Strawberry ice box cake on white place with strawberries in background, glass of milk and loose Graham crackers.
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Easy Strawberry Icebox Cake

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Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Allison Lancaster

Easy Strawberry Icebox Cake is a no-bake layered dessert consisting of sweet and creamy layers, strawberry jelly, Graham cracker sheets, and freshly sliced strawberries. It’s the perfect dessert for those hot summer days that you can make the night or the day before! 

A slice of strawberry icebox cake on stacked white plates, glass of creamy milk and bowl of fresh strawberries in the background.

This refreshing no bake strawberry icebox cake is an eye-catching refrigerator cake, made with minimal simple ingredients that pack a punch of irresistible flavor and texture. Top the assembled and chilled strawberry icebox cake with piped whipped cream, extra sliced strawberries, and fresh mint leaves that will impress your family and friends and have them returning for seconds!

Easily adapt this easy strawberry icebox cake by using different fruit and jelly, change the crackers to your favorite cookies, add a pop of color with food coloring, or garnish with chocolate shavings, coconut flakes, or chopped nuts – the possibilities are endless! 

Strawberry ice box cake on white place with strawberries in background.

Easy Strawberry Icebox Cake Ingredients & Substitutions:

Strawberry Ice Box Cake ingredients on marble background

Cream cheese: Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature for a few hours for easy incorporation when making the cream cheese filling for this icebox cake recipe. 

Powdered sugar: This sweetens the dessert and helps to stiffen the homemade whipped cream into stiff peaks.

Heavy whipping cream: Cool Whip or another brand of whipped topping can be used instead of heavy cream. This is an easy shortcut to make this strawberry dessert if you are in a hurry.

Vanilla extract: Always use high-quality extract for the best flavor. Add strawberry extract for a stronger strawberry flavor in this easy dessert. 

Strawberry jelly: This adds flavor, sweetness, and color, and helps to thicken the creamy filling of this dessert so that it doesn’t become a sloppy mess once sliced and served. Use a different flavored jelly when changing the fruit. For example, you could use blueberry jelly for blueberry icebox cake or raspberry jelly for raspberry icebox cake. 

Graham cracker sheets: This refers to the entire rectangle before separating its parts. Make sure to fill in any gaps on the bottom of the pan between the sheets with Graham cracker crumbles. Digestive biscuits or Lotus Biscoff cookies could be used instead.  

Fresh strawberries: Sliced. These fresh strawberries can be left out completely and the no-bake dessert will be just as delicious. This strawberry icebox cake can also be made with different types of fresh berries or fresh fruit depending on your preferences. 

Garnish: Use fresh mint leaves as an optional garnish. 

How To Make Strawberry Ice Box Cake

Strawberry ice box cake on white place with strawberries in background, glass of milk and loose Graham crackers.
  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer or stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy.
  • Next add in the heavy whipping cream, vanilla and strawberry jelly in the large mixing bowl.
  • Beat with the electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Line a 8×8 baking dish with plastic wrap leaving plenty of overhang on each side.
  • Place 3 graham cracker sheets across the bottom and use broken graham crackers across the end to fill in the gap.
  • Spread about 1 cup of the cream mixture over the thin layer of graham crackers. Top with a layer of strawberries and another layer of graham crackers.
  • Repeat the layer and top with a final layer of graham crackers. 
  • Place the leftover filling in the refrigerator.
  • Cover with the overhand plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight for best results. 
  • Let the dessert thaw for 30 minutes before serving. 
  • Before serving, spread the top with more filling and garnish with strawberries and mint if you like.
  • Slice and serve.

Serve

Strawberry icebox cake is a delicious no bake strawberry dessert that can be enjoyed as is. You could also add a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of strawberry syrup to each serving of this classic icebox cake.  

When serving to guests, don’t be shy to add some pretty garnishes, such as fresh mint leaves and freshly sliced strawberries or mixed berries. Piping fresh whipped cream on top of the cake is another great idea!

