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This Strawberry Icebox Cake is an easy dessert that’s perfect for summer. Made with fresh strawberries, a berry cream filling, and soft ladyfingers, it’s light, simple, and layered to perfection!
Looking for a traditional strawberry shortcake? Try my easy strawberry shortcake recipe with homemade biscuits and whipped cream!
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Easy Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe
Summer is the season for strawberry desserts, so today I present you with this Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake. It’s the no bake version of a traditional, buttery strawberry shortcake, and it’s 100% fabulous – you’re going to love it!
This strawberry icebox cake is made up of fresh, juicy strawberries, a vanilla-infused cream filling, and ladyfingers. The ladyfingers are used between the filling layers to mimic the shortcake part of a strawberry shortcake. They are perfect in this dessert because they are soft and cake-like, but you don’t have to worry about baking them!
If you’re looking for a refreshing dessert to cool off with on a hot day, this graham cracker icebox cake with strawberries is perfect. It’s sure to receive rave reviews at any barbecue, potluck, or get-together you attend!
Why You’ll Love This Strawberry Icebox Cake
You probably don’t need a list of reasons to try this strawberry icebox cake… but I’ve got some for you anyway!
- Super sweet: With fresh strawberries, rich vanilla flavor, and crunchy graham cracker crumbs, this creamy icebox cake is all things sweet and delicious!
- Perfect for summer: This strawberry cake is the perfect dessert for summer and is (pretty much) no bake – making it super simple to put together. It’s a great, easy way to serve strawberry shortcake and would be a great addition to a summer potluck.
- Easy: This icebox cake comes together in a snap – just assemble the ingredients for each layer, build them into a cake, and then refrigerate. Easy peasy!
What is an Icebox Cake?
An icebox cake is a no bake dessert that you just assemble and chill in the fridge. It is sometimes called a “refrigerator cake.” These kinds of cakes are usually made with cream, fruits, and wafers or graham crackers, plus any other mix-ins you like. For this strawberry shortcake icebox cake, we are using ladyfingers (which you can also use to make tiramisu btw!), fruit, cream, and graham cracker crumbles.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this strawberry-shortcake-inspired dessert. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
For the Fruit Layer
- Fresh strawberries – I don’t recommend using frozen strawberries, as they don’t have the same bright flavor or the same texture.
- Sugar – I used regular white sugar, but you can also use light brown sugar.
For the Creamy Filling
- Cream cheese – Use block cream cheese, not the whipped variety.
- Sugar – Again, white sugar and light brown sugar both work.
- Heavy whipping cream – To thicken up the filling.
- Powdered sugar – This helps give the filling a smooth, frosting-like consistency.
- Vanilla extract – Always use pure vanilla extract.
- Ladyfingers – I used two 3 oz packages of the softer, more sponge cake-like ladyfingers – not the firm ones. I find them in the bakery section of our grocery store. If you’re unable to find them in your area, you could substitute them with Nilla Wafer cookies or shortbread cookies. If you use the cookies, I’d suggest dipping them in milk quickly before adding them to help them soften up. You could also use angel food cake.
Graham Cracker Crumble Topping
- Graham cracker crumbs – From about 3 graham cracker sheets.
- Sugar – Same notes as above.
- Butter – I recommend unsalted butter.
- Salt – If you decide to use salted butter, reduce the amount of added salt.
- Strawberries – Slice up some more fresh strawberries for decorating!
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake
Alright, let’s build ourselves a strawberry icebox cake! Here’s how everything comes together (the full set of directions can be found below in the recipe card):
- Combine the strawberries and sugar: To get started, you’ll chop up your strawberries and combine them with a little sugar. Let them sit for a bit while you make the cream filling.
- Make the creamy filling: The filling is a combination of cream cheese, sugar, and whipped cream. The whipped cream is folded into the cream cheese mixture and then the strawberries are added. Super quick and simple!
- Assemble the icebox cake: Layer the ladyfinger cookies, cream filling, and strawberries. You will have two layers each of cookies, strawberries, and filling, starting with the ladyfingers.
- Chill: Once everything is layered together, refrigerate the cake until the filling firms up. This will take 4-5 hours.
