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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Creamy Caramel Apple Icebox Cake

No bake creamy caramel apple icebox cake is a perfect way to transition to fall flavors without heating up the house. The vanilla cream cheese filling, Graham crackers and cinnamon brown sugar apples come together to make the perfect slice of dessert.

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #AppleWeek . The sponsors are providing prize packages for readers to read and product for development of #AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

close up slice of icebox cake with layers of graham crackers, fluffy cream cheese filling and cinnamon spiced caramelized apples with apples in the background

     Get a fabulous fall dessert on the table without turning on the oven! Layers of Graham crackers, creamy vanilla filling and apples quickly caramelized in a skillet are married into one beautiful sweet treat. This icebox cake is a fun and easy make ahead dessert.

     Icebox cakes are nothing new, people have been layering whipped cream and chocolate wafer cookies together and letting them meld into a sliceable "cake" for decades. But that doesn't mean they can't be updated and made fresh and fun again.

     This caramel apple icebox cake is basically a no bake cheesecake masquerading as an refrigerator cake. In fact, I almost made it as a cheesecake but decided layering whole Graham crackers would be both more fun and less work.

bite of creamy caramel apple icebox cake on fork, ready to eat

      In my book that is what we call a double win. And winning is what we like to do so we took the shortcut and ran away with the culinary victory! 👑

       You want to make the apple mixture first so that it has time to cool down a bit before you start layering. Prepping the apples is the most time consuming part of the whole recipe, but it is totally worth the effort.

diced apples cooked in brown sugar and cinnamon for the caramel apple topping

        Once the apples are cored, peeled and chopped it is time to turn them into heaven.  A little butter, brown sugar and cinnamon helps take them to that next level.

     After they are softened and aromatic, thicken the sauce a bit and stir in some vanilla. It is going to be hard not to eat them out of the pan, but try to resist.

     Now set those beautiful caramelized apples aside and let them come to room temperature. It's time to start assembling your layers of apple yum yum.

      First form the bottom layer of crust by placing whole graham crackers in the square baking dish. I used Nairn's oat graham crackers and they worked beautifully. Feel free to use whatever you have and like.

fluffy cream cheese whipped cream filling in mixer bowl for refrigerator cake

      Next I whipped together some softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla bean paste. I just love seeing the vanilla bean specks in creamy white desserts!

       Taylor & Colledge sent a squeeze tube of vanilla bean paste for me to try and I really liked the convenience.  Not to mention the wonderful flavor and visible specks that always make me happy.

       After the cream cheese mixture is super smooth, drizzle in the cream slowly with the mixer running at medium high speed. I much prefer this method to whipping the cream separately and folding it in.

       It not only saves steps but dirty dishes too.  That is another win-win proposition for sure!

first piece of no bake caramel apple yum yum on plate in front of pan of remaining dessert

      Now layer some fluffy vanilla cream cheese goodness on those graham crackers. Top it with a bit of your sauteed apples.

     Repeat the layers using the rest of the ingredients and you are done! You could dive in now.

      However if you want to be able to serve pieces that hold their shape, you are going to want to chill it for a couple of hours or overnight. It is an icebox cake afterall, so it should see the inside of your refrigerator!

       Eat it as is or drizzle with a bit of caramel sauce for an extra decadent treat!


Fun ways to switch up this apple icebox cake recipe

  • Use gingersnaps instead of graham crackers.
  • Use vanilla wafers instead of graham crackers.
  • For a more spiced flavor throughout, beat a half teaspoon of cinnamon and dash of nutmeg into the cream cheese mixture.
  • If you don't have apples, use pears or peaches.

More great no bake fall desserts

  • No bake pumpkin cheesecake is another fabulous way to get fall flavors on the table without using the oven. I piped cream cheese whipped cream rosettes on it which makes it look extra festive without a ton of effort.
  • Pumpkin patch dirt pudding cups are ready for a trip to the pumpkin patch. They are super easy to put together and there's a cute free printable that makes them extra fun. They'd be great for classroom parties or pumpkin carving get togethers.  
  • No bake apple pie looks like another delicious fall dessert. I think we should all put it on our must try list! 

piece of no bake cheesecake style caramel apple icebox cake

Have you ever made an icebox cake? What is your favorite kind?

