Looking for a no-bake, easy summer dessert to feed a crowd? Look no further than lime icebox cake. Easy to assemble, with all the flavor of a lime (or key lime) pie and none of the work!
Ever since I discovered the icebox pie, I’ve been a little enamored. How genius is a dessert that requires zero baking, feeds a crowd, can be made in a zillion different flavors that everyone loves? Technically, icebox cake isn’t a cake. You layer thin cookies with whipped topping or custard and fruit or whatever really, and when the cookies soften, magic. The layers hold together and the texture is similar to a finely torted cake. And if you use graham crackers, CREAM CHEESE WHIPPED CREAM, and lime curd or key lime curd, you have the most magical summer dessert ever.
Maybe not quite that big a deal, but seeing how fast a 9×13″ pan disappeared around here, I’d say it’s pretty special. To start, I used my homemade lime curd. If you haven’t made a batch yet, what are you waiting for? 😉 To keep flavors inspired by a cross between key lime pie and key lime cheesecake, I made a cream cheese whipped cream. Which we need to talk about for a minute.
Fresh whipped cream isn’t particularly stable on its own, which is why many easy icebox cake recipes use prepared whipped topping. Personally, I don’t care for it much. So I turned to my current favorite stabilizer for whipped cream – cream cheese. A little softened cream cheese mixed in with the heavy whipping cream is the stuff dessert dreams are made of. The cream cheese doesn’t add a strong flavor, so this doesn’t taste like cheesecake. Cream cheese does round out the flavor profile nicely. If you really don’t like cream cheese, substitute an equal amount of mascarpone cheese.
You’ll want to assemble your dessert at least a few hours before serving. Icebox cakes are at their best within a day or so of assembly so the cookies don’t get too soggy. We finished off the last piece about 3 days after I assembled the cake though, and it was fine for us. I’ve read that icebox cakes can be frozen, but don’t have any experience freezing them. If you do, please leave a comment.
I made this a lime icebox cake because I couldn’t find key limes. Feel free to use key limes to make the lime curd and turn this into a key lime icebox cake. The measurements are the same, the flavor is ever so slightly different. Both versions are guaranteed to be a hit with the lime lovers.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s a perfect easy summer dessert for a crowd!
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 25-30 graham cracker sheets
- 1 1/2 cups lime curd
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the whipping cream and start whipping on low speed, slowly increasing as the cream thickens. When you have reached about a medium speed, add the powdered sugar. Continue to whip until soft peaks form.
- Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla extract.
- Take your 9x13" pan and spread a thin layer of whipped cream along the bottom using an offset spatula (see notes). Top with a layer of graham crackers. Top the crackers with about 1 1/4 cups of the whipping cream and then drizzle 1/3 cup of curd over the whipped cream. Repeat three more times until you've used all the whipped cream, curd, and crackers. Your pan will be full.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 48 hours before serving. Enjoy!
- Adding a little whipping cream to the bottom of the pan is optional. It helps hold the graham crackers in place but can make it a little trickier to remove the slices. You can skip this step if you'd prefer to make removing the cake slices from the pan easier. Layer the graham crackers over the bottom of your pan, then scoop your first layer of whipped cream in smaller portions over the graham cracker layer. Press it down over the crackers until they stop shifting, then spread to smooth before adding your next layer.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.