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No-Bake 4-Layer Ice Cream Dessert

No-Bake 4-Layer Ice Cream Dessert

Renée Robinson

Very Easy, Make Ahead, and Everyone Loves It.

Well, here’s a dessert that’s wonderful for several reasons. First of all, it can be made way ahead of time because it keeps in the freezer for a couple of weeks. Then, no baking is required and it’s easy as can be to put together.  But by far, the most important aspect is that it is scrumptious. No exaggeration here. We find this to be irresistible. Not the most sophisticated recipe I’ve ever made, but it’s right up there with the most loved.

I make the crust layer by blitzing one box of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies and a little sugar in the food processor. After it’s processed finely, I add a whole cup of salted peanuts and only process them until they’re medium fine. I like little pieces of peanuts in the crust. My son has been using the microwave to brown butter and it works beautifully, so we used it here and and stirred it into the crumbs. After pressing it into a greased and parchment lined 13 x 9 dish, it goes into the freezer for a half hour.

I then spread an 18 ounce jar of raspberry jam over the crust and put it back into the freezer for 20 minutes or so. A half gallon of vanilla ice cream goes on next and back into the freezer it goes.

The fudge topping is one of my favorite parts. You combine chocolate, sugar, butter, and heavy cream in a sauce pan and let it bubble for 4 minutes. Add vanilla, a tiny bit of coconut extract, and let it cool to room temperature. The coconut extract was suggested by my son because he loves the combination of coconut and raspberry. It really rounds out the flavor of the sauce and I highly recommend you use it. You don’t notice a discernible coconut flavor. It simply enhances the flavor of the overall dessert. You can tell by the ingredients that it’s going to taste great, but after it’s spread on top and is frozen, it takes on a gooey, almost fudge-like consistency that is remarkably delicious. 

No-Bake 4-Layer Ice Cream Dessert in Tray

Everyone who’s ever tasted this loves it. It seems to hit the right note for all ages. While I did mention that it keeps for a couple of weeks, it’s never come close to lasting that long in my home. This thing disappears quickly. For good reason. 

No-Bake 4-Layer Ice Cream Dessert

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Frozen ice cream dessert with a crust made from Lorna Doone cookies, brown butter, and peanuts, layered with raspberry jam, vanilla ice cream and a chocolate fudge topping. No-bake and make-ahead. It doesn't get better than this.

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  • 1 box - 10 ounces (290g) Lorna Doone shortbread cookies

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 cup (150g) salted peanuts, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts for garnishing

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter

  • 18 ounces raspberry jam

  • 1/2 gallon - 64 ounces vanilla ice cream

  • Fudge Topping
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chips or bar

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract


  • Place the cookies in a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and process until fine crumbs are achieved. Add the peanuts to the processor and blitz until medium fine. You don’t want the peanuts to be overly processed. Place in a medium bowl.
  • Place 6 tablespoons butter into a 4 cup glass measuring cup. Cover with plastic and cook on high in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, until the solids in the butter have turned deep golden brown. Pour the butter over the crumbs and stir until well combined.
  • Press into a 13 x 9 dish which you’ve sprayed with oil and lined the bottom with parchment. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid from the jar of raspberry jam and heat the jar of jam for 30 seconds in the microwave in order to loosen it up a little. Remove the dish from the freezer and spread the jam evenly over the crust. Place back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Let the ice cream sit out for about 10 minutes in order for it to soften up a little. Remove the dish from the freezer and spread the ice cream over the jam layer. Place back in the freezer for about 1 hour.
  • Fudge Topping
  • While the ice cream layer is freezing, place all the ingredients, except the vanilla and coconut extract, in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it starts bubbling. Reduce the heat, but maintain the bubbling, for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and coconut extracts. Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  • Pour the cooled fudge topping over the ice cream, working as quickly as possible. The topping will start to set as soon as it touches the cold ice cream, so it’s important that you work quickly. Spread it evenly over the top, sprinkle with the finely chopped peanuts, and put the dish back in the freezer for another hour or two, until it is fully frozen. Cut into serving size pieces. Enjoy!


  • 13 x 9 inch Casserole Dish
  • Food Processor

4 Responses

    1. Hi, Dana. There is no peanut butter in this, but there are peanuts. You could substitute any other nut. I think almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, or pistachios would be good in it. 😊

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