What do you think of when you hear the word creamsicle? Childhood? Summer? It’s a sweet treat so many remember from their youth. These no-bake orange creamsicle bars will bring all those memories back.
This post is sponsored by Nielsen Massey. All opinions are my own.
When the dog days of summer hit and it’s too hot to bake I love no-bake desserts. Living in Florida the days get hot early in the summer, or should I say spring.
Also living in Florida, we love our citrus. All kinds of citrus including oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and Key limes. There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold citrus dessert.
How I wish creamsicles had been a part of my childhood. I didn’t discover them until I was married and my husband introduced them to me. I had no idea what I was missing!
As I prepare for my firstborn to head to college, I’ve been holding on to memories of his childhood, which bring up memories of my childhood. I know the creamsicle has been a part of many people’s childhood.
So when Nielsen Massey asked if I wanted to bring back a childhood memory in a no-bake kind of way, that uses vanilla extract, I knew it would have to be something with creamsicle. I know, you’re thinking, but you don’t have a memory that involves that frozen treat. Correct, but because so many do, I had to pay homage.
How to Make Graham Cracker Crumbs
There are a couple of ways I make graham cracker crumbs. The first is to whip out my food processor. Though I don’t always like dragging it out, this method does produce a much finer and more consistent crumb.
The other way I make cracker crumbs is to put broken crackers into a heavy-duty zip-lock bag. Then I use my meat pounder to gently break up the crackers until they are fine, like sand. When choosing this method, be careful not to make holes in the bag. Just make sure there aren’t any very large pieces.
Honestly, I measure the crumbs as I go along. I’ll crush a few graham crackers then measure. Crush more, than measure again.
As an alternative and a time-saver, you can buy graham cracker crumbs. They are usually found on the same aisle as the graham crackers. But if you have them on hand, it’s just as easy to make them.Take a trip down memory lane with my no-bake orange creamsicle bars. One bite and you'll be transported to your childhood with memories of a favorite treat. #frozentreats #creamsicle #nobake
Since these really are like orange creamsicle cheesecake bars, you should keep them in the freezer. I like to make them a day in advance so the orange flavor really has time to meld with the cream cheese.
You’re going to want to wait to serve these no-bake orange creamsicle bars until you are absolutely ready for dessert. They will begin to melt.
If you don’t feel like whipping more cream as a garnish, feel free to use store-bought.
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar, divided
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
- ½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- couple drops of orange food coloring (optional)
- fresh orange slices, for garnish
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with softened butter and set aside.
- For the crust: In a medium bowl, toss together graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar until combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish and press down firmly into the bottom of the dish. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- For the filling: In the chilled bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 cup heavy cream with ¼ cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Transfer to a smaller bowl and set aside.
- Return bowl to stand mixer and beat together cream cheese, condensed milk, and granulated sugar until thick and well combined. Stir in orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Gently fold in whipped cream without trying to deflate it.
- Pour half of the mixture over chilled crust, spreading into an even layer. Return to the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add orange food coloring (I used only a drop) to remaining filling and mix until evenly colored; refrigerate until the first layer is set. Pour remaining orange filling over top of bars and spread into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze until set; at least 4 hours or overnight. Overnight is best to let flavors develop.
Use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to press the graham cracker crumbs into the baking dish.
Chill the mixing bowl and beaters before whipping the cream.
Serve this dessert at the very last minute and return the pan to the freezer. It will begin to melt if left out too long.
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