Orange and vanilla icebox cake

Try this delicious orange and vanilla icebox cake.

This month we celebrate one of the most famous frozen treats ever stuck on a stick. Saturday, Aug. 14, is National Creamsicle Day! Just thinking about it makes me feel nostalgic. If childhood summers had a flavor, it’d be sweet, tart, frozen orange sherbet wrapped around a creamy iced vanilla lolly.

Obviously, this requires a celebration. I suppose we could just go to the frozen-treat section of the grocery store and pick up a box of ice pops, but where’s the fabulous fun in that?

Let’s pay homage to this orangy, creamy, head-freezy treat with the most scrumptious icebox cake ever. And because we’re adults now, we’re going to make it boozy. It’s everything you loved as a kid without the stick, with a kick.

Perhaps this is what Aristotle was eating when he said, “The whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” because this icebox-cake technique exemplifies it. It’s nothing but ice cream and graham crackers, yet it’s so much more.

This recipe is easy. It barely qualifies as a recipe because measurements don’t matter. You layer any ice cream with graham crackers as thick or thin as you like. Plus, you make it any size as you wish. You can use a 9x13 pan, a loaf pan, individual servings or make it in big ol’ bucket!


This recipe makes one 8x4 loaf pan. Scale up or down depending on the size of your pan. Triple sec is completely optional.

Yield: 6 servings

Active Time: 15 minutes

Freeze Time: 4 to 24 hours

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 2 cups orange sherbet
  • 3 tablespoons triple sec orange liqueur (optional)
  • 10 whole graham crackers
  • Optional decoration: whipped cream, orange slices

Here’s How:

1. Remove the ice cream and sherbet from the freezer to begin softening.

2. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap leaving an overhang of about 4 inches on the sides. Line the bottom of your pan with graham crackers, breaking as needed to fill the bottom. Remember, when you flip your frozen masterpiece over onto a serving dish, this bottom will be the top, so make it pretty.

3. Soften about 1 cup vanilla ice cream in your stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or a mixing bowl with a rubber spatula using elbow grease. Add 1 tablespoon triple sec, if desired. Using a spatula, spread this evenly over the graham crackers. Place another layer of graham crackers over the ice cream.

4. Soften 1 cup of sherbet as you did the ice cream, adding 1 tablespoon liqueur if desired, and spread evenly to make another layer. Top this with more graham crackers.

5. Swirl the remaining ice cream and sherbet together, adding liquor if you wish and spread forming the last layer. Top this with graham crackers, gently pressing down to squish it all together.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours, or better, overnight.

To Serve:

1. Dip the bottom of the pan briefly in warm water to release the cake from the sides. Place your serving platter upside-down onto your frozen pan and invert by performing an exhilarating flip. Take a bow, or try again, whichever is appropriate.

2. Remove the plastic wrap from your incredible cake. Take a moment to revel in your amazingness, then slice to serve or decorate as desired.

While this icebox cake is deliciously charming, it’s not stunningly beautiful, so I decorated mine with whipped cream, thin orange slices and edible viola flowers.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at

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