Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake

Cool, refreshing, and SUPER easy blueberry lemon icebox cake with fresh whipped cream! No-bake, delicious, melt in your mouth summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cakes are certainly taking on new definitions and shapes lately. Last month, we ventured into the sponge cake category, but not only that– we rolled it up into a fancy looking cake roll. And today we’re skipping the oven altogether for a cool and refreshing cake that’s prepped in a loaf pan.

It’s about time we think out of the box when it comes to cakes. No seriously! When cakes are this much fun, there’s no need for box mixes.

Cool, refreshing, and SUPER easy blueberry lemon icebox cake with fresh whipped cream! No-bake, delicious, melt in your mouth summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s get right to it! Icebox cake is not your typical dessert. It’s unique, interesting, and downright crazy. Not hard to make at all, just different from our usual. I mean, it’s literally a cake made from whipped cream and graham crackers. That probably doesn’t sound all that special, but the texture that icebox cakes take on is OUT OF CONTROL.

I know what you’re thinking. Soggy graham crackers? Um Sally, that sounds out of control in a very gross way. But, here’s the thing– the graham crackers don’t really get soggy. They soften, yes, but soften into a cake-like texture. They aren’t wet– they’re melt-in-your mouth cakey. It’s weird. And awesome.

Cool, light, and refreshing, icebox cakes come together in a matter of minutes with only a handful of ingredients. A lot of recipes use frozen whipped topping, but I prefer the texture of homemade whipped cream. And I love the combo of fruit + whipped cream + cakey graham crackers because nothing else screams summer than those 3, right?

Blueberries for blueberry lemon icebox cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Lemon & Blueberry Power Duo

I shared a mixed berry icebox cake last summer, but I was inspired by Bon Appétit and decided on the lemon and blueberry combination. Power fruit duo, am I right? Bon Appétit uses mascarpone and lemon curd, but I opted to keep things simple. (Would love to try their version someday.) Instead, we’ll combine whipped cream flavored with pure lemon juice + zest with a homemade (and very simple) sweet blueberry sauce instead of jam. The thick blueberry sauce is the same exact sauce we use for blueberry swirl cheesecake, but I added a little extra lemon.

You’ll just need: cornstarch, blueberries, and sugar. A little water and lemon juice/zest as well. You’ll also use lemon juice/zest for the whipped cream.

Blueberry sauce for blueberry lemon icebox cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It cooks and thickens on the stove, then you’ll let it cool completely. Today’s blueberry lemon icebox cake is a wonderful make-ahead recipe for this very reason. You can prep the blueberry filling up to 2-3 days ahead AND you can also prepare the lemon whipped cream ahead of time too!

Remember: soft whipped cream

Since we’re making the whipped cream ourselves (with just 3 ingredients), we have control over the texture. And we want to make sure we’re using the correct texture for icebox cake. Here’s what I mean:

Make sure you’re focusing on making a softer whipped cream. Don’t overbeat it to the point the cream is curdled– blah! And don’t beat it until super stiff peaks form either. Keep it on the soft side where it’s thick like pudding, not like mousse. Does that make sense?

Lemon whipped cream for blueberry lemon icebox cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now the layers.

There’s 10!!! Pay attention to this part.

Well, first there’s a scant layer of lemon whipped cream to ensure the bottom layer of graham crackers stick. Then:

  1. Graham crackers
  2. Lemon whipped cream
  3. Blueberry filling
  4. Lemon whipped cream
  5. Graham crackers
  6. beef sautéed with peas and onions (what?)
  7. Lemon whipped cream
  8. Blueberry filling
  9. Lemon whipped cream
  10. Graham crackers
  11. Lemon whipped cream

Basically lemon whipped cream surrounds either a layer of graham crackers or blueberry sauce.

Blueberry lemon icebox cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Blueberry lemon icebox cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So we can easily lift the cake out of the pan as a whole and cut into even slices, make sure you line the pan with plastic wrap. That’s my #1 tip for the whole recipe. You won’t really be able to slice and serve it easily otherwise.

