A quick and easy no-bake strawberry icebox cake that’s layered with graham crackers, whipped cream cheese filling and sliced strawberries. Simple, sweet and perfectly refreshing!
I’m a huge fan of no-bake desserts. They’re easy, delicious and perfect for summer. This strawberry cream cheese icebox cake is at the top of my list, as well as chocolate lasagna, Oreo ice cream cake and banana split dessert.
Are you looking for something easy to whip up for a summer treat? Well I have the perfect dessert for you. This strawberry icebox cake is made with a graham cracker, whipped cream cheese filling and sliced strawberries. The cream layer softens the graham crackers and the berries add the perfect sweetness.
It’s such an easy no-bake dessert and is so refreshing on a hot summer day. Plus it’s absolutely perfect for serving a crowd. To make even a little more indulgent, try drizzling some melted chocolate over the top. There’s just nothing better than a strawberry dessert in the summer time!
What is an icebox cake?
An icebox cake is an old fashioned chilled dessert that’s made with layers of cream, fruit and wafers (or crackers). There’s no baking required, and everything gets layered on top of each other in a baking pan or trifle dish. Then it’s chilled in the refrigerator until the cream has softened the layer of wafers/crackers.
There are 3 delicious layers in this strawberry icebox cake, meaning you get 3 different flavors and textures in every bite. Once you add the first layer of graham crackers, cream and fruit, you’ll repeat this 2 more times for a total of 3 layers.
- Graham crackers: These are the base of the cake. Line them in the pan so that there’s no empty space. The cream layer gets spread on top, meaning the crackers will soften and taste super sweet and delicious.
- Cream cheese filling: This layer tastes like a mix between cheesecake and homemade whipped cream. It’s creamy, light, a tad bit tangy and has a hint of vanilla flavor. It’s the perfect compliment to both the graham cracker and fresh fruit.
- Fruit: The fresh fruit layer makes the cake super refreshing and sweet. I love to use fresh sliced strawberries, especially when they’re in their peak season in the summer. They’re super ripe and juicy. You can also use other type of berries if you prefer.
Tips for success
- Chill your bowl and beaters. After 15 minutes prior to making the whipped topping, place your mixing bowl and beaters (or whisk) in the freezer. This will help form the stiff peak faster.
- Bottom layer. Before adding the first layer of graham crackers, try spreading a thin layer of cream on the bottom of the pan. This way the graham crackers will stick to the cream and won’t slide around in the pan.
- Slice the fruit thin. I like to slice the strawberries thin (you could even slice them in half again) for the layers, so there aren’t huge chunks in the middle. Also, make sure to save the remaining strawberries that you’re putting on top of the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve. I like to cut the strawberries for the top of the cake in half, but you can cut them however you’d like.
- Chilling the cake. This dessert needs to chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving so that the graham cracker layer can soften. I like to place mine in the freezer for about 30 minutes before serving, so that it firms up a little bit. Then I add the top layer of strawberries right before serving.
- Slicing the cake. Use a sharp knife to cut the cake into slices. For a clean cut, wipe off the knife with a wet paper towel in between each slice so that there isn’t any extra cream and or crackers stuck on the sides.
- You can use chocolate graham crackers or even use a base of vanilla wafers.
- You can omit the cream cheese and use a simple homemade whipped cream or cool whip if preferred.
- Other types of fruit taste delicious, like blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or sliced bananas.
- Top with extras like melted chocolate, chocolate chips or pieces of shaved chocolate.
Making in advance
This dessert needs to be made at least an hour beforehand so that the graham crackers have time to soak up the whipped topping. If you’d like to get a bigger head start, you can make it up to 1 day in advance. I wouldn’t prepare it any earlier than that though, so that the whipped cream stays firm and the berries don’t get soggy.
You can also prepare the different layers in advance and then wait to assemble the cake until a few hours before serving. Make the homemade whipped cream, slice the strawberries and then store them both separately in the fridge to chill. This makes assembling the cake extra easy the next day.
More chilled summer desserts:
- Jello poke cake
- Strawberry pretzel salad
- Ice cream cake
- Strawberry ice cream
- Lemon coconut dessert lasagna
Strawberry Icebox Cake
- 2 boxes graham crackers
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 8 ounce package cream cheese
- 5 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 pint strawberries , sliced
- 1/2 pint strawberries , cut in half (for top of cake)
- 1/4 cup melting chocolate wafers , optional
- Line a 9×9″ pan with the graham crackers and set aside.
- Pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer on medium-speed until a stiff peak forms, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then add the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Mix just until smooth.
- Spread 1/3 of the mixture onto the graham crackers. Then layer 1/3 of the sliced strawberries on top. Repeat with 3 layers. Save the strawberries you’re putting on top, until ready to serve.
- Place cake in the refrigerator for at least one hour, to allow the graham crackers to soften.
- Add the top layer of strawberries right before serving. Slice and drizzle chocolate on top if desired.