If you want to see some of my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets, check out my Amazon shop page. There are great pans, appliances, and more!

apple yum yum, caramel apple yum yum, apple icebox cake, no bake apple dessert
Yield: 9 servings

Creamy Caramel Apple Icebox Cake

No bake creamy caramel apple icebox cake is a perfect way to transition to fall flavors without heating up the house. The vanilla cream cheese filling, Graham crackers and cinnamon brown sugar apples come together to make the perfect slice of dessert.
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 30 M


Caramel Apples
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 5 medium apples
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Icebox Cake
  • 8 ounces of graham crackers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream - chilled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste


How to cook Creamy Caramel Apple Icebox Cake

Caramel apples
  1. Core, peel and dice apples into about 1/4" cubes.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the apples, water, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Simmer for about 5 minutes until the apples begin to soften.
  4. Make slurry of the cornstarch and a tablespoon or two of water. Pour into the warm apples and cook stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste. 
  6. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. 
Icebox assembly
  1. Place a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of an 8 or 9" square dish.
  2. Beat cream cheese until it is creamy and lump free. Add the sugar and beat until well mixed.
  3. With the mixer running on medium-high speed, slowly drizzle in the cream. Continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the graham crackers.  Spread about 1/3 of the apple mixture over the filling.
  5. Top with the remaining graham crackers, then the remaining cream cheese mixture. Finish with the remaining apples. 
  6. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
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Created using The Recipes Generator

More great apple recipes from my friends

No bake creamy caramel apple icebox cake is a perfect way to transition to fall flavors without heating up the house. The vanilla cream cheese filling, Graham crackers and cinnamon brown sugar apples come together to make the perfect slice of dessert.


  1. My mouth is watering looking at these pictures and the sweet apples loaded on top! Mmmmm, looks so delicious! xo

  2. Oh, wow. This looks so good. I'll definitely have to try this!!

  3. Hi Carlee, I've just drooled all over the keyboard. I love cheesecake (no bake or baked) and cinnamon, brown sugar and apples is an award winning combination. This is a recipe that I will be trying for sure. I don't know when yet, but hopefully soon!


    1. I love both kinds of cheesecake too, it depends on my mood which I prefer.

  4. This looks amazing and so good. Can't wait to try it

  5. Oh yum!! What a terrific looking dessert! I love that apple layer and all the textures in this.

    1. Thank you, I was really pleased with how it came together

  6. This might be a Halloween party winner! I know everyone would just love it!!!

  7. What a tasty and creative twist on a classic ice box cake!

  8. I'm in love with a fall inspired ice box cake. We ate them all summer, so it is fun to have one for the fall.

  9. Oh my goodness, I vaguely remember a similar recipe that my Mom used to make. What a quick, easy and delicious dessert.

  10. I like the idea of breaking up the prep by making the apples ahead for people who only have a few minutes here or there to make dessert (between baby's naps, etc)

    1. I'm sure we've all had those days (or overpacked our menus for events!)

  11. This sounds and looks delicious, and just right for Fall! We will be trying this, for sure!

  12. Yes please! Even though the weather has gotten a little cooler, this caramel apple icebox cake sounds so delightful. I kind of like your idea of using gingersnaps instead of graham crackers for a change. I think that I'm going to have to try that.

    1. I think they would be a lovely swap and add a whole extra layer of flavor

  13. I have never had an icebox cake. Never even heard of an icebox cake. Thanks for the education...and the recipe!

    1. They are so easy to put together and the flavor combinations are endless!

  14. This looks like such a light and fresh apple dessert! Perfect for a hot fall day.

  15. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday,450. Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!