Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe + Video

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Strawberry Icebox Cake combines fresh summer strawberries with light, fluffy vanilla whipped cream frosting and two layers of graham crackers. The layers are so stunning, people will think you spent hours putting together this no bake dessert. It’s one of our favorite summer ice box cake recipes, and it’s always a hit at barbecues and potlucks.

titled (shown on black serving platter) strawberry icebox cake


Once everything is assembled, this strawberry shortcake icebox cake goes in the freezer for a few hours.

This softens the graham crackers so it actually tastes like there is cake in every bite! 

ingredients to make strawberry icebox cake

Strawberry Icebox Cake

If you’ve never tried a strawberry icebox cake recipe, you’re in for a real treat! The fabulous vanilla whipped cream frosting alone will certainly knock your socks off.

There’s no baking required — simply layer the ingredients into a loaf pan and chill until firm. Now, that’s what I call an easy dessert!!

Summer is the perfect time to make an ice box cake. So, if you’re in the mood to try something new, I’ve got plenty of other flavors to choose from!

Float away with a refreshing slice of Lemon Cloud or indulge in my Peanut Butter Caramel Icebox Cake — it tastes just like a giant candy bar!

Want something extra decadent for a special occasion? Then this Cherry Chocolate Chip Brownie Icebox Cheesecake is exactly what you’re looking for!

whipping cream with hand mixer

Why is it called an ice box cake?

Before modern refrigeration, families used something called an icebox to chill and preserve their food.

The cupboard or hutch was lined and stocked with a large block of ice to keep things nice and cool.

As a way to promote this new invention, the icebox cake recipe was born!

It was an easy way for housewives to prepare a stunning dessert using simple ingredients. Plus, they wouldn’t need to heat up the house with the oven.

Icebox Cake Recipe Variations

There are so many different types of icebox cakes you can make!

This strawberry icebox cake recipe is one of my favorites, but you can easily make a mixed berry version of this chilly treat with raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries.

Get creative and think up new flavor combinations to try. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Use stone fruit. Sliced peaches, plums, or nectarines would be delicious.
  • Swap out the pudding. Instead of vanilla, use chocolate pudding mix! You could even replace the strawberries with banana slices.
  • Try different cookies. Use Nilla Wafers for a slightly different taste, or substitute ladyfingers for a more classic shortcake feel.
  • Add a topping. Drizzle chocolate syrup or ganache over the top for a fancier presentation.

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

Strawberry Icebox Cake FAQ

Can I use Cool Whip instead of homemade whipped cream?

Homemade whipped cream really makes this strawberry shortcake icebox cake taste amazing. But, if you are pressed for time, you can use a frozen whipped topping instead.

If you do decide to make your own homemade topping, adding 1-2 tablespoons of dry pudding mix to whipped cream helps to stabilize it like the store-bought version.

Do I need to invert my strawberry icebox cake?

To serve it fully frosted, then yes. Or, you can simply layer the ingredients in the pan and serve it that way.

If you have a glass 9×5 pan, the presentation is gorgeous when you can see the layers through the side.

With a steady hand, you can also assemble and serve the strawberry icebox cake on a cake platter!

You’ll need to layer the ingredients in reverse, starting with the graham crackers. I recommend piping the whipped filling as well.

Can I make ice box cake sugar free?

Yes, it’s easy to reduce the sugar content in this no bake icebox cake recipe!

Instead of traditional instant pudding, choose a sugar-free version.

Look for a confectioner’s sugar substitute that is made with Stevia. Be sure to reference the package for the correct substitution ratio.

Use a low-fat whipped topping to reduce the fat content, if you’re concerned about that as well.

icebox cake ingredients layered in loaf pan and covered with plastic wrap

Prep Ahead Instructions

This is already a make-ahead recipe, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to prepare it!

Once everything is assembled, this no bake dessert will need to chill in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours to set.

For potlucks and parties, feel free to make this strawberry icebox cake recipe a day in advance so it’s ready to go when you are.

layered icebox cake with strawberries

How to Store Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake

To keep the layers firm, store your strawberry icebox cake in the freezer at all times.

Keep it well covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Enjoy within 1 to 2 weeks, and allow it to soften on the counter for about 15 minutes before slicing.

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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no bake strawberry cake topped with whipped cream and strawberry slices

Other No Bake Recipes

no bake strawberry cake topped with whipped cream and strawberry sliced

Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Strawberry Icebox Cake has layers of cookies, whipped cream, and fresh berries coated in frosting for an easy no bake strawberry dessert!
4 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Freezer
Servings 12


  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, (SEE NOTES)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8-10 graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla pudding mix, unprepared


  • Reserve a handful of strawberries for garnishing the top of the cake. Place the remaining strawberries in a large bowl. Sprinkle granulated sugar over top. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • In a tall bowl, whip the heavy cream with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer on high speed, until you can start to see a trail of the mixer through the cream.
    Add the vanilla extract and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. (In other words, when you turn off the blender and lift the beaters out of the cream, the cream should stand up on the end of the beater). Set aside.
  • Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap use enough to have excess that you can wrap over the top. Layer 1/3rd of the whipped cream into the pan. Spoon half of the strawberries in an even layer on top of the whipped cream. Top with a layer of graham crackers, breaking them if necessary to fit the pan.
  • Next, add another 1/3rd of the whipped cream, smoothing it out evenly with a spatula. Add the remaining strawberries evenly over the whipped cream. Top with a layer of graham crackers, breaking them if necessary to make them fit.
    Pull the excess plastic wrap over the top to cover. Freeze for 3-4 hours.
  • Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar and pudding mix to the remaining whipped cream. Whip until it comes together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Remove the cake from freezer, unwrap the top of the cake, and invert the loaf pan onto a plate. Remove the plastic wrap and frost with the whipped cream icing and sprinkle remaining strawberries on top.
    Freeze until ready to serve.
    To slice, run your knife under hot water to warm the knife. Dry it off if necessary, then cut the cake. The knife should slide through the cake more easily. Repeat as necessary.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Donna’s Notes

  1. Homemade whipped cream really makes this icebox cake taste amazing. But, if you are pressed for time, you can use a frozen whipped topping instead. The taste will be very similar and you’ll be able to save a few minutes on a busy day. If you do decide to make your own homemade whipped cream topping, adding 1-2 tablespoons of dry pudding mix to whipped cream helps to stabilize it.


Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 293cal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 89mg | Sugar: 31g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

titled pinterest collage for strawberry icebox cake

Originally published  August 2013; updated and republished May 2023

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    1. Thank you! It does hold up better with the shortening. Feel free to leave it out, but then you might want to cut the sugar down about 1/4 cup or it will be too sweet. Hope that helps!


  1. Is the powdered sugar divided? I ask because it appears to be added to the cream when whipped but then there is that reference to sugar with the shortening in the last step. I have rearranged the list of ingredients according to order used. It helps me stay on track better. Thanks for a tasty treat!

    1. I updated the instructions to be more clear. Please look at them again. Thank you so much for checking.



  2. I feel like as though this is a frozen strawberry smore thing going on. So pretty and best part is there is no bake. So easy. 🙂

    1. That is a great way to shortcut the recipe! So happy you loved it.

      Keep us posted on your kitchen adventures,


  3. When u say"spoon half the strawberries and half the juice on top of whipped cream". What is the juice you are referring to?

  4. Turned out wonderful! ! Thx for the recipe. Only thing is, my man has a bit of a sweet tooth so I used up all the whipped cream with all the powdered sugar and then used some extra for dressing. And it's also a great idea to add aome Rum or dramboue liquor to marinate the strawberries.

    1. I don't believe the pound cake would hold us as well. You could use vanilla creme cookies in place of the graham crackers. The cookies will absorb the moisture and become cake like. The pound cake would be moist already. Hope that helps!

    2. My former mother-in-law used to make a version of this by using a baked angel food cake (she baked her own, but you could buy one), cutting the top inch or so off the cake and scooping out the some of the inside and mixing it with some of the strawberry filling. She then spooned the filling back into the cake, replaced the top and frosted it with pink-tinted whipped cream and garnish with strawberry halves. It, too, was to die for, but I admit your recipe has me DROOLING! Will try it as soon as good strawberries appear in my grocery store in Arkansas where I live.

  5. Here is another version of this tasteful cake…this one is also easy and delicious.

    Whipped Strawberry Sensation

    4 cups fresh strawberries, divided
    1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
    1/4cup lemon juice
    1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
    8 OREO Cookies, finely chopped
    1Tbsp. butter, melted
    Make It
    LINE 9×5-inch loaf pan with foil, with ends extending over sides of pan. Mash 2 cups berries in large bowl. Add milk, juice and 2 cups COOL WHIP; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.
    MIX chopped cookies and butter; spoon over COOL WHIP mixture. Cover with ends of foil; gently press cookie mixture into COOL WHIP mixture. Freeze 6 hours or until firm.
    INVERT dessert onto plate when ready to serve; remove pan and foil. Frost dessert with remaining COOL WHIP. Slice remaining berries; arrange over dessert.

    1. The graham crackers soften from the strawberries and cream. The cake is perfectly easy to cut into. You are going to love it!

  6. it looks to me as though the bottom layer in your picture is graham cracker, but in the recipe it says whipping cream first. what would you suggest? 🙂

  7. in the picture it looks like the bottom layer is graham gracker, not cream like it says in the recipe–what would you suggest?

  8. Can I use lady fingers instead of graham crackers? I'm not too crazy about them. If there are any other suggestions for substitutes please suggest away!!!

  9. Can I use lady fingers instead of graham crackers? I'm not too crazy about them. If there are any suggestions on anything else I can use as a substitute, SUGGEST AWAY!!!

    1. Hi Tiffany, you could layer nilla wafers, golden oreos, or lady fingers in this dessert and it would be fabulous!

  10. This looks sooooo good and its one of boyfriend's favorite dish. He has a birthday coming up and I'm going to try to make this I was wondering can it be just Graham crakers cream and strawberries will it hold or should I stick to the recipe. Thanks for posting this

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