Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake

icebox2I 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.

icebox1I 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.

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