Oh, gosh, peeps: icebox cakes . . . my all time fave desserts and if strawberries are in the mix, as well as store-bought cookies (sorry haters) well then all the better. This strawberry icebox cake could not be more delicious or easier to assemble. Like all the best icebox cakes, as long as you are willing to make some homemade whipped cream (or pudding) and can pick up some cookies or graham crackers or ladyfingers (if you’re feeling fancy) at the grocery store, an icebox cake is in your immediate future. And here’s to hoping it’ll be this strawberry icebox cake here, that is first on your list.
The beauty of this cake – and really of all icebox cakes – is in their simplicity. Rather than baking an icebox cake, icebox cakes “cook” as it were in the refrigerator. A cakey ingredient, such as cookies, like the Nilla Wafers called for in this recipe, are layered with a creamy ingredient, like whipped cream or pudding. And once the cake is placed tin the refrigerator, over time, the cookies absorb the cream (or pudding) and soften, turning – you guessed it: cake-like!
Here, strawberries are pureed with sugar in a food processor or blender, until not quite smooth (a little chunky is nice for texture). The strawberries are then folded into the whipped cream so when the cream absorbs the cookies in the fridge, everything takes on the most wonderful of strawberry flavors (you’re welcome).
Best Strawberry Icebox Cake
- 2 cups strawberries chopped
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- About 8 1/2 ounces Nilla Wafers
- Red sanding sugar for decorating
- Puree the strawberries and granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until pourable, but still slightly chunky.
- Have ready a 2-quart dish.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream on medium to medium-high speed until the cream begins to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and whisk until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the strawberries into the cream.
- Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a layer of cream on the bottom of the pan. Cover as much of the cream as possible with a layer of vanilla wafers, filling any gaps with broken wafers (breaking them yourself, if necessary). The pieces should touch. The goal is a solid layer of cookies.
- Continue layering whipped cream and cookies until you run out or reach the top of the pan. Spread the top of the cake with whipped cream and gently cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the cake for 6 to 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator prior to serving and peel off the plastic wrap.Sprinkle the top of the cake with red sanding sugar.
- Serve directly from the pan. The cake will keep, tightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.