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No-Bake Southern Icebox Fruitcake

Skip the oven and try this easy, No-Bake Southern Icebox Fruitcake. Packed with vanilla wafers, raisins, cherries, and coconut, it’s a delicious and easy alternative to the more traditional fruitcake.

Are you a busy cook looking for an alternative to baking traditional holiday cakes? Would you like to celebrate the season with something easy, no-bake, and still full of flavor? If so, say goodbye to your oven and hello to the refrigerator for making this vintage treat: No-Bake Southern Icebox Fruitcake!

A serving of icebox fruitcake on a white plate.

This classic holiday treat has all the goodness you’d expect from Grandma’s recipes but without any complex preparation. This beloved family recipe is a tradition in many southern households.

So, take off your apron, step away from the oven, and try this fantastic no-bake option!

❤️ Why We Love This Recipe


  • No-Bake Ease: Forget the oven! This recipe is all about mixing and chilling.
  • Versatile & Customizable: Feel free to swap in your favorite fruits and nuts.
  • Rich & Flavorful: Every bite is a perfect blend of fruity, nutty, and sweet.

🛒 Ingredient Notes


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All ingredients needed to make this recipe.
  • Butter: For greasing the pans. This helps the cakes to release easily.
  • Vanilla Wafers: They take the place of a wet batter in the cake and give it a lightly sweet, crumbly texture.
  • Dark Raisins: Add a chewy, rich fruit flavor.
  • Maraschino Cherries: Add a pop of color and their own unique flavor.
  • Sweetened Shredded Coconut: Gives holiday vibes and a delightful chewiness.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: Binds all the ingredients of the recipe together while adding a rich, creamy sweetness.
  • Pecans: Gotta have a few nuts in any fruitcake, right?
  • Rum Flavoring (Optional): Mimics the classic inclusion of liquor in baked fruitcakes.

The complete ingredient list with detailed measurements is included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make No-Bake Icebox Fruitcake


  1. Grease two 9×5 loaf pans with butter and set aside.
  2. Thoroughly crush the vanilla wafers either by hand or by pulsing in a food processor.
  3. Add the vanilla wafer crumbs along with all remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  5. Divide the mixture between the prepared loaf pans. Press the mixture down firmly to evenly pack it into the pans.
  6. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Let chill for at least 24 hours before serving.
  7. Keep covered and stored in the refrigerator.

My Favorite Loaf Pans


Wilton 9x5 Loaf Pans
  • Unique diamond-infused non-stick coating for easy cleanup and years of use
  • Safe to use with most metal tools
  • 9 x 5.25 x 2.75 inches
  • Dishwasher safe
This post contains affiliate links. Lana's Cooking is reader-supported and earns a tiny commission at no extra cost to you when you shop from our links.
Finished no-bake fruitcake on a serving board.

⚠️ Troubleshooting Tips


  • Wet your hands to make it easier to handle the mixture when packing it in the loaf pans.
  • If the cake isn’t setting, ensure it’s chilled for at least 24 hours. Sometimes it needs a bit more time.
  • Run a sharp knife under hot water to create neat slices.
  • When using larger dried fruits like apricots or prunes, chop them into smaller pieces so they blend well with the other ingredients.
  • Make sure that the ingredients, especially the dried fruits and nuts, are fresh. Stale ingredients, particularly nuts, will affect the flavor of the fruitcake.

🔀Recipe Variations


  • Experiment with other dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, or currants.
  • Swap pecans with walnuts, almonds, or pistachios for a different nutty taste.

🍽️ How to Serve


Serve as a standalone treat or with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. It pairs wonderfully with a cup of hot tea or coffee as an afternoon snack or as part of a holiday dessert board.

Finished no-bake fruitcake on a serving board.

🍚 How to Store


Wrap the fruitcake in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week.

❓ Questions About Southern Icebox Fruitcake


Why is it called an “icebox” fruitcake?

Icebox is an old-fashioned term for refrigerator.

Can I leave out the coconut?

If you’re not a fan of coconut, you can simply leave it out of the recipe. The fruitcake will still work fine without it​.

Can I freeze the fruitcake?

Yes, it can be frozen. Wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Place the wrapped loaf in a large, freezer-safe sealed plastic bag. Properly stored, your icebox fruitcake can keep in the freezer for at least six months. When you’re ready to serve the fruitcake, remove it from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator for a few hours before cutting into slices.

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

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A serving of icebox fruitcake on a white plate.

No-Bake Southern Icebox Fruitcake

This easy, No-Bake Southern Icebox Fruitcake is packed with vanilla wafers, raisins, cherries, and coconut. It's an easy alternative to traditional fruitcake.
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American, Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 598kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • Butter for greasing the pans
  • 1 pound vanilla wafers
  • 12 ounces dark raisins
  • 10 ounces maraschino cherries well drained
  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk Eagle Brand recommended
  • 4 cups pecans chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rum flavoring optional

Instructions

  • Grease two 9×5 loaf pan with butter and set aside.
  • Thoroughly crush the vanilla wafers either by hand or by pulsing in a food processor.
  • Add the vanilla wafer crumbs along with all remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Divide the mixture between the prepared loaf pans. Press the mixture down firmly to evenly pack it into the pan.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator. Let chill for at least 24 hours before serving.
  • Keep covered and stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • When ready to serve the cake, use a warm wet cloth to go all around the sides and bottom of the pan. This will help the cake release from the pan cleanly.
  • Experiment with adding other dried or candied fruits such as dried apricots, prunes, and currants.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1slice | Calories 598kcal | Carbohydrates 74g | Protein 7g | Fat 34g | Saturated Fat 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat 7g | Monounsaturated Fat 12g | Trans Fat 0.1g | Cholesterol 9mg | Sodium 217mg | Potassium 480mg | Fiber 6g | Sugar 41g | Vitamin A 88IU | Vitamin C 2mg | Calcium 107mg | Iron 2mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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