Ice Cream Pudding Dessert (Ice Cream Salad)


This old-fashioned Ice Cream Pudding Dessert (or Ice Cream Salad as it’s known in my family) is an easy-to-make dessert recipe comprised of a salty Ritz cracker crust and creamy toasted coconut ice cream pudding filling. I know you’re going to love it.

ice cream pudding dessert on plates.

You know this is an old recipe when it’s called a salad, but in reality, it’s a dessert. Ha! Figuring the original title might be a bit confusing, I’ve updated the recipe to be called Ice Cream Pudding Dessert.

ice cream salad dessert and recipe cards.
ice cream pudding dessert in pan.

During my growing up years, my Great Aunt Maggie would make a rotation of dessert recipes: strawberry jello salad, pumpkin roll, sugar cookies, and this ice cream salad. She made these often as they were family favorites. I’ve been meaning to make this particular recipe for quite some time and couldn’t be more excited to share it with you today. (I hope to make her strawberry jello salad and sugar cookies soon. You can find her pumpkin roll recipe HERE.)

Let’s get into the details:

What’s in Ice Cream Pudding Dessert?

The first question you might have is, “Does this recipe actually have ice cream in it?
Yes, it does! It contains a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream. That’s what makes this recipe so creamy, rich, and delicious.

In addition to the ice cream, the filling includes coconut pudding and a sprinkle of toasted coconut. The pudding sets the ice cream so you’re able to cut and serve it. The coconut flavor is a subtle but flavorful addition. It’s what makes this recipe so delicious!

ice cream pudding dessert.

The creamy filling sits on top of a crust made of crushed Ritz crackers. I love the combination of salty and sweet in desserts, so this pairing is a match made in heaven. When I was making this recipe, the smell of the crushed Ritz crackers instantly transported me back to being a 10-year-old in my aunt’s kitchen. Time travel is real, my friends.

All this combined together makes for an epic dessert. As you can imagine, this Ice Cream Pudding Dessert is perfect for summer, but I’m happy to enjoy it all year long.

Want more of my favorite desserts? Try these:

ice cream salad on a plate.

How To Make:

I’m going to walk you through the steps to make this Ice Cream Pudding Dessert. For your convenience, at the end of this post there is a printable recipe card with detailed ingredient amounts and recipe instructions.

  1. Start by removing your ice cream from the freezer to allow it to soften. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Crush the Ritz crackers with a blender or food processor, or in a plastic baggie to a fine crumb.
ritz crackers in food processor.
  1. In a bowl, add the crushed Ritz crackers, melted butter, and sugar. Mix to combine.
  2. Press this mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
ritz cracker crust in pan.
  1. In a large bowl, add the two boxes of instant coconut pudding and the milk. Use a hand mixer to combine.
  2. Once smooth, add in the softened ice cream and mix again until smooth. Add about 2 tablespoons of the toasted coconut and stir to combine.
ice cream pudding with mixer blades.
  1. Pour this mixture into the cooled prepared crust. Top with the remaining toasted coconut.
pouring filling onto crust.
toasted coconut on pudding dessert.
  1. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or until ready to serve.

And that’s it! Slice, serve with a spatula, and enjoy!

ice cream pudding dessert in dish.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can You Freeze This?

Yes. In my family, we have always enjoyed this dessert when it is refrigerated. While the pudding helps the filling to set, it’s still loose and creamy. If you prefer a firmer dessert, you can certainly store this in the freezer and serve it frozen.

Also, I made this dessert and decided to freeze it so I could take it to a party later in the week. Before going to the party I removed the dessert from the freezer, transferred it to my cooler, and a few hours later it was the perfect consistency for serving.

ice cream pudding dessert on plate.

Can You Use Different Pudding or Ice Cream Flavors?

Yes, you can! I believe the (toasted) coconut is the classic flavor, but feel free to experiment as suggested below:

  • vanilla pudding with butter pecan ice cream
  • chocolate pudding with chocolate ice cream
  • lemon pudding with vanilla ice cream
  • pistachio pudding with pistachio ice cream
  • white chocolate pudding with cherry ice cream

While I’m partial to the coconut, some of these combinations sound so good that I may need to give them a try!

ice cream pudding dessert on plate.

Let’s eat!

And that’s a wrap on one of my favorite childhood desserts. Whether you want to call it Ice Cream Pudding Dessert or Ice Cream Salad, I hope you’ll give this old-fashioned recipe a try. It may even become one of your favorites too.
Enjoy!

ice cream pudding dessert in pan.
ice cream pudding dessert in dish.

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Ice Cream Pudding Dessert

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut, ice cream, pudding, ritz crackers
Servings: 12
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
This old-fashioned Ice Cream Pudding Dessert (or Ice Cream Salad as it’s known in my family) is an easy-to-make dessert recipe comprised of a salty Ritz cracker crust and creamy toasted coconut ice cream pudding filling. I know you’re going to love it.

Ingredients

  • 65 Ritz Crackers
  • 1 stick unsalted butter - melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 boxes instant coconut pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut - divided

Instructions

  • Start by removing your ice cream from the freezer to allow it to soften. (Do not let it melt.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Crush the Ritz crackers with a blender or food processor, or in a plastic baggie to a fine crumb.
  • In a bowl, add the crushed Ritz crackers, melted butter, and sugar. Mix to combine. Press this mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, add the two boxes of instant coconut pudding and the milk. Use a hand mixer to combine. Once smooth, add in the softened ice cream and mix again until smooth. Add about 2 tablespoons of the toasted coconut and stir to combine.
  • Pour this mixture into the cooled prepared crust. Top with the remaining toasted coconut.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or until ready to serve.

Notes

Our family enjoys this dessert refrigerated. I’ve seen similar recipes where it’s frozen. Either method would be fine.
You can create variations of this recipe by using different flavors of pudding and/or ice cream.
How to Toast Coconut:
Preheat your oven to 325ºF. Spread out 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut on a large baking sheet. Put the baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Watch carefully as the coconut can go from toasted to burnt in an instant.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 536kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 7gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 325mgPotassium: 374mgFiber: 2gSugar: 50gVitamin A: 932IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 246mgIron: 1mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!
Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

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Comments

  • Lorree at

    I love old family recipes like rhis!! It sounds delicious and easy to make, too.

  • Cheri at

    Love that you are bringing back the oldies but goodies in recipes!

  • Bonnie at

    I’m so glad you shared this! We had a similar recipe (maybe the same) growing up and I haven’t had it in years. Thank you!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Love an old fashioned recipe! So glad you get to enjoy it again.

      xo Michael

  • Diane at

    I’m totally cracking up over this dessert being called a salad. Back in the day I guess that made it permissible to enjoy dessert with your meal AND after???

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I did little research and back in the day salad was also know as “small pieces of food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, or vegetables) usually mixed with a dressing (such as mayonnaise) or set in gelatin” …. so I think that’s where it came from.

      xo Michael

  • Carol L Griffin at

    Another winner! Putting the ingredients on my grocery list to make VERY soon! I, too, am a fan of the Ritz cracker crust and always use Ritz crackers instead of graham crackers when I make my key lime pies. Love the salty sweet flavors.

  • Joan Anderson at

    I live in the UK what would be the equivalent puddimix to use here or what brand is it you use

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I used Jello Coconut Instant Pudding Mix. I believe it’s around 3 ounces.

      xo Michael

  • Natasha M at

    What an interesting recipe! Thanks for sharing.

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