Remember Ice Box Cake? It's a classic I remember from childhood - cherry is my favorite because my mom use to make it all the time.
At Elegant Affairs, we offer an ice box dessert bar with assorted choices for guests to choose from at our parties, and people love it. While fancy desserts sometimes intimidate people, I've always found that guests flock to this recipe because it's so familiar.
But just because it's simple doesn't mean you can't give it a sophisticated and elegant look for a celebration. Here's a recipe I love for my own parties as well as tips on how to display and serve.
20 - 30 whole or broken graham crackers*
2 cups whole milk
1 package (6 serving) of Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 3/4 cups thawed Cool Whip
2 cans cherry pie filling
*You can use a store-brought pound cake for this as well - simply slice your pound cake into 1-inch slices. You'll need enough to cover the bottom of your cake pan and for a second layer.
Line a rectangular pyrex dish with the graham crackers, breaking the crackers, if necessary. No need to crush or break them too much - just cover the bottom as evenly as possible.
Pour cold milk into a bowl and add to that the pudding mix. With an electric mixer at low speed, beat until the mix is well blended, then fold in the whipped topping with a rubber spatula.
Spread half of the pudding mixture over your crackers. Add another layer of crackers on top of that, and then top that layer with your remaining pudding mixture and remaining crackers.
Spread cherry pie filling over your top layer of crackers - it's ok if this drips down the sides. Chill the layered cake for about 3 hours.
When serving, use a spoon to scoop into parfait dishes.
*If using pound cake, follow the same instructions as above replacing the graham crackers with 1-inch slices of cake. When serving, cut into the cake with a sharp knife and gently lift to serve on a dessert plate.