These Orange Creamsicle Dream Bars are the perfect NO BAKE refreshing summer dessert! Everyone’s taste buds will love the crunchy crust, sweet cheesecake layer, and orange cream topping. It will take you back to the days of buying an Orange Creamsicle off the ice cream truck.
They follow the Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars that started it all.
The Orange Creamsicle was and still is one of my most favorite ice cream treats to eat.
There’s just something about that orange and cream flavor that makes me all happy when I take a bite.
So, seeing as how those ice cream bars are so popular, I just thought it made perfect sense to make it into a Dream Bar recipe.
Make them easier to eat on a hot summer’s day, too.
This way, the creamsicle isn’t dripping all over your hand! haha
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The big news in our family is that another one of our children is off to live in Europe.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll remember that our oldest daughter, Alex (Lexi), moved to Germany almost two years ago to be an au pair (live-in nanny).
She was living with a wonderful family who has three children, a boy age 9, a girl age 6 and a younger boy, 18 months.
She was only able to be with them for a year and then she moved to Berlin where she now watches another little girl.
About two weeks ago, Alex’s original host mother asked her if she knew of anyone who might want to be an au pair for them.
Thinking it would be cool, but most unlikely, she mentioned it to our younger daughter, Emma, who is a full-time nanny in Philadelphia.
Yet, after some intense thinking, Emma decided to accept the position.
She’ll be leaving for Germany on August 11.
This has all happened within the past two weeks.
While sad for me, I am extremely excited for her for many reasons.
It’s a great opportunity.
She’s young, and while she has no career ties here in the States besides family and friends, she might as well just do it. Carpe diem.
She spent a semester abroad before and has traveled through Europe alone and with friends.
We know the family and are truly blessed that they are so wonderful and think so much of our family. Plus, she’s already met them when she went to visit her sister.
The one thing I just don’t get – Kurt and I moved back east from Phoenix back in March so we could be closer to our children. Granted one was living on another continent, but two were living in Philadelphia which is only a 5 hour train ride away as opposed to a day full of travel.
One up and moves to the other side of the world and now the third is saying he’d like to go explore South America before or after he resumes his unfinished solo Pacific Crest Trail hike.
Whose kids are these??
I’m glad they have been bitten by the travel bug. I want them to explore the world, see other cultures and do things I never would have dreamed of doing at their age.
Granted that now at Alex’s age of 27 I was already married with two kids, so wouldn’t have and didn’t go anywhere anyway.
To be a mother was all I ever truly wanted.
But I have to admit, there is a tinge of jealousy that they have no ties, are able to do and see things I haven’t.
I’m super proud that they are so independent, confident and adventurous.
Yet, they know that Kurt and I as well as their siblings, are their ‘home base’ until and even when they meet the loves of their lives.
It makes my heart very happy.
When I heard Emma had decided to move to Germany, I became a bit sad knowing she’d be over there for at least a year.
So, I sat down here at the table and created another dream bar recipe that I think you’ll all really like.
How to make these Orange Creamsicle Dream Bars –
- Line your 8 X 8-inch baking pan with with parchment. This way you can easily remove the entire tray of bars, peel down the slides, slice and neatly serve them. Also, it makes for little clean up.
- I really like using Nilla Wafers for the crust. I originally made this recipe using crushed sugar cones, but now mush prefer using the cookies.
Use 1 ⅓ cups of finally crushed Nilla Wafers and the same amount of butter (5tbsp).
For another option, use graham cracker crumbs. For those you’ll need 1 1/3 cups. Or, if you use sugar cones, make sure the amount you use is equal to 1 1/3 cups.
I have used Golden Oreos for the crust, but found the dessert was just too sweet. I’ll opt for the Nilla Wafers or a shortbread cookie like a Lorna Doone every time.
- Making the crust and putting it into the freezer to set is the first thing I do. That way it can really have a chance to harden during the hour the cream mixture is in the fridge chilling as well.
- When mixing the orange gelatin, ONLY use the amount of water stated in THIS recipe, NOT as is called for on the box. We want the mixture to be a bit more stable than usual. Chill the gelatin until it is cold, about 10 minutes. You do not want it to set.
- I tested this recipe with orange juice and then again with orange extract and thought the extract brought out more of the orange flavor I was looking for.
