Beat the heat with a chilled sweet that's both refreshing and indulgent. Icebox desserts—like no-bake icebox pies and icebox cheesecakes—are retro desserts (from back when we called refrigerators iceboxes) that are making a comeback. One bite of these cool desserts and you'll understand why the comeback is deserved. 

By Karla Walsh
April 22, 2019

When it’s scorching hot outside and turning on the oven sounds like the least appetizing thing ever, turn to classic icebox cake recipes and icebox pies that call for zero baking time (just like these bonus no-bake desserts).

What is an icebox cake or pie? Most often, it’s a layered treat of cream or custard and cookies or crackers that meld together in the fridge or freezer rather than the oven. For sweet ideas layered in a springform pan or loaf pan—including an old-fashioned icebox cake plus more modern twists with trendy yet timeless flavor combos (pumpkin and ginger, anyone?)–give these recipes a try.

Strawberry-Lemon Icebox Cake

No need to decide between a strawberry icebox cake and a lemon icebox cake. You can have both in a single slice with this light-as-air treat! A buttery graham cracker crust (here are five substitutes if you’re fresh out of grahams) is the foundation for a fluffy citrus-yogurt custard. Finish with dollops of freshly whipped cream, pan-roasted berries, and mint.

Ginger-Lime Icebox Cheesecake 

Feel like you’re sitting on a Florida beach—without investing in a plane ticket. With key lime pie as the flavor inspiration for this icebox cheesecake, you'll feel like you were transported to a café in the Keys. Gingersnap cookies act as the crunchy layers between the cream cheese filling and as the crumbly coating around the edges.

S’mores Icebox Cake

S’more is what you’ll be asking for after a slice of this rich, campfire-reminiscent s’mores icebox cake. Graham crackers, toasted marshmallows, chocolate ... the usual scrumptious ingredients are here, along with marshmallow creme and creamy layers of mascarpone cheese. The entire chocolate icebox cake recipe requires just 20 minutes of prep time.

Get the recipe: S’mores Icebox Cake

Berry Icebox Pie 

Here’s a bright idea: Stir preserves into the cream filling for this icebox pie to score vibrant, eye-catching color and just-sweet-enough flavor. The results of this wafer-topped treat are stunning. But what really sold us on this oven-free dessert is the fact that we can almost count it as health food with fresh berries and Greek yogurt in the mix.

Get the recipe: Berry Icebox Pie

Lemon Icebox Pie 

This no-bake lemon icebox pie is the closest to a classic no-bake pie on this list because it includes no center layers. Still, it has all the tangy citrus flavors, crushed shortbread cookies, light whipped cream-yogurt filling, and it chills overnight in the fridge (aka icebox). So we’re going with it!

Get the recipe: Lemon Icebox Pie

Frozen Yogurt Icebox Cake 

Celebrate America—or anyone you deem a star—with this showy icebox cake recipe. It looks like a normal ice cream cake from the outside until you slice off a piece and reveal a geometric vanilla yogurt surprise running through the center. A star-shape mini treat mold is the only tool you need to make the pretty frozen dessert.

Get the recipe: Frozen Yogurt Icebox Cake

Toasted Coconut Icebox Cake 

If you’re a fan of those coconut-chocolate Girl Scout cookies, do we have a treat for you. This chocolate icebox cake features toasted coconut, shaved coconut, and coconut milk to cure all your tropical cravings. Shortbread cookies give a nod to the crumbly base of those O-shape cookies, as does the final drizzle of hot fudge sauce. If you feel like showing off your kitchen skills a bit, make your own coconut curls as a garnish.

Get the recipe: Toasted Coconut Icebox Cake

Pumpkin Icebox Pie with Pistachio Gingersnap Crust 

Pumpkin shouldn’t be saved just for fall. Come summer, celebrate the flavor in a far-from-basic way with an icebox pie that tastes so amazing, it might just replace pumpkin pie on your holiday table. Ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon scent the filling with all of your favorite autumnal flavors.

Blackberry Icebox Cake 

Little is more refreshing on a H-O-T day than a slice (or two) of this no-bake summer berry icebox cake. With a texture similar to ice cream once it’s frozen for four to 24 hours, the graham cracker-crusted treat is cool, fruity, and as beautiful as it is tasty. The fact that only five ingredients are required sweetens the deal even more.

Get the recipe: Blackberry Icebox Cake


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