If you are looking for a last minute dessert to add to your holiday feast, look no further! You have found the answer… a quick, no-bake dessert that is sure to please!
It’s the funniest thing… I had no intention of sharing this recipe for the No Bake Pumpkin Pie Icebox Cake on the blog but it turned out sooooo good. So I made another one, took pictures, and will now tell you how this amazing holiday dessert came to be one of our family favorites completely by accident.
This stuff is AMAZING! Have I already said that? I feel like I am repeating myself. It is that good. Let me tell you more…
Last week, I needed a dessert dish to take to a pot-luck in a hurry. With no time to stop at the store, I was left to using what I had on hand at home.
I felt like I was on one of those TV game shows where you have to make a meal with only the contents of your pantry and fridge. As I stood there staring at what I had in the fridge, I was thinking to myself how pathetic it looked. I hadn’t been to store in a week so it was about time to restock. I had some juice, some milk, some cream cheese, and some left over green beans. As I moved to the pantry, I saw bread, graham crackers, salt and vinegar chips, and 2 boxes of this new holiday flavor of pumpkin spice pudding I had bought a few weeks ago to use for finger-painting with the kids on Thanksgiving ( Yes, I let my kids paint with pudding. Lots of fun!). Back to the pantry. There was also a big bowl of leftover Halloween candy. Since the combination of salt and vinegar chips, cream cheese, and chocolate candy didn’t sound too appetizing, I moved over to my baking supply cabinet. Thankfully, I usually keep that pretty well stocked. I found the usual flours, sugars, and spices. Nothing spectacular. So I moved to the freezer. Mostly meat and frozen fruit here but I did have 2 containers of whipped topping I had bought the week before on sale to prepare for my holiday cooking. I sat all of the ingredients that had some promise on the counter and thought about some of my usual pot luck dessert success recipes. One that never fails and is always a huge favorite is an icebox cake with vanilla pudding, graham crackers and chocolate icing. I had pudding, so far so good. I had graham crackers and whipped topping, getting closer. But, I didn’t have anything that would go on top. That finishing touch that would take the dessert over the top. Then, like some sort of miracle, the bowl of Halloween candy caught my eye, specifically the fun size Butterfinger candy bars I had hidden in the pantry to keep me from eating every last one of them. Butterfingers are my guilty pleasure. Can’t help it.
After seeing those wonderful little pieces of candy, I felt like I had something to work with. Using the same methodology as I do for my other layered pudding desserts, I started to pull something together that I could actually take and serve to people without being totally embarrassed. I mean,when does pudding and whipped topping not taste good? I just had to put my own little touch on it. So it went something like this:
Mix the two boxes of pudding with 3 cups of milk. Set that aside to set up. Take the cream cheese, soften it in the microwave for about 20 seconds and then mix it with one container of whipped topping. Add some powdered sugar and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and let that sit to the side. Open up box of graham crackers and a layer in the bottom of a 13×9 dish. Take half of the pudding and pour over the graham crackers and spread to the edges. Place another layer of graham crackers over pudding. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the graham crackers and top with another layer of crackers. Spread the 2nd half of the pudding mixture over the crackers and top with a final layer of crackers. Then, take the 2nd container of whipped topping and mix with the 2nd half of the cream cheese mixture . Spread all of the whipped topping over the entire cake making a nice thick whipped cream layer.
The short version goes like this.
Starting at the bottom of the pan, layer the ingredients like this:
Cream cheese mixture
Thick whipped topping layer
Then take 12 fun size Butterfinger candies and crush them into tiny pieces. I used a food processor but you can just stick them all in a big plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin too. That’s my kids favorite way of doing stuff like this. Whatever works. Take those little pieces of chocolate heaven and sprinkle them over top of the entire dish. This dish has to sit for a few hours to let the graham crackers soften. I usually make stuff like this the night before I need to take it somewhere so it can rest in the fridge over night. I was pretty happy with the results but it wasn’t until I had a taste of this wonderful concoction that I was like OMG! OMG! OMG! This was over the top good. It blew the other desserts out of the water. I left with an empty pan and tons of people asking for the recipe. Success!
The consistency is definitely like pudding but it also has a pumpkin pie vibe going on. It could definitely be an option for those who like pumpkin but who aren’t huge pumpkin pie fans. Plus, it is so easy, no bake, and make ahead. Three things busy cooks love to hear.
No Bake Pumpkin Pie Icebox Cake
An easy, no-bake holiday dessert that is perfect for
Yield: 12 -14 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours- set up time included
Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
- 32 whole graham cracker ( 4 sections each), about 4 packs
- 2 3.4 ounce boxes of Jello Pumpkin Spice Pudding
- 3 cups of milk
- 2 8-ounce container of Cool Whip
- 1 8- ounce package of cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 12 fun size Butterfinger candy bars, finely crushed
- In a medium sized bowl, mix the 2 boxes of pudding with the 3 cups of milk. Set aside.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until fluffy.
- Mix in 1 container of Cool Whip, powdered sugar, and the vanilla. Set Aside
- Place 1 layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 13x9 pan ( break the crackers to fit snuggly in the bottom of the dish. About 4 full size crackers should do it.)
- Layer 1/2 the pudding mixture over the graham crackers and top with another layer of graham crackers.
- Layer 1 cup of the Cool Whip mixture over top of the graham crackers and add a layer of graham crackers
- Layer the remaining pudding mixture over top of the graham crackers and add another layer of graham crackers.
- Mix in the 2nd container of Cool Whip in with the remaining Cool Whip Mixture used in step 6.
- Layer the entire Cool Whip mixture over top the graham crackers to create a thick whipped cream topping.
- Sprinkle the finely crushed Butterfinger candy bars over top the entire dish
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.