The best no-bake cake recipe everyone should know, according to the chef

  • I’ve been a chef for 15 years and I love this recipe for Caramelized Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake.
  • This dessert requires store-bought cookies and requires no baking.
  • You can portion the cake individually ahead of time for easier serving.

I’ve been a chef for over 15 years and ice cream cakes are one of my decadent and easy to make desserts.

Ice cream cakes are made from pre-made ingredients, such as whipped cream and pre-made cookies, and they must be refrigerated.

One of my favorite ice cream cake recipes is a mix of tiramisu and banana pudding, which are traditionally made in layered pans.

My recipe takes the best parts of tiramisu

Ingredients for caramelized banana pudding cake arranged on a wooden counter

Ingredients for the caramelized banana pudding icebox cake

Alissa Fitzgerald

The beauty of ice cream cakes is that they are assembled the night before and simply sit overnight in the fridge, making prep a dream.

There is no baking necessary and the cookies will soften overnight due to residual moisture from the pudding and cream.

I use ladyfingers, a common ingredient in tiramisu. I recommend choosing the high quality ones as they are the base of the cake.

Whisk a bowl of masrcapone mix for caramelized banana pudding

The mascarpone adds a slight note of silky cheese.

Alissa Fitzgerald

Tiramisu is also traditionally called mascarpone, a rich, soft cream cheese. In this case, adding the ingredient to the instant pudding mix adds the silky cheese flavor to the banana flavor.

Opt for slightly green bananas

slices and halves of caramelized bananas in the pan

Caramelize the bananas with butter, brown sugar and a little salt.

Alissa Fitzgerald

Lightly green bananas hold their shape best when browned in a pan.

By adding the butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt, you enhance the caramelized flavors that give this everyone-pleaser dessert an extra wow factor.

Feel free to experiment by adding a tablespoon of rum or bourbon to the pan for an alcoholic kick.

You can individually portion this tasty dessert for easy serving

Individual portions of caramelized banana pudding

You can split the cake before refrigerating it.

Alissa Fitzgerald

Everyone loves a big slice in a casserole dish, but portioning puddings ahead of time lets your guests serve themselves, and you can have more control over the presentation.

You can use stemmed or stemless glasses, small ramekins or tiny mason jars.


  • 3.4 oz package banana pudding mix
  • 2 cups of milk or alternative
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 slightly green bananas
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus a little more for garnish)
  • A 7-ounce package of ladyfingers


  1. Whisk banana pudding mixture in large bowl with milk or milk substitute until completely blended.
  2. In another bowl, add the mascarpone cheese and 4 tablespoons of pudding mix. Break it up with your whisk or hand mixer and incorporate all the lumps until smooth and creamy. Add this to the bowl of pudding and mix. The mixture should thicken slightly while sitting.
  3. Place sliced ​​banana rings or halves face down in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. The bottoms should begin to brown after a few minutes.
  4. Lower the heat to medium. Break the butter into pieces and spread it around the pan. Let the butter melt completely, then sprinkle the top with brown sugar. Add a pinch of salt and move the pan to distribute the liquid. Cook until the butter and sugar combine into a rich bubbling brown color. Turn off the heat and let the contents rest.
  5. Fill your serving container halfway with the mascarpone and banana pudding mixture. Then tightly wrap a layer of ladyfingers, breaking them into halves or thirds if necessary.
  6. Place a few caramelized bananas in the center of the ladyfinger ring, reserving some of the nice bits for garnish. Add more pudding mix in the middle. Place a golden banana on top and finish with a pinch of salt.
  7. Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least two to three hours. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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