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Ice Box Cake the Old Fashioned Way

Updated on November 13, 2013
Ice Box Cake Made With Hot Milk Cake.
Ice Box Cake Made With Hot Milk Cake. | Source

Ice Box Cake Made With Hot Milk Cake

This ice box cake recipe has been a family favorite for many years. It has nothing to do with chocolate cream cookies, chocolate wafers or graham crackers. It is made with Hot Milk Cake and a unique filling.

I come from what is now considered a large family. When we were all living under one roof, we would mosey back into the kitchen an hour after dinner to make sure we got our slice of ice box cake. If you arrived early, drying and putting the dishes away awaited you, but that was better than arriving late and looking into an empty dish.

As family members began to leave to go to college or begin their new life, this recipe was pulled out of the recipe box and made to celebrate us all being together again. But now, it is placed on the table with a pot of coffee and we tell our tales of where life has taken us. As the next generation comes along, it will be their turn to do the dishes and wait for their little slice of heaven.

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Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: Serves eight people

Additional Time

It will take a minimum of 3 hours of ice box time in addition to the cook and prep time.

Additional Baking Items

  • Serving Dish
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Wax Paper
  • Double Boiler or 2 Pans


  • 1/2 Pound Marshmallows, 8 ounces
  • 1/2 Cup Orange or Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Cup Whipped Cream
  • 1 Cup Ginger Ale
  • 6 Maraschino Cherries, halved
  • 1 Hot Milk Cake
Melting Marshmallows in Double Boiler.
Melting Marshmallows in Double Boiler. | Source
Marshmallows Melted and Ready to Cool.
Marshmallows Melted and Ready to Cool. | Source
Mixing in the Ginger Ale.
Mixing in the Ginger Ale. | Source

Melting Marshmallows and Creating the Icing

This first step calls for a double boiler. If you do not have one, get a 2 quart pan, for the marshmallows, and 6 quart pan, for the water. Place enough water in the 6 quart pan to hit the bottom inch of the 2 quart pan.

Before bringing the water to a boil, test the water height by placing the 2 quart pan inside the pan with water. Remove the 2 quart pan and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water has a full boil, turn down the temperature to medium. Place the 2 quart pan in.

  1. Place the juice and marshmallows into the top pan.
  2. Melt the marshmallows completely. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  3. When marshmallows are completely melted, take pan out of the water and set aside to cool.
  4. Once the pan is completely cooled, roughly 10 minutes, blend in ginger ale. Place this pan in the ice box (refrigerator). Filling will be ready for the next step when it is thick. To test for thickness, give the pan a jiggle and the filling should wiggle just like gelatin. Begin to test the thickness after 2 hours.

Slicing Hot Milk Cake.
Slicing Hot Milk Cake. | Source
Slicing Through Cake.
Slicing Through Cake. | Source
Cake Layers Ready for Filling.
Cake Layers Ready for Filling. | Source

Slicing the Cake

While the filing is in the ice box, you can prep the cake for the serving dish. Using a bread knife, begin to cut the cake in half, length wise. Due to the shape of the cake, rectangular, I find that the easiest way to cut this shape is to begin at one end and slice in an inch.

I then cut down the length of the cake, about an inch, cut across the next end an inch and then continue up the last length. I reinsert my knife, in the end I began in, and proceed to slice the cake in half using the first cuts I made as a guide.

Once I have cut the top from the bottom, I place it on a piece of wax paper. I then put the bottom piece of cake on a piece of waxed paper and then stack the top cake on top of it. I flip the serving dish over the completed stack to use as a cover.

Adding Whipped Cream to Chilled Filling.
Adding Whipped Cream to Chilled Filling. | Source
Filling Waiting for Top Cake.
Filling Waiting for Top Cake. | Source

Final Steps

  1. Remove the filling pan from the ice box, and add in the whipped cream. A hand whisk works great to combine the whipped cream with the filling.
  2. Place bottom layer of cake in a 13 x 9 serving dish. Spoon about half of the filling,from the pan, on top of this layer.
  3. Place top layer of cake on top of filling. Spoon the rest of the filling on to this top layer. Start in the middle and work out towards the edge. Using a spatula to even out the filling works best. A bit of the filling may run over the sides.
  4. Space halved maraschino cherries along the top, leaving room for easy slicing.
  5. Put the covered serving dish in ice box to chill cake. Once the cake icing is firm, about 1 hour, cut and serve.

Last Minute Ideas Using Different Cakes

FYI: Due to a waiting period in between the steps for the Ice Box Cake, you have plenty of time to make the hot milk cake on the same day. If you choose to use a pound or sponge cake instead, you will need to adjust the serving dish size, slice cake into thirds, and divide the filling accordingly.

Hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do! If you have any questions about this recipe, please ask them in the comments section.

© 2013 Susan McLeish


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    • StoneCircle profile image

      Susan McLeish 4 years ago from Rindge, NH

      Faythef . . I believe a regular cake would be a bit moist for this recipe. You want a bit dryer cake for this. I know Betty Crocker has a pound cake mix that works. It is the super moist cake mixes that will fall apart once the filling is applied. Hope this helps!

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe Payne 4 years ago from USA

      this sounds really good..going to check out the hot milk cake now..But will it work for a regular cake mix?