- Make the crumb topping: The topping can be added at any point – when the cake is chilling, or just before serving. It’s a little graham cracker crumble that adds a bit of crunch to the top. Just combine some graham cracker crumbs, sugar, a touch of salt, and melted butter. I like to toast it in the oven a bit so that it crisps up and stays crispier while on the cake, but you could skip the baking step if you wanted to.
Tips & Recipe Variations
And there you go, icebox cake complete. Pretty easy, right? Here are a few last minute tips and tricks that will help you get the best results with your cake:
- Add a smear of filling to the bottom of the pan: If you’re worried about the cake moving around (especially if you need to transport it later), add a smear of filling to the cake pan/plate before you start the first layer of cookies. This will help keep everything from slipping around.
- Switch up the topping: I love the graham cracker crumbs but, in lieu of that topping, you could also just cover the top of the cake with more strawberries. Totally up to you!
- Add a drizzle of chocolate: A little chocolate sauce is a welcome addition to this strawberry cake!
- Make it ahead: Making this cake a day ahead is a great way to save time later, especially if you’re hosting a party. It already needs 4-5 hours of chilling time, so if you start the process the day before and let the cake chill overnight, it will be more than ready to go the next day.
How to Store an Icebox Cake
Any extras should be kept in the fridge. I recommend loosely covering your icebox cake with saran wrap to prevent it from drying out. This refrigerator cake will keep for 2-3 days.
Watch This Strawberry Cake Come Together!
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More Icebox Cake Recipes
Want to try out some more easy icebox cakes? I highly recommend these ones!
- Raspberry Almond Shortbread Icebox Cake
- Strawberry & Blueberry Cheesecake Icebox Cake
- Cinnamon Apple Icebox Cake
- Nutella Biscoff Icebox Cake
- Cannoli Icebox Cake
This Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake is so refreshing, and perfect for hot summer days! Made with fresh strawberries, a berry cream filling, and soft ladyfinger cookies.
For the Strawberries:
- 2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
- 3 tbsp (24g) sugar
For the Filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (52g) sugar
- 2 3/4 cups (660ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1 1/4 cups (144g) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 oz ladyfingers*
For the Graham Cracker Crumble Topping:
- 1/3 cup (89g) graham cracker crumbs (about 3 graham cracker sheets)
- 1 tbsp (13g) sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Strawberries, for decorating
Make the Strawberry and Cream Filling
- Combine the chopped strawberries and sugar and set aside while you make the rest of the filling.
- Add the cream cheese and sugar to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
- In another large mixer bowl, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Add about 1/3 of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold to combine. Continue adding another third of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture until all has been combined.
- Add the strawberries (without the juices) to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold together.
Assemble & Chill the Icebox Cake
- Place a full layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of a 9×13 inch cake pan.
- Add about half of the strawberry cream cheese mixture to the top of the ladyfingers and spread into an even layer.
- Add another full layer of ladyfingers on top of the strawberry layer, then add the remaining strawberry cream cheese mixture and smooth into an even layer.
- Place the icebox cake into the fridge to set, about 4-5 hours.
Make the Graham Cracker Topping
- While the cake is in the fridge, make the graham cracker topping. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter and stir together until well combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, until the edges of the mixture start to brown.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then break into crumble pieces.
- Once the crumble is cooled, sprinkle on top of the icebox cake along with some additional strawberries.
- Let the icebox cake continue to set in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.
- To Store: Icebox cake should be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days, or as long as the strawberries stay fresh.
- Which Cookies to Use: I used two 3 oz packages of the softer, more sponge cake-like ladyfingers. Not the firm ones. I find them in the bakery section of our grocery store. If you’re unable to find them in your area, you could substitute them with Nilla Wafer cookies or shortbread cookies. If you use the cookies, I’d suggest dipping them in milk quickly before adding them to help them soften up, like I did in my Raspberry Almond Icebox Cake. You could also use angel food cake.
- Topping Options: The graham cracker crumble could be baked or not baked. I like it baked because it gives it a little more crunch, even in the fridge, but it would be fine either way.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 325
- Sugar: 20.5 g
- Sodium: 98.6 mg
- Fat: 21.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 30.7 g
- Protein: 4.2 g
- Cholesterol: 87.7 mg
Keywords: strawberry icebox cake, icebox cake recipe, graham cracker icebox cake
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