How To Make An Easy Refrigerator Cake

This requires little effort and just 3 ingredients.

What makes a ref cake appealing is that you only need a few ingredients to make an easy dessert. Few desserts require less effort and fewer ingredients than a simple ref cake. Honestly, you just need three main ingredients to make it:

  • • all-purpose cream
  • • sweetened condensed milk
  • • graham crackers  

If you have these three, you’re ready to make a ref cake. Here’s how to make one plus ideas on how to level it up: 

1 Chill your ingredients the night before. 

The most important thing you can do when making a ref cake is to chill your all-purpose cream. This is the binder of the cake! This will ensure that your cake stays whole when you slice into it since this is made with crackers that can’t stick together unless there’s some sort of glue to hold it together. The cream is the glue. 

However, if you forget to chill your cream, you can still make a ref cake if you have access to ice. You’ll need a large bowl, big enough to contain a small one since you’ll place the smaller bowl inside it, and ice. Here’s what to do:

  • • Fill the large bowl with ice, add a little water to wet the ice, and start it melting.
  • • Place the smaller bowl on top. The ice will chill the bowls and when you add the cream, it will chill the cream, too.
  • • Add the cream.
  • • Stir to help the cream chill completely.   
Photo by Riell Santos

2 Whip the cream. 

The cream is probably the most important part of the ref cake. Since it’s the glue in this dessert, it needs to not only be delicious but also firm enough to hold the crackers and anything else you place it in. You’ll need a whisk to incorporate air into the mixture but the good news is that you usually don’t have to whisk too hard to get it fluffy if it’s chilled properly. 


3 Stir in sweetened condensed milk. 

Sweetened condensed milk is one of those ingredients that most kitchens always have. It’s also available in your nearest sari-sari store or market. It’s not hard to find compared to powdered sugar. That’s why it’s a great ingredient for using in this easy ref cake. 

For those who like their ref cakes on the less sweet side, the good news is that you can add more or less than desired so it can be as sweet as you like. The cream is already doing most of the work so the sweetened condensed milk is there to add more flavor and sweetness to the dish. 

4 Start layering. 

That’s it! The cream is done so you just need to put the ingredients together. The only worry you may have is if you have enough ingredients to fill your container.

Start by adding a little cream to the bottom of your container then add a layer of graham crackers. Cover the crackers with more cream and keep layering until the container is full or you run out of ingredients, whichever comes first. 

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

5 Chill it overnight. 

The hard part is having the patience to let it chill completely overnight. This overnight rest is to allow the cream to harden and the graham crackers to soften and meld with the cream. The result is a creamy layered cake that you can easily slice and serve. 


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6 Level it up next time. 

The ref cake is super easy to make delicious! The basics don’t change but you can make it more flavorful and interesting with every bite when you add other ingredients you love into the mixture. Here are ideas you may want to try the next time you put one of these no-bake desserts together:

Photo by Roselle Miranda

Add mangoes for a mango float.  

The most popular fruit to use has to be our beloved mango. Hailed the sweetest in the world, this easily makes desserts irresistible! All you have to do is chopped-up chunks of mango into the cream. Want to really make it into a show-stopping dessert? Make a layer of leche flan and make your layers on top of that! 

Photo by Roselle Miranda

Line it up with strawberries. 

Obsessed with strawberries? Use it to make a fruity and tangy ref cake that’s just as easy as a mango float! This version is just as easy to make. The trick is knowing how to use fresh strawberries in it so it’s sweet and delicious. 

Photo by Riell Santos

Add chocolate. 

Who wouldn’t want a chocolate version of a ref cake? For this version, the cream is heated up so it can melt chocolate chips. Once melted, this is chilled. It takes a little more effort and time to make but the resulting ref cake is so decadent, any chocoholic will eagerly suffer the minimal work needed to make this easy dessert a reality. 


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