Part 2 of our Alabama meal was dessert and it was a DISASTER.
I was scrolling on Pinterest as I often do, and I came across this Strawberry Icebox cake recipe. I watched “Sweet Home Alabama” a billion times and I remember the part where the mom says she has a bologna cake in the icebox. I figured this strawberry icebox cake looked a heck of a lot more appetizing than a bologna cake. Plus, every year my husband’s mom makes him this “Boop Cake” for his birthday with really similar ingredients so I figured he would like it.
In case you are wondering, my mother in law got this recipe from my husband’s 5th grade teacher who’s last name was “Boop”—she’s made it for him every year since. I hate this cake with a burning passion. To me it is a gross combo of ingredients—crushed Ritz crackers and vanilla pudding? Yuck. He loves it though. The strawberry icebox cake seemed a little more my speed with graham crackers and cheesecake pudding instead. I was dreaming that he would love it so much that he would request that instead of the Boop Cake for his birthday…fat chance. That didn’t happen because I messed it up.
How can you Screw up An Icebox Cake?
So this cake was one of the simplest recipes you can imagine. There were only 5 ingredients and it was NO BAKE (that was the most tantalizing aspect of this recipe to me if I’m going to be honest). I was really disappointed that I couldn’t find cheesecake pudding so I had to use yucky vanilla instead. I don’t think that was the biggest problem with the cake, though. The problem was that the directions were not super clear.
The list of necessary ingredients also varied from the actual ingredients used (I found this to be the problem with the Alabama White BBQ sauce as well—could this be an Alabama problem?). And I could not get a clear answer from Google on how much Cool Whip constituted 3 1/2 cups. We got answers ranging from 8 oz to 32 oz. We ended up buying $15 worth of Cool Whip and only ended up using half.
Plus, I pinned too many versions of recipes. I think the ingredient lists get all muddled up in my head and I’m not sure where I read what.
Could That Be Where The Mistake Lies?
Maybe. Who knows. The directions on how to make the pudding were a bit fuzzy as well. First it said to follow the package directions (using milk). Then it said that I could use 8 oz. cream cheese to make the pudding if I was using vanilla pudding, but omit the milk. Um, how the heck can you do that???? How do you boil cream cheese on the stove in lieu of milk???? That sounded like a fire call waiting to happen.
It also said to let the pudding sit for five minutes and then fold the Cool Whip into it. It was still runny and I didn’t know if putting more Cool Whip would make it worse. Also, I didn’t have a 8 X 8 dish, so I needed to improvise. with that as well. I poured my first layer and boy was it liquid-y. When I added the graham crackers on top, they sort of oozed into the pudding mixture. Still, I continued to layer it with pudding, strawberries, and graham crackers keeping my fingers crossed. I figured that since it needed to set overnight, that would fix all the problems.
News Flash—-It Didn’t
My nephews came over the next day and it was my middle nephew’s birthday. He was complaining he didn’t get a cake (he got taken to dinner at Benihana and he got ice cream and they sang to him but apparently that wasn’t enough…)
I realized Wait! I have a cake! An icebox cake! I stuck some candles in it and viola! Instant birthday cake!
While the cake looked pretty nice on the outside:
Once I cut it, it was an instant Pinterest fail:
This is what it was SUPPOSED to look like. This is what it ACTUALLY looked like.
Oh well. You win some, you lose some. Try it at home and let me know if it’s just me or your icebox cake comes out crappy too.