Reese’s Chocolate Icebox Cake

Enjoy your favorite flavor combination without turning on the oven! Sweet & refreshing Reese’s Chocolate Icebox Cake with layers of graham crackers, peanut butter cream and chocolate pudding.

Summer has hit Ohio! We’ve had sunshine today and the temperatures jumped up into the mid 80’s. I’m thankful for it, but now I don’t want to turn on the oven. 🥵 What dessert recipe do you make when it is hot outside? We’ve got the answer.

Chocolate and peanut butter are one of my favorite flavor combinations. This refrigerator cake comes to the rescue in the summer because you don’t need an oven. Make the layers, assemble and chill. This Reese’s Chocolate Icebox Cake couldn’t be easier!

no bake reeses cake in a 9x13 pan with slices missing

Why you’ll love this cake:

  • No need to turn on the oven.
  • Creamy peanut butter layer.
  • Easy chocolate pudding layer.
  • Chocolate graham crackers add an extra chocolate punch.
  • Reese’s cups inside the cake and on top for delicious candy in every bite.
  • A great make-ahead dessert.

Why is it called an icebox cake?

This type of chilled, layered dessert was developed in the first half of the 1900’s when homes started having refrigerators or “iceboxes” in their homes. An icebox cake is a dessert that doesn’t bake in an oven. You layer ingredients together, then refrigerate to allow the cake to set.

What layers make up an icebox cake?

This icebox cake has 4 distinct parts:

  • graham crackers
  • chocolate pudding
  • peanut butter cream
  • chopped candy

You’ll find similar layers in many icebox cakes, with them only changing slightly to adapt to different flavors (like raspberry lemon, chocolate chip or strawberry banana). Graham crackers make a great layer, whether chocolate, honey or cinnamon. They absorb some of the liquid helping to hold the “cake” together.

How to Make a Reese’s Chocolate Icebox Cake

Make the chocolate layer:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the pudding and milk until smooth.
  • Fold in the Cool Whip.

Make the peanut butter layer:

  • In a medium size bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the softened cream cheese and the peanut butter.
  • Mix in powdered sugar.
  • Then fold in the Cool Whip.

Assemble the dessert:

  • Place 7 crackers in a single layer in a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Spoon half of the chocolate pudding mix over the graham crackers.
  • Sprinkle a layer of quartered Reese’s cups over the pudding.
  • Place 7 graham crackers over the Reese’s cups. Press down lightly.
  • Spoon all of the peanut butter filling mixture over the graham crackers and spread out evenly.
  • Layer another 7 graham crackers over the peanut butter filling.
  • Spoon the remaining chocolate pudding over the crackers.
  • Arrange the rest of the peanut butter cups over the pudding.

How long do you have to let an icebox cake chill?

You’ll need to cover this dessert with plastic wrap and allow it to chill for at least 4 hours. It’s best if you let it sit overnight. That makes it a great make ahead dessert!

a slice of chocolate peanut butter icebox cake on a plate

Recipe Variations

  • Lighten it up! Use sugar free pudding, fat free Cool Whip, skim milk, low fat cream cheese and low fat graham crackers. You might be surprised that even using all of these changes, the recipe will still be sweet and delicious.
  • Change the pudding flavors. Use a white chocolate pudding…or even vanilla.
  • Use Nutella. Instead of peanut butter, use Nutella or cookie butter instead!
a slice of reese's chocolate icebox cake
a slice of reese's chocolate icebox cake

Reese’s Chocolate Icebox Cake

5 from 1 vote
Enjoy your favorite flavor combination without turning on the oven! Sweet & refreshing Reese's Chocolate Icebox Cake with layers of graham crackers, peanut butter cream and chocolate pudding.
Servings 15
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours

Ingredients
 

For the chocolate layer:

  • 2 small boxes chocolate instant pudding 3.4 ounces each
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups Cool Whip thawed

For the peanut butter layer:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Cool Whip thawed

Other layers:

  • 21 whole chocolate graham crackers you’ll need 3 sleeves
  • 17.6 ounces Reeses’s Miniature peanut butter cups quartered (Family size bag of Reese’s cups)

Instructions
 

Make the chocolate layer:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the pudding and milk until smooth.
  • Fold in the Cool Whip.

Make the peanut butter layer:

  • In a medium size bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the softened cream cheese and the peanut butter.
  • Mix in powdered sugar.
  • Then fold in the Cool Whip.

Assemble the dessert:

  • Place 7 crackers in a single layer in a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Spoon half of the chocolate pudding mix over the graham crackers.
  • Sprinkle a layer of quartered Reese’s cups over the pudding.
  • Place 7 graham crackers over the Reese’s cups. Press down lightly.
  • Spoon all of the peanut butter filling mixture over the graham crackers and spread out evenly.
  • Layer another 7 graham crackers over the peanut butter filling.
  • Spoon the remaining chocolate pudding over the crackers.
  • Arrange the rest of the peanut butter cups 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. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 395mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 336IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 473
Keyword icebox cake, no bake cake, summer

About Julie Clark

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