Berries ‘n’ Cream Icebox Cake
I’m working with McCormick this year, a brand I’ve been longing to work with for years, to bring you fresh and flavorful recipes. I grew up spicing and flavoring food with McCormick, so I’m thrilled to be on their blogging team!
Have you ever made icebox cake? Trying today’s recipe was among my first.
I opened an email from a reader the other week requesting an icebox cake for the summertime. She said she’s always made this no-bake cake with frozen whipped topping and pudding mix for her kids, but would feel better serving a from-scratch version. I’ve eaten icebox cake before– and it’s addictively wonderful– I’ve just never made it. But Mary’s email and recipe inspired me to decode this refrigerator cake. Challenge accepted!
To be honest, the whole shebang kind of mesmerizes me. It’s cake without an oven. It’s made from graham crackers and fruit. I’m sorry, what? What is this madness? I’m not creaming butter and sugar together? What is happening??
I was surprised how quickly it came together and how there’s practically zero effort involved. I know the whole premise sounds odd and trust me, you’ll feel very odd layering everything, but this layered beauty is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. It tastes like something you’d get off the menu at an adorable corner cafe in Paris. When in reality it took you 10 minutes to make, didn’t even turn on the oven, and you used boxed graham crackers. (Have you ever made homemade graham crackers? Interested.)
Speaking of. The graham crackers get all soft and become the entire texture of the cake. I understand soggy graham crackers sounds odd… and again, it is. But paired with fresh whipped cream that tastes like sweet clouds, flavored with the finest vanilla and almond extracts (whoa!), plus the freshest of summer fruits? It’s epic. Cold, creamy, bursting with flavor, and light. Barely sweet, perfect for summer.
This berries ‘n’ cream icebox cake is the essential end to your 4th of July BBQ. And it feeds a crowd!
Excuse me as I take my final bite of this cloud cake.
- The graham crackers. Really any cookie will work, but graham crackers’ shape are best. They take up a lot of real estate and create a solid layer between the soft whipped cream.
- Homemade whipped cream. Mary’s recipe uses a tub of frozen whipped topping, but 6 cups of light and luscious homemade whipped cream = next level icebox cake. You only need heavy cream, a little confectioners’ sugar, pure extracts, and a few minutes to make it.
- Quality flavor. McCormick pure vanilla and pure almond extracts to the rescue. We all know those red caps, we all love those red caps. McCormick’s pure vanilla extract and pure almond extracts flavor the whipped cream. Always go for quality pure extracts, especially when that flavor is the star of the show in a recipe. Like it is in this whipped cream. Trust me!
- Patriotic berries and star spangled sprinkles. As if you need a reason. As if.
You’ll start with a scant layer of whipped cream to help the graham crackers on the bottom stick. Then begin layering the homemade vanilla almond whipped cream then the fruit. Question yourself as a baker. Top with more graham crackers, more whipped cream, more fruit. Stick the whole pan in the refrigerator then sit back with your feet up, wipe the crumb off your shoulder (oh wait there isn’t one), not a hair out of place, or a stain on your apron. You just prepared a cake in 10 minutes.
Oh my (sprinkle) stars, this texture. Do it!!
Berries 'n' Cream Icebox Cake
- 3 cups (720ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup (40g) confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons McCormick pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick pure almond extract
- 20-21 full-sheet graham crackers
- 2 cups (380g) sliced strawberries
- 1 cup (100g) blueberries
- optional: additional berries and colorful sprinkles
- Preliminary notes: There are 3 layers of graham crackers, 3 layers of whipped cream, and 2 layers of berries (plus any you use for topping). Each layer of graham crackers is about 7 graham crackers (you can break some up to fit). This recipe yields 6 cups of whipped cream and you will use 2 cups per layer.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and almond extracts together on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Spread a couple Tablespoons into a very, very thin layer on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. This will help the bottom layer of graham crackers stick. Layer graham crackers on top.
- Spread about 2 cups of whipped cream on top of the graham crackers. Then layer the sliced strawberries on top. Follow with another layer of graham crackers, 2 more cups of whipped cream, then the blueberries and another layer of graham crackers. Spread the remaining whipped cream on top and sprinkle with any additional berries and sprinkles.
- Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Cut into slices and serve cold.
Make ahead tip: You can make this icebox cake the day before you need it because it can set overnight in the refrigerator. The graham crackers and fruit become a little too mushy by day 3 or 4, so keep that in mind with any leftovers.
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