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Creamy pineapple filling sandwiched between wafers and topped off with whipped topping and a pile of coconut. This easy no-bake dessert will have them coming back for seconds!
I’m a big fan of no-bake desserts, so when I saw the original recipe on my friend Maria’s blog, Maria’s Mixing Bowl, I knew this was something I had to make. Maria is a cook like me–nothing fancy–just good old comfort food. We also inspire each other, which doesn’t come as any surprise.
Admittedly, I was a little dubious at first at how this would set up since it appeared there was nothing that would solidify the filling. Plus the filling was a “pourable” consistency.
Well, it set up and it set up fine! What probably happens here is the layers of vanilla wafers sop up the liquid and become soft and cake-like in consistency. You will probably need two boxes of vanilla wafers to complete this cake. You won’t use the entire second box, but these cookies are quite versatile and can be used in many other recipes and they make great cookie crumbs so you can substitute those for when graham cracker crumbs are called for in a crust.
When you see the list of ingredients, you’re going to think that this will be cloyingly sweet. Amazingly, it is not! You have the nice tart bite of pineapple and you add fresh lemon juice to the filling for additional tartness.
If you’re not a fan of coconut, chopped pecans can be substituted. No set amounts for either–use as much or as little as you want.
This is another one of those no-bake desserts that can be eaten frozen so don’t overlook that option. Lots of these desserts are actually better frozen! It won’t go runny either if you’ve frozen it and decide you like it better just chilled.
Another recipe that’s a “keeper!”
Cups and saucers/plates from the Osteria Collection by Tapinassi. They are available from Allora.
No-Bake Italian Cake
- 1 - 2 boxes Vanilla wafers you'll need at least 1 box, but I advise getting 2
- 20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (EU readers see NOTES)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 8 oz tub whipped topping (EU readers see NOTES)
- coconut -OR- chopped pecans use as much or as little as you like
- Maraschino cherries for garnish optional--but they taste great on this
- Place a layer of vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan.
- Place pineapple in a large bowl; drain off about 1/4-1/2 cup of the juice.
- Add the condensed milk and lemon juice; stir to combine.
- Pour over the wafers in the prepared pan.
- Place another layer of vanilla wafers over the filling.
- Top with whipped topping.
- Sprinkle coconut or chopped pecans on top of the whipped topping.
- Chill overnight. May be frozen as well.