Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake

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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

Welcome back to the Monthly Baking Challenge!

Cakes are certainly taking on new definitions and shapes lately. In last month’s challenge recipe, we ventured into the sponge cake category, but not only that– we rolled it up into a fancy looking cake roll. And this month 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! I decided on an icebox cake for June’s challenge recipe because it’s 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

If you’re not into today’s recipe, here is the alternate June Baking Challenge:

After you made the baking challenge recipe or alternative, share your photos throughout this month using #sallysbakingchallenge on Instagram or email me, tweet me, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page.

And tune in today, June 1st, to my Facebook LIVE at 2pm ET where I’ll walk you through the whole recipe start to finish!! See you soon.

Blueberry Lemon Icebox Cake

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
  • 7-8 full-sheet graham crackers (about 1 standard sleeve)
  • optional: additional lemon zest and blueberries for garnish

Directions:

  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 9x5 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.

Make-ahead tip: 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.

Recipe Notes:

Adapted from Bon Appétit

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Lemon blueberry layer cake: where this flavor obsession began.

102 Comments

All Comments

  1. Lol I’ve been watching Friends reruns again on Netflix and just recently watched the trifle episode. Hilarious! I can’t wait to try this! Last months strawberries n cream cake roll and it was a hit for mother’s day!! I’ve been having fun with the monthly challenges and baking with my kids! Fantastic idea!

  2. Hi Sally! We have a family-gathering this weekend and this is the perfect dessert – I’ll try to take pictures before it is gone 😉 Thank you so much for the inpiration!
    Your photographs in this post are amazing, beautiful colours and wonderfully composed frames!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. I hope you have a great time with your family and enjoy this dessert!! Definitely post a picture if you can! And thank you so much for your kind words!! 🙂

  3. I have been having a lemon and blueberry obsession lately. If its not lemon chicken its blueberry lemon scones, Are you reading my thoughts?! 🙂 I love how simple the ingredients are and that its not loaded with sugar. I don’t know if I could stop at just one piece. I just watched your video from yesterday. I can’t get over how easy that was to make. and love that you are doing these. I don’t always get a chance to watch them live, but love watching them later. I just bought a big container of blueberries so this is definitely happening.

    1. It’s one of my favorite flavor combinations every year as soon as it starts to warm up outside! Totally makes me think it’s summer already 🙂 So happy you are enjoying the live videos – I’m having fun making them!

  4. Sally, I literally laughed out loud at the Friends quote. So funny…”it tastes like feet!” I cannot wait to make this recipe. Looks and sounds delicious and summer-y!

  5. Summertime PERFECTION. I mean seriously, this is EXACTLY the kind of dessert I want on a super hot summer day. Cannot wait to try this out!

  6. This looks delish! Do you think it would work well substituting other berries, like strawberries or raspberries?

  7. Looking forward to trying this one! Made your Lemon-Blueberry cake a while back and it was a big hit. And thanks for the comic relief… “just let her serve the beef custard thing??”… I’m sure if pregnancy-brain ever gets to you, your taste-testers would not let you serve the beef custard 🙂

  8. I have been loving this  challenge so far, hoping you can do something with choux pastry at some point, afraid to tackle it but with the challenge and step by step I may just pull it off 

  9. Can I use any other fruit such as peach, or strawberry.. pineapple maybe? as cherries or black/blueberries aren’t WIDELY available across the kingdom here..

  10. I made this last week. It was so good, and light. I didn’t even want to put the blueberry sauce in there, I just wanted to eat it all with a spoon. The lemon whipped cream, AMAZING! I am thinking a lemon blueberry shortcake, may have to be in order next time. Faster to start eating it. You were right it literally took no time to put together. Except for my vanilla graham crackers didn’t want to cooperate and break evenly. Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad you loved this recipe! And thank you for coming back to let me know. I know, I love that lemon whipped cream!!!

  11. I laughed so hard when I saw the beef sautéed with peas and onions! I love that episode! Can’t wait to try this recipe, it sounds delish! 

  12. I made this a little bit later than June (for the 4th of July) but it was SUPER delicious!! Everyone really liked it! I loved the lemon whipped cream and you’re right those graham crackers really soften in a good way not mushy at all 🙂 My mom even said it’s one of her favorite dishes that I have made! Will definitely have to make again! Maybe with blackberries or cherries?

    1. I’m so glad you made and loved it! Both blackberries and cherries would be wonderful– I’d halve the cherries if using those. Same amount of fruit and same method for that filling. 🙂

  13. Hi Sally! I’ve seen a lot of icebox cakes that are just popped into the fridge. Wondering if one reason you put this into the freezer is so the graham frackers don’t get soggy too fast?

  14. Questions, I made this challenge recipe, my comment is here somewhere, and I was wondering if you could use the blueberry filling for your homemade pop tarts? Or do you think it would have too much liquid?

    1. this blueberry filling should be GREAT for the homemade pop-tarts! What a great question. Now I want to try it 🙂

  15. I can’t wait to make this! Do I store it in the freezer or fridge after the 1st freeze? It’s just my husband and I this week and we are sure to have leftovers.

