Cherries may be a harbinger of spring, but lucky for us, they’re available all year round in the form of a simple can of cherry pie filling. We discovered long ago that pie filling is definitely not just meant for pie and ever since we’ve been experimenting with tucking it into desserts of every variety. But this particular one just might take the cake. This insanely yummy icebox cake uses canned cherry pie filling to form the irresistible cheesecake-reminiscent ice cream layer as well as the sweet glaze on top. It’s a no-bake delight that’s so much simpler than appearances might lead you to believe.
The base is formed with crushed vanilla sandwich cookies and butter, which are spread into a loaf pan that’s lined with plastic wrap (to make it easier to lift the whole cake out of the pan when it’s time). Then, you mix up some cream cheese, milk, sugar and half of that cherry pie filling until it’s one cohesive creamy, dreamy mixture. You fold in some chopped semi-sweet chocolate and whipped cream so that it takes on an airy texture, and then you spread it on top of the vanilla cookie crumbs. It’s basically a very quick no-cook homemade ice cream that has the sweet-tartness of cherry and the subtle tang of cream cheese. (And don’t forget the pockets of chocolate.)
The whole thing goes into the freezer to harden, and when it comes out, you lift it out by the plastic wrap and invert it onto a serving plate where you top it with more sweet cherry pie filling and an ample coating of whipped cream. All that’s left to do is slice and serve. And maybe serve again, because this is one where everyone comes back for seconds.
Cherry Icebox Cake
Serves 6-8; 20 minutes active, 3 hours inactive
- For the crust:
- 1 package vanilla sandwich cookies (approx. 36 cookies), crushed
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling, divided
- 1 cup whipped cream, plus more for topping
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving enough to overhang the sides, and set aside.
- Add melted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt to large bowl and toss until cookie crumbs are all thoroughly coated. Spread mixture evenly into bottom of prepared loaf pan, pressing crumbs down lightly.
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, milk, and half of cherry pie filling. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Fold in whipped cream and chopped chocolate, and spread into loaf pan. Freeze until completely firm, 2-3 hours.
- When ready to serve, remove from loaf pan using plastic wrap and invert onto serving plate. Top with remaining pie filling, and cover sides and top edge with whipped cream. Enjoy!
Adapted from Life Love and Sugar.