- Place the orange cream mixture into the fridge to semi-set for at least an hour. You want it to become thick enough that it blends easily with the Cool Whip. If it hardens too much there will be large chunks of gelatin and it won’t mix as smoothly. From the pictures, you can tell that I left it in over an hour, probably about an hour and a half – dog needed to be walked at the time I was set to take it out, of course.
- If you’re one who would prefer not to use Cool Whip, make my Stabilized Whipped Cream. It makes the perfect amount of whipped cream you’ll need for each of my Dream Bar recipes and tastes much better, too!
- Once finished, refrigerate the Dream Bar recipe for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. I like overnight the overnight option because it’s a dessert you can make the day before you’re going to serve it.
What you need to make this Orange Cream dessert –
- 8 X 8-inch baking pan
- parchment paper – out of all the different ones I’ve used, I like this kind the best!
- food processor, blender or plastic bag
- 2-cup liquid measuring cup
- KitchenAid stand mixer or hand mixer
- Wilton Neon Gel Food Color Set – you might just want to purchase these for another upcoming dream bar dessert recipe
- offset spatulas – these are perfect for spreading the layers evenly and into the corners of the pan.
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Looking for more Orange Cream dessert ideas to satisfy your craving? I found a few great ones while browsing Pinterest!
I’m in love with this Dreamy Orange Creamsicle Shake from Donna at The Slow Roasted Italian. Get me a paper straw QUICK, please!!
Hosting a summer party, bridal or baby shower? Vera at OMG Chocolate Desserts made these White Chocolate Orange Creamsicle Truffles. They’re the perfect bite-sized treat!
Are you a fudge lover like me? This No Fail Orange Creamsicle Fudge from Jocelyn at Inside BruCrew Life, will be the perfect sweet to give to a neighbor, friend, or relative. Just look at those colors! WOW!
Orange Creamsicle Dream Bars
- 8 ounces Cool Whip divided
Nilla Wafer Crust
- 1 ⅓ cups Nilla Wafer Cookie Crumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
Orange Cream Layer
- 3 ounce package orange gelatin
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup cold water
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange extract
- 8 drops orange Wilton Gel Food Colors optional
- 2 cups Cool Whip
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Cool Whip
Nilla Wafer Crust
- Line a 8 X 8-inch baking pan with parchment, so that you can easily remove the bars to evenly slice and remove them.
- In a medium bowl, melt the 5 tablespoons of butter in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir and melt for another 5-10 seconds, if necessary.
- In a food processor, pulse the Nilla Wafers until they are fine crumbs.
- Add the cookie crumbs to the melted butter and mix with a rubber spatula until all is well incorporated.
- Pour into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly into the pan, pressing down to create an even crust. Place pan into the freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe, a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Into a 2-cup measuring glass, mix the orange gelatin with 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir until dissolved.
- Add the 3/4 cup cold water and stir. Place into refrigerator until completely cooled, but not set - about 10 minutes.
Orange Cream Layer
- In a mixing bowl, beat 8 ounces of the cream cheese with the sugar, orange extract and orange food coloring.
- Slowly pour in the chilled gelatin mix while mixing everything together. The slower you pour and allow time for it to blend, the smoother a consistency you'll get. Once completely smooth, place into refrigerator to chill and thicken for one hour. *See Note.
- In a mixing bowl, beat another 8 ounces of cream cheese, the confectioners' sugar, and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. With a rubber spatula, fold in one cup of the Cool Whip.
- Place dollops of cheesecake mixture onto the frozen crust and with an offset spatula, spread to form an even layer.
- with a rubber spatula, fold the remaining Cool Whip (about 2 cups) to the chilled Orange Cream mixture, combining until evenly distributed and smooth.
- Gently pour the Orange Cream onto the cheesecake layer and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
- Place into the refrigerator overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours.
If Orange Cream mixture is left in refrigerator for more than one hour, the gelatin will harden and form. This isn't an issue unless you want a completely creamy layer for the top with NO orange gelatin specks. I think it's a matter of personal, but I actually like it both ways - creamy with no darker orange pieces and then as in the recipe pictures.
Like this Orange Creamsicle Dream Bar recipe and looking for more No-Bake desserts for your summer fun? Take a look at these…