Made with fresh berries, graham crackers, and homemade whipped cream, this berry icebox cake is one of the easiest no bake cake recipes you’ll try this summer. Prep takes about 10 minutes, there’s no baking required, and the entire dessert feeds a crowd. Let your refrigerator do all the work!
A reader once wrote to us and explained that she’s always made a no-bake cake with frozen whipped topping and pudding mix but preferred to serve her kids something a bit more homemade. My team and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to test out a new refrigerator cake recipe and we pictured it with plenty of fresh whipped cream and berries. This berry icebox cake came out better than we imagined!
Tell Me About This Berries & Cream Icebox Cake
- Flavor: First off, there’s no denying all that delicious berry and cream flavor. Every cold and creamy bite is full of juicy berries, luscious whipped cream, and graham crackers. This light and refreshing berry icebox cake makes for a delectable summer treat.
- Texture: As the cake sets up in the refrigerator, the graham crackers soften. They’re chewy and tender—not crunchy in the slightest! The cake truly tastes like multiple layers of thin cake with whipped cream and berries in between. Like fresh berry cream cake, but with more texture. It’s unique and certainly refreshing!
- Ease: This summer dessert recipe is wonderful for beginners because it’s very simple. You need a handful of very basic ingredients plus about 15 minutes to prepare the whipped cream and assemble the entire cake before it goes into the refrigerator. There are 3 layers of graham crackers, 3 layers of whipped cream, and 2 layers of berries (plus extra for topping). Once you put it all together, cover and refrigerate it for a few hours. That’s it!
Choosing the Right Ingredients for Berry Icebox Cake
- Homemade Whipped Cream: Instead of using store-bought frozen whipped topping, consider making your own whipped cream. You need heavy cream, a little confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, and a few minutes to make it. The key is to start with very cold cream: the colder the cream, the easier and more successful it will whip. Whip the ingredients together on medium-high speed until medium peaks form. Look for a billowy and smooth texture. The whipped cream is a light, creamy, and delicious addition to today’s no-bake cake—and it’s the “glue” holding everything in place!
- Graham Crackers: Any cookie will work, but graham crackers have the best shape for this particular icebox cake. They occupy a lot of space and create solid layers between the soft whipped cream. Like I mention above, the graham crackers soften into an irresistibly cakey texture. They’re so good!
- Fresh Berries: We like the combination of strawberries and blueberries especially if you’re making this cake for the 4th of July. You can really use any berries or mix of berries that you love as long as the total amount is 3 cups.
Looking for another no bake cake recipe? Readers love this no bake s’mores cake too. Either cake would be excellent for Memorial Day Weekend events. See more Memorial Day recipes.
Overview: How to Make This Berries & Cream Icebox Cake
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before getting started.
- Make the whipped cream. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and the vanilla and almond extracts together until soft peaks form. Spread out a thin layer on the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan.
- Create the icebox layers. Arrange graham crackers in the pan, then add a layer of whipped cream and another layer of berries. Repeat once more, then top with another layer of graham cracker and the remaining whipped cream. Garnish with extra berries or even sprinkles, if desired.
- Chill. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
I also have this blueberry lemon icebox cake variation too. Use a loaf pan for that recipe and freeze the cake to set the layers. Though today’s cake sets up in the refrigerator, I find the loaf cake holds shape better when frozen.
More Favorite Summer Desserts
- Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Ice Cream Cake
- No Bake Cheesecake
- Cherry Pie & Blueberry Pie
- Berry Cobbler
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
Easy Berry Icebox Cake
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
- Yield: serves 12
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: American
Easy icebox cake, perfect for summer, feeds a crowd, no baking, and made with homemade whipped cream!
- 3 cups (720ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup (40g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon 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 9×13 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 Instructions: 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.
Keywords: icebox cake, berries & cream icebox cake
Reader Comments & Reviews
What happens if you freeze this ? Will it be as good ? Like ice cream?
Hi Rylee, you can absolutely freeze this. The cream layers will be a little firmer, but the graham crackers will still be soft.
I made this last year for the fourth of July and it was amazing! I’ve already had two requests from family to make it again this year. They remembered it and wanted more. I think that proves how awesome this is!
Just wondering if you think these would work with homemade graham crackers? I find homemade so much better but worried they might be thicker/sturdier than store-bought and if that might be a problem with them softening enough.
Hi Alex! We haven’t tried it so we’re unsure of the exact results. You can certainly give it a go, that layer may just stay a bit crunchier than if using store bought. Let us know if you do give it a try.
Would you consider using lemon extract instead of almond? I love almond extract but my husband hates it.
Hi Elissa, lemon extract would be delicious here, or you can simply omit the almond extract without any replacements.
Loved this! For the non dairy user. I have used plant based yogurt that I first drained overnight to thicken and sweetened with honey.
Looks delicious! Does anyone have a good non-dairy substitute for whipping cream or heavy cream?
