Joy of Baking

Icebox cake

(Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe)
May 26, 2010

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Serves 10

My great-grandmother Anna used to make a cake, lovingly layering Jell-O chocolate pudding, graham crackers, Cool Whip, and maraschino cherries. She kept it in the icebox for a couple of hours to soften the layers until the texture became creamy and the crackers cake-like. My Aunt Rita follows Grandma Anna’s recipe faithfully. Because I prefer to make desserts from scratch, I have changed the family specialty a little. I use homemade chocolate pudding, which requires little more than a whisk and patience. I also use real whipped cream. Maraschino cherries have been replaced by chocolate shavings. But Grandma Anna still comes through in every bite.


1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 box (14 ounces) graham crackers

1. Have on hand a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Simmer, still whisking, for 2 minutes or until thickened.

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate, butter, and vanilla until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. Arrange a layer of graham crackers in the dish. Top with 1/3 of the chocolate pudding. Repeat with remaining graham crackers and pudding, ending with a layer of pudding. Cover and refrigerate.


2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Extra semisweet chocolate (for grating)

1. In an electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla until the mixture forms soft peaks.

2. Spread the whipped cream on the pudding. Grate the chocolate on top. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Keri Fisher