Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake

Tart lemon and fresh raspberry flavors come together so perfectly in this wonderful raspberry lemon icebox cake. Creamy, tangy, and just sweet enough, this icebox cake is a winner!

Of all the make-ahead dessert favorites, icebox cakes are right at the top of the list. They come together so easily but definitely wow when it comes to flavor.

slice of pudding graham cracker cake

What is an Icebox Cake?

An icebox cake is a no-bake cake, usually made with cookies or graham crackers and layers of pudding or whipped cream (or both!) and other sweet fillings. The cookies soften in the cake from the moisture of the pudding and the whole dessert becomes cake-like as it chills in the refrigerator.

Icebox cakes are likely derived from a dessert trifle and first became popular in the U.S. in the 1930’s, which is why we call them icebox cakes and not refrigerator cakes. For many of us, our grandmothers made icebox cakes, so there is a special nostalgic element to these creamy, layered desserts.

Ingredients for Icebox Cake

Making this super delicious raspberry lemon icebox cake is easy thanks to the simple ingredients:

  • White chocolate flavor instant pudding mix
  • Whole milk
  • Cool Whip
  • Lemon pie filling
  • Graham crackers
  • Fresh raspberries

Just these few ingredients will be transformed into a sweet, sour, and creamy dessert in your refrigerator!

Making Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake

  • Mix. Begin by whisking together the pudding mix and the milk, then fold in all but ¾ cup of the Cool Whip. In a different bowl, mix the lemon pie filling together with the reserved ¾ cup of Cool Whip.
  • Assemble. Now, it’s time to assemble the cake. You’ll do this by alternating layers of graham crackers with layers of the pudding or lemon filling mixtures and raspberries.
icebox cake with graham crackers

Here is the order of the layers, starting from the bottom:

  1. Single layer of graham crackers
  2. ½ of the pudding mixture
  3. ½ of the fresh raspberries
  4. Single layer of graham crackers
  5. All of the lemon filling mixture
  6. Single layer of graham crackers
  7. Final ½ of the pudding mixture
  8. Remaining fresh raspberries, nicely arranged on top

That makes a total of 8 layers of goodness!

no bake cake with raspberries and lemons

How long do you refrigerate icebox cake? Cover your cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. When you cut the cake after it has chilled, you’ll find the graham crackers have softened.

9x13 no bake cake with graham crackers

Can I use frozen raspberries?

Sadly, no. Although frozen raspberries would be easier to keep on hand to make this icebox cake whenever you would like, they don’t work well for this recipe.

Frozen raspberries are too soft and almost mushy in texture once thawed, so they would not do well in this cake. They also release so much juice, the frozen raspberries would discolor any part of the icebox cake they touch. Fresh raspberries are the way to go!

closeup slice of refrigerator cake with pudding and raspberries

Can I use different flavors?

For a twist on this icebox cake recipe, you can swap out ingredients for other favorites. Here are some ideas:

  • Blueberry lemon. Use fresh blueberries instead of raspberries for a delicious blueberry lemon dessert.
  • Strawberries and cream. Swap out the cheesecake flavored pudding mix for vanilla and use chopped fresh strawberries instead of raspberries. This will make a yummy strawberry and cream icebox cake with a lemon twist!
  • Blackberries. Fresh blackberries would be really good in this icebox cake.
  • Raspberry key lime. Swap out the lemon pie filling for key lime filling.
sliced icebox pudding cake

Lower Calorie Icebox Cake

It’s not too difficult at all to lighten up this icebox cake. But do be aware, the creaminess and richness of the cake will be impacted by choosing lower fat and sugar ingredients.

Here are the swaps you can make to create a lighter version of the cake:

  • Low fat milk. Swap the whole milk for skim or 2% milk to reduce the fat content.
  • Light Cool Whip. Choose a light or fat-free Cool Whip.
  • Sugar-free pudding. Reduce sugar content by using sugar-free pudding.
  • Low fat graham crackers. Use the low fat version to reduce fat and calories.
icebox cake with bite on a fork
slice of raspberry lemon refrigerator cake on a plate
slice of raspberry lemon refrigerator cake on a plate

Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake

5 from 1 vote
Tart lemon and fresh raspberry flavors come together so perfectly in this wonderful raspberry lemon icebox cake. Creamy, tangy, and just sweet enough, this icebox cake is a winner!
Servings 15
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours

Ingredients
 

  • 2 small boxes white chocolate instant pudding (3.4 ounces each)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip (thawed and divided)
  • 22 ounces lemon pie filling
  • 21 whole graham crackers (you’ll need 3 sleeves)
  • 18 ounces fresh raspberries (washed and dried)

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the pudding and milk until smooth.
  • Fold in all but ¾ cup of Cool Whip.
  • In another small bowl, mix together the lemon pie filling and remaining ¾ cup Cool Whip.
  • Place 7 crackers in a single layer in a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Spoon half of the pudding mix over the graham crackers.
  • Sprinkle half of the raspberries over the pudding.
  • Place 7 graham crackers over the raspberries. Press down lightly.
  • Spoon all of the lemon pie filling mixture over the graham crackers and spread out evenly.
  • Layer another 7 graham crackers over the lemon filling.
  • Spoon the remaining pudding over the crackers.
  • Arrange the rest of the raspberries over the pudding.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 210
Keyword no bake cake, picnic

About Julie Clark

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