Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake

This Strawberry Shortcake 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!

two pieces of cake, one with a bite taken

So the boys are at a super fun and cute age. They are running around like crazy and super playful. They love being outside and their legs are covered in scrapes. Typical little boys.

They are also at a kind of in-between age where they aren’t talking yet (oh my gosh it should happen ANY DAY NOW!), but they understand you pretty well. Even though they understand you though, they are getting little minds of their own.

Well I took them to the store over the weekend for a few things – exciting things like storage boxes and groceries. In order to have two of them in the cart, I use a buggy bench (brilliant invention!) for one of them, which means Brooks was in the main part of the cart with everything else. It seemed like every thing I put in the cart ended up in his mouth or being thrown out onto the floor because he didn’t want it in his way. Oh yea – that big plastic storage box? I ended up just having to carry it and push the cart one handed. The little bugger.

And then as I’m checking out, Ashton’s turning around as far as he can from the front of the cart and grabbing Brooks’ face. They are a big, adorable mess and they make shopping for anything more interesting and time consuming.

What does all of this have to do with a strawberry shortcake icebox cake? Technically nothing, except I love sharing our family’s adventures as the twins grow. But if you really want a connection, then maybe we can contrast the chaos of shopping with twins with the utter simplicity of this recipe. It’s about as easy as it gets!

complete icebox cake

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 Ice Box cake we are using ladyfingers (which you can also use to make tiramisu btw!), fruit, cream and graham cracker crumbles.

strawberry shortcake icebox cake slice

What You’ll Need

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, 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 – Same notes as above.
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • 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, like I did in my Raspberry Almond Icebox Cake. You could also use angel food cake.

Ladyfingers are used between the filling layers to mimic the shortcake part of 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! Love it!

Graham Cracker Crumble Topping

  • Graham cracker crumbs – From about 3 graham cracker sheets
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Butter – I recommend unsalted butter.
  • Strawberries – For decorating
cross section of strawberry shortcake icebox cake

How to Make Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake

Combine the strawberries and sugar: To get started, you’ll chop up your strawberries and combine them with a little sugar. Let them sit a bit while you making 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 of cookies, strawberries and filling. Start with a layer of ladyfingers.

Chill: Once everything is layered together, refrigerate it 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. In lieu of the topping, you could also just cover the top of the cake with more strawberries. Totally up to you!

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.

This is the Perfect Summer Dessert!

This Strawberry Shortcake Icebox 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. I hope you enjoy it!

two slices on plates, one in focus

Read transcript

More Strawberry Shortcake Desserts

Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Easy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake
Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles

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strawberry shortcake icebox cake slice
Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 15
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Strawberry Shortcake 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!


Ingredients

Strawberries

  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp (24g) sugar

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*

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

Instructions

Make the Strawberry and Cream Filling

  1. Combine the chopped strawberries and sugar and set aside while you make the rest of the filling.
  2. Add the cream cheese and sugar to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  3. In another large mixer bowl, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the strawberries (without the juices) to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold together.

Assemble & Chill the Icebox Cake

  1. Place a full layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of a 9×13 inch cake pan.
  2. Add about half of the strawberry cream cheese mixture to the top of the ladyfingers and spread into an even layer.
  3. 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.
  4. Place the icebox cake into the fridge to set, about 4-5 hours.

Make the Graham Cracker Topping

  1. While the cake is in the fridge, make the graham cracker topping. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter and stir together until well combined.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then break into crumble pieces.
  5. Once the crumble is cooled, sprinkle on top of the icebox cake along with some additional strawberries.
  6. Let the icebox cake continue to set in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

Notes

Icebox cake is best for 2-3 days, or as long as the strawberries stay fresh.

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.

The graham cracker crumble could be baked or not baked. I like it baked because it gives it a little more crunch that stays crunchy even in the fridge, but it would be fine either way.

Nutrition

  • 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, refrigerator cake

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Recipe rating

74 Comments
  1. Lisa

    I brought this to my work potluck today and IT WAS ALMOST GONE IN 20 mins. They loved it and said it tasted identical to the Good Humor strawberry shortcake ice cream sticks growing up. I used Madeline cookies instead of lady fingers and it came out fine.

    1. Lindsay

      There’s nothing simple that I know of. You could try making a very thin gluten free angel food cake and using that.

    1. Lindsay

      Well I haven’t tried it, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. The strawberries are likely to get mushy after being frozen and moisture is likely to seep into the ladyfingers and make it all a little mushy.

  2. Dennis Rehmer

    I made this for my daughter’s birthday, and we all love it. Made it several times, not one did it go to waste.

  3. Claire

    I’ve tried this recipe using measuring cups and it turned out amazing! Really delicious. Now that I have a weighing scale, I noticed that the measurement for the heavy whipping cream is missing. May I know how many ml is needed? 🙂

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29