No-Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake

by Hilary Gauntt on September 4, 2016

What a great dessert for hot weather! Easy enough to have a 3 year old help you, and is both beautiful and totally delicious. You simply layer graham crackers, whipped cream and strawberries 4 times, and top with more berries and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. As this sits in the refrigerator a few hours or overnight, these elements slowly merge into a moist creamy cake. And it serves 8 to 12 !

This and other old-fashioned treats (like a variety of puddings) come from a cookbook by Faith Durand called “Bakeless Sweets”. I am using her lovely photo as my enthusiastic helper must have found it hard to wait out the refrigerator time. When I went to retrieve it, I found all the berries and chocolate had been eaten off the top of the cake…Next time I’ll avoid the lower shelves.

2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry

3 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. rosewater, optional

4 sleeves (about 19 ounces, or 24 to 28 whole crackers) graham crackers

2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Take out a few of the best-looking strawberries and set them aside for the garnish. Hull the remainder of the strawberries and cut each berry into thin slices.

With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 1/2 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar and rosewater (if using) and whip to combine.

Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan, or a similarly sized platter. Lay down 6 graham crackers. Lightly cover the top of the crackers with more whipped cream, and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat 3 times, until you have 4 layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top and swirl it lightly with a spoon. Add a few more strawberries.

To make the ganache, heat the remaining 1/4 cup cream until bubbles form around the edges, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle this over the layered dessert with a spoon, or transfer to a squeeze bottle and use that to drizzle.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional whole berries.

Note: If you are transporting this cake, probably best to make it in a pan. If it’s staying home, making it on a platter will make it look a bit fancier.

strawberry ice box cake


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