Moving is the worst. Heavy boxes and bedframes, unexpected sharp angles and things falling out of boxes, mattresses that almost but don’t quite fit into the back of your car, sweaty summer heat making your hair stick to your neck and your clothes stick to all the unflattering inches of your body, and, of course, the fatigue in your sore, long-unused moving muscles the day after.
(I’ve been moving. Can you tell?)
But–moving can also be the best, in a strange way. I got to hang out with my favorite group of people living in the same complex as me (well, not anymore, I guess) as they moved their entire life out the other day. Helping someone transport their life’s belongings one box at a time to the car, wrapping up dishes in plastic bags, and sitting on the ground surrounded by a year’s worth of magazines, half-folded tables and a debris of papers, laptops and odds and ends is a bonding experience.
Plus, you literally get to MOVE. Lifting all those heavy items and walking to and fro is like a workout in itself. And after a day of sitting in an office, I’m grateful for forced physical labor when I think about what I would have done otherwise (um, sit on my butt and watch Jane By Design, which, yes, is on ABC Family, which Lilly calls “the channel for home-schooled high schoolers who watch those shows to see what high school is like.”)
This cake is PUR-FECT hot weather cake. This contains exactly zero ice cream, but tastes like an ice cream cake. WIN!
Icy-cold layers of creamy pudding and cream that soak into layers of graham cracks that soften irresistably into cake-like chunks and get a little flaky in places that aren’t all the way soaked. It was hard to believe this could be so satisfying and non-boring with no chocolate whatsoever, but cake batter flavoring kicks the thing up a notch from plain vanilla, and the sprinkles–let’s be real. Nothing can be boring with sprinkles. Hello, eye candy. Apple of my eye.
This cake has been bastardized from its probably lovely, creamy, fresh original self. And not in a good way, the way I planned–probably for the worst, in the name of convenience.
Sometime in the near future, I will be going with my original plan and replacing either the whipped cream or the pudding with some kind of Greek yogurt concoction, but when I originally made, it, I realized my yogurt was running low. And then I realized I didn’t want to experiment with swapping Greek yogurt frosting instead of whipped cream for SOMEONE ELSE’S BIRTHDAY CAKE (one of my friends who was moving).
Not. At. All. I also realized I had about an hour to prep the cake (not counting the extensive freezing time), and so making a half-hour pudding was hardly feasible. Suffice it to say, this is an icebox cake, lazy-person/in-a-rush style.
Oh yeah, and I don’t know if making cakes in a loaf pan makes it more ice box-y, but I also realized my boyfriend still had my loaf pan from the banana bread I baked. So mine was decidedly flat and less ice box-y. But still cold and sweet and looking all fancy with its flaky layers of graham and icy layers of pudding YUM!
Funfetti Icebox Cake, Easier
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
makes one 9×13 sheet-style cake (or any other size pan. This is the max size pan I’d use for the amount of graham crackers listed below, however.)
2 14 oz. canisters whipped cream
1 14-ounce box of graham crackers
1 batch cake batter pudding (recipe below)
Begin by making the cake batter pudding so it has ample time to cool. It’s great if you can make it ahead of time.
Line a 9×13 pan with plastic wrap that overlaps the edges and is long enough to help lift the cake from the pan.
Using one of your two canisters of whipped cream, spray a layer (about 1/2 inch thick) of whipped cream all along the bottom and sides of the pan. Place a layer of graham crackers on top (as many as you can fit), spread with whipped cream, top with sprinkles, then place another layer of grahams. Spread a layer (again, about 1/2 inch thick) of pudding over the grahams, then place another layer of grahams. Repeat until you reach the top, making sure to push whipped cream and pudding down the open sides, then end with a layer of whipped cream. Place in the freezer, freezing at least 4-6 hours, or overnight.
Remove from freezer and lift the cake out, flipping over onto a small pan or cutting board that will fit in the freezer. Spread whipped cream all over cake for a finishing presentation, then cover in sprinkles. Freeze for at least another 2 hours, or as long as needed. When ready, cut and serve immediately. Additionally you can just scoop it out of the pan and serve it in bowls. Keep in the freezer.
Cake Batter Pudding
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup yellow cake mix (do NOT put more of this in, as I was tempted to do. Your pudding will be enormously thick, not in a good way)
pinch of salt
3 cups cold milk (I used 2%)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a large microwave-safe bowl, whisk together corn starch, sugar, cake mix, salt and milk until combined. Microwave for 3 minutes on high, stir, and microwave for 1 minute thereafter, stirring in between until thickened. Let cool completely before using.
Alternatively: you can use a smaller microwave-safe bowl (that’s all I had) and do this part in three batches, microwaving for 1 minute initially instead of 3 minutes. It will still be much faster than stirring constantly over the stove for 30 minutes!