Strawberry Icebox Cake
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This Strawberry Icebox Cake melts in your mouth with layers of creamy custard, graham crackers and fresh berries. With only 20 minutes of preparation, it’s an easy make-ahead dessert that’s perfect for a party or special occasion!
Icebox cakes are an old-fashioned, no-bake dessert with layers of wafers and custard filling. This Strawberry Icebox Cake has layers of graham crackers, vanilla pudding, fresh strawberries and blueberries.
You can make this dessert for holidays like Easter or Mother’s Day, backyard barbecues or any party. It’s perfect for entertaining since you get 16 servings and can make it ahead of time.
While the icebox cake sits in the refrigerator, the graham crackers absorb moisture from the custard and soften into a cake-like texture that melts in your mouth.
How to Make Strawberry Icebox Cake
Step 1: Make the vanilla pudding mixture
To make the vanilla pudding custard, whisk two packages of instant vanilla pudding mix in some cold milk. Then beat in softened cream cheese until smooth.
Make sure you’re using instant pudding mix, not traditional pudding mix that requires cooking.
Then whip cream to stiff peaks, and then fold into the pudding mixture. You can also use thawed whipped topping instead of whipped cream if you prefer.
Step 2: Assemble the layers in the pan
Take a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, and grease it with nonstick cooking spray or some oil. I prefer a glass pan, so I can see the layers during assembly.
Start by spreading a small amount of pudding mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Then add one single layer of graham crackers on top. Leave the crackers as sheets instead of crumbling them.
Spread about one third of the remaining custard on top of the graham crackers using a spatula. The custard layer should be about ½ inch thick.
Then sprinkle blueberries and sliced or chopped strawberries across the pudding.
Repeat with two more layers of graham crackers, pudding mixture and berries, which should take you to the top of the pan. You can use any remaining pudding mixture to fill in the edges if needed.
Step 3: Chilling
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight for the best results. Then it’s ready to serve!
Tips and Secrets for Making Strawberry Icebox Cake
- Keep the cake chilled until serving; you can make it up to two days ahead as long as it’s kept chilled.
- Don’t freeze this cake because the fruit will spoil; instead use frozen berries if you wish to freeze it.
- Use instant pudding mix, not traditional pudding mix that requires cooking.
- If you can’t find graham crackers, you can substitute vanilla wafers instead. Don’t use ladyfingers or oreos, as they’ll be too thick.
- For a lighter version, you can use light whipped topping and light cream cheese.
- For a chocolate variation, you can also substitute chocolate wafers for graham crackers.
How to Serve Strawberry Icebox Cake
- Keep the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- It’s easiest to cut square pieces, between 16 and 20 pieces per pan.
- Serve on its own or with fresh berries on the side.
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Strawberry Icebox Cake
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 7 oz vanilla instant pudding mix, 2 small boxes (see note)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups whipped cream, or whipped topping
- 15 sheets graham crackers, 16 oz
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- Set aside a rectangular 13x9 inch baking pan. Wash berries and pat dry with paper towels set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and instant pudding mix.
- Add softened cream cheese and beat in with a wooden spoon or whisk until smooth.
- Stir or fold in the whipped cream or topping until thoroughly combined.
- Spread a thin layer of pudding mixture onto bottom of the pan with a spatula.
- Layer graham cracker sheets on top, breaking sheets apart if needed to cover.
- Spread a 1/2" thick layer of pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers to cover using a spatula.
- Arrange one third of the berries on top of the pudding layer.
- Repeat the graham cracker / pudding mixture / berries layering two more times, finishing with the berries.
- Cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours up to 2 days. Serve and enjoy!
- Use "instant" pudding mix and not traditional pudding mix, which requires cooking.
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