How To Store Strawberry Icebox Cake

Store this strawberry icebox cake in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered with saran wrap or aluminum foil to prevent the creamy mixture from drying out and to also prevent the cake from absorbing other odors from food in the fridge. 

Keep in mind that the longer this cake is stored in the fridge, the softer the crackers will become and the berries will turn soggy. 

This cake can also be stored in the freezer for 1-2 months. Slice it from frozen and enjoy it like an ice cream cake! 

Recipe FAQ’s:

Why is it called an icebox cake?

This summer no-bake dessert is known as an icebox cake because it is chilled in the icebox (aka the fridge) instead of the oven.

Are there other types of icebox cakes?

Yes, there are! In fact, most countries have their own versions of an icebox cake. The American version traditionally uses Nabisco cookies while the Australian version makes use of Arnott’s chocolate ripple cookies and is shaped into a chocolate ripple cake log. 

Since an icebox cake is very similar to a trifle with different layers, it’s incredibly easy to add unlimited variations to this dessert. 

How long does an icebox cake need to be refrigerated?

This recipe calls for a minimum of 4 hours in the fridge for the cake to set, although I highly recommend extending that time to overnight for the best results. The time in the fridge helps the creamy filling and dessert layers to set and for the flavors to meld. 

Why has my cream split?

Your cream could have split if it was over-whipped or too warm.

Can I make my own strawberry jelly for this icebox cake?

Absolutely! You can make your own strawberry jelly from fresh strawberries, sugar, and pectin. Make sure that the jelly has cooled down enough before adding to this dessert or it can cause the creamy ingredients to warm up and split. 

What size baking dish is best for this icebox cake?

I’ve used an 8×8-inch baking dish for this dessert which yields 8 slices. This size and depth of baking dish is ideal for a generous serving without becoming overly indulgent. 

Of course, you can use whatever size baking dish you have at home and adjust the layers as necessary. A rectangular baking dish or container works best for the shape of the Graham cracker sheets, but nothing is preventing you from using a rounded trifle bowl instead and filling in gaps with crumbled Graham crackers. 

Should I thaw frozen leftover strawberry icebox cake?

If you’ve chosen to freeze leftover strawberry icebox cake, I recommend serving it frozen just like a regular ice cream cake as the creamy layers of this dessert could split or change from freezing and thawing. Trust me, eating frozen leftovers is just as delicious!

More No-Bake Sweet Treats You’ll Love

I hope you enjoy this easy strawberry icebox cake! If you try it, please come back and leave me a comment letting me know how you liked it. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I love hearing from you!

Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe:

Strawberry ice box cake on white place with strawberries in background, glass of milk and loose Graham crackers.

Easy Strawberry Ice Box Cake

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

This Strawberry Icebox Cake is perfect for the warmer months.  It's a no-bake layered dessert consisting of cream cheese filling, strawberry jelly, Graham crackers, and freshly sliced strawberries. It all comes together to make the perfect refreshing dessert. 

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jelly
  • About 16 graham cracker sheets
  • 1 pounds strawberries, sliced
  • Mint for garnish, optional

Instructions

    1. In a large bowl using an electric mixture combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy.
    2. Next add in the heavy whipping cream, vanilla and strawberry jelly.
    3. Beat with the electric mixer until soft peaks form.
    4. Line a 8x8 baking dish with plastic wrap leaving plenty of overhand on each side.
    5. Place 3 graham cracker sheets across the bottom and use broken graham crackers across the end to fill in the gap.
    6. Spread about 1 cup of the cream mixture over the graham crackers. Top wth a layer of strawberries and another layer of graham crackers.
    7. Repeat the layer and top with a final layer of graham crackers. 
    8. Place the leftover filling in the refrigerator.
    9. Cover with the overhand plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours but overnight is best.
    10. Let thaw for 30 minutes before serving. 
    11. Before serving spread the top with more of the filling and garnish with strawberries and mint if you like.
    12. Slice and serve.

    Notes

    • Store leftovers in an airight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
    • You can skip the fresh berries if you like and it will be just as delicious!
    • You can use pink food coloring if you want the color to be more vibrant.

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    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 618Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 7g

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