Some recipes you try because they sound fantastic, and some you try because someone you love loves them. Such was the case with this icebox cake, which I had never even heard of, much less tasted, before I met B. It is simple, and it is comfort food, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t completely lovely. It is.

As it turns out, “icebox cake” is actually a catch-all term for a lot of different desserts. Basically, you layer whipped cream or pudding with wafer cookies or graham crackers, let them sit overnight in your icebox, and delight in how — miraculously! — all of the layers have taken on the same exact texture as one another. Voila! Icebox cake.

Okay fine, so it’s basically baby food. Delicious, delicious baby food. Nonetheless, according to the Internet, this is a Real Thing! That real adults eat! If you like pudding, well: you will probably want to eat this cake on your birthday every year until you until you die, which is actually totally convenient, considering you don’t even need to be wearing dentures to eat this stuff! Right on!

This particular (and apparently very American) version consists of chocolate and vanilla pudding, graham crackers, and bananas. It’s soft and cold and creamy and just such a nice treat on a warm summer day. Even if you do have teeth.

A couple of notes on ingredients. Store-bought, ready-to-eat vegan pudding is a thing, as are boxed pudding mixes, but I like to use this recipe for vanilla pudding and this one for the chocolate pudding. They’re both really fast to whip up, but they do need to be refrigerated for a couple of hours to set up, so be sure to plan in advance! I usually make the pudding in the morning, assemble the cake in the evening, and serve it the following day.

Icebox Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 2.5 cups vegan vanilla pudding (see notes for recipe)
  • 2.5 cups vegan chocolate pudding (see notes for recipe)
  • 5-6 bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1 14 oz. box vegan graham crackers
  1. Line the bottom of a clear dish with graham crackers.
  2. Add a thin layer each of banana slices, vanilla pudding, graham crackers, banana slices, and chocolate pudding, in that order.
  3. Repeat until you've reached the top of your dish.
  4. Sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top.
  5. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Slice and serve cold.
Vanilla pudding recipe:
Chocolate pudding recipe:
Quick tip on vegan graham crackers: look for "original" flavor rather than "honey."