Do you know what this month is??! Well… Do you?! June is Dairy Month which means it’s time to celebrate #AllThingsDairy!
Now, let’s talk about this Strawberries and Cream icebox cake!
It’s getting hot out, and I know – KNOW the mere thought of you firing up an oven is making you break out in hives.
You don’t want to do it. You just don’t. You would rather sip margaritas while the man of the house grills you a T-bone. Now, what happens when your family is all, “What are we having for dessert’?
Don’t worry, boo – I got you…
Put the margarita down for a second and flow with me…
Icebox cakes… I’m not going to lie – Icebox cakes are multi-step layering situations; however, so easy your toddler can put one together.
Hmm… Would that be considered child labor?
Never mind… Don’t use your toddler. Do it yourself. It really is that easy.
Onto the icebox cake makin’.
We’re macerating strawberries here; meaning we’re going to help bring out all that delicious strawberry flavor and juices with a bit of sugar and vanilla bean paste. That’s how we’re rollin’ today.
We’ll need some round vanilla wafer cookies for the base. When the wafers soften there’s going to be a cakey situation. I mean, cake without having to bake a cake. Did that just blow your brains?
AND! We’re going at it with the heavy cream. Lots of heavy cream. What is heavy cream, you ask? It’s a dairy product that is composed of the higher-butterfat layer skimmed from the top of milk before homogenization. I just got nerd-i-licious on you.
Plus there’s something about heavy cream. It’s got swagger… Creamy dairy swagger…
We’re going to flavor our heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Then we’re going to strain and fold a couple of cups of those deliciously macerated strawberries into our heavy cream. BOOM.
Now here’s where it gets exciting… We layer that bad boy with wafer cookies, strawberry heavy cream, and deliciously macerated vanilla strawberries. Finally, we freeze until this bad boy sets.
Yes, you’ll have to wait about 4-5 hours to eat this icebox cake. But look at the bright side of this jammy.
1. You didn’t have to fire up your oven. As such, you avoided melting in place.
2. You used a boatload of heavy cream. Did I mention heavy cream is like, the P.I.M.P. of dairy? Well, now you know!
3. You’ll drink your recommended 3 daily servings of dairy should you decide to have at this whole cake.
4. You used strawberries, which are totally in abundance right now.
5. You have 4 hours to get some cardio in before you dig into this situation.
6. This cake is the B.O.M.B.
Strawberries & Cream Ice Box Cake
- For the macerated strawberries
- 2 1/4 pounds of strawberries, hulled and diced
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- For the strawberry whipped cream
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- About 2 cups macerated strawberries
- For the ice box cake
- 54 round wafer cookies
- Strawberry whipped cream
- Remaining macerated strawberries
- Strawberry slices for garnish (optional)
Place strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle granulated sugar over the berries. Stir to combine and set aside for about 10 minutes to soften and release their juices. Once softened, take about 2 cups of strawberries, strain them lightly of their syrup and set aside.
Make the strawberry whipped cream:
In a bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, beat about 1 cup of heavy cream until thickened over medium/high speed. Add about 1 more cup of heavy cream and continue beating until thickened. Add the last of the heavy cream and beat until soft peaks form. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until the cream forms stiff peaks. Stop the mixer and gently fold the strained macerated strawberries until combined. Cover (tightly) and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Pro tip #1: Beating the heavy cream a little at a time prevents you from over-whipping your whipped cream.
Pro tip #2: Covering the whipped cream tightly prevents or at least greatly reduces fridge smells tainting your whipped cream.
To assemble the icebox cake:
Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan or baking dish with 3 pieces of parchment. There should be one on the long end of the loaf pan, and two on the short side of the pan. Leave about a 4 inch overhang on all 3 pieces of parchment. This will help pull the cake from the loaf pan easier.
Line about 18 wafer cookies on the bottom of your loaf pan, breaking them as needed to make them fit. Spread about 1/3 of the strawberry whipped cream over the wafer cookies. Even out whipped cream with a small offset spatula.
Add 18 more wafer cookies atop the strawberry whip cream, then spoon half the remaining macerated strawberries and syrup over the wafer cookies. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream and even out with a small offset spatula.
Add 18 more wafer cookies atop the whipped cream. Add the rest of the macerated strawberries with their syrup over the wafer cookies, then add the remaining strawberry whipped cream over the strawberries. Even out with a small offset spatula. Cover with a piece of parchment small enough to cover the surface of the loaf plan, then cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for about 4-5 hours until completely set.
Once set, remove cake from the freezer and allow to sit in room temperature for about 5 minutes, then lift using the parchment paper overhang. If it is too hard to lift, wait another 3-4 minutes and try again. Place in a platter, garnish with strawberry slices and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.