Hi Laura! We haven’t tested a dairy-free version of our whipped cream. There are some dairy-free whipping creams (like Silk brand), but we haven’t personally tested it and can’t speak to their results. In a pinch, you could also try pre-made dairy free whipped toppings. If you give anything a try, we’d love to know how it goes!
Can your no baked cheesecake be used in this recipe? I really like the taste of the cream cheese combined with whipped cream.
Hi Lynn, you can give it a shot! We haven’t tried it and are unsure of the results. You could also try adding some cream cheese to this whipped cream.
This looks delicious! Can you substitute something for the strawberries? Unfortunately I’m allergic to strawberries.
Hi Lisa, absolutely! Feel free to swap with another type of berry.
hi! if using frozen berries, should I let them thaw first?
You can use frozen fruit, yes. No need to thaw first.
This looks delicious. Any way I can use frozen fruit?
Can’t wait to try!
You can use frozen fruit, yes.
Growing up, we called this icebox pie (although it was made in a 9×13, never a pie plate!). My mom used Vanilla Wafers and bananas. She never used homemade whipped cream. Back then, she made it from a boxed mix (no dairy-case whipped topping when I was a kid!). It was my dad’s favorite dessert. I can’t wait to try this version when I host my Book Club later this month. Thanks for updating this recipe, Sally!
I am wondering about adding some cream cheese totje whipped cream. Think it could work?
You can give it a shot! I haven’t tried it and am unsure of the results.
Do you think I could use frozen blueberries?
Made this – very nice and not too sweet. Wondering if it might work to add a bit more almond extract to bring out the flavor more?
Absolutely! Feel free to add more to fit your tastes 🙂
I have to chime in as well and say that I made this for the 4th and it was a success. It met my criteria of being “super easy” and it met all other criteria of being cold, sweet, and amazingly good. I just had no energy to do any sort of elaborate baking so this definitely fit the bill.
I made this for my family this weekend and it was the best dessert! Everyone loved it 🙂 I really like the subtle almond flavor in the whipped cream. I would have never thought to do that, but it complimented the graham crackers and berries so perfectly! Thanks for another great recipe!!
This was our fourth of july dessert and we all agreed we could eat the whole pan ourselves, haha.
This was my first time making homemade whipped cream and I am never turning back! 😀
Made this for the 4th of July and it was a huge hit! I used chocolate Graham crackers as my husband must have chocolate in his dessert, and everyone loved it. Thanks Sally!
Would I be able to store extra whipped cream if I make a smaller version of the cake?
Definitely– cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator.
This is so good!! I used Kroger brand gluten free animal crackers instead of graham crackers and it made for an excellent gluten free treat! Thanks for this recipe Sally!!
This sounds really good with the berries. I might also try to turn this into a key lime ice box cake. Thinking of flavoring the whipped cream with lime juice, skip the blueberries and strawberries. Wondering if there is a place in here for sweetened condensed milk, maybe with the whipped cream?
That sounds amazing!! I fear the sweetened condensed milk would thin the whipped cream out too much and prevent the whole thing from setting in the fridge. But the lime juice would be excellent. Maybe some zest in there too.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve alway been a little skeptical about ice box cakes. They always seemed… I don’t know… like cheating? Then again I’m always skeptical of no bake desserts that aren’t ice cream. Call it loyalty. But I decided to finally give it a shot when you and another one of my fav blogs both posted about them HOLY CRAP I’m a convert. So tasty and so simple! I cut the recipe in half and made it in an 8×8 and used only vanilla extract and it’s so good! I also covered the top in rain now sprinkles because duh. I think my husband has consumed practically the entire thing so far. Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m s big fan of your blog AND those too-cute-for-words puppies :)!
I’ve NEVER tried icebox cake before, and your version looks absolutely delicious!!! Is it possible that I can cut the recipe in half or freeze the rest? Thanks, Sally!!! 🙂
Either works. Cutting the recipe in half would be simple. Use an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan. 🙂
Made it on Saturday and my husband has eaten most of it by himself. It is so good! Thanks Sally. 🙂
Hi Sally, I make this cake with a graham cracker crust and then layer the cream filling with the fruit. This eliminates the soggy graham crackers. I have also tried it with strawberries, pineapple and bananas with a chocolate syrup drizzle; tastes just like a banana split! It is on of my absolute favorite summer desserts!!!
I made this cake today and it’s in the fridge (“icebox”) for tomorrow after dinner. I did have to whip some extra cream to cover the top without blueberries showing, but I’m confident it will taste wonderful.
Just made this & stuck in the freezer to take to a barbecue this evening. I’m so excited to see how it tastes & how everyone likes it!
My, oh, my, this looks amazing!!! Has it been a couple days since you made this yet? How did the whipped cream hold up after sitting around?
I made this cake last weekend. The whipped cream was fine but the graham crackers and fruit became a little mushy by day 3. (Have that in the notes to keep in mind with leftovers.) 🙂