Prepare these delicious no bake summer desserts for BBQs, pool parties, family gatherings and any other gathering where you need a light and refreshing dessert that easily feeds a crowd.
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Simple no bake summer desserts
When it gets too hot out to turn on the oven no bake summer desserts are a great choice for a simple and decadent dessert. When it’s nearly 100 degrees outside turning on the oven to bake a dessert is the last thing you want to be doing.
So, ice box cakes or no bake summer desserts are a quick and easy way to create a delicious dessert without heating up your home.
Easy icebox summer dessert recipes come together very quickly, easily feed a crowd and are so light and refreshing that you’ll be making these simple no bake summer desserts on repeat all summer.
No bake icebox dessert recipes just scream summer. As a result, these quick and easy no bake desserts perfect for summer are a great choice for BBQs, 4th of July celebrations, potlucks, family gatherings, pool parties, kids birthday parties, game night, block parties and so much more.
In fact, they are so delicious that you’ll want to whip one up for the heck of it to enjoy as a treat any day of the week.
No bake summer desserts are so delicious that you can even make them year round.
What will you find in this post? We’ve curated a collection of over 20 incredibly simple and delicious summer icebox cakes that you can make for your next gathering. From luscious lemon lasagna to decadent Oreo ice box cake recipes, there’s so many delicious old fashion icebox cakes to pick from you’ll have trouble making only one.
But first, let’s talk about ice box cakes!
What’s a no bake summer ice box cake?
Icebox cakes originated in the early 1930s in North America. At that time, refrigerators were becoming more common and icebox cakes that required no cooking started to became increasingly popular.
As such, icebox cakes and other variations of no bake summer desserts became popular dessert choices in the summer.
Ice box cakes were very simple to assemble, used cheap readily available ingredients and above all required zero cooking making them the best quick and easy way to get a dessert on the table in a flash.
So, it’s not surprising that no bake summer desserts like icebox cakes became the go-to choice for families hosting pool parties, BBQs, 4th of July celebrations, birthday parties, block parties, pool parties, family reunions and any other event that required feeding a crowd a yummy dessert.
What goes into a no bake summer ice box cake?
No bake summer desserts like old-fashion layered icebox cakes usually involve a crust made of cookies and alternating layers of whipped cream, pudding, fruits and nuts.
The options and combinations are truly endless which makes no bake summer icebox cakes a great choice even for the pickiest eaters. Also, they’re easily adaptable which makes them a great choice for anyone dealing with allergies since substitutions are easy to make.
Crust options include:
- wafer cookies in a variety of flavors
- graham cookie crumbs
- Oreo cookie crumbs
- vanilla or chocolate sheet cakes
- angel food cake
- cookies including chocolate chip, Oreo, lady fingers, sable cookies
- crushed cannoli shells
Filling options include:
- whipped topping
- instant pudding in a variety of different flavors
- cream cheese
- mascarpone cheese
- sweetened yogurt
- canned fruit in syrup
- shredded coconut
- chocolate chips
Tips for preparing no bake summer desserts
Icebox cakes are truly one of the easiest desserts you can whip together. Most if not all of these no bake summer dessert recipes come together in under 30 minutes and need as little as an hour in the fridge to settle.
Although icebox cakes are quick and easy to make there are a couple of tips to keep in mind to make the process quick, easy and totally fuss free.
#1 Use instant pudding
Using instant pudding makes these no bake summer desserts incredibly simple to assemble. So, double or even triple check that the pudding you are using is instant and doesn’t require cooking on the stovetop. If you live in an area where you do not have a large variety of instant puddings available check out Amazon. Click here to check out the massive variety of instant pudding flavors available on Amazon.
#2 Use a serving dish
Consider how you plan to serve your no bake ice box cake when choosing the pan and serving dish. Most icebox cakes call for a 9×13 pan for building your dessert layers. Since icebox cakes are usually served from fridge to table, it might be a good idea to prepare your no bake summer dessert in a pretty serving dish like this or this. We’re big fans of this type of clear glass serving trays because they show off the beautiful layers of no bake refrigerator cakes.
#3 Let the layers set between soft layers
To get pretty layers let each layer set in the fridge for a few minutes. So, start by assembling your crust and then pop your tray into the refrigerator between layers to help each layer set well and prevent layers from blending together.
#4 Let the flavors in your ice box cake mingle for 24 hours before serving
If time permits let your no bake icebox cake sit in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. As the layered refrigerator cake sits in the fridge the decadent layers mingle together making the flavors richer and more delicious. But, if you can’t wait that long 1 hours is the absolute minimum time the cakes need to set up.
When should you prepare an ice box cake recipe?
Since all of these ice box cake recipes layer a cookie or cake with a variety of different cream cheese, pudding and fruit layers it’s always a good idea to prepare your no bake summer dessert ahead of time to let the cookie layers soften and allow the layers to set.
All of these icebox cake recipe require at least 1 hours to set completely. In most cases 4 hours is ideal and if possible 24 hours to make sure the layers set properly, the cookie layers soften and the flavors blend well.
Generally, the longer and ice box cake sits in the refrigerator the softer the cookie layers become. So, if you prefer a softer ice box cake then plan to refrigerate longer. If you like a bit of crunch you can reduce the amount of time you let your ice box cake sit in the fridge.
How long will an no bake ice box cake keep in the refrigerator?
As a rule of thumb an ice box cake or no bake summer desserts can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. But, if your ice box cake contains fresh fruit it might last less time.
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Can you freeze an ice box refrigerator cake?
Yes. You can prepare an ice box cake recipe ahead of time and pop it into the freezer where it will last for up to 3 months.
Pull your ice box cake out of the freezer at least 24 hours before you plan to serve it so it has the time to properly thaw.
