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My Mother-In-Law's Ice Box Cake

Updated on September 14, 2015

Why Is This My Mother-In-Law's Ice Box Cake?

This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law. She was born in Montodoro, Sicily. She had 11 children and my husband was the youngest. This was his favorite dessert of all time. So, naturally when I got married I learned how to make it. She learned how to make it from her mother, so I'm guessing it came right from Sicily.

It's a simple and rustic looking, but the taste the best.

This was a good dessert for her because of her large family and the fact that she raised at lest half of them during the great depression in the 30's, it was economical for her. Almost everyone had chickens then running around, hence the use of eggs, and from what I hear someone in almost every neighborhood had a cow. If not, then a man with a cow would come around and sell the milk which was so very cheap back then. She told me she used to get the crackers from a cracker factory very near her house which sold a whole bag of broken ones for a penny. Of course, those are the ones she used. Also, bananas were the cheapest fruits you could buy then.

It actually is very easy to make. The cream in the center is what makes it. It's heavenly, has a custard like texture and is the creamiest cream you every tasted. I really love it while it's still warm. After I pour it into the baking dish I like not only the spoon but scrape the pot.

Also you can just make this cream for children. It has milk and eggs and all things that taste so good. I also use this when I make cream puffs and when I buy canoli shells.

I haven't served this to anyone yet who didn't love it. Mangiare Buono!


Making the Cream (Crema) in Italian. Pronounced (The 'e' is pronounced like an 'a')

In most cream recipes it is made over a double boiler so it doesn't burn. That uses 2 pots which have to be cleaned and takes a lot longer. Also in some recipes the liquids are mixed together and heated and the eggs are tempered then added to the rest of the ingredients.

That was all to complicated for me and I want my recipes to be easier to make for people who are just starting to cook. So I came up with my own way which is much easier.

Mix all the ingredients in the pot while they are still cold and stir until you see that the sugar, corn starch and eggs are all incorporated and dissolved. Then turn the burner on to medium high heat and stir for a while. Then you can let it go for a few minutes, but when you see it starting to get warm then stir it every few minutes until you see it starting to coat the spoon or spatula then stir all the time till you see the first bubbles. Then take it off the heat and add the butter and stir it till the butter is all dissolved.

The butter actually gives it a shine and makes it feel and tastes luscious with a velvety texture.

Photos of Ice Box Cake

Ice Box Cake.  Whip cream is optional.
Ice Box Cake. Whip cream is optional. | Source
The cream starts to get thick when it starts clinging to the spatula.
The cream starts to get thick when it starts clinging to the spatula. | Source
Thickened cream.
Thickened cream. | Source
Thickened cream with butter added.
Thickened cream with butter added. | Source
1st layer of graham crackers.
1st layer of graham crackers. | Source
2nd layer: cream
2nd layer: cream | Source
3rd layer: bananas
3rd layer: bananas | Source

Please Vote

5 stars from 2 ratings of Ice Box Cake

I Thought You Would Like To See Photos of my Mother-In-Law .

Anna Silla Alba, Mother-in-Law
Anna Silla Alba, Mother-in-Law | Source
Salvatore Alba, Father-in-Law Anna Alba Mother-in-Law Frank Alba, my husband about 3 years old
Salvatore Alba, Father-in-Law Anna Alba Mother-in-Law Frank Alba, my husband about 3 years old | Source

Tip

If you cover the ice box cake while it is still hot or warm, the steam from the cream will create condensation and drip down on the graham crackers and make them all soggy. It will not be good like that. Trust me, I learned from experience!

Don't cover it until it's cold.

Prep time: 17 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 32 min
Yields: Serves 8 to 10 people
  • 8 sheets graham crackers
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 quart 2 % or whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 heaping tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Make the cream according to the directions in the above box. Save in the pot until you are ready for it.
  2. Line a 9" x 11" glass or cake pan with graham crackers. Carefully cutting the corners to make them fit better.
  3. Pour the cream over the graham crackers. Slice the bananas over the cream, dividing them evenly.
  4. Top with another layer of graham crackers, carefully cutting them to fit.
  5. Refrigerate without a cover until it is cold then cover it. It will take several hours. Enjoy!

Comments

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    • Rachel L Alba profile image
      Author

      Rachel L Alba 20 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Cornelia, Thanks for visiting, I'm glad you like this recipe. If you taste this dessert you will love it.

      Blessings to you.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image
      Author

      Rachel L Alba 20 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Pat, so glad to hear from you. I have had a crazy month but hopefully everything will settle down. This cream is more like a custard and I even love it while it's still warm.

      Blessings to you too.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image
      Author

      Rachel L Alba 20 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Pat, so glad to hear from you. I have had a crazy month but hopefully everything will settle down. This cream is more like a custard and I even love it while it's still warm.

      Blessings to you too.

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 20 months ago from Cork, Ireland

      Love sweets with bananas and cream. They are so light and delicious. Love this recipe. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 24 months ago from sunny Florida

      So glad you shared the photos, Rachel...I always like to see those whose stories and dishes are shared in a hub.

      This looks divine....the flavor combinations and textures, no doubt, make it a food that many will enjoy.

      And you know, that photo that I see each time I come to your pages makes me drool EVERY time I come to visit.

      Hoping you and yours are well.

      Angels are once again on the way to you this evening ps

    • Rachel L Alba profile image
      Author

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Alicia, thank you for visiting and the nice comment. I appreciate it.

      Blessings to you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love creamy desserts. Thanks once again for sharing a delicious recipe, Rachel.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image
      Author

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Jackie, thank you for visiting and the very nice and heartfelt comment. I really appreciate it.

      Blessings to you.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This looks and sounds yummy and I bet I would like it warm too; I like almost all desserts better warm! lol Guess I just can't wait. Thanks for sharing another wonderful recipe!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image
      Author

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate the confidence.

      Blessings to you.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Gave you all stars, definitely esnt to try out

    • Rachel L Alba profile image
      Author

      Rachel L Alba 2 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Kristen, Thanks for visiting and the kind comment. It's appreciated.

      Blessings to you.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Rachel, this looks delicious. I would love to try it someday. Thanks for sharing!