While we’re not quite sure how it came to be known as Italian cake, we’re not at all unsure of our feelings for it – this “cake” is delicious! Plus, it’s essentially a no-bake icebox cake, so it frees up your oven, and makes it so that you’re not standing over a hot cake in an already-hot kitchen…then again, maybe that’s just a problem we have…. Regardless, this no-bake Italian cream cake – filled with vanilla wafers, sweetened condensed milk, pineapples and coconut – is absolutely delectable and we find a way to make it every chance we get!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of an icebox cake, it’s essentially a cake that “cooks,” or sets in the refrigerator or freezer. Layers of vanilla wafers get nestled into a condensed milk pineapple mixture (made extra bright and flavorful, thanks to the lemon juice), then topped with frozen whipped topping and sprinkled with coconut, pecans and maraschino cherries.
This is a great dessert to make ahead of time, because all the layers settled together in the fridge and the wafers absorb the moisture of the pineapple and frozen whipped topping, so the result is a softened, cake-like texture that is both creamy and dreamy. We’ll take two slices, how about you?
No-Bake Italian Cake
15 minutes active; 2+ hours inactive to prepare serves 8
- 4 dozen vanilla wafers, divided
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 1 (16 oz.) container frozen whipped topping
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained
- Line bottom of 9x13-inch baking dish with 24 vanilla wafers.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice, then stir in crushed pineapple with juices.
- Pour mixture over vanilla wafers and spread in an even layer, then top with another 24 wafers.
- Top wafers with frozen whipped topping, then cover with an even layer of shredded coconut.
- Sprinkle pecans over the top, then arrange cherries on top.
- Refrigerate for 2-4 hours, or overnight, then slice, serve and enjoy!