My grandmother’s “icebox cake” was one of my favorite desserts growing up.
She made it by layering graham crackers and warm pudding in a pan and setting the pan in the refrigerator so the mixture could set up. After a few hours, the cracker layers had absorbed some of the pudding and we had icebox cake!
This was a great treat to make in the summertime because Grandma didn’t have to turn on the oven and heat up the whole kitchen just to make dessert. Another benefit to making icebox cake was that she saved gas, and saving money was important to her.
To make this treat, grandma only had to cook the pudding, which did require warming in those pre-instant pudding days. It still required far less energy than baking something in the oven. Since the refrigerator was always running anyway, she didn’t use any extra energy to set the cake.
Mom continued to make icebox cake for us even when we were adults. She despised the heat and humidity of the summer even more than Grandma did, so this was a good way for her to make us a treat without suffering in a hot kitchen.
Today, there are so many no-bake recipes on the internet. Recipes that include seasonal favorites like berries and peaches. There are even Mason jar trifles that you could whip up! My current favorite is soft ginger cookie sandwiches filled with whipped creme. Put them in the fridge for a few hours and you really have something good. It’s so simple!
So, keep your oven off during those hot summer days. You’ll stay cooler and reduce your carbon footprint! Talk about having your cake and eating it, too!
This post was originally published on July 24, 2019.
About the Author
Joanna Lacey lives in New York and has collected thousands of ideas from the frugal habits of her mother and grandmother. You can find her on Facebook at Joanna the Green Maven.