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30 of the Best Icebox Cakes to Serve at a Summer Party

Icebox cakes are ideal for summer entertaining. They're stunning without being fussy and simple enough for anyone to whip up.

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Icebox Cake

If you’ve never tried your hand at making an icebox cake before, there’s no better way to start off than with the classic. This four-ingredient recipe has been around since the 1930s. It was invented as a novel way to turn a package of chocolate wafer cookies into a crowd-pleasing dessert.
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Frozen Mocha Marbled Loaf

No ice cream maker? No problem! If you have an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, you can make this elegant “ice cream” cake with rich, creamy swirls of vanilla, coffee and chocolate, all on top of an easy two-ingredient Oreo cookie crumb crust.
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Giant Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

Icebox cakes are normally no-bake desserts, but this supersized ice cream sandwich is worth turning on the oven. To save time, this recipe calls for ready-to-bake peanut butter cookie dough to make the sandwich layers—but if you can’t find the dough at your grocery store, whip up this three-ingredient peanut butter cookie dough instead.
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Lemon Ginger Icebox Cake

Your guests won’t believe that this absolute stunner of a dessert contains only six ingredients, and can be prepped and assembled in less than 10 minutes. In fact, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting at least 2 hours for this icebox cake to set!
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Creamy Strawberry Icebox Cake

The strawberries you’ll find at farmers markets this summer are truly something special, and any recipe that includes them should be simple enough to let the fruit shine. This six-ingredient icebox cake balances the sweetness of ripe summer strawberries with a slightly tangy Greek yogurt-spiked whipped cream.
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Creme de Menthe Squares

If you’ve got a soft spot for chocolaty after-dinner mints, you’ll love this creamy three-layer dessert that can be made without heating up your kitchen. Use the microwave to make the Oreo cookie crumb and minty marshmallow layers; the decadent chocolate layer requires no cooking at all thanks to instant pudding.
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Ice Cream Cookie Dessert

This decadent dessert is like one big ice cream sundae that everyone can share. It’s easy to make the recipe your own—use any flavor of ice cream you like and sprinkle the top with more than just crumbled cookies. Add sprinkles, chopped nuts or even crushed up candy bars!

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Double-Chocolate Toffee Icebox Cake

This icebox cake delivers double the chocolate with only five ingredients, including crushed Heath bars for a buttery toffee crunch. And for the candy obsessed, you’ll be happy to know that you can make this recipe using whatever chopped up candy bar your heart desires, or miniature candy pieces like M&M’s.
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Nutty Caramel Ice Cream Cake

Butter pecan—once a stalwart of old-fashioned ice cream parlors—is no longer one of the most popular flavors in the freezer section. To people who know of its luscious butterscotch-y flavor with crunchy bits of roasted pecans, this is nothing short of madness! This classic flavor deserves a massive comeback, and this easy cake—which mixes butter pecan ice cream, store-bought pecan shortbread, chopped up toffee bars and creamy caramel sauce—may do the trick.
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Banana Split Icebox Cake

Make a banana split that feeds a crowd with this easy icebox cake! The cake itself is made from layers of tangy vanilla cream, crushed pineapple, graham crackers and, of course, sliced bananas. From there, go nuts with your favorite ice cream toppings. Add sprinkles, chopped nuts, whipped cream, maraschino cherries or anything else that belongs on an indulgent banana split.
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Ice Cream Cake

It doesn’t need to be your birthday to enjoy this sprinkle-filled birthday cake made with boxed cake mix, whipped topping and ice cream. There are countless flavor combinations you can use for this ice cream cake recipe. How about coffee ice cream and devil’s food cake, or maybe strawberry ice cream with yellow cake mix? They all sound amazing.
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Mango Almond Icebox Cake

This tropical icebox cakes take a few cues from tiramisu, drizzling store-bought ladyfingers with sweet almond syrup and layering them with sliced almonds, mango, crispy meringue cookies and a rich cream made by whisking heavy cream and cream cheese with chunks of frozen mango.

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Freezer Strawberry Shortbread Dessert

Think of this easy freezer dessert as the frigid first cousin of the Midwestern classic Strawberry Pretzel Salad. The secret ingredient to amp up the strawberry flavor in this recipe: frozen strawberry daiquiri mix. This recipe contains no alcohol, but for a more adult party, you could easily jazz up that daiquiri mix with rum.
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Banana Sundae Dessert

Who doesn’t love tearing into a big, gooey, banana-y ice cream sundae on a hot summer day? It’s truly the ultimate ice cream parlor treat. With this simple icebox cake recipe, you can share the experience with family and friends.
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Strawberry Ladyfinger Icebox Cake

In Italy, they know that strawberries and balsamic vinegar are a match made in heaven. This American icebox cake proves that when it comes to baking, we should listen to Italians! Though you can use any brand of balsamic vinegar to make this incredible dessert, now’s the time to use a top-shelf bottle if you have one.
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Frozen Grasshopper Torte

