Icebox cake was a long-standing fixture in my grandma’s kitchen on Sundays, especially during the summer. Hers was an incredibly simple version, consisting of layers of graham crackers, vanilla pudding and, sometimes, Cool Whip on top. It was one of my two favorite desserts at my grandma’s in the summer; the other being angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream.
Last year, I experimented with an Oreo version of icebox cake, replacing the graham crackers with Oreo cookies and the vanilla pudding with cheesecake pudding. It was fabulous, and I went ahead and made anotherno-bake Oreo layer dessert later on last summer, that I decided needed a peanut butter cup spin.
Let’s be honest… once the temperature starts to creep about eighty, no matter how well air conditioned the house is, I think most of us would prefer to leave the oven off and instead indulge in cool, refreshing desserts. This is perfect, and if you’re a peanut butter fan, this will be right up your alley.
I kept the Oreo crust, but added peanut butter to the cream cheese layer for more of a peanut butter mousse consistency, topped that layer with chopped peanut butter cups, then layered on the chocolate pudding, a whipped topping layer, and more chopped peanut butter cups.
The result is a cool, creamy, peanut butter and chocolate loaded dessert, perfect for summer and anytime you need an easy no-bake dessert. I guarantee this would have been grandma-approved!
Make the Crust: Place the cookies in a food processor blender and process until they are broken down into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times to ensure that all of the crumbs are evenly moistened. Turn the crumbs out into a 9x13-inch pan and press into an even layer. Refrigerate while the peanut butter layer is prepared.
Make the Peanut Butter Layer: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth and homogenous, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the Cool Whip. Spread in an even layer over the crust and sprinkle with the chopped peanut butter cups. Refrigerate while the pudding layer is prepared.
Make the Pudding Layer: In a large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow it to set. Use an offset spatula to spread the pudding in an even layer over the cream cheese mixture.
Spread the remaining 8-ounce tub of Cool Whip on top and sprinkle with the rest of the chopped peanut butter cups. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.