I told you this recipe was weird.

Cool, refreshing, and SUPER easy blueberry lemon icebox cake with fresh whipped cream! No-bake, delicious, melt in your mouth summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cake starts in the freezer for awhile, then transfer it to the refrigerator so it’s not frozen stiff. 4 hours (or overnight) in the freezer, then 1 hour or so in the fridge. OR you can freeze the whole time, then allow to soften at room temperature for 10 or so minutes. You want it a tad soft so it melts in your mouth– and so the blueberries aren’t rock hard.

You know what I love most? The loaf shape. Don’t the slices look so fancy? It’s like a super high maintenance layered ice cream cake or something, but it only took you 7 ingredients and 3 seconds to assemble!!

Cool, refreshing, and SUPER easy blueberry lemon icebox cake with fresh whipped cream! No-bake, delicious, melt in your mouth summer dessert! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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slices of blueberry lemon icebox cake on silver plates

Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours or overnight
  • Yield: serves 10
  • Category: Frozen Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Cool and refreshing blueberry lemon icebox cake is made with only 7 ingredients and can be prepped ahead of time! It’s soft, sweet, and tastes unbelievable.


Ingredients

Blueberry Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons (6g) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) warm water
  • 2 cups (380g) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Cake

  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (30g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 78 full-sheet graham crackers (about 1 standard sleeve)
  • optional: additional lemon zest and blueberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preliminary notes:There are 3 layers of graham crackers, 5 layers of whipped cream, and 2 layers of blueberry sauce. Each layer of graham crackers is about 2 full graham crackers (you can break some up to fit). This recipe yields 4 cups of whipped cream and you will use a little under 1 cup per layer (about ¾ cup).
  2. Make the blueberry sauce: Whisk the cornstarch, lemon juice, and warm water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside. Warm the blueberries and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously for 3 minutes until the blueberry juices begin to release. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue to stir for another 2-3 minutes, smashing some blueberries as you go. The mixture will start to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest. Set aside to cool completely (stick in the fridge to speed it up).
  3. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap with overhang over the edges to easily lift the cake out. Set aside.
  4. Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest together on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
  5. Assemble cake: Spread a couple Tablespoons of whipped cream into a very, very thin layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. This will help the bottom layer of graham crackers stick. Layer graham crackers on top. Spread about ¾ cup of whipped cream on top of the graham crackers. Then layer half of the blueberry sauce on top, another ¾ cup whipped cream, another layer of graham crackers, ¾ cup whipped cream, the rest of the blueberry sauce, ¾ cup whipped cream, graham crackers, then the rest of the whipped cream. If desired, sprinkle with additional blueberries and lemon zest.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Allow to soften in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving OR at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan using the overhang on the sides. Cut into slices and serve cold.
  8. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator or in the freezer. If frozen, allow to soften again before eating.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: The blueberry sauce and whipped cream can both be made ahead of time. Cover each tightly and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. The entire cake can be assembled and frozen 2-3 days in advance before continuing with step 7.
  2. Adapted from Bon Appétit.

Lemon blueberry layer cake: where this flavor obsession began.

126 Comments

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  1. Love the pics! Do you long can you store it, and should you do so in the fridge, or put it in the freezer and just have to soften it each time you take it out?

    1. Yep! You can store leftovers in the refrigerator or the freezer. Either are fine for this icebox cake.

  2. Looks delicious! I’d like to double this recipe to make for my birthday next week. What pan should I use if doubled? A 9 x 13 baking sheet and do less layers? or 8 x 8 pan?

    1. Hi Janine! I recommend 1.5x this recipe for a 9×9 inch square pan or doubling for a large 9×13 inch pan. Happy early birthday!

      1. Thank you! 🙂

  3. I made this recipe yesterday and I was fantastic, so refreshing!! Thank you again Sally for making my life better , one dessert at a time 🙂

    1. So sweet, Greta! Thanks for baking my recipes 🙂

  4. I made this recipe yesterday to bring into work today! I’ve always wanted to try a no-bake recipe (go figure right? I’ve always done ‘baking ‘recipes!) and figured I pair this with the work pizza party today.

    I was nervous about how it would taste from a texture perspective (being too soft/mushy), but it’s really tasty and a lot more refreshing than I expected! I was also worried about the whipped cream (making sure it was SOFT since I always tend to over whip by accident….) but all was well!

    Thanks again for such a great recipe like usual <3

    1. You are welcome, Michelle! I’m so glad that you decided to try something new and that you enjoyed it!

  5. Hi Sally! I am making this cake for the 6th time & people are so surprised at how good it is & simple to make! Since I had a lot of the ingredients, I made 4 in one setting the FIRST time. 2 were for a cook out, 1 I ate by MYSELF as when I tried it…I was done, I KEPT on eating it till it was done! My family asked if I was sharing. I LOVE how it simply melts in your mouth! I just sent my hubby off to work & he said…”don’t forget to go to the store & get the stuff you need for MY cake”! You make baking fun & with your instructions. All I need now is to get over my fear of pie crusts & rolled out cookies! I LOVE sand tarts but the fear of rolling in extra flour intimidates me. HAVE A GREAT DAY!

  6. Can you substitute vanilla wafers instead of the graham crackers?

    1. Hi Carla, Absolutely!

  7. Bernadette Jaeger says:

    Hi Sally. I am going to make this cake today. I am wondering, since I read the questions above, what happens to the height of the cake if I double in a 9×13 or make 1 1/2 times in a 9×9 pan? Will either of those pans be tall enough?

    1. They will be tall enough, we aren’t filling this pan all the way to the top in this recipe! You can see how I made a different flavor in a 9×13 inch pan in my post for Berries ‘n’ Cream Icebox Cake.

      1. Hi! This cake is so pretty!! I am thinking if making this for the 4th of July, so I want to add raspberries to get a red layer, but I can’t get yellow lemons here… what do you think of following the steps for the blueberry layer but using orange zest and squeezing that juice in, then repeating the steps for the raspberry layer? I am also thinking of adding you ganache from the s’mores icebox recipe… I am afraid to change it if you think it won’t work well.

      2. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Amal, We haven’t tested it with oranges but you can certainly try it! You can also see how to use both blueberries and strawberries (or you can use raspberries) and no lemon in this Berries & Cream Icebox Cake. Topping with ganache (after the whipped cream on top has been frozen) would be delicious!

  8. Hi Sally,

    My youngest is dairy sensitive so I tried making this with coconut whipped cream and it was delicious!! I have never tried an ice box cake before. I am a convert! Thank you.

  9. Hi Sally,

    I have always had trouble getting the whipped cream into stiff peaks for a lot of the recipes as I live in Asia where it is extremely humid and it tends to be all melty. Any ideas on how to fix this problem?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shalini, We have a few tips that should help! First, be sure that your cream has about 36% fat (lower fat won’t whip as well) and make sure your cream is very cold – you can also chill your bowl and whisk attachment! Put your empty bowl and whisk in the freezer about 15 minutes before using. If you use granulated sugar you can try switching to confectioner’s or powdered sugar. Finally, if it’s very humid you can add a stabilizer such as gelatin. I hope this helps!

  10. I made this with my 6 and 9 year old boys. It was easy and they enjoyed doing most of the work. We used ginger snap cookies and it was out of this world. I prefer it mostly frozen while they liked the sliver that was left a little better after being leftover night in the fridge. Such a wonderful summer dessert so light. It was kind of like two different desserts whether you had it more frozen or more thawed which added variety in the rare event you have any left over! My 6 year old says he wants it for his next birthday cake!

  11. Jill from Sarasota says:

    I haven’t made this, but I’m giving it 5 stars for the recipe list surprise alone. I was just perusing the web for ice box cake recipes when I laughed at the unexpected ingredient, and then was delighted to have followed the link to the encounter with old friends. That was just awesome! (The recipe looks delicious, too, btw.)

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