Banana Pudding Icebox Cake Recipe on Food52

5 Ingredients or Fewer

Banana Pudding Icebox Cake

June 25, 2018
9 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

Banana pudding gets icebox cake–ified, becoming a no-bake, no-cook dessert to keep on hand all summer long. —Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: 4-Ingredient Banana Icebox Cake to Make You Forget Your Oven & Stove —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Banana Pudding Icebox Cake
  • Prep time 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Makes 1 icebox cake
  • 2/3 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced (about as thick as the wafers)
  • 7 ounces vanilla wafers
In This Recipe
  1. Line a 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic, so there’s a fair amount of overhang.
  2. Add the malted milk powder and salt to a bowl. Add a splash of cream and whisk. Add another splash of cream and whisk. Continue this until you’ve added all the cream. (This ensures that the malted milk powder gets evenly distributed and doesn’t get all lumpy and weird.) Continue to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. (A balloon or cage whisk helps, if you have one.)
  3. Add a single layer of wafers to the bottom of the loaf pan. Top with a layer of whipped cream. Add a single layer of bananas. Top with a layer of whipped cream. Repeat this until you’ve used all the cream—making sure to end with the cream. If it starts to rise above the loaf pan, that’s fine! Even good. Fold the extra plastic over the icebox cake. If it doesn’t completely cover the surface, add more plastic wrap.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours or up to 36.
  5. To unmold, peel away the plastic from the top. Carefully—but confidently—turn the loaf pan onto a plate or serving platter. Peel away the plastic. Slice into thick slabs and eat cold.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • epicharis
  • Mary P. Brown
    Mary P. Brown
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • Joyce in Maine
    Joyce in Maine
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

    31 Reviews

    epicharis July 5, 2019
    An absolute knockout of a recipe, where the outcome is wildly disproportionate to the effort involved. This was the smash hit of our July 4th despite taking 5 ingredients we already had on hand and like 15 minutes the night before. Thanks to this I'm going to experiment with more malted milk powder and whipping cream!
    Joyce I. September 20, 2018
    Oh. Wow. Tremendous. I earned MAJOR wife points with this. The malt infused cream is the adult version of a childhood favorite. I added a teaspoon of vanilla to the cream at a reviewer's suggestion. Do it. Let the cake "meld" 24 hours in the fridge.

    In the interest of those of us who are Sheldon-esque, the 7 ounces of Nilla Wafers is neither meaningful nor accurate. Like me, you will want to know you need 15 wafers for each of the 4 layers = 60 wafers for this luscious creation.

    Don't be skimpy slicing the bananas. It is easy to build this above the pan. I used two pieces plastic wrap (each direction) to fold over the confection.

    Really, really wonderful. I recommend with 5 stars.
    Author Comment
    Emma L. September 21, 2018
    Yay! So glad you (and your wife!) enjoyed.
    Barb September 19, 2018
    For the simple minded here... the pan called for is 81/2 X 4 1/2....
    What is depth?
    Author Comment
    Emma L. September 19, 2018
    Hi Barb—great Q! The standard depth for this pan size is 2 1/2 inches.
    Irene September 8, 2018
    What keeps the bananas from turning brown and ugly, like mine do in banana pudding? I use a firm banana, not too ripe.
    Author Comment
    Emma L. September 11, 2018
    Because they're covered in whipped cream, I didn't have any issues with significant browning. Using a not-too-ripe banana can help. And if you want to take an extra precaution, you can toss the banana slices in some lemon or orange juice, too.
    Irene September 11, 2018
    Mine are always completely covered with pudding or cream. But I’ll try the orange juice trick. Lemon juice is too distracting to the taste. Thanks!
    Mary P. July 29, 2018
    This was very good, though I did accidentally use chocolate malt rather than the original and it didn't slice nicely as pictured above. I let it sit in the fridge for the extended time and it still didn't slice - it smooshed when the knife tried to go through. So I gave up and served it like a trifle.
    Amanda August 22, 2018
    They don't make it very clear, but it should be placed in the freezer.
    Author Comment
    Emma L. August 22, 2018
    Hi Amanda—it actually should go in the fridge, not the freezer. I'll add this to the recipe instructions to clarify!
    KIMBERLY S. July 17, 2018
    I cant find the malt can I use something else for that part?
    Author Comment
    Emma L. July 17, 2018
    Hi Kimberly! Copying a reply from the accompanying article: This is a flexible recipe, so there's a lot of room to play around. You could mix in espresso powder and confectioners' sugar. Or cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar. Or even a nut/seed butter like tahini. All to taste! I'd start with a couple tablespoons or so, depending on the ingredient, and add bit by bit. Hope this helps!
    Suzanne July 13, 2018
    How would different fruits work in this recipe? Thinking berries, stone fruits?
    Author Comment
    Emma L. July 15, 2018
    Though I haven't tried another fruit with this recipe, icebox cakes are so forgiving, I'm hopeful it would turn out well. I bet that tart blackberries would be super good!
    Sher August 14, 2018
    That sounds delish! I love Blackberry anything! Did you try this? I saw a Blackberry Icebox Cake on MSN but haven't tried it yet.
    Lexica July 5, 2018
    Due to a grocery-related miscommunication I started making this before realizing that oops! we didn't have any malt powder. I substituted peanut butter instead, and it still turned out delicious.
    Author Comment
    Emma L. July 8, 2018
    Yum! Sounds like a happy accident to me :)
    susi C. July 3, 2018
    Can I make this in a bigger pan and double the recipe?
    Author Comment
    Emma L. July 5, 2018
    Sure! Here's a great article from our contributor Alice Medrich on how to adapt recipes to different pan sizes:
    Kenneth B. July 1, 2018
    Having made it I think it might benefit from the addition of vanilla extract to the whipped cream.
    Abananie June 30, 2018
    Where would I find malted milk powder?
    Kenneth B. July 1, 2018
    I found Carnation brand at Walmart - next to the Ovaltine and Nesquik on the coffee and tea aisle.
    Bee June 30, 2018
    I just made the pudding. It's to die for. Thanks it's a keeper. I used Trader Joe's coconut cream n coconut milk. It's so easy n delicious. 😋
    Blaine June 28, 2018
    Dumb question.....freezer or fridge?
    Author Comment
    Emma L. June 28, 2018
    Never a dumb question! Fridge :)
    Valhalla June 28, 2018
    Could you explain the use of the malted milk powder? If it just for taste, or does it facilitate thickening, etc.?
    Author Comment
    Emma L. June 28, 2018
    Great Q! It does add more body to the whipped cream—its primary ingredients are wheat flour and malted barley extracts. But in this case, we're using it primarily for flavor, much like when people add a spoonful to a milkshake.
    Valhalla June 28, 2018
    Thanks, of course I saw the link right after I asked. Can't wait to try this--icebox cakes are better than cakes or ice cream!
    Elizabeth June 27, 2018
    How necessary is it to chill for 12 hours? What if I have, say...8 or 9 hours?
    Author Comment
    Emma L. June 27, 2018
    Hi! The wafers would just be a little crisper, but if that doesn't bother you, then go for it!