This no bake pineapple icebox cake is luscious, creamy and definitely moreish! All you need are 4 simple ingredients and 15 minutes of your time. Try it yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree that this recipe for pineapple icebox cake is a winner!!!
No-bake pineapple icebox cake
This pineapple icebox cake recipe is one of my favourite recipes – I’ve been making it for years and it has always been a firm family favourite. It is the ideal dessert to make now that the weather is warming up and you are looking for a nice light, chilled dessert.
I grew up in South Africa where an icebox cake is actually called a fridge tart. South Africa is well known for its fridge tarts, the most iconic of which is a peppermint crisp fridge tart , which is a decadent, gooey icebox cake, made with condensed milk and peppermint chocolate. I defy anyone to have more than one slice. I much prefer the lighter fridge tarts though, such as the pineapple icebox cake that I am sharing today, and this citrus cheesecake. Contrary to its name, the citrus cheesecake does not contain any cheese. Instead, it gets its fresh tangy taste from Greek yoghurt.
While my version of a pineapple icebox cake is vey creamy – it doesn’t contain any cream at all. The creamy filling is made by whipping evaporated milk until it thickens. This is is then mixed with fruit layered between crispy coconut flavoured biscuits (cookies) to make a light, fresh, dessert, packed with fruit, that you can enjoy any time. And with only 180 calories per slice you can be excused for taking an extra helping.
If you want to reduce the calories even further you can leave out the cookies and spoon the filling into individual glasses. It will thicken and set in the fridge, a bit like a mousse. The calories would drop to only 58, making this the ideal dessert for those of you who are on a diet.
And it is so versatile. I’ve used pineapples, which gives a lovely tangy flavour. But you can use any canned fruit of your choice. I’ve tried it with canned pears and or peaches, which work really well. And if you would like a more exotic flavour, why not use a can of lychees.
Apart from dissolving a jelly /jello in the pineapple juice in a saucepan, there is absolutely no cooking involved. Just mix, assemble and leave in the fridge for a few hours to set.
Ingredients for pineapple icebox tart
You can get the complete recipe on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
You will only need 4 ingredients :
- A packet of flavoured jelly (or jello if you live in the US) . I’ve used pineapple, but a lemon flavour would work just as well. You can use the gelatine type of jelly, as I’ve used here, or you can use jelly crystals. Both work just as well.
- A small can of pineapple chunks (or rings) or other fruit of your choice. You need the smallest sized can. The weight on the side of the can I used was 227g (8 oz) but it doesn’t matter if it’s slightly over. In the UK you can also buy cans of crushed pineapple which would work just as well.
- 1 large can of evapourated milk (NOT the sweeter condensed milk). Evapourated milk is simply milk that has been heated until half of the water content has been removed. The size I used was marked 410g (14.5 oz).
- 1 x 300g packet of Nice biscuits (or cookies) which is about 10.5 ounces.. The original version of this dessert uses a South African biscuit/cookie called Tennis biscuits which are thin coconut/caramel flavoured biscuits/cookies.
- The closest substitute or Tennis biscuits that I can find in the UK are Nice biscuits (they are stamped with the word NICE). For my US readers, I believe the closest substitute would be Graham crackers. However, any thin shortcake-type cookie will work. The biscuit/cookie has to be thin enough to absorb some of the filling, as this is what helps thicken the tart.
Update – one of my readers suggested using Biscoff biscuits. I think the flavour of these would be perfect.
How to make pineapple icebox cake
Mix the filling
Start by opening the can of fruit and pouring the juice into a saucepan. Add the jelly/jello and heat gently until it melts (image 1). If you are using jelly/jello crystals, just stir them into the warm juice until they dissolve.
Chop the pineapple into small pieces (image 2).
Open the can of evapourated milk and pour into a mixing bowl.
Top tip – store the evaporated milk in the fridge before using so it is nice and cold. You will find it thickens faster if you whisk the milk while it is chilled.
Whisk vigourously (I used a hand beater) until the milk becomes thick and creamy and leaves a trail when you draw a spoon through it (image 4). This takes 3 or 4 minutes. The milk should treble in quantity as the air gets incorporated.
Assemble the cake
Next, pour melted jelly/jello into the whipped milk and add the chopped fruit (image 1). Stir well to distribute the fruit evenly.
Arrange a single layer of cookies in your pie dish. You may need to break/cut some cookies to fit.
Cover the cookies with half of the milk/fruit mixture (image 3).
Repeat with a second layer of cookies and the remainder of the milk.
Add the topping
Place a few of the remaining cookies in a plastic bag and crush to fine crumbs with a rolling pin (image 1).
Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the cake(image 2).
Place the pineapple cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and allow to set (image 3).
Eat a slice before anyone finds out you’ve made this delicious cake. It will disappear before you know it 🙂 .
You can vary this icebox cake by substituting different fruits for the pineapple. Peaches and pears work well, but you can use any fruit that has been canned in juice. You will need the juice from the fruit to dissolve the jelly/jello.
If you want to make a lighter dessert, you can pour the filling into individual serving dishes, without adding the cookies for a delicious creamy, fruity mousse. Place the individual bowls in the refrigerator to set for a few hours before eating.
Convert grams to cups
To help you convert your recipes, I have created a handy Cookery Conversion Calculator which will convert ingredients between grams, ounces, tablespoons, cups and millilitres. I hope you will find it useful.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read about how to do this in this post on baking at high altitudes.
Recipe – No bake pineapple icebox cake
No bake pineapple icebox cake
- Sauce pan
- Whisk or hand-mixer
- 12" diameter pie dish
- 410 g can evapourated milk (14.5 ounces)
- 227 g can pineapple chunks/rings (8 ounces)
- 300 g coconut flavoured biscuits (cookies) Nice or Tennis biscuits or Graham crackers
- 1 packet pineapple flavoured jelly/jello
- Open the can of fruit and pour the juice into a saucepan.
- Add the jelly/jello and heat gently until it has dissolved. Allow to cool.
- Cut the pineapple into small pieces.
- Pour the evapourated milk into a mixing bowl and whisk vigourously until the milk has thickened and trebled in volume.
- Pour the cooled jelly/jello and the fruit into the thickened milk and mix well.
- Arrange a single layer of cookies in a 12" diameter pie dish.
- Cover the cookies with half of the milk/fruit mixture.
- Repeat with a second layer of cookies and the remainder of the milk/fruit mixture.
- Crush a few of the remaining cookies into crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
- Place the cakein the fridge for at lease 3 hours to allow it to set.
- Serve chilled.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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