Coconut Icebox Cake is a sweet and super easy no-bake summertime dessert with layers of creamy coconut filling, whipped topping and graham crackers. The perfect cold treat for a hot day.
I love making a no-bake dessert on hot summer days. Who wants to turn on the oven when you already feel like you’re melting? Not me! This coconut icebox cake recipe is the perfect summer dessert when you want to satisfy your sweet tooth and still stay cool.
This ice box cake always gets rave reviews from my friends and family. When I tell them how easy it is, they almost don’t believe me. It truly is the perfect dessert for summer.
I think the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for it to set in the refrigerator. The chilling time is 4 hours, but the actual prep work takes about 20 minutes. It’s a great recipe for the kids to help with.
Why You’ll Love This Coconut Cream Icebox Cake
- Simple ingredients that are easy to find at the grocery store
- No-bake so you don’t have to heat up your house by turning on the oven or the stove
- Easy dessert to feed a crowd
- Delicious sweetness with a subtle coconut flavor
- Only a 20 minute prep
- Cold, creamy with luscious layers
- Can easily be made ahead and chilled in the fridge
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- Instant vanilla pudding – I used the Jello brand instant vanilla pudding. Make sure you’re getting the instant vanilla pudding and not the Cook & Serve kind.
- Cold milk – Keep the milk in the fridge until you need it to keep it as cold as possible.
- Coconut extract
- Whipped topping – I used Cool Whip, but you could also make your own homemade stabilized whipped cream. Make sure it’s thawed before you use it.
- Full-size graham crackers – I used store-brand honey graham crackers.
- Toasted coconut – See my cooking tip below on how to toast coconut or buy it already toasted. I’ve seen it at the bulk food store before.
How to Make Coconut Icebox Cake
- Step One: In a large bowl, whisk together the vanilla pudding mix, milk and coconut extract for about 1 to 2 minutes until the pudding mix is dissolved and the mix has thickened.
- Step Two: Add the coconut flakes and stir.
- Step Three: Fold in one 8oz container of thawed whipped topping until well-mixed.
- Step Four: Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish or pan with 8 to 9 graham crackers in a single layer. You can break the graham crackers apart to make sure the whole bottom is covered.
- Step Five: Spoon about half the pudding mixture over the graham crackers and smooth it out with a spoon or spatula in an even layer.
- Step Six: Layer another 8 to 9 graham crackers over the pudding mix, then cover those with the other half of the pudding mixture.
- Step Seven: Do one more layer of graham crackers then spread the second 8oz container of thawed whipped topping over the top.
- Step Eight: Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but chilling overnight is best.
- Step Nine: Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top, and serve chilled.
What to Serve with Coconut Icebox Cake
Variations and Substitutions
- Use coconut cream instant pudding (if you can find it) instead of the vanilla instant pudding. If you use the coconut pudding, you can omit the coconut extract.
- Use whipped cream instead of Cool Whip if you like. I prefer Cool Whip, though, because it holds together better.
- Use whole milk instead of 2% milk to make it extra creamy.
- Try chocolate graham crackers or wafer cookies in place of the graham crackers.
Store the icebox cake, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze this recipe. Cover in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months Thaw before serving.
How to Toast Coconut
To toast the coconut, spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 3 to 5 minutes or until the coconut is golden brown.
- Make sure the whipped topping and the pudding are well-mixed by scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a scraper spatula while folding. A glass bowl would be perfect for this so you can see through the bottom.
- Leave the whipped topping on the counter for an hour or two before using it to make it sure it’s thawed. Frozen whipped topping can be lumpy and hard to mix.
- Use an offset spatula to evenly spread the creamy layers.
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
Coconut Icebox Cake
- 2 boxes instant vanilla pudding 3.4 oz size
- 3 cups milk cold
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 2 containers whipped topping 8 oz size, thawed
- 21 full-sized graham crackers
- ½ cup toasted coconut
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vanilla pudding mix, milk and coconut extract for about 1 to 2 minutes until the pudding mix is dissolved and the mix has thickened.
- Add the coconut flakes and stir.
- Fold in one 8oz container of thawed whipped topping until well-mixed.
- Line the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish or pan with 8 to 9 graham crackers. You can break the graham crackers apart to make sure the whole bottom is covered.
- Spoon about half the pudding mixture over the graham crackers and smooth it out with a spoon or spatula.
- Layer another 8 to 9 graham crackers over the pudding mix, then cover those with the other half of the pudding mixture.
- Do one more layer of graham crackers then spread the second 8oz container of thawed whipped topping over the top.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but chilling overnight is best.
- Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top, and serve chilled.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.