Experience the salty-sweet symphony of this no-bake Ritz Cracker Salted Caramel Icebox Cake. Dive into layers of creamy cheese, crispy Ritz crackers, and a homemade rich caramel sauce, perfect for sultry summer days!
Okay, gather around food lovers, for I have a tale for your taste buds! My grandmother, always a whiz in the kitchen, once told me about how she’d craft desserts from the most unexpected ingredients. This recipe, my dears, is a loving tribute to her culinary wizardry. One blistering summer evening, with the oven out of the question and a hankering for something divine, I raided the pantry. There they were, the unassuming Ritz Crackers, nestled next to a jar of caramel. An idea began to form. A couple of experimental layers and some impatient refrigeration later, the Ritz Cracker Salted Caramel Icebox Cake was born. Each bite took me back to childhood memories of grandma’s stories and her unexpected dessert concoctions. It’s nostalgia on a plate, my friends.
Why You’ll Love Ritz Cracker Salted Caramel Icebox Cake:
Firstly, let’s talk about the no-bake charm. In a world where “ain’t nobody got time for that,” this icebox cake is a hero.
Secondly, the juxtaposition of textures—crispy crackers, velvety cream cheese, and gooey caramel—is the stuff of dessert dreams. And let’s not ignore that delightful dance of salty and sweet! It’s not just a dessert; it’s an experience.
Lastly, the presentation. Golden layers peeking through translucent caramel? Instagram is waiting!
Ingredients Notes for the Recipe:
For those diving into this culinary adventure, let’s break down these ingredients a bit.
- The cream cheese, oh, ensure it’s at room temperature to get that smooth, blendable consistency we dream about.
- The granulated sugar is the magic that sweetens our mix but feel free to adjust to your sweetness preference.
- Ritz Crackers are the unsuspecting star; their salty crunch is key!
- For our caramel sauce, that pinch of sea salt elevates it from plain caramel to the ambrosial salted caramel.
- Lastly, the whipped cream is like the cherry on top, except it’s cream and way better.
Alright, rookie chefs and kitchen maestros, here’s the breakdown:
Setup Phase: Grab that 8×8 glass baking dish and line it like it’s going out of style. Why? Because plastic wrap is our savior for effortless removal later on.
The Creamy Base: Into a bowl, blend together the room-temperature cream cheese (remember, room temp!) with sugar until they’re smoother than a jazz tune. Now, channel your inner whip-master and introduce the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla to the mix. Whip it up till it’s as fluffy as your favorite pillow.
The Caramel Chronicles: For our divine sauce, melt sugar with water on medium heat. Wait for it…once it’s amber-toned, it’s showtime. Swiftly, but safely, whisk in sea salt and heavy cream. A brief bubbling escapade will ensue, fear not! Soon after, the butter and vanilla join the party. Stir till smooth!
The Grand Assembly: Time to layer up, folks! Starting with a base of 16 Ritz Crackers, add a generous layer of our cream cheese concoction, followed by a caramel drizzle. Repeat these sinful layers, ending with the cream cheese mixture.
The Waiting Game: Patience, young padawan. Cover and let the fridge work its magic for 12 hours or an agonizing overnight.
The Grand Finale: Slice up that masterpiece, dollop some whipped cream, and drizzle a tad more caramel because why not? Bon appétit!
Storage Options for the Recipe:
Storing this gem? Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. Those layers need their beauty sleep! It’s best enjoyed within 2-3 days, but who are we kidding? It’ll be devoured way before that.
Variations and Substitutions for the Recipe:
Feeling adventurous? Swap out the Ritz Crackers for Graham Crackers or even Oreo cookies for a twist. Not a caramel fan (who are you?!)? Try a chocolate or strawberry sauce. If cream cheese isn’t your jam, a mascarpone or ricotta could be a creamy alternative. And for my vegan pals, there are numerous vegan alternatives for cream cheese, whipped cream, and caramel out there. Just ensure consistency matches!
Happy cooking and happier eating! 😋
Ritz Cracker Salted Caramel Icebox Cake
- Cream cheese two 16 oz blocks, at ambient temperature
- Granulated sugar 1 cup
- Heavy cream 3/4 cup
- A pinch of salt
- Vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon
- Ritz Crackers 48 pieces
- Salted caramel sauce 2/3 cup + additional for garnishing
- Whipped cream
For the Caramel Sauce:
- Granulated sugar 1 cup
- Water 1/4 cup
- Sea salt 1 teaspoon
- Heavy cream 3/4 cup
- Butter 3 tbsp
- Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
- Prepare an 8×8 glass baking dish by lining it thoroughly with plastic wrap. Ensure the wrap is adequately extended over the sides for ease of removal later. Set this dish aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Stir them together until the mixture achieves a smooth texture. Subsequently, introduce the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Continue to whip the mixture until it becomes thick and exhibits a fluffy consistency. This process should ideally take about 3 minutes.
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
- Utilize a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Combine sugar and water in the saucepan, allowing the sugar to melt thoroughly. Ensure continuous cooking while gently swirling the sugar mix until it adopts an amber hue.
- Carefully whisk in the sea salt followed by the heavy cream. Do note that the mixture is likely to bubble intensively for a brief period. Maintain continuous whisking until the sauce becomes smooth. Conclude this step by adding the butter and vanilla extract and stirring until they’re completely incorporated.
- Commence the assembly by systematically placing 16 Ritz Crackers at the base of the prepared dish, ensuring they are arranged in three straight lines. Apply 1/3 of the earlier prepared cream cheese mixture over the crackers.
- Proceed to drizzle 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce over the cream cheese layer. This process should be replicated for two more layers. Begin with 16 crackers, followed by 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture, and then 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce. After completing the third layer, spread the remaining cream cheese mixture atop.
- Once assembled, cover the dish and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours or opt for an overnight setting. Upon serving, slice the dessert into desired portions, garnish with whipped cream, and drizzle additional caramel sauce over each serving.