Key Lime Icebox Cake

When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven.  But, when you want cake, what should you do? I suggest, making an icebox cake.  The oven stays off and the end result is a yummy cool dessert that you will want to make all summer long.  This Key Lime Icebox cake is no exception.  It is the perfect end to a hot summer day.

key lime icebox cake

Step 1:

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Whisk together egg yolks and half and half in a separate bowl.  Gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture; bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Boil for 1 minute; whisking constantly.  Remove from the heat.

key lime icebox cake

Step 2:

Whisk in butter and zest until butter melts.  Gradually whisk in lime juice until blended.  Pour into another bowl and place that bowl over ice.  The idea is to cool down the mixture and let it thicken up.  The best kind of bowl to use for this is metal as it will cool the mixture very quickly.  I have used a glass bowl and it works fine.  Let the mixture stand in the bowl over ice, for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the custard is cold and slightly thickened.  Stir occasionally while it is cooling over the ice.

key lime icebox cake

Step 3:

Line the bottom and side of an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap, allowing 4 inches to extend over the sides.  Trust me, do this step.  If not, it will be really, really hard to pull out the cake from the pan to cut and serve.  (Hard lesson learned from experience!)

key lime icebox cake

Step 4:

Place graham crackers, with sides touching in a single layer in the bottom of the pan to form a large square.  (Crackers will not completely cover bottom.) My pan had more rounded edges than straight and square, which made me have to break the crackers to get them to fit.

key lime icebox cake

Step 5:

Spoon about 3/4 cup of the key lime custard over the crackers; spread over to the edge of the crackers.  Repeat layers 3 times with crackers and remaining custard, ending with custard and top with remaining crackers.  Pull sides of plastic wrap tightly over cake, freeze in pan 8 hours.

key lime icebox cake

key lime icebox cake

Step 6:

Lift cake from pan and place on a platter.  Cover loosely and let stand 1 hour.  Serve topped with whipped cream.

key lime icebox cake


I think chocolate and key lime go together perfectly.  I have been known to drizzle some chocolate sauce over the top when serving.

key lime icebox cake


3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 large egg yolks

2 cups half and half

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons lime zest

1/2 cup lime juice

45 (or so) graham crackers

Whipped cream

Chocolate sauce (if you want)

** If you have fresh key limes, use those.  If not, feel free to use regular limes.


(inspired by Southern Living recipe)

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