When it comes to desserts, there’s nothing more classic than the icebox cakes. You know the ones: They were the centerpiece at every potluck meal you’ve ever attended, and adored by home cooks for their easy preparation and simple ingredients.
Many of those desserts also starred graham crackers, a familiar staple in every childhood pantry. They’re arguably the most important ingredient of s’mores during campfire seasons, and they’re the idyllic after-school snack served alongside a cold glass of milk. Part cookie and part cracker, they’re also perfect for many desserts because they pair wonderfully with peanut butter, chocolate, fruits, and caramel — your typical dessert staples.
If you’re looking for a satisfying dessert that’s sure to please a crowd, look no further than these ideas that use the humble graham cracker. Many of them will be reminiscent of your childhood, and several are easy enough to whip together in a few simple steps.
1. Éclair Cake
Moms of the ’80s and ’90s weren’t making their own éclairs and filling them with custard, but they did perfect the “cake” that’s inspired by the classic French dessert. The basics include several layers of graham crackers alternating with a custard layer made with vanilla pudding and whipped cream. It’s all topped with a homemade chocolate frosting, although several variations use their favorite store-bought chocolate frosting to make the dessert even easier.
After allowing the assembled dessert to chill for a few hours, the pudding softens the graham crackers, making a cake-like layer between the layers of pudding and chocolate. It’s simple, but so delicious. For full directions and one recipe for homemade chocolate icing, check out this version from Allrecipes.com.