Our strawberry cream cheese icebox cake is a heavenly dessert that perfectly blends the sweetness of fresh strawberries, the creaminess of whipped cream, and the tanginess of cream cheese. With its luscious layers and effortless assembly, this no-bake delight is sure to become a favorite for any occasion.
This recipe was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2023. I slightly altered the recipe to make it even easier to make!
If you haven’t discovered the beauty of icebox cakes…you’re missing out! They are as easy to make as layering a light and fluffy cream cheese filling, strawberries, and graham crackers in a baking dish.
No oven, no baking required which makes this the perfect dessert for the hot summer months!
This quick and easy dessert is kind of a dessert mashup of classic strawberry shortcake and a no-bake strawberry cheesecake. No need to make a graham cracker crust with this recipe!
When strawberry season is in full swing I’m always looking for excuses to make more strawberry recipes! Be sure to make my chocolate Greek yogurt fruit dip to serve with any fresh fruit, strawberries are my fave! A virgin strawberry sangria or strawberry salad dressing are fantastic choices too!
What You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy to make! An icebox cake is as easy to make as whipping cream, sugar, and cream cheese together. Then layer it with fresh strawberries and graham crackers. It’s the perfect recipe to let the kids help you with. I can assemble this strawberry icebox cheesecake in about 10 minutes! The hardest part is waiting for it to chill!
- Make ahead! People ask me all the time if they can make an icebox cake ahead of time. Yes! In fact, they really NEED to be made ahead of time and refrigerated for a few hours before serving. It’s such a lifesaver for busy moms!
- Delicious! This recipe is pretty much everything you love about a no-bake strawberry cheesecake (just easier). The light and fluffy cream cheese layer pairs perfectly with the fresh sweet strawberries and golden graham crackers! It’s the perfect dessert for warm weather, pool parties, the 4th of July, a special occasion, or a weekday dessert!
Table of contents
Double the recipe and make it in a 9″x13″ pan. I make strawberry cream cheese icebox cake for BBQs, potlucks, and company often. It’s always a hit!
There are lots of versions of this popular cake. Some strawberry icebox cakes are simply made with Cool Whip, graham crackers, and strawberries. Others are made with vanilla pudding or instant cheesecake flavored pudding and sweetened condensed milk.
This particular strawberry icebox cake recipe is a simple version! Although the cheesecake icebox cake recipe has more than 3 ingredients, I think it’s totally worth it! I love the addition of the tangy cream cheese and I’m sure you will too!
Let’s talk about some of my suggestions for substitutions.
- Cream Cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese. It’s worth it! Reduced-fat cream cheese has additional water which will make the icebox cake soggy.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Heavy Whipped Cream: I always suggest using homemade whipped cream vs Cool Whip.
- Strawberries: Fresh strawberries are the best. You can use frozen strawberries, but they get extra juicy when they are thawed which will make the icebox cake runny. Drain frozen strawberries before adding them to the dessert.
- Graham Crackers: Use as many sleeves graham crackers as it takes.
What is the difference between homemade heavy whipped cream and Cool Whip?
Heavy cream, also known as whipping cream, is a natural dairy product that contains at least 36% milk fat. It has a rich, creamy texture and a distinct flavor that enhances various recipes. Heavy cream can be whipped into stiff peaks, making it ideal for creating homemade whipped cream.
On the other hand, Cool Whip is a non-dairy whipped topping that comes in a tub or aerosol can. It is made primarily from hydrogenated vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup, and various stabilizers.
How to Make a Strawberry Icebox Cake with Cream Cheese
Making this layered strawberry cheesecake really couldn’t be easier!
Step 1: Make cheesecake filling. Add cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla to a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer and paddle attachment, or handheld mixer until smooth, light, and fluffy.
Step 2: Whip cream. If you’re using frozen whipped topping skip this step. Add whipping cream to a large bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high using the whip attachment until stiff peaks are formed. Fold in whipped cream. Gently use a rubber spatula to fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Be gentle so the whipped cream doesn’t deflate.
Step 3: Assemble the strawberry icebox cake. Add a layer of graham crackers to the bottom of the dish. Break them into pieces if needed to make them fit. Spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture over the graham cracker layer. Arrange 1/3 of the single layer of strawberry slices to top the cream cheese mixture. Repeat two more times with additional graham crackers and the remaining cream cheese.
Step 4: Refrigerate. Make this cake at least 6-8 hours before serving and store it in the fridge. I like to add the last layer of strawberries just before serving so they don’t get soggy. Wash, dry, and slice strawberries. Arrange the last layer of strawberries to make them pretty if you’d like!
Tips for Success
Cream Cheese: Use room temperature cream cheese. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour, or defrost in the microwave in 20-second intervals until it’s softened.
Make Ahead: Be sure to make this icebox cake ahead of time. It needs to sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better!
Storage: Store leftover strawberry cheesecake icebox cake in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. After that, the strawberries will get pretty mushy.
Freezer: Cream cheese icebox cakes can be frozen, although I don’t recommend it. The strawberries release extra juice when they thaw and it can make the frozen dessert a little runny. The texture of the whipped cream and cream cheese will be altered, as well.
- Fruits: Fresh berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and bananas are all delicious options.
- Cookies: Oreos, vanilla wafers, and chocolate graham crackers can be used in place of honey grahams.
- Chocolate: Adding a drizzle of homemade chocolate sauce to top strawberries to give it a chocolate-covered strawberry vibe!
- Powdered Sugar: Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cake.
An icebox cake is a classic no-bake dessert that is assembled using layers of cookies or crackers and a creamy filling, typically whipped cream or pudding. The cake gets its name from the traditional method of chilling it in the refrigerator or “icebox” for several hours or overnight. As it chills, the cookies or crackers absorb the moisture from the filling, softening and melding together to create a cake-like texture.
The beauty of this dessert is that it can be prepared in advance! You can assemble the cake and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before serving. This makes it a convenient option for parties and gatherings. It should be made at least 6 hours before serving.
More Easy No Bake Desserts
- No Bake Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake
- Banana Cream Pie with Pudding Mix
- Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
- No Bake Caramel Cookies
- No Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
Strawberry Cheesecake Icebox Cake Recipe
This no-bake strawberry cheesecake layered dessert is a true delight for dessert lovers everywhere. With its layers of luscious strawberries, creamy cream cheese, and heavenly graham crackers, this no-bake treat is both easy to make and incredibly satisfying.
Whether you’re hosting a summer gathering or simply want to indulge in a sweet and refreshing dessert, this recipe is a winner. The combination of fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and tangy cream cheese creates a harmony of flavors that will leave you craving another slice.
Plus, the beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity—no oven required! So, whip up this strawberry cream cheese icebox cake, sit back, and enjoy the delectable results. It’s a dessert that’s sure to impress and bring smiles to everyone’s faces.
Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Icebox Cake (No Bake)
- 10 graham crackers
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- Wash and dry fresh strawberries. Slice. Set aside.
- Make cheesecake filling. Add cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla to a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer and paddle attachment, or handheld mixer until smooth, light, and fluffy.
- Whip cream. Skip this step if you're using frozen whipped topping. Add whipping cream to a large bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high using the whip attachment until stiff peaks are formed.
- Gently use a rubber spatula to fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Be gentle so the whipped cream doesn't deflate.
- Assemble the strawberry icebox cake. Add a layer of graham crackers to the bottom of the dish. Break them into pieces if needed to make them fit. Spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture over the graham cracker layer. Arrange 1/3 of the single layer of strawberry slices to top the cream cheese mixture. Repeat twice more. Arrange the last layer of strawberries to make them pretty if you'd like! I like to add the final layer of stawberries just before serving so they don't get soft.
- Refrigerate. Make this cake at least 6-8 hours before serving and store it in the fridge.