Ice Box Cakes

Back in the early 20th century, there wasn’t such a thing called a refrigerator or a freezer. Back then, people used ice boxes – where blocks of ice were kept – to keep their food safe and cold. Baking instructor, Nancy Burgeson, shows us some retro icebox cakes that you’ll want to bring back!

Nancy has over 45 classes planned for fall. To receive a copy of the class schedules and where they are held please email

Serves 8 to 12

2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed, patted dry, hulled and cut into thin slices (reserve some whole berries (with stems) for trim on top of cake)
3 ½ cups heavy cream plus ¼ cup heavy cream for chocolate ganache trim
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 sleeves (or 24 to 28 whole crackers) graham crackers
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 1/2 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and whip to combine.

Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan, or large platter. Place 6 graham crackers on top of the cream. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat 3 times, until you have 4 layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top and swirl it lightly with a spoon. Add a few more strawberries.

To make the ganache, heat the 1/4 cup cream just to a boil then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle this over the layered dessert with a spoon. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional berries.


1 – 15 ounce bag Oreo cookies, crushed, divided (you can use any flavor Oreos)
½ cup melted butter
1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 – 12 ounce container Cool Whip, thawed
1 – 6 ounce package instant pudding (use whatever flavor sounds good with flavor of Oreos)
2-1/2 cups half-and-half cream

Crush the cookies; set aside ¼ cup for topping

Mix the remaining cookies with the melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar on medium speed until light.

Fold in ½ of the Cool Whip topping and spread over the cookie crumb layer. Refrigerate for ½ hour.

In the meantime, combine half-and-half with the pudding mix beating well. Pour over the chilled mixture in the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Spread remainder of Cool Whip on top of the pudding layer.

Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup of cookies for topping.

Store in refrigerator, tightly covered.


½ cup butter melted
¼ cup butter softened
2-1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. pineapple juice
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup crushed pineapple (well drained-reserve 1 Tbsp. juice)

Mix together graham cracker crumbs with the ½ cup melted butter

Press into an 8 x 8 inch pan and freeze for 1 hour.

Mix together the ¼ cup softened butter with powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. pineapple juice

Making the consistency of a very soft icing.

Spread icing over the layer and place in refrigerator.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, fold in the crushed pineapple.

Spread over cake and refrigerate until serving time.

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