Icebox Cake

No-bake Chocolate Icebox Cake
No-bake Chocolate Icebox Cake

I think my mom had me helping in the kitchen as soon as I was old enough to hold a spoon.  This recipe may be the first dessert I made on my own and was my signature dessert until I hit my teens.  One reason for this is that it is so easy and I didn’t need to use either the stove or oven–and, of course, I got to lick the beaters.

If you’re looking for as easy nostalgic dessert that doesn’t require you to heat up the oven when it’s hot and humid outside, give this one a try: Old-fashioned Chocolate Icebox Cake.  As with many of my recipes, there is a lot of room for improvisation and room for “to taste” modifications with this recipe.  Here are the basic instructions.



Ingredients for Chocolate Icebox Cake
Ingredients for Chocolate Icebox Cake


Graham crackers (for this size I used just 14, but use as many as you need)

1 pint whipping cream (you’ll need the whole thing for this size, so if you’re making it bigger, you’ll need more whipping cream)

1/4 cup cocoa powder (or more to taste)

2-4 tablespoons sugar (sugar to taste)

1 teaspoon vanilla


Making Whipped Cream
Making Whipped Cream



  1. To make whipped cream:
    1. I recommend placing a glass bowl and the beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes before making your whipped cream–this is not necessary, but if it’s hot in your kitchen, this will give you better results.
    2. Place 2 T. sugar and cocoa powder in bowl, add whipping cream.  With beater at a low setting (if you don’t start slow, you’ll get a lot of splatter), begin whipping the cream.  As it starts to thicken, increase the speed of the mixer.

      All done
      All done
    3. After a few minutes, I recommend stopping and giving it a taste.  Does it need more sugar?  If so, add more a tablespoon at a time.  How about cocoa?  If you like dark rich cocoa flavor, add more.  If not, you should be good to go.  Add vanilla.  Beat until stiff peaks are formed.





2. Assemble the cake:

  1. Spread a graham cracker with whipped cream and top with another graham cracker and spread with whipped cream.  Continue using all of the graham crackers.  I usually start holding the first couple of layers before I stand them up on the plate and continue the process.  Make sure you leave enough whipped cream to “frost” your cake.
  2. With the last cup/cup and a half of your whipped cream, frost the cake.
  3. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs or cocoa powder or drizzle with chocolate sauce.
  4. Refrigerate for about 4 hours.  Or more.  You want the graham crackers to absorb the moisture from the whipped cream and become soft, but not soggy.  You can even make this the day ahead.  In fact, I like this cake even better the next day!

Yup, it really is that easy!


Spread graham cracker with whipped cream
Spread graham cracker with whipped cream
Keep adding "layers"
Keep adding “layers”










No-bake Chocolate Icebox Cake
No-bake Chocolate Icebox Cake



Some other ways to change this recipe up:

  1. Add a teaspoon of orange extract or mint extract to the recipe above.
  2. Instead of chocolate whipped cream, try strawberry.  Yum!
  3. What else? Whatever your imagination and taste buds can dream up!


This recipe is so easy and delicious.  If you’re not a cook but want to try your hand at a simple homemade dessert, this is a good one to try.  It’s also a good recipe to teach your children their way around the kitchen.  Give it a try, I think you’ll be surprised how easy, fun, and delicious this dessert is.


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