Sweetened Condensed Milk and Graham Cracker Icebox Cake

This is the dessert that never should have made it to He Cooks, She Cooks.

Even as I made it, I joked to a friend, “This is the stuff you don’t see on the blog.” But you know what? The result was too good not to share. And we are college students. It wouldn’t hurt to include a recipe that others could recreate in a dorm room.

The whole thing started as a last resort dessert. Too lazy/hungry to start baking, I suggested my friends and I dip graham crackers in sweetened condensed milk and call it a night. I don’t have high maintenance friends, so that’s what we started to do. But after a few dips, I got an idea. What if I layered the graham crackers and condensed milk?

Gwen encouraged me, saying it could work like an icebox cake. (I’d never made or

eaten one, but remembering photos of the Smitten Kitchen icebox cake, I figured this was a good thing.) So full steam ahead I went, putting graham crackers into a plastic sandwich container and pouring sweetened condensed milk on top. By the second or third layer, I decided cinnamon and fresh grated nutmeg would be a good idea. Just before the final layer, Kat suggested strawberries.

We were about to dig in when my roommate’s friend walked by and said, “What is that? It looks so fancy!” To which we cracked up laughing because nothing has ever been quite so un-fancy in my kitchen ever.

But it was delicious! It was incredible! No one believed it would be, but it was!

Somehow it wasn’t too sweet. The spice was nice, reminiscent of rice pudding. And the strawberries were perfect. Next time I won’t just use them as garnish. I’ll probably slice them thinly and add them between the layers. We ate some right away and didn’t mind the crunch of the graham crackers, but it’s also good after a night in the fridge so they soften up. My new guilty pleasure…

Sweetened Condensed Milk and Graham Cracker Icebox Cake

Original recipe, and officially the easiest one on He Cooks, She Cooks

  • 10 graham crackers
  • about 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg (especially fresh grated)
  • strawberries (optional on top, but would be really good added between the layers)

In a sandwich-sized container, place two graham crackers next to each other. Spread some sweetened condensed milk over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Optionally add very thinly sliced strawberries. Continue to layer. Top with more sweetened condensed milk and spices. Garnish with strawberries.

This is best if it is allowed to sit and absorb the flavors and moisture. Cover and store overnight in the fridge if you want the cracker to soften into cake consistency. Otherwise, dig in immediately.

16 Replies to “Sweetened Condensed Milk and Graham Cracker Icebox Cake”

  1. Mmmm… we just got back from Puerto Rico – this reminds me of a healthier version of tres leches cake – maybe you could call it uno leches cake!!

  2. What a great idea!! I bet it was delicious! Funny what creations the dorm room setting can cause you to create! Sounds very yummy!

  3. I have to tell you, my grandmother used to make something very, very similar to this. This is one of the fondest taste-memories I have from childhood. She used bananas between the layers instead of strawberries and no spices.

  4. This looks great! I might try to bake it after the condensed milk has been absorbed by the crackers.

  5. I tried it. I layered the crackers with the condensed milk (two full cans) in a pyrex baking dish, covered it with foil, then baked it at 250F for maybe 1.5-2 hrs? I didn’t time it since I judged it purely by colour. It turned out great. Even better when you let it cool in the fridge. I was like a dulce de leche topped ‘blondie’. Crazy good. One change I would make: roughly crumble the squares instead of layering.

    Here’s are some pics:




  6. fmed — That looks incredible! When you first mentioned baking it, I didn’t think about how the condensed milk would turn into dulce de leche. Seriously, that looks killer. But yeah, I can see how you might want to crumble the grahams instead of leaving them whole. Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Thanks for the original inspiration.

    I have to say that Graham Crackers are not the perfect match for the dulce de leche here (but it is still quite good!)…I’m now inspired to try a different cookie.

  8. I did layers with bananas and cooked it for 20 minutes at 350 (I was in a hurry). It didn’t soak in all the way or change the shape of the graham crackers, but it was still really, really good.

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