Simple No Bake Summer Desserts
#1 Lemon Lush is a great choice for anyone who LOVES lemon. This 4 layer luscious lemon lasagna is made by layering lemon Oreos, cream cheese, lemon pudding and whipped topping. Add some lemon extract to your pudding to boost the lemon flavor even more. Recipe available via Lil Luna
#2 S’mores Icebox Cake is a 5-ingredient ice box cake that is perfect for anyone who loves S’mores. Loaded with chocolate, mini marshmallows and graham crackers this no bake S’mores icebox cake is a quick and easy summer dessert. Recipe available via My Kitchen Love
#3 Pineapple Dream Dessert is a must try for anyone who goes crazy for pineapple. This tropical dessert is makes for the perfect quick and easy ice box cake dessert. Recipe available via Spaceship & Laser Beams
#4 Strawberry Lasagna involves creating 3 decadent layers including smooth cheesecake, strawberry Jello, and cool whip. Load your strawberry ice box cake with heaps of chopped fresh strawberries for maximum summer flavors. Recipe available via Amanda’s Cookin
#5 No Bake Chocolate Lasagna is the ultimate icebox cake recipe for the chocolate lovers of the world. Delicious layers of Oreo cookies, fluffy cheesecake chocolate pudding, and cool whip are topped with chocolate chips to create a light and refreshing summer chocolate dessert. Recipe available via Midget Momma
#6 Strawberry Ice Box Cake transforms a traditional strawberry shortcake into a delicious ice box cake recipe. Graham crackers, sweetened whipped cream, vanilla pudding and freshly chopped strawberries are layered to create a light and fresh no-bake strawberry dessert. Recipe available via Cake’s Cottage
#7 Cannoli Ice Box Cake takes cannoli to another level. Graham crackers are layered with sweetened mascarpone cheese to create a layered cannoli lasagna. Top with chocolate chips and serve cold. Recipe available via Life Love and Sugar
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#8 No Bake Banana Split Cake takes the traditional classic ice cream treat and reinvents into a delicious ice box cake. This quick and easy no bake summer treat tops a graham cookie crust with a smooth cream cheese layered followed by a mixture of bananas, strawberries and pineapple. Recipe available via My Heavenly Recipes
#9 Strawberry Shortcake Trifle layers buttery pound cake, freshly chopped juicy strawberries and sweet whipped cream into this simple no bake summer dessert. This ice box cake recipe is perfect for last minute situations where you have to get a dessert on the table in a flash. Recipe available via I Heart Naptime
#10 Lemon Blueberry Icebox Cake is a refreshing and simple no bake summer dessert that can easily feed a crowd. Lemon and blueberry flavor blend together beautifully to create a quick and easy summer treat that’s perfect for any BBQ or potluck. Recipe available via Real House Moms
#11 Oreo Dirt Cake is a must try for anyone who loves Oreos. Chocolate pudding, cream cheese filling, whipped cream and a cookie crust are layered to create a refreshing cold and creamy ice box cake that even the pickiest eater will love. Recipe available via Love From The Oven
#12 No Bake Black Forest Icebox Cake is perfect for anyone who loves a traditional black forest cake. Chocolate wafer cookies are layered with whipped topping and cherry pie filling to create a no-bake version of the classic black forest cake dessert. Recipe available via The Recipe Rebel
#13 No Bake Banana Cream Lush will remind you of a delicious and decadent banana cream pie. Graham cracker sheets are topped with a cold and creamy banana pudding and cream cheese mixture to create a luscious banana cream lush that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. Let this one sit at least 4 hours so that the gr Recipe available via Bellyfull
#14 Peaches and Cream Trifle blends together sweet juicy peaches, whipped cream and vanilla pound cake to create a decadent dessert that’ll leave your guests begging for seconds. Recipe available via The Soccer Mom Blog
#15 Very Berry Dessert Lasagna is a festive no bake summer dessert perfect for the 4th of July. Fresh strawberries and blueberries are layered with a variety of different layers and mousse to create a luscious refreshing summer ice box cake. Recipe available via OMG Chocolate Desserts
#16 Chocolate Chip Cookie Icebox Cake is likely the easiest dessert ever. Cookies of your choice (store bought is fine) are layered with a decadent whipped topping mascarpone cream to create a light and airy ice box cake your guests are guaranteed to love. Recipe available via Celebrating Sweets
#17 Cherry Oreo Icebox Cake blends chocolate Oreos and a no bake cherry cheesecake layer together to create a rich no bake summer dessert recipe. Quick and easy to put together this ice box cake recipe is perfect for BBQs, 4th of July festivities, potlucks and any other summer event you’ve got planned. Recipe available via Inside Bru Crew Life
#18 Pistachio Dreamboat Dessert is for anyone who loves rich pistachio flavor. A golden Oreo cookie crust is topped with a lush cream cheese and pistachio layer to create a deliciously refreshing summer treat. Recipe available via High Heels and Grills
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#19 No Bake Peanut Butter Pie is a rich and decadent ice box cake that’s loaded with delicious peanut butter flavor. Made with only 4 ingredients this is one of those ice box cake recipes you’ll absolutely want to make on repeat all summer long. Recipe available via All Things Mama
#20 Easy Blueberry Delight is a perfectly light and summery no bake dessert made with a graham cookie crust layered with blueberry pie filling, a decadent cream cheese layer and whipped topping. Recipe available via Crayons and Cravings
#21 Mixed Berry Tiramisu is a twist on a traditional Tirimisu that uses coffee. This mixed berry icebox cake recipe is loaded with lady fingers, fresh berries and whipped mascarpone cream. Recipe available via Taste of Home
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