    1. I would keep leftovers in the freezer and then let sit out for about 10 minutes before you eat them. Enjoy!

  16. Hi Sally! So I finally made this last night to eat today since we had quite a few lemons and a bag of frozen blueberries. I just ate my first slice! So, while it was absolutely delicious, I think maybe I should have made some changes?
    First of all, my blueberry sauce was SUPER liquidy.. yours in the pictures looks like it sits so nice and pretty on top of the whipped cream but mine literally covered the whole whipped cream and ran all down the sides. It also didn’t thicken very much. Do you think it was from using frozen berries? Maybe next time cook a little longer to fix the problem?
    Also, my whipped cream is sort of a weird texture after freezing and softening. It was perfect (I thought) when assembling the cake, I only whipped to soft peaks. But I didn’t have any powdered sugar on hand and I thought 1/4 cup of sugar seemed a bit much since the blueberry sauce and graham crackers were already sweet and I don’t like overly sweet so I used 2 tbsp of superfine sugar. Do you think that could be why my whipped cream was off? Is the full 1/4 cup necessary? And is it necessary for the sugar to be powdered?

    1. Hi Stephanie! So glad you enjoy the icebox cake! I have the best luck when using fresh berries. Frozen berries let off a lot of liquid. Try a little more cornstarch (same amount of water for mixing) and cooking for longer so it reduces on the stove. I do recommend confectioners’ sugar as I find granulated sugar in whipped cream (when frozen) can crystalize.

  17. This was by far, the best summer dessert I have ever experienced. It is light and beautiful and so so delicious. I will make it again and again!

  18. I made this cake on the weekend and it was delicious!! My first try at an icebox cake (I’m hooked!) Instructions were very easy to follow and it turned out beautifully. I froze it overnight and let it thaw for about 45min before serving. Thanks Sally!
    I have plans to try the Baked Alaska in July for my husband’s birthday!

  19. My daughter and I made this recipe yesterday. Instructions were a cinch to follow, and the dessert came together quickly. I had a little trouble getting it out of the loaf pan for slicing, but once I got it out and cut those slices, the plates looked so pretty! I do think I should have smashed more of the blueberries when making the sauce.

    We were a split decision on this icebox cake, however. My husband thought there was too much lemon and while he liked the cake, he didn’t love it. The kids and I liked it better than he did. If I made this again, I maybe would opt for a different flavor. Probably raspberry 🙂

  20. This recipe came just in time for my husbands birthday in June. Was trying to figure out what to bake and this recipe was easy and no baking required! Changed to round pan instead of loaf size so that I could decorate it with birthday greetings and then froze it. Everyone enjoyed it and will definitely make again to keep in freezer for those hot summer days. Only thing I may do different next time is to crush the blueberries a little more so that its easier to slice.

  21. jam good, beef good, cake good! love your little easter egg in the recipe!

    looking forward to making this soon

1 2

Reviews

  1. Hi Sally! So I finally made this last night to eat today since we had quite a few lemons and a bag of frozen blueberries. I just ate my first slice! So, while it was absolutely delicious, I think maybe I should have made some changes?
    First of all, my blueberry sauce was SUPER liquidy.. yours in the pictures looks like it sits so nice and pretty on top of the whipped cream but mine literally covered the whole whipped cream and ran all down the sides. It also didn’t thicken very much. Do you think it was from using frozen berries? Maybe next time cook a little longer to fix the problem?
    Also, my whipped cream is sort of a weird texture after freezing and softening. It was perfect (I thought) when assembling the cake, I only whipped to soft peaks. But I didn’t have any powdered sugar on hand and I thought 1/4 cup of sugar seemed a bit much since the blueberry sauce and graham crackers were already sweet and I don’t like overly sweet so I used 2 tbsp of superfine sugar. Do you think that could be why my whipped cream was off? Is the full 1/4 cup necessary? And is it necessary for the sugar to be powdered?

    1. Hi Stephanie! So glad you enjoy the icebox cake! I have the best luck when using fresh berries. Frozen berries let off a lot of liquid. Try a little more cornstarch (same amount of water for mixing) and cooking for longer so it reduces on the stove. I do recommend confectioners’ sugar as I find granulated sugar in whipped cream (when frozen) can crystalize.

  2. I made this cake on the weekend and it was delicious!! My first try at an icebox cake (I’m hooked!) Instructions were very easy to follow and it turned out beautifully. I froze it overnight and let it thaw for about 45min before serving. Thanks Sally!
    I have plans to try the Baked Alaska in July for my husband’s birthday!

  3. My daughter and I made this recipe yesterday. Instructions were a cinch to follow, and the dessert came together quickly. I had a little trouble getting it out of the loaf pan for slicing, but once I got it out and cut those slices, the plates looked so pretty! I do think I should have smashed more of the blueberries when making the sauce.

    We were a split decision on this icebox cake, however. My husband thought there was too much lemon and while he liked the cake, he didn’t love it. The kids and I liked it better than he did. If I made this again, I maybe would opt for a different flavor. Probably raspberry 🙂

Questions

  1. I can’t wait to make this! Do I store it in the freezer or fridge after the 1st freeze? It’s just my husband and I this week and we are sure to have leftovers.

    1. I would keep leftovers in the freezer and then let sit out for about 10 minutes before you eat them. Enjoy!

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