When I was a kid the ice cream truck, carefully timed to arrive after dinner every summer evening announced itself with the loud playing of a bouncy tune I believe, about chickens. My favorite treat was the orange pushup; a soft ice cream in a cardboard tube that had a plastic disc in the bottom and a stick protruding from the end. You used the stick to push up the disc which raised the ice cream to a lickable level.
There are no ice cream trucks out here but I’ve found a way to recreate my favorite childhood treat. These Orange Creamcicle Bars take me back to those long ago summer evenings and there’s no baking involved! I think they’ll be a summertime favorite for your family, too!
The easiest part of the recipe is making the crust. It’s pretty much the standard graham cracker crust we’ve all made before. I just made graham cracker crumbs, added the melted butter, and stirred until I had the sandy texture I needed.
Next I mixed the cream cheese, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk.
Next came the orange zest and the orange juice. Thank goodness for my son who squeezed about 5 oranges for me!
It was then time to make the whipped cream. I whipped the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks formed. I forgot to get a picture of the stiff peaks but they formed.
Then I ever so gently folded my whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
I retrieved the crust from the freezer and poured the filling in.
After waiting (impatiently) for about 3 hours I removed the foil from the pan and cut my Orange Creamcicle Bars with a dry, hot knife. I used mandarin orange slices to decorate them but you can use orange zest or both!
Orange Creamcicle Bars
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 24 crackers)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 4 tablespoon sugar
- 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 3/4 teaspoon orange extract
- Mandarin orange slices (optional)
- Put a mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer.
- Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl pour the graham cracker crumbs and sugar, mixing to combine well.
- Stir in the melted butter and mix until the crumbs resemble damp sand.
- Firmly press the graham cracker mix into the bottom of the prepared pan making sure it’s evenly spread and reaches the corners and edges.
- Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese, condensed milk, and sugar and beat until smooth.
- Stir in the orange zest, orange juice, and orange extract and mix until just combined.
- In the chilled mixing bowl pour the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
- Using a spatula, fold in the whipped cream very gently into the orange mixture. Do not over mix.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling over the crust.
- Place the pan back in the freezer for at least three hours until the filling is set.
- To slice, remove the foil from the baking pan and flatten. Use a dry, hot knife to slice into bars.
- Decorate with mandarin orange slices or orange zest.
The bars will need to thaw for just a couple of minutes before serving.
Adapted from Imperial Sugar recipe