This red white and blue 4th of July icebox cake is the perfect no-bake dessert for your picnic or party! Made with fresh summer berries and a delicious creamy filling it is sure to be a hit!
Oh how I love the summer time! There is nothing better than long days at the lake or pool, lots of sunshine, and of course parties, picnics and barbecues with family and friends!
The one thing I don’t enjoy about the summer is how easily the kitchen heats up when you cook or bake. Turn the oven on and suddenly it is a million degrees in your kitchen and the air conditioning has trouble keeping up!
So when it comes to summer gatherings I love a no-bake dessert. I love whipping up something delicious, full of fresh summer flavors that doesn’t require heating up the kitchen!
I’ve made lots of no-bake desserts over the years, my raspberry limeade mini tarts, my no-bake peanut butter oatmeal bars, and my pineapple coconut pie are just a few of my favorites. However, up until now I have never made an icebox cake. There’s no real reason I’ve just never whipped one up.
I decided it was high time to change that and what better time than for the 4th of July? This is the kind of dessert that will wow your party guests with its deliciousness but that comes together so quickly it feels like cheating!
Now some icebox cakes are made with chocolate wafer cookies, some with vanilla wafers, but I chose graham crackers for this cake because they cover the most surface area and make it easy to serve. If you’re feeling really fancy you could even use my homemade graham cracker recipe to make this… but then it would totally negate the whole no-bake thing.
These delicious desserts date all the way back to the 1920’s when people still had actual iceboxes, the name stuck even though we have the modern convenience of refrigerators.
Here’s what you’ll need for this 4th of July Icebox Cake-
1- Box of graham crackers
1- Package Instant Vanilla Pudding
1- 8 oz. Brick of Cream Cheese (softened)
2- Cups Milk
1- Pint of Blueberries
1 lb. Container of Strawberries
3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
8- Tbsp. Sugar
The first thing you’ll want to do is mix together your instant pudding mix with your 2 cups of milk (unless your package directions are different in that case prepare according to the package directions) Now pop it in the fridge to set up.
While your pudding is setting chop your berries into little pieces. You can set aside a few for decorating the top of your cake if you want. Dice the rest into small pieces and put in seperate bowls, sprinkle each with 1 Tablespoon of sugar.
Now place your pudding and your cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend it together until it is nice and smooth. This takes a few minutes, just let it mix until it is well incorporated.
Next we’re going to whip up some whipped cream. You’ll be making whipped cream in 2 batches for this recipe. If you have a big enough bowl and want to make it all at once you can, but I prefer making it in 2 batches.
This whipped cream works best if you put your bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes before you get started. I use Alton Brown’s whipped cream recipe and that’s what he recommends, it always turns out beautifully.
For the first batch add 2 cups of your heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer and 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Turn your mixer on medium/high speed and whip until nice stiff peaks form.
Now gently fold your pudding/cream cheese mixture into your whipped cream.
Arrange graham crackers in the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. You may have to break them apart but just cover it as much as you can.
Now spread a layer of your pudding mixture on top of your graham crackers. Top it with 1/2 of your chopped strawberries.
Now arrange another layer of graham crackers on top of your strawberries, ad another layer of pudding mixture and top with all of your blueberries.
Alright, now another layer of graham crackers, the rest of the pudding mixture and the remainder of your strawberries. Top that off with one final layer of graham crackers.
Now we’re going to whip up the rest of the whipped cream to top it all off. Put 1 cup of whipping cream and 2 Tablespoons of sugar in the bowl of your mixer and once again whip until stiff peaks form.
Spread the whipped cream over the top of your final graham cracker layer.
All these layers! You can see why some people call these dessert lasagna!
Cover the finished product with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. You can leave it overnight if you’d like, and it keeps for a few days so you can make it in advance of parties if you need to!
Before serving you can dress it up with some sprinkles, or berries to make it pretty! I don’t like to decorate it ahead of time because the berry juice or coloring from sprinkles tends to bleed into the whipped cream.
To serve just slice it like you would any regular cake and enjoy!!
- 1- Box of graham crackers
- 1- Package Instant Vanilla Pudding
- 1- 8 oz. Brick of Cream Cheese (softened)
- 2- Cups Milk
- 1- Pint of Blueberries
- 1 lb. Container of Strawberries
- 3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 8- Tbsp. Sugar
- Prepare pudding according to package directions
- Dice blueberries and strawberries and place in separate bowls, mix 1 Tbsp. f sugar into each bowl.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer mix 2 cups heavy whipping cream with 4 Tbsp. of sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Mix together pudding and cream cheese with an electric mixer until nice and smooth. Fold pudding mixture into whipped cream.
- Cover the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan with graham crackers, layer pudding mixture and 1/2 of the strawberries on top.
- Add another layer of graham crackers more pudding mixture and all of the blueberries.
- Add a final layer of graham crackers, pudding mixture, remaining strawberries, and top with another layer of graham crackers.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer whip 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 Tbsp. sugar until stiff peaks form, spread whipped cream on top of the final layer of graham crackers.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Cake can be made ahead a couple of days.
Decorate with chopped berries, fruit or sprinkles.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 5g