If you love mint chocolate desserts, then this frozen grasshopper torte will make you jump for joy. This tri-level dessert has a crumbly Oreo cookie base, a center of store-bought vanilla ice cream and a fluffy, minty marshmallow whipped cream topping. Fold in finely chopped chocolate to turn it into a mint chocolate chip masterpiece.
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Fresh Raspberry Icebox Cake

Fresh, juicy summer raspberries practically cry out to be eaten with cream, so why not turn those perfect partners into something special? This icebox cake adds ultra-thin ginger cookies for a subtle spicy bite, and a touch of fresh lemon zest helps that fresh raspberry flavor pop. And let’s not forget about the luxurious mascarpone cheese whipped cream!
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Pina Colada Icebox Cake

Summers don’t feel complete unless you’ve had at least one pina colada. If your summer plans aren’t bringing you poolside or down to a warm, sandy beach, bring the tropical experience to your kitchen with this cool icebox cake.
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Macaroon Ice Cream Torte

You can make this stunning five-ingredient macaroon ice cream torte up to two months ahead of serving, so it’s the ultimate make-ahead dessert! However, we’re doubtful you’ll be able to get through two whole months without sneaking a bite.
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Icebox Cookie Cheesecake

You don’t need to turn on the oven to make a cheesecake that will knock your socks off. As long as you have a springform pan, an electric mixer and a freezer, you can make this rich no-bake cheesecake studded with crushed Oreo cookies.
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Easy Four-Layer Chocolate Dessert

OK, so there’s a tiny bit of baking involved in the recipe for this drool-worthy dessert, but having a buttery walnut shortbread base layer is worth turning on the oven. If you’d rather skip the baking, replace the flour with crushed up graham crackers, mix with the walnuts and melted butter, and refrigerate for a no-bake crumb crust.
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Pumpkin Icebox Cake

There’s no need to wait until fall to enjoy the taste of pumpkin! This icebox cake recipe proves it can (and should) be an all-year-round flavor, combining silky pumpkin spice custard with dark chocolate wafer cookies. For something extra, sprinkle the top with chopped toasted pecans.
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert

It’s hard to go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate, and this recipe makes the irresistible combo twice as nice: in addition to a chocolate cookie crust, a chocolate pudding layer and an easy peanut butter cheesecake mousse, it also has a layer of chopped up peanut butter cups in the middle.
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Banana Split Supreme

Every great banana split goes overboard with the toppings. This recipe calls for crushed pineapple, crumbled cookies, maraschino cherries and more, but why stop there? Add whatever ice cream toppings you love, and don’t be shy about it! After all, going overboard is part of the beauty of a banana split.
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Layered Peppermint Icebox Cake

Anyone—and we mean anyone—can make this dramatic showstopper of a dessert, regardless of their cooking skills or pastry prowess! Not in the mood for mint? You can use any flavor of extract you like in this recipe, like vanilla, orange or almond.
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Creamy Mocha Frozen Dessert

Light as a feather, this cool, satisfying mocha dessert is delicious and impressive to serve. To make this icebox cake nut-free to accommodate people with allergies (or for people who aren’t keen on nuts), replace the pecans with extra crumbled-up cookies.
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Lemon Icebox Cake

Lemons are in season all year round, but there’s something about their bright, sunshine-y flavor that makes them perfect for summer. This ultra-simple four-ingredient icebox cake layers a lemony whipped cream with crunchy Maria biscuits, but shortbread or gingersnaps will work, too.
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Coconut-Pineapple Sherbet Torte

Besides pineapple, almost any citrus or tropical-flavored sherbet will work in this recipe, like lemon, lime or mango. Layers of crumbled oatmeal cookies add bold brown sugar flavor, but can easily be replaced with any sort of crushed up cookies.
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Easy Ice Cream Sundae Dessert

In this recipe, vanilla ice cream and homemade chocolate sauce are layered on top of a buttery vanilla wafer crust, with extra crumbled cookies on top. But vanilla wafers are just the beginning! Any kind of cookie—whether store-bought or homemade—will work in this recipe, making the possibilities truly endless.
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Layered Lemon Dessert Squares

This no-bake take on lemon squares turns a classic bakery treat into something anyone can make, regardless of their skill level in the kitchen. This recipe can also be easily adapted into orange or Key lime squares by using store-bought (or homemade) citrus curds.

Allison Robicelli
Allison Robicelli is a James Beard-nominated food and recipe writer, humorist, and the author of four (quite good) books. Her writing credits include the Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Eater, Food52, The Takeout, and other major publications. Before becoming a full-time writer, she spent over a decade as a working chef, and was the co-owner of the acclaimed Robicelli's Bakery in Brooklyn. In addition to food and comedy, she also writes about history, parenting, and cannabis. She lives in Baltimore with her two teenage sons and four patient cats.