It’s been in the upper 90s (heat index wise, anyway,) for the past couple weeks and while I’m someone who’d sit outside until my blood starts to boil, even I have to admit it’s brutal out there. Not as brutal as summers at my parent’s house growing up though, where they had two rules once school let out:
- No TV. Literally canceled cable for three months. Not even worth jiggling our bunny ear antenna to try and watch scrambled episodes of Bozo the Clown each morning.
- No air conditioning until it reached 90 degrees. Inside the house. INSIDE. THE. HOUSE.
We were totally unplugged and, as much as we complained in the moment, I’m so glad they did what they did. Let me be clear – I’m so glad they canceled cable and shooed us outdoors every single day, NOT that they were so strict with the AC. Going to bed with fans blasting hot air 5 inches away from your face is not a good time. Viva central air!
As a result of my parent’s summer rules, my brothers and I left the house after breakfast, maybe stopped home for a quick lunch, but most days didn’t come home until dinnertime. Our days were filled with swimming, creek walking, trail exploring, bike riding, chalk drawing, bug collecting, and doing anything that didn’t involve sitting in a hot house staring at a blank television.
I’d like to think that Lincoln and our soon to be littlest one will have the same opportunities, but, I don’t know, while I trust our neighborhood and hope to teach our kids to be street smart, it’s not like it was back in the day. Do you agree, or am I being paranoid? Maybe when I have a 10 and 7 year old complaining they’re bored I’ll have a little less hesitation!
Anyway, today I’m sharing a recipe that reminds me of those simpler days. No frills, no fuss, just pure sweetness. Despite the lengthy name, Gluten-Free No-Bake Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake calls for just five ingredients, no baking (did I mention how hot it is here?!) and is so easy your kids can even make it.
One of my family’s all-time favorite warm weather desserts is angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries, so this delightful little summer dessert is a nod to that. Layers of homemade whipped cream made from just three ingredients, fresh strawberries, and crispy gluten-free sugar cookies meld together in the refrigerator to create a rustic, creamy, and completely incredible summer dessert that your friends and family are going to devour. I could. not. love. it. more.
And hey! Looking for a 4th of July dessert recipe? Replace half the strawberries with blueberries and you’ve got a festive, crowd-pleasing option!
How to Make No-Bake Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake:
Start by making a batch of homemade whipped cream. Resist the urge to buy a tub. You can doo eeeet! Add 3 cups heavy whipping cream and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a glass bowl if you’re using a hand mixer,) that’s been chilling in the freezer for at least 10 minutes then gradually add 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar while the mixer is on low. Turn the speed up as the cream thickens then whip until you have…whipped cream!
I’m telling you, there is NOTHING like homemade whipped cream – INFINITELY better than store bought! I’ll stop shouting now, but seriously you have to try this.
Spread a thin layer of whipped cream into the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish, then top with a layer of crispy sugar cookies (see below for the brand I used.) Next add another layer of whipped cream followed by 1/3 of 1-1/2lbs strawberries that have been trimmed then sliced. Repeat the layers – cookies, whipped cream, and strawberries – two more times to create three layers total. You might have a little whipped cream leftover, FYI.
Tip: Save the “prettiest” 1/3 of the strawberry slices for a nice presentation on the top layer!
These are the cookies I use by the way. Gluten-free Enjoy Life Sugar Crisp Crunchy Cookies soften beautifully in this dessert but still retain a little texture, which I love. You’ll need two boxes and you can usually find them in the gluten-free aisle at the grocery store. If for some reason you can’t find these exact cookies, any crispy sugar cookies should work or even graham crackers if you’re in a pinch!
Last step is to cover the dish with saran wrap then refrigerate overnight, or at least until the cookies have softened (6-8 hours.) When it’s time to eat, slice, serve, and enjoy the sweet and simple tastes of summer!
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Gluten-Free No-Bake Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake
Gluten-Free No-Bake Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake is the perfect gluten-free summer dessert recipe. Just 5 ingredients and make-ahead, too!
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2, 6oz packages Enjoy Life Sugar Crisp Crunchy Cookies
- 1-1/2lbs strawberries, trimmed and sliced
- Place the bowl of an electric mixer, or a large glass bowl if using a hand mixer, in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes. Fit electric mixer with the whipping attachment then add heavy whipping cream and vanilla to the chilled bowl. Whip on low speed while gradually adding powdered sugar then gradually increase speed as whipped cream thickens. Whip until cream can hold it's shape but is not lumpy.
- Spread a thin layer of whipped cream into the bottom of an 8x8" baking dish. Layer in 9 of the cookies, spread on another layer of whipped cream, and then top with 1/3 of the strawberries. Repeat layers - cookies, whipped cream, and strawberries - two more times to create three layers total (you might have a little extra whipped cream at the end.) Cover dish with saran wrap then refