Recipe Recap: Strawberry Icebox Cake

June 18, 2012

in dessert, recipe, trader joe's

As promised, here’s how I made that Strawberry Icebox Cake!

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Whenever I say the word “Icebox” I think of The Honeymooners. The Icebox Cake (a.k.a. Refrigerator Cake/Zebra cake/Chocolate Ripple Cake or Log) is from that era, and I might have to nickname it “Honeymooners Cake” because I’m as giddy as a newlywed about it.

If you’ve made banana pudding from Nilla Wafers before, you know what happens to cookies soaked overnight in custard or whipped cream – everything melds together to form a slightly flakey yet creamy texture, almost like a Napoleon.  With no baking!

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I don’t REALLY feel comfortable calling it a “recipe” since it’s only a compilation of essentially 5 things, and there is barely any cooking involved…

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…still, it took over an hour to make!

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Wash 2 containers of strawberries. It’s been drilled into my head that you are not supposed to wash berries until RIGHT BEFORE you eat them, but this cake needed to sit overnight, so I took my chances with the mold. (FYI – they were fine.)

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My random idea for quickly cutting a hundred strawberries – an egg slicer!

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Used a regular knife for the six that were garnish toppings.

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I got inspired for this “cake” from a post on The Kitchn last spring. Their version uses real whipped cream. I am far too lazy for that so I used TJ’s version of Cool Whip…

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…a.k.a. “House Whip.” Start spreading a thin layer in a 9×13 inch pan…

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…add Graham Crackers…

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…top with more of the white stuff…

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…and then the berries.

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Repeat until you reach the top!

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Next up – ganache. The only heat involved.

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Break the Dark Chocolate into pieces, with a whisk standing by.

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Bring 1/3 cup Half and Half to an almost boil…

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…remove from heat, pour on top…

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…stir, baby, stir!

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I’m sure there’s a more beautiful way to drizzle this on top – I just used a spoon…

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…and released my inner Jackson Pollock.

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The finishing touch – my fanned strawberries from earlier.

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Covered, refrigerated overnight…

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…and the next morning…

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…here comes the bride!

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“I do.”

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Strawberry Icebox Cake (no bake)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 box Graham Crackers
  • 2 tubs whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
  • 1 bar dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup half and half

Instructions

In a 9×13 pan, layer the ingredients: whipped topping, graham crackers, whipped topping, strawberries. Repeat until you reach the top, ending with a berry layer.

For the ganache, break the chocolate into pieces. Heat the cream or half and half until almost boiling, then pour on top of the chocolate, whisking til melted. Immediately drizzle on top and garnish with strawberries.

{ 39 comments }

1 Alice C. June 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks for the easy recipe, Lynn. This will be great for sumer potlucks!

2 Stacie@ Snaps and Bits June 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I can’t wait to make this, thanks for sharing!

3 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

WOW! I love how the chocolate hardened on top. I’m thinking a peanut butter version of this would be amazing also!!! Oh, caramel and bananas…look what you started!

4 Alice June 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Looks awesome! I love your MacGyver’d quick recipes!!

5 vanillasugarblog June 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm

woman, you must make your own whipped cream. it’s so much better. whipping cream, dash of vanilla extract, couple TB of confectioners sugar. whip up in chilled bowl and chilled beaters. Viola!
very jealous of your stove btw

6 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet June 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

i will, one day! didn’t know where they kept the beaters in this house!

7 April June 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Lynn, this looks amazing! I love that your “recipes” are easy but taste amazing. Can’t wait to try this.

8 em June 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm

lynn, this looks absolutely delish! love the dark chocolate topping, too.

9 Cortney June 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Perfect timing! I was just about to run out to the store to get a few essentials )and now these 5 ingredients!). YUMMY. I cannot wait to make this. I have an event tomorrow afternoon and this will be perfect :-) Thanks for the recipe. I think I am going to use chocolate graham crackers!

10 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet June 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm

chocolate. YES!!! i hope it turns out fabulous!

11 Joy Osmanski June 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

GAHHHHHHHHHHH! I can't quit you, cake!

12 Nuria Martín June 19, 2012 at 1:43 am

“Honneymooners cake”, I love it!! But this is really a great idea, not like Ralph’s ones!! :)) And “giddy” (I love this word!!) is how my guests are going to feel when they taste this “Lynn Chen-Honneymooners cake”! Simple but S-PEC-TA-CU-LAR!! Thanks for the recipe!!
Greetings from Barcelona!

13 Nuria Martín June 19, 2012 at 1:50 am

Ah! As I am a chocolate addict I normally use exactly same Lindt chocolate, but darker (even 80%-90%) and I melted with just some hot water!! If you don’t mind, I will try your honneymooners receip this way!!

14 Lindsay June 19, 2012 at 5:05 am

Yum, yum, YUM. Delighted by this idea, THANKS. For summer, baking is always a challenge because we live in one tiny pad with one weensy kitchen space…I can wash a dish, stand over the oven AND open the dryer all in one! However the heat makes it an un-fun place to be, and this cake seems like the right fit to blow those summer blues to BITS!

15 Monet June 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

Can I please have a big bowl of this? Nothing is better than strawberries and cream right now. Everytime I buy a carton, I marvel at how amazing strawberries are tasting this year! Thanks for sharing lovely!

16 Cortney June 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

Had to report back and let you know this ROCKED! I made your version with chocolate graham crackers and another with honey cinnamon graham crackers, peaches (instead of strawberries), French Vanilla Cool Whip and white chocolate for the top. OH MY…I just did a taste test for bfast and both are DELISH! Thanks so much for the recipe. I will be making variations of this A LOT this summer :-) My new default dessert for sure. I am already dreaming up a version for bfast with greek yogurt and another with ricotta cheese mixed with the whipped topping for more of a cannoli type dessert :-)

17 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet June 19, 2012 at 8:14 am

yay yay yay! we should buy stock in graham crackers and cool whip!

18 Purely Twins June 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

OMG this sounds amazing, just perfect for summer!!
and love the pictures of you in the kitchen

19 Stace June 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

This looks amazing! I seriously can’t wait to make this cake. Thanks for sharing! :)

20 Chaya July 8, 2012 at 1:49 am

I am stuck at your using an egg slicer for the strawberries. What a wonderful idea. The final product is a beauty and I like your shortcuts. I am never above using something to make it easier when I need time.

This is being featured at My Meatless Mondays.

21 Lisa Burstein Pentz July 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

That looks amazing and, I have to tell you that your kitchen is incredible.

22 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet July 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

thanks! i wish it was mine – it’s my aunt/uncle’s house!

23 Bobbie Boyer August 7, 2012 at 2:01 am

I have to make this, it's gorgeous!

24 Dana K Chessor August 9, 2012 at 12:47 am

looks Awesome & Simple :)

25 Karen August 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

This looks great and being on Weight Watchers I am believing its pretty much weight watchers friendly also…

26 Anonymous August 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm

rinse your berries in 1 part apple vinegar 5 parts water to stop mold, they will last for weeks.

27 marissa September 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

can i use milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate?

28 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet September 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

of course! feel free to change it up!

29 Caelan October 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I use crushed graham crackers on top but chocolate looks/tastes great, too! :D Might try this!

30 Priscilla December 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Not a big fan of dark chocolate would milk chocolate work
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31 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet December 10, 2012 at 1:59 am

Yes! Enjoy!

32 Sarah D March 18, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I soak strawberries in 1 part vinegar to ten parts water for maybe ten minutes. Dry them completely and refrigerate, and they keep for twice as long. You can always rinse them again before eating if you’re worried, but vinegar naturally prevents mold. I’m pretty sure I started doing this thanks to Pinterest, but I do it with all my fruits and veggies that aren’t incredibly porous. You don’t taste the vinegar at all.

33 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet March 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Thanks for the tip Sarah!!!

34 Leslie March 30, 2013 at 7:59 am

I can’t wait to make this for my family! It looks refreshing and delicious!!
Blessings,
Leslie

35 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet March 30, 2013 at 8:21 am

Thanks, Leslie – let me know how it turns out!

36 Mary May 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Loved your pics, loved your kitchen & I’m sure I will love your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

37 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet May 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Thank you Mary – how I wish this was my kitchen – it’s my aunt/uncle’s beach house!

38 Laci June 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Does this ganache get kind of hard/crunchy after it sits in the fridge overnight? I’m wondering if it would work to make this dessert in the morning and just chill it in the fridge until afternoon? I’d actually prefer for the graham crackers to be more crispy than not, so I wondered if the ganache hardens or if the only purpose of “overnight” is to make it “napoleon-ey”?!?! Thanks. :)

39 Lynn @ The Actor's Diet June 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

Yes the ganache gets hard and the graham crackers get very soft – try it your way and let me know how it goes!!!

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