Blog Recipes/ Desserts and Sweets

Pineapple Icebox Cake {No Bake Dessert}

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Stay cool and whip up a delicious sweet treat with this pineapple icebox cake recipe! It’s easy to assemble this dessert in minutes, then chilled until ready to serve! This is a great dessert for a summer barbecue.

slice of pineapple icebox cake on a plate

Even the most committed bakers pause before turning on the oven in the middle of the summer. Most of us will still do it, of course, but not without first perusing our stash of no-bake dessert recipes. Because when it’s scorching out, easy and refreshing is where it’s at. This pineapple icebox cake marks all my favorite summer dessert boxes: easy, delicious (always), and refreshing.

What is an icebox cake?

It’s not actually a cake at all! Icebox cake is made by layering whipped toppings, puddings or custards, or curd (like in this lime icebox cake recipe), with cookies. The soft layers soften the cookies so a bite of the dessert has a moist cake-like texture. You can make the cakes in advance. Depending on how far in advance, you’ll either freeze or refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Since this is usually a dessert I don’t really want to wait to serve, I almost always refrigerate mine. If you freeze, just remove from the freezer about 5-10 minutes before slicing. I find the center of the cake ends up with almost an ice cream texture, which is also extra delicious. And it’s an especially nice surprise if I haven’t planned ahead and made some variation of my no-bake ice cream cake.

top view of the dessert

This pineapple icebox cake recipe sticks to really classic summer flavors (to me). The pineapple is the primary flavor, of course, but I added a little toasted coconut between the layers to make it taste a little like a pina colada! That’s optional though… so if you don’t have any on hand, don’t worry about it. Your icebox cake will still taste delicious!

A few recipe tips…

First, this started as a pantry-busting recipe for me. So know that there is loads of room for flexibility here and substitutions. I include some in the notes to help you. But if you’re wanting to say, use a can of peaches instead of canned pineapple because that’s what you have, go for it. Now that I think about it, that sounds delicious. Too bad I don’t have canned peaches, haha.

fork taking a bit of cake

Second, trust me when I say to just dump everything into the bowl. The juice from the pineapple mixes with the sour cream (or yogurt) and pudding to create a perfectly textured custard for layering. When I first tried something similar a few years back, I was so skeptical that it would work! It did, of course. And it’s perfectly effortless for this recipe.

Finally, if you do use the toasted shredded coconut, save the last top sprinkles for just before serving. Toasting the coconut makes it a little crunchy. So by waiting to add the top sprinkles to the icebox cake, you’ll get the added bonus of a little crunch on top of a velvety, cold dessert.

I hope you love this pineapple icebox cake, darlings!

slice of pineapple icebox cake on a plate

Pineapple Icebox Cake

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Stay cool and whip up a delicious sweet treat with this pineapple icebox cake recipe! It's easy to assemble this dessert in minutes, then chilled until ready to serve! This is a great dessert for a summer barbecue.


  • 12 sheets graham crackers
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar (see notes)
  • Ingredients:
  • 12 sheets graham crackers
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar (see notes)
  • 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 2 3.5-ounce packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup toasted shredded coconut (optional)


  1. If your coconut isn't toasted, place in a skillet over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until light brown. Transfer to a plate to cool completely.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the can of pineapple (don't drain it - everything goes in), the sour cream, the vanilla extract (if using) and both packages of the vanilla pudding.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar, starting on low speed and working your way up to high, until medium peaks have formed.
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the pineapple and pudding mixture.
  5. Spread 1/3 of the filling mixture evenly over the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish. Lightly sprinkle with coconut. Top with a layer of the crackers, breaking as needed to fill in gaps.  A little space is okay. Repeat.
  6. Top the last layer of crackers with the last third of the filling and the remaining coconut. Cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving so the graham crackers have a chance to soften. May be made up to the night before serving.


  • Instead of making your own whipped cream, you can substitute an 8-ounce container of thawed Cool Whip or another whipped topping.
  • To make a lighter version, use fat-free cool whip, sugar-free instant pudding, and fat-free plain or vanilla Greek yogurt.
  • If you are using vanilla Greek yogurt, you may omit the vanilla extract.

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