Quick, easy, and no baking required? Yes, please! This easy Ice Box Cake is a delicious dessert to share with the kids—and it’s so darn simple to make.

ice box cake in pyrex with graham crackers

Ice Box Cake

This recipe takes me immediately back to my childhood—my mom made Ice Box Cake regularly and I have such fond memories of it. I love to recreate recipes I had as a kid for my own kiddos, and this is a great dish to share because it’s incredibly straightforward.

All you need is graham crackers and pudding. You can choose ones that work for food allergies or your preferences, and you can even make the whole thing ahead of time.

This is a fun birthday dessert, or just a simple way to celebrate making it through the day. (Because I know we all need that!)

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ingredients in ice box cake

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe, you need to have the following ingredients on hand to get started.

  • Graham crackers: You can use any brand that you prefer. I usually use plain ones for a classic flavor.
  • Vanilla and chocolate pudding or pudding mix: You can make pudding from a mix or start with prepared pudding, according to your preference.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.

how to make ice box cake in grid of four images.
  1. Make the pudding if starting from a mix. Line the baking dish with graham crackers.
  2. Top with vanilla pudding. Top with more graham crackers.
  3. Top with chocolate pudding. Repeat.
  4. Finish with crushed graham crackers.

TIP: This needs to hang out in the fridge for a bit before eating to allow the graham crackers to soften.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ice box cake?

Typically, it’s a no-bake layer cake made with wafers or graham crackers and cream, pudding, or another soft filling. It has a soft texture and is usually refrigerated before serving. You’ll need to serve it with a spoon, so don’t expect to cut slices as with typical cake.

How long can you store it?

I like to store it in the fridge for about 2 hours before serving, and then it can last for 3-5 days if stored covered in the fridge in an airtight container.

ice box cake in bowl

Best Tips for Success

  • Store covered in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • Dairy-free: Use nondairy pudding or pudding mix, and/or use nondairy milk.
  • Gluten-free: Use GF-certified graham crackers.

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ice-box-cake-in-dish-on-tea-towel

3-Ingredient Ice Box Cake

With just graham crackers and pudding, you can make the most delicious Ice Box Cake—no cooking or baking required. It's a deliciously easy dessert to make and share with the kids.
5 from 24 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 181kcal
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces vanilla pudding from mix (or 2 cups prepared vanilla pudding)
  • 4 ounces chocolate pudding from mix (or 2 cups prepared chocolate pudding)
  • 16 graham crackers (full-size sheets; 2 standard packages)
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Instructions

  • If using pudding mix, make the pudding according to package directions.
  • Layer graham crackers in the bottom of a 9×11-inch (2-quart) baking dish. Break some up to fill in edges as needed.
  • Cover with ½ of the vanilla pudding, spreading to cover.
  • Top with another layer of graham crackers.
  • Cover with ½ of the chocolate pudding, spreading to cover.
  • Repeat the layers to finish, ending with chocolate pudding.
  • Top with crushed graham crackers.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight to soften the graham crackers. Serve cold.

Notes

  • Store covered in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • Dairy-free: Use nondairy pudding or pudding mix, and/or use nondairy milk.
  • Gluten-free: Use GF-certified graham crackers.

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 382mg, Potassium: 69mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published September 2021.

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Comments

  1. A friend of mine shared a similar recipe from her grandma with graham crackers, vanilla custard and a layer of sliced bananas.

  2. 5 stars
    I had house guests this weekend and this was a hit with everyone. And it was so easy to make even with a 2 year old and 3 month hanging on me the whole time 😊

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy! I folded Cool Whip into the pudding flavors before layering them so that I had more pudding to work with. Thank you, Amy!

  4. 5 stars
    YUM! This was fun to make and so easy to eat. Everyone had seconds! I will definitely be making this often!

  5. Hello! British mum here. Can you clarify what ‘pudding mix’ is? We use the term pudding for anything that is a dessert. Thanks!

  6. My mom. Use to. Make. A. Refrigerator. Cake for. MyB day never. Got. The. Hole. Recipe. She. Pass. On. Be. Fore. I. Could. Ever. Get. The. Recipe so. I. Could share sure. Wish. She. Was. Here there. Are. Good. Ideas. But not. The. Rite. One Thanks

    1. Ok, I got the 365 chocolate pudding mix and it turned out clumpy. Any secrets to getting it to set well? Admittedly I put all the powder in at once instead of mixing gradually per the directions…

      1. I always put all the ingredients ,expect the butter, in a blender and then strain it into the saucepan. No lumps or clumps