This is the best single serving icebox cake recipe! So easy to make and the perfect size for one person. It's a light, no-bake cake made with a sweet cream filling and berries layered over graham crackers.
There's nothing more refreshing than a cool dessert on a hot summer day, one that's quick to make and doesn't require any baking time is an absolute winner. Icebox cakes are some of my favorite desserts. No oven is necessary because the dessert "cooks" in the refrigerator and becomes a heavenly cake-like treat.
Making an icebox cake takes very little time to do and you don't need any fancy ingredients. At its simplest, an icebox cake is just graham crackers or cookies with whipped cream layered in between. Fancier versions might include espresso, caramel, or chocolate.
The mini icebox cake recipe I'm sharing today is a cream cheese version that is constructed by layering graham crackers with a sweetened creamy filling along with a scattering of berries in a dessert dish. The cake is then placed in the refrigerator to chill until the cookies soften into a cake-like consistency.
The whole idea of an icebox cake may sound a bit odd - crisp graham crackers, no cake? But that's what makes an icebox cake so wonderful. In the refrigerator, the crackers soften and meld with the cream and fruit, making the cake almost custard-like.
You often see icebox cakes at summer cookouts and picnics. They're usually made in a large serving dish and are great for serving a big group of people. In the case of this mini icebox cake, it's made in a small dish so it's the ideal size for one person.
What Is An Icebox Cake?
An icebox cake is similar to a trifle or a "dessert lasagna". It was introduced to the US in the late 1920's and was popular because it used pre-made, inexpensive ingredients. This incredibly simple dessert was named after the icebox that the cake was kept cool in.
Besides being one of the most delicious cakes ever, an icebox cake is made with very few ingredients; mainly lightly sweetened cookies and whipped cream. In fact, you might already be familiar with Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake, which is also known as a Zebra Cake. Their cake was made using their own chocolate wafers and whipped cream.
See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.
- graham crackers or digestive biscuits, Speculoos, or other lightly sweetened cookies
- cream cheese
- heavy cream (also called double cream)
- blueberries or strawberries
See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.
How To Make An Icebox Cake
This mini icebox cake is made in either a 10-ounce ramekin or a 5-inch baking dish, as shown in the pictures. You can use any type of dish that is a similar size. Just be aware that you might run out of the cream filling that is spooned between the layers of graham crackers if you use a dish much larger than the ones that are suggested.
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
- Whip together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, whip the cream until it thickens. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
- Place a layer of crackers in the dish you are using, breaking them as needed to fit into a single layer.
- Spread a portion of the creamy filling over the crackers.
- Spread some of the berries evenly on top of the filling.
- Top with a second layer of crackers.
- Top with remaining filling and fruit.
- Depending on the size of the dish you are using, you might get a third layer. If not, spread the remaining cream cheese mixture over the top and top with remaining berries.
If you are using a 5-inch dish, you will likely get 2 layers.
If you are using a 10-ounce ramekin, you will likely get 3 layers.
Icebox Cake Tips
- You can substitute ladyfingers or cookies for the graham crackers.
- Swap pudding for the whipped cream/cream cheese mixture.
- Icebox cakes are best eaten within 2 days.
Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients
If you have any ingredients left over from this icebox cake recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:
- Cream cheese: Pumpkin Bars, Lemon Cheesecake Mousse, Mini Carrot Cake
- Heavy cream: Blue Cheese Dressing, Alfredo Sauce, Quiche Lorraine
- Graham crackers: Peanut Butter Pie, Lemon Mango Pie, Key Lime Pie
- Fruit: Berry Filled Dutch Baby, Coffee Cake, Blueberry Crumble, Strawberry Shortcake
Other Single Serving No-Bake Desserts
- Cheesecake For One
- Pumpkin Cheesecake For One
- Fat Bombs
- Chocolate Truffles
- Ice Cream For One
- 2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse For One
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.
- 2 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 2 sheets graham crackers
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- Place the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and beat well with a hand mixer. Set it aside.
- In a separate small bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and blend well.
- Layer the bottom of the dessert dish with graham crackers, breaking them as needed to fit into a single, even layer.
- Gently spread 1/2 of the cream evenly on the crackers.
- Place 1/2 of the fruit evenly on top of the cream.
- Cover the fruit with a second layer of crackers.
- Top this second layer of crackers with the remaining cream and fruit.
- Cover with plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.