This refreshing Strawberry Icebox Cake features delicious layers of juicy strawberries, smooth whipped cream and graham crackers. Chilling the cake makes the graham crackers soft and cakey – a simple, tasty and cool treat for a hot day!
Table of Contents
- An Easy, Retro Strawberry Cake!
- Why Is It Called an Icebox Cake?
- The Ingredients
- Can You Substitute Frozen Strawberries for Fresh Strawberries?
- How to Make Strawberry Icebox Cake
- Helpful Tips for Success
- Easy Variations
- How to Store Strawberry Icebox Cake
- Can I Freeze This?
- Get the Recipe
- More Strawberry Desserts
An Easy, Retro Strawberry Cake!
Strawberry desserts are basically my everything – when those luscious, juicy berries are in season, there are so many amazing treats to rediscover. This time around, I’m crushing on this cold, creamy Strawberry Icebox Cake. It’s all kinds of yummy – a layered dessert that’s a lot like banana pudding, but with a tart strawberry twist.
If you are looking for a wonderful dessert you can take along to a barbecue or potluck, you should definitely give this one a try. It’s both indulgent and refreshing, and so easy to whip up at a moment’s notice. Icebox cakes for the win!
Why Is It Called an Icebox Cake?
As you probably know, “icebox” is an old-timey word for refrigerator. Icebox cakes are refrigerator cakes: soft, sweet desserts that have to be chilled to get a cakey texture. Icebox cakes are usually made with layers of cookies or crackers in between layers of pudding or whipped cream, and the chilling process helps the cookie layer soften up a bit. The result? A cake-like layer between creamy layers – without having to bake anything!
For this strawberry icebox cake, I like making homemade whipped cream instead of boxed pudding mix. It gives the whole dessert a light, airy texture and flavor, like strawberry shortcake!
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Don’t use half-and-half – it won’t turn into whipped cream, no matter how long you beat it.
- Powdered Sugar: For sweetening the whipped cream.
- Strawberries: Remove the stem ends and slice the strawberries thinly.
- Graham Crackers: I recommend regular honey grahams, not cinnamon graham crackers.
Can You Substitute Frozen Strawberries for Fresh Strawberries?
You can definitely use frozen strawberries in this recipe, but if you do, you may end up with a slightly soggier dessert. This is because frozen berries are much “juicier” than fresh berries. When berries freeze, the liquid inside them expands, breaking apart the berry’s cell walls. Then when they thaw out, the liquid leaks out! Fresh strawberries are juicy, but the cell walls aren’t destroyed, so they won’t leak as much.
If you decide to go with frozen berries, try thawing them out in the fridge for 20 – 30 minutes before draining and slicing them.
How to Make Strawberry Icebox Cake
As you can probably tell, a recipe with this few ingredients is very easy to make. Just grab a pretty dish and start layering! Here are the step-by-step photos to show you how.
- Make the Sweetened Whipped Cream. In a large bowl, combine the cream and powdered sugar. Beat until soft peaks have formed.
- Add a Layer of Graham Crackers. Once the cream has formed soft peaks, place a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking dish.
- Top with Whipped Cream and Strawberries. Next, spread a thick layer of whipped cream on top of the graham crackers, and arrange strawberry slices over the whipped cream.
- Repeat! Continue layering crackers, whipped cream, and strawberry slices until you have filled up the baking dish. It’s best to end with a layer of berries.
- Chill the Cake. Take your strawberry icebox cake, and cover it with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge to chill for at least three hours.
- Enjoy! Cut into pieces and serve.
Helpful Tips for Success
Strawberry icebox cake – so sweet, so dreamy… and it couldn’t be simpler, right? And these helpful tips will make this easy dessert even easier.
- Whipping the Cream: It is important to make sure the cream isn’t whipped past stiff peaks. If the whipped cream is too fluffy, it won’t soak into the graham crackers. Then your icebox cake will have firm, crumbly crackers instead of cakey layers, and it will be hard to cut.
- Slicing Strawberries: To speed up the strawberry slicing process, you can use an egg slicer. It works great! Just make sure you cut off the strawberry stems first.
- Cookie Test: Below, you’ll see some easy variations on this fun recipe – but what if you want to use a totally different cookie? You can test the cookie to see if it’s a good icebox cake choice by dunking it in milk (yum). If it doesn’t soften easily, it’s probably not going to soften in the fridge.
There are countless ways to change up this cake, so feel free to experiment. These are just a few variations you can try:
- Chocolate Strawberry Icebox Cake: This one is so easy – substitute your favorite Oreos or simply dark chocolate cookie thins for the graham crackers. A little drizzle of melted chocolate over the finished, chilled cake adds a pretty touch.
- Strawberry Macadamia Cake: Use white chocolate flavored pudding for the filling, and pizelle cookies instead of graham crackers. Add piped whipped cream and chopped macadamia nuts on top.
- Strawberry Lemonade Cake: Substitute lemon thin cookies for the graham crackers, and decorate the top of the cake with lemon zest.
How to Store Strawberry Icebox Cake
Any leftover strawberry icebox cake should be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered. Plastic wrap or press n seal is helpful for covering cake containers, if you don’t want to transfer the cake to an airtight container. Use the cake within 2 days.
Can I Freeze This?
It is possible to freeze an icebox cake, but keep in mind that fresh berries may become watery after freezing and thawing. If you already used frozen berries, you might have more success. If you do decide to try freezing, make sure to wrap the cake very thoroughly, and use it within a month for the best results.
Strawberry Icebox Cake
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 lbs strawberries, sliced
- 1 ½ sleeves graham crackers
- In a large bowl, whip together the cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks have formed.
- Once the cream has formed stiff peaks, place a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking dish.
- Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on top of the graham crackers followed by strawberries.
- Repeat this process until you have filled up the baking dish.
- Top the cake with the remaining strawberries and cover the dish with plastic wrap.
- Chill the cake in the fridge for 3 hours, serve, and enjoy!
- Whipping the Cream: It is important to make sure the cream isn’t whipped past stiff peaks. If the whipped cream is too fluffy, it won't soak into the graham crackers while the cake chills, which makes it hard to cut.
- Slicing the Strawberries: To speed up the strawberry slicing process, you can use an egg slicer. Just make sure you cut off the stems of the strawberries first.
- Frozen Berries: It is best to use fresh strawberries in this recipe; however, if none are available you can use frozen ones. Just let the strawberries thaw in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before slicing them.
More Strawberry Desserts
- Homemade Strawberry Cake
- Strawberry Shortcake Sandwiches
- Strawberry Pretzel Pie
- Lemon Strawberry Trifle
- Homemade Strawberry Milk
- Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
- Easy Strawberry Ice Cream Cake
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.