Recipe – Icebox Pumpkin Cake

Cooking And Homemaking - Icebox Pumpkin Cake

An icebox cake is a great year-round family dessert and a perfect addition to any holiday or get-together. Here are some reasons why:

  • Easy to make: Icebox cakes are incredibly easy to make and require no baking. Layer cookies or graham crackers with Cool Whip or whipped cream or pudding and refrigerate overnight.
  • Versatile: Icebox cakes can be made with a variety of ingredients and flavors, making them a versatile dessert that can be customized to suit any taste preference or occasion.
  • Make-ahead: Since icebox cakes need to be refrigerated overnight, they can be made and assembled a day or two before your event. This makes them a great option for busy families or anyone who wants to save time in the kitchen.
  • Crowd-pleaser: Icebox cakes are a crowd-pleaser and can feed a large group of people. They’re also a great dessert option for picky eaters or anyone with dietary restrictions, as they can be easily adapted to be gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan.
  • Perfect for warm weather: Icebox cakes are a refreshing dessert option, perfect for warm weather months. They’re also a great alternative to traditional baked desserts, which can be too heavy or rich during summer.

An icebox cake is a delicious and easy dessert option that can be enjoyed year-round by families and guests alike. With endless flavor combinations and the ability to make ahead, it’s a perfect addition to any holiday or get-together.

Isn’t An Icebox Pumpkin Cake a Fall Dessert?

Not at all!  Some people just like pumpkin desserts. Also, because this recipe uses canned pumpkin, there is no reason not to go ahead and have an icebox pumpkin cake no matter the time of year or the temperature.

You Can Dress It Up

While this recipe uses a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, you can be more creative.  Here are some common icebox cake decoration techniques that you can try:

  • Whipped Cream and Fruit: One of the most common ways to decorate an icebox cake is with whipped cream and fresh fruit. After layering the cookies or graham crackers with the filling, spread a layer of whipped cream on top and garnish with sliced fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. This adds a pop of color and fresh flavor to the dessert.
  • Chocolate Drizzle: Another popular way to decorate an icebox cake is with a chocolate drizzle. Simply melt chocolate chips in the microwave or on the stove and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the cake. You can also sprinkle chopped nuts or coconut flakes on top of the chocolate for added texture and flavor.
  • Cookie Crumbs: Crushed cookie crumbs can decorate an icebox cake by sprinkling them on top of the whipped cream or pudding layer. This adds texture and a bit of crunch to the dessert. You can also use different types of cookies to create a layered effect, such as graham cracker crumbs on one layer and chocolate wafer crumbs on another.
  • Caramel or Fruit Sauce: Drizzling caramel or fruit sauce over the top of an icebox cake is a great way to add flavor and visual interest to the dessert. Simply heat the sauce in a small saucepan on the stove and drizzle it over the top of the cake.
  • Candy or Chocolate Pieces: You can also decorate an icebox cake with candy or chocolate pieces. Crushed candy canes, chocolate chips, or mini chocolate bars can be sprinkled on top of the whipped cream layer for added texture and flavor.

These are some common icebox cake decoration techniques that can be used to elevate the dessert and make it more visually appealing. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create a custom dessert that your family and guests will love.


  • 2 packages (8 oz each) of cream cheese softened (450g)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (100g)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50g)
  • 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin (425g)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 container (16 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 box (14.4 oz) graham crackers (400g)

Preparation Directions

  • To make this delicious pumpkin dessert, begin by mixing together softened cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it’s smooth and well combined. Ensure the cream cheese is softened well so the batter has no lumps. Then, add pure pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, and continue beating at medium speed until everything is well combined.
  • Stir in half of the Cool Whip (8 ounces) until it’s mixed together well. Set aside.
  • Prepare the bottom of a 9×13 inch square baking dish by covering it with a layer of graham crackers. You may need to break some of the crackers into smaller pieces or halves to ensure that the entire base of the pan is covered. Aim to use around 9 graham crackers for each layer of the dessert.
  • Using a spoon, scoop out about one-third of the pumpkin filling and spread it gently and evenly over the graham crackers layer, ensuring that the crackers are completely covered. For best results, it’s recommended to dollop small spoonfuls of the pumpkin filling all over the graham crackers, rather than dumping it all in one spot in the middle of the pan. This will make spreading the pumpkin layer evenly over the crackers easier. Repeat this process for the remaining layers.
  • After spreading the first layer of pumpkin filling and graham crackers, repeat the process two more times until you have a total of three layers. Once you’ve added the final layer of pumpkin filling, evenly spread the remaining Cool Whip (8 ounces) on top of the dessert. Then, cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. It’s recommended to refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to develop and the graham crackers to soften, but the minimum time required is 4 hours. Before serving, you can sprinkle powdered sugar or ground cinnamon on top of the cake to add some extra flavor and decoration.
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