Strawberry Icebox Cake has layers of fresh vanilla whipped cream, jammy strawberry sauce, and layers of graham crackers. Once chilled, the graham crackers soften against the creamy filling, becoming like thin cake layers. This no-bake cake comes together with simple ingredients, and makes the perfect dessert for hot summer days!
Why you’ll love this Strawberry Icebox Cake:
- Bursting with Strawberry Flavor – Cooking strawberries into a quick stovetop sauce intensifies the flavor and keeps the strawberry layer soft, even when frozen.
- No-Bake Dessert – This easy dessert is super doable for all skill levels because it is a no-bake dessert.
- Make-Ahead Recipe – Since this no-bake strawberry icebox cake needs time to rest in the freezer before serving, it’s a great make-ahead dessert.
As always, the full recipe with measurements & directions can be found at the bottom of this post.
- Strawberries – Strawberries are, obviously, essential in this recipe! Visit a local berry farm or the farmer’s market to get really good fresh berries, or grab some at the grocery store.
- Graham Crackers – Use your favorite brand of honey graham crackers.
- Heavy Cream – This is also called heavy whipping cream – it’s found near the milk and buttermilk in grocery stores.
- Vanilla Extract – Use real vanilla for best results.
- Dairy-free & Vegan – Use your favorite dairy-free heavy cream to make this recipe dairy-free and vegan.
- Gluten-free – Use gluten-free graham crackers to make the recipe gluten-free.
- Vanilla Wafers – Vanilla wafers would work in place of the graham crackers.
- Whipped Cream – I always recommend homemade whipped cream, but you can use cool whip or whipped topping in a pinch. Don’t add the extra whipped cream ingredients to it.
How to Make this Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make Strawberry Sauce. Cook strawberries with a little sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until you have jammy sauce. Let cool completely in the fridge.
Step 2: Make Homemade Whipped Cream. Beat heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.
Step 3: Assemble Icebox Cake. Spread a tiny bit of whipped cream in the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of graham crackers, then whipped cream, then the cooled strawberry sauce.
You’ll repeat this process a total of three times, ending with a layer of graham crackers.
Step 4: Freeze. Spread on the last bit of the cream mixture to finish the cake layers. Then, chill this no-bake strawberry dessert in the freezer for at least 4 hours or up to 24. This gives the graham cracker layers time to soften and become like little layers of cake.
Step 5: Decorate. Once ready to serve the icebox cake, invert it out onto a serving plate and cover the sides and top of the icebox cake with the remaining whipped cream. Swirl on any remaining strawberry sauce and add a few fresh strawberries.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Once decorated, slice and enjoy! Store leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. The cake-like texture of the softened graham crackers pairs beautifully with the jammy strawberry sauce and the fresh cream.
Expert Success Tips:
- Whipped Cream – Beat the whipped cream just until stiff peaks form. Don’t over mix!
- Softening Cake – Let the cake rest in the fridge for 1 hour or at room temp for 15 minutes or so before decorating and slicing it so it’s not frozen solid. Be sure to add the last bit of whipped cream after the rest if resting at room temperature.
Yes! It needs to be made ahead to some degree since it needs to rest in the freezer for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.
Yes you can. If your whipped cream is no longer smooth from over-mixing, add 1-3 additional tablespoons of heavy cream and mix in on low speed just until things smooth out.
- Chocolate Strawberry Icebox Cake – Use chocolate graham crackers for a chocolate twist!
- Other Fruits – You can make this easy recipe with other fruits if desired. However, not every fruit will cook down and thicken in the same way that strawberries will, so try using these dessert sauces to make other icebox cake recipes –
- Loaf Pan – You’ll need a standard loaf pan for this delicious dessert.
- Cordless Mixer – I love the convenience of a cordless mixer!
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More No-Bake Wonder Recipes:
- Homemade Popsicles
- No-Bake S’mores Pie
- No-Bake Nutella Tart
- Black Forest Icebox Cake
- Banana Rum Dulce de Leche Icebox Cake
- No-Bake Black Forest Pie
- No-Bake Cheesecake Jars
More Strawberry Recipes to Love:
- Strawberries & Cream Scones
- Classic Strawberry Cheesecake
- Strawberry Rhubarb Galette
- Homemade Strawberry Shortcakes
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake
For the Strawberry Sauce
- 1 lb strawberries, quartered if using frozen, do not thaw
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the Lemonade Whipped Cream:
- 1 and 1/2 cups + 1/3 cup heavy cream, divided
- 2 tsp + 1 tsp vanilla extract, divided
For the Icebox Cake:
- whole graham crackers
- strawberry slices, for topping
- Make the Strawberry Sauce: Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, making sure the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add this and the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer, mashing the berries down with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once simmering, cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring lazily. The sauce should have thickened but still be a tad on the runny side compared to a true jam.Remove from heat and allow to cool. You can cool the sauce quickly by pouring it into a shallow bowl or pie plate and placing in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Prep: Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap in both directions, pressing it against the sides well and leaving overhang to help you lift out the dessert later.
- Make Whipped Cream: In a large bowl, beat together 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream and 2 tsp vanilla on medium high speed just until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble Icebox Cake: Spread 3 tablespoons of the whipped cream in the bottom of your lined loaf pan. Cover the bottom with graham crackers, breaking into pieces as needed to fit. It’s fine if the edges aren’t completely covered. Spread ⅔ cup whipped cream over the graham crackers. Dollop on 1/2 cup of strawberry jam and spread evenly. This doesn’t need to be perfect! Repeat this two more times, then add the final layer of graham crackers and spread on a thin layer of the remaining whipped cream.
- Chill: Cover icebox cake with foil and chill in the freezer for 3-4 hours before serving. Let it soften at room temp for 10 -15 minutes before serving. You can also chill this cake in the fridge for 1 hour before serving. This ensures things aren't frozen solid, but are still nice and chilled.
- Serve & Store: Once the cake has rested, make the remaining whipped cream using 1/3 cup heavy cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Invert the icebox cake onto a serving platter, then add swoops of whipped cream on the top & sides. Decorate with strawberries. Slice and enjoy! Store leftovers in the freezer for up to one week. If you need to make more servings, this recipe would fill an 8×8 or 9×9 square pan if doubled!