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Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake

July 25, 2018
This Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake is the answer to every time you wished for a super easy, make ahead dessert. It's no bake, uses a few pantry staples and comes together in no time. Who says icebox cakes are just for summer?
This Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake is a super easy, delicious, make ahead dessert.  It’s no bake, uses a few pantry staples and comes together in no time.  Who says icebox cakes are just for summer?

Chocolate and Vanilla icebox cake with glass of milk

I love classic icebox cakes.  They’re SUPER easy, don’t need to bake, and are always delicious.  Basically layer cookies and a few other ingredients in a pan, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, and it’s ready to go.  Hard to go wrong with that when you’re in the middle of prepping a huge holiday dinner or working on side dishes for a summer barbecue!
I usually try to stick to whole food ingredients as much as possible, but once in a while it’s just so great to have an easy recipe up my sleeve.  This Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake fits the bill.
You could easily keep the ingredients for this on hand for when you need them.  This icebox cake is made with pudding and vanilla wafers –  easy pantry staples that you can buy on sale ahead of time.
Tip: Cream cheese can be expensive, but I watch for it to go on sale and then I store it, which I explain a little more in my Stock your Fridge post.
In the end, this Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake is fairly cheap, tasty, and easy to make ahead of time.  That’s a win in my books!

Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake – Step-by-Step Instructions

Ingredients for Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake

Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake – Ingredients

Whipped cream

First you’ll need to make your layers.  In a medium-sized bowl, whip 1 cup of whipping cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar until fairly stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

Cream cheese mixed with vanilla pudding

In another medium sized bowl, cream 1 block of softened cream cheese until it’s smooth.  Add 1 package of vanilla pudding and mix to combine.

Milk being added to vanilla pudding cream cheese mixture

Add one cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix until creamy.  Set aside.

Bowl of chocolate pudding

In a third medium-sized bowl (last one, I swear!), mix chocolate pudding according to package directions (mine called for 1 cup of milk to be added to it).

Rows of nilla vanilla wafers in a pan

Now all you have to do is layer!  Spread a thin layer of the vanilla cream cheese filling on the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  Top with rows of Nilla vanilla wafers (you could also use graham crackers if you want).  Spoon 1/2 of the vanilla cream cheese filling on top of the cookies and smooth it out.

Chocolate pudding spread over vanilla cream cheese layer

Spoon 1/2 of the chocolate pudding on top of the vanilla cream cheese and smooth.

Whipped cream spread over chocolate pudding layer

Then spoon 1/2 of the whipped cream on top of the chocolate and smooth.  Repeat all steps again (except the thin bottom layer) – so Nilla wafers, vanilla cream cheese, chocolate pudding and whipped cream.
Tip:  If you’re making this a day ahead of time I would wait to add the last layer of whipped cream before serving – otherwise it can get a little muddled with the chocolate pudding.

Swirling whipped cream into chocolate pudding layer for marble effect

Use a butter knife or a fork to mix the chocolate and whipped cream layers together on the top (optional).  Refrigerate, at least 2 hours, but overnight is just fine.

Chocolate and vanilla icebox cake on a plate, with Nilla vanilla wafers

Enjoy! 🙂

Common Questions & Answers:

What’s in an icebox cake?
An icebox cake is usually made with thin wafers or cookies, some type of pudding or custard, and often a combination of cream cheese and whipped cream.  It’s flavoured with fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, etc), chocolate, or other flavourings.
What IS an icebox cake?
The name icebox cake is an old fashioned name for a dessert that’s been around a long time – since before we had modern refrigerators and people used iceboxes to chill their food.  An icebox cake typically layers wafers or cookies with creamy ingredients.  Then, when the cake is chilled, the wafers soften into a cake-like texture (without any baking!).  It’s pretty similar to dessert lasagna or lush dessert.
How long will icebox cake keep for?
Icebox cake is best eaten later in the day it’s made, or on the next day.  Beyond two days it will still taste good, but the wafer layer will start to break down a little too much and could be mushy.
Can you freeze icebox cake?
I’d be pretty hesitant to recommend freezing this cake, especially since it includes real whipped cream.  Other recipes might work out well.  I’ve never frozen this myself, but if you do, please let me know how it works out for you!

Did you make this Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake?  Leave us a star rating below!

5 from 1 vote
This Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake is the answer to every time you wished for a super easy, make ahead dessert. It's no bake, uses a few pantry staples and comes together in no time. Who says icebox cakes are just for summer?
Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake
Prep Time
25 mins
Chill Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 25 mins
 

This Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake is a super easy, delicious, make ahead dessert. It's no bake, uses a few pantry staples and comes together in no time. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: icebox cake, summer desserts
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 193 kcal
Author: Myra
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pkg cream cheese softened
  • 1 pkg vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups milk divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pkg chocolate pudding
  • 1 box Nilla wafers (you could also use graham crackers if you want)
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whip 1 cup of whipping cream with sugar until fairly stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  2. In another medium sized bowl, cream softened cream cheese until it's smooth. Add 1 package of vanilla pudding and mix to combine. Add one cup of milk and vanilla and mix until creamy. Set aside.
  3. In another medium-sized bowl (last one, I swear!), mix chocolate pudding according to package directions (mine called for 1 cup of milk to be added to it). Set aside.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the vanilla cream cheese filling on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Top with rows of vanilla Nilla wafers. Spoon 1/2 of the vanilla cream cheese filling on top of the cookies and smooth it out.
  5. Spoon 1/2 of the chocolate pudding on top of the vanilla cream cheese and smooth.
  6. Then spoon 1/2 of the whipped cream on top of the chocolate and smooth. Repeat all steps again (except the thin bottom layer) - so Nilla wafers, vanilla cream cheese, chocolate pudding and whipped cream.*  If you're making this a day ahead of time I would wait to add the last layer of whipped cream before serving - otherwise it can get a little muddled with the chocolate pudding.

  7. Use a butter knife or a fork to mix the chocolate and whipped cream layers together on the top (optional). Refrigerate, at least 2 hours, but overnight is just fine.
  8. Enjoy! 🙂

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes
* If you're making this a day ahead of time I would wait to add the last layer of whipped cream before serving - otherwise it can get a little muddled with the chocolate pudding.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Chocolate and Vanilla Icebox Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 193 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 137mg 6%
Potassium 94mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Sugars 10g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 12.2%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 7.7%
Iron 0.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This recipe was originally published on October 3, 2017.

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This no-bake dessert is the perfect simple recipe, whether you're looking for summer sweet treats or fun holiday parties with friends and family.  It's an easy, old fashioned classic, made with traditional cream cheese, vanilla wafers and chocolate pudding.  One of the best dessert recipes ever!  #makeahead #nobake #summerdesserts #holidaydesserts

4 Comments

  • Reply Jackie October 6, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Good eating

    • Reply Myra October 6, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks Jackie!

  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine October 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I;ve always wanted to make an actual “icebox” cake :0 So fun!

    • Reply Myra October 4, 2017 at 7:02 am

      Hi Rebecca! I highly recommend it! It was easy and delicious! 🙂

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