These recipes are easy as (icebox) pie

     Icebox pies. The name sounds old-fashioned and, well, a little boring. After all, how long has it been since we even called our computerized refrigerators “iceboxes”? Still, “icebox pie” sounds more charming than “no-bake pie,” today’s description for desserts that require minimal (and in some cases, zero) cooking.

     Whatever you call them, one common denominator is that cooks have been making these rich, fluffy pies for years. They’ve withstood the test of time and are still some of the most effortless yet delicious homemade desserts. My grandmother’s lemon, chocolate, and my personal favorite, fruit and cream-packed Millionaire’s pies, were my first entry into the world of icebox pies.

     Whether you were raised on icebox pies like me or are discovering them for the first time, we can all agree they’re perfect for summer meals and entertaining. When it comes to choosing a filling, the options are endless. Pudding mixes, cream cheese, fresh fruit and many other ingredients, either alone or in combination with others, can be used. Flavors run the gamut from strawberry, banana, lemon and lime to chocolate, vanilla, espresso, peanut butter and many more.

     Crushed graham cracker, vanilla wafer or cookie crumb crusts are easy to make. Or to save time, use pre-crushed graham, shortbread or Oreo chocolate cookie crumbs available in supermarket baking sections.

     My freethinking grandmother would have been the first to admit it — pies don’t have to come from the oven to be impressive.


Banana Split Ice Cream Pie


  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (about 15 Oreo cookies, crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup chocolate sundae syrup, divided
  • 5 bananas, sliced
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 18-ounce jar strawberry sundae topping
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits
  • 5 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 16 maraschino cherries with stems (optional)


     Combine crumbs and butter, stirring with a fork until moist. Using a 10-inch springform pan, press crumb mixture into bottom and ó inch up the sides. Spread 1/2 cup chocolate syrup evenly over crust; top with banana slices. Spread ice cream evenly over banana. Cover and freeze 3 hours or until firm.

     Spread strawberry sundae topping evenly over ice cream. Cover and freeze 1 hour.

     Before serving, remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature 5 minutes. Drizzle each serving with ó teaspoon chocolate sundae syrup, and then top each slice with chopped pineapple, chopped peanuts and maraschino cherry, if desired. Serve immediately.



Berry Delicious Icebox Pie



  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups crushed strawberries
  • 1/2 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 3-ounce package strawberry gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


     Preheat oven to 350. Mix crushed pretzels, brown sugar and butter together and press into bottom and sides of a greased 10-inch pie plate. Bake 12 minutes, and then refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

     Roughly pulse strawberries in food processor or blender. Beat cup of heavy whipping cream until soft peaks and set aside.

     In another bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese and gelatin together until smooth. Mix in the strawberries, and then fold in the whipped cream. Spread into cooled pretzel crust. Freeze at least 8 hours or until firm.



Easiest Lemon Icebox Pie Ever


  • 1 9-inch graham cracker crust
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel


     In large bowl, beat filling ingredients until smooth. Spread evenly in crust. Refrigerate 4 hours but no longer than 8 hours.

     Top with whipped cream if desired.