I started out the weekend thinking I was going to make a cake with dark chocolate and raspberry filling and then the San Diego heat wave said….nah I don’t think so lady. I baked my cake and then I had visions of chocolate frosting sliding down the side into a big gooey mess. So, I went back to my list and looked for a refrigerated dessert and voila we have the Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake. And that’s a terrible name, it’s too long and I don’t know if I would really classify this as a cake but more of a layered dessert. But the one thing I can tell you is that it was delicious and was perfect for a hot summer night.
The recipe is pretty simple, especially if you have a kitchen aid, you beat together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until nice and smooth. Any dessert recipe that has sweetened condensed milk in it just about always gets a thumbs up in my book. I love the stuff. At some point I’ll have to tell ya’ll about my Hot Chocolate recipe that starts with a can of this stuff…yum yum. But I digress, next up was adding the instant pudding. The recipe called for cheesecake flavor but I go my own way sometimes and went with banana. Mostly so I could say BANANA like a Minion. Plus, I love bananas and strawberries together.
Now the hardest part, assembly. And that should tell you hard this recipe is. Start with Graham Crackers and I suggest leaving them connected together as much as possible because when you add your first pudding layer it will make it easier to spread it out. Also, on that note, I recommend putting a good amount down to start with and use a small offset spatula to basically frost the crackers. Add your sliced strawberries and then repeat. You want to top it with a little Cool Whip (and yes, I’m not a Cool Whip snob, it has its place in the culinary world too…don’t Cool Whip shame!) And then I finished it off with some crushed Graham Cracker crumbs. It makes it all pretty like! I refrigerated it for about 8 hours and it set up beautifully.
I used a metal spatula to cut and serve it and it came out perfect. While eating this I kept thinking about all the different combinations of fruit and puddings that I can use. I would love to do Lemon Pudding and Blueberries, I think that would be really good too. And it’s a great dessert for potlucks and picnics. So, a big thumbs up for this one and if the heat wave continues I see more cold desserts ahead.