oven, stirring every 5 minutes until coconut is golden in color. This could take 15-20 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye as the coconut can burn quickly.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 766Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 20mgSodium 846mgCarbohydrates 104gFiber 6gSugar 47gProtein 9g