How many of you remember Woolworths and its beloved lunch counter. Woolworths is known for many things (not all of them food), one of which is their signature icebox cheesecake. You guys, we don’t know how we could’ve forgotten about this staple, but we’re so glad we remembered it and tried our hand at recreating the classic. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Woolworth icebox cheesecake is a light-as-air, no-bake, lemon confection that comes together easily and is a dessert that’s perfect at the end of a meal when you need something refreshing and light and not too sweet.
This iconic treat is comprised of basically two parts, the crust (and topping) and the filling, the former being graham cracker-based, and the latter being cream cheese-based. If you can stir butter into graham cracker crumbs, you’ve got the first part down, then it’s just time to focus on the filling…. You’ll make the filling in a couple different bowls, but don’t let that deter you. Whisk your lemon jello mix with the boiling water: easy peasy. Whip the evaporated milk until it’s nice and fluffy and aerated: also super easy. Finally, it’s just a matter of creaming together the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice, then you mix in the jello and evaporated milk to ensure maximum smoothness. 1, 2, 3, done!
Spread three quarters of your graham cracker crust mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish, add your filling and spread it into an even layer, then top it off with the remaining graham cracker crumbs. Let it all set in the refrigerator and boom, you’ve got yourself a dessert that rivals the esteemed restaurant original!
20 minutes active; 2+ hours inactive to prepare serves 12-16
- 1 (3 oz.) package lemon jello
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk, chilled
- In a medium bowl, dissolve jello in boiling water. Let cool 5-10 minutes, or until slightly thick.
- While jello cools, mix 3/4 graham cracker crumbs with melted butter in a medium bowl, then press into the bottom of 9x13-inch pan and set aside. Reserve remaining crumbs for topping.
- In a medium bowl, beat evaporated milk until whipped and fluffy. 2-4 minutes.
- In a separate, large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice together until smooth. Add in thickened jello, then fold in whipped evaporated milk.
- Spread filling evenly over crust and top with reserved graham cracker crumbs.
- Cover and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Sugar Apron