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Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake

A Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake is great to make because it’s super easy! No matter the occasion, this cake is always a hit. It’s a baked cake recipe with layers of strawberry syrup, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries. The vanilla cake is poked with holes all over the top so the strawberry syrup soaks into the cake making it extra flavorful. It’s light, sweet, and supremely delicious.

overhead view of Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake in a square pan

Last month my husband had a birthday. We were traveling on his actual birthday so I made him a cake right before we left. And he actually liked it!

My husband doesn’t care for homemade cakes for his birthday. He grew up with boxed strawberry cakes and must have this each year. It’s comfort food for him.

This is a challenge for me because I want to bake him a cake from scratch, one that’s made entirely from love.

overhead view of Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake with a spoon scooping out a slice

We knew we would be celebrating his birthday away from home so we made no plans to do anything before then. But, I still wanted him to have a strawberry cake. That’s where today’s fresh and light strawberries and cream icebox cake comes into play.

I decided on this cake because it’s not only great for a birthday, it’s perfect for Mother’s day as well. It’s actually good for any occasion during the summer months when you need a light dessert. And I know you are going to love it also!


The Vanilla Cake Base

It’s a scaled-down version of my basic vanilla cake. I halved the entire recipe and baked it in a 9-inch square pan. The baking time will vary depending on your oven so keep a close eye on it. It will be dry like cornbread if it’s overbaked. Remove it from the oven as soon as a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few dry crumbs.

The tips for how to make the perfect cake still apply to this recipe. So be sure to take a moment to read over them.

angled view of a skewer poking holes into a vanilla cake

This recipe calls for cake flour. It contains less gluten than all-purpose flour so the cake will come out light and tender. If you don’t have cake flour, you can make your own. For every 1 cup of flour remove 2 tablespoons of flour. Then add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for every 1 cup of flour. Sift 4 times and it’s ready-to-use as cake flour.

Immediately after baking, use a wooden skewer to poke holes in the top of the cake and pour strawberry syrup all over. The syrup will seep into the holes adding flavor and moisture.

I used store-bought strawberry syrup but you can try a homemade recipe like this fresh strawberry syrup.

angled view of strawberry syrup poured over vanilla cake

The Strawberries and Cream Topping

The topping is homemade whipped cream with fresh strawberries. It’s lightly sweetened and I think it gives a nice balance.

Just whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla together until it’s nice and fluffy. Then, spread it over the top of the cake once it has cooled. Top it with more strawberry syrup, fresh strawberries, and pecans if desired.

This strawberries and cream cake is definitely a must try this summer!

overhead view of Strawberries and Cream Cake

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overhead view of Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake in a square pan

Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

A Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake is great to make because it’s super easy! No matter the occasion, this cake is always a hit. It’s a baked cake recipe with layers of strawberry syrup, whipped cream, and fresh strawberries. The vanilla cake is poked with holes all over the top so the strawberry syrup soaks into the cake making it extra flavorful. It’s light, sweet, and supremely delicious.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and ⅓ cups cake flour, *
  • 1 and ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup strawberry syrup

For the topping

  • 1 and ⅔ cups heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and ½ cups fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

Make the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk and add it to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. 
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Using a fork or wooden skewer, poke holes in the warm cake. Pour the strawberry syrup evenly over the cake. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Make the topping

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly over chilled cake; top with strawberries and pecans. Drizzle with more strawberry syrup if desired. The cake is best served immediately but will keep for up to 6 hours covered and stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

*I strongly recommend using cake flour. You can make Homemade Cake Flour if you do not have it on hand.

Make ahead tip

  1. You can prepare the cake through step 4 and chill the cake for up to 1 day before continuing with the steps to make the topping. I don't suggest freezing this recipe.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245

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Slightly adapted from Bake From Scratch Magazine

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Rhys

Sunday 16th of February 2020

this is a lovely recipe, but you mentioned adding sour cream to the topping. unless I misread it, however, there isn’t any listed in the recipe itself.

would it be possible to see a revision of this recipe, please?

Jen Sobjack

Monday 17th of February 2020

There is no sour cream in the topping. That was an error in the copy of the post.

Julia @ Happy Foods Tube

Tuesday 16th of May 2017

This looks like a perfect dessert for the warm weather we have been having lately! And I love strawberries so can't wait to try it!

Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

Oh gosh, is this ever a gorgeous cake!! Jen, I'm swooning over all those fresh strawberries and the cake itself looks SO dreamy moist!! This would be so perfect for Memorial Day coming up in a few weeks!

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