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.
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!
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!
Want something extra decadent for a special occasion? Then this Cherry Chocolate Chip Brownie Icebox Cheesecake is exactly what you’re looking for!
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
- Stand mixer or large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer.
- 9×5 Loaf Pan – Metal works best, but glass will show off those gorgeous layers if you don’t feel like frosting the finished dessert.
- Large Bowl – This one is my go-to!
- A sturdy silicone spatula can be used for scraping, stirring, and smoothing and is easy to clean too!
Strawberry Icebox Cake FAQ
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other No Bake Recipes
Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe + Video
- 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!
- 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.
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.
Originally published August 2013; updated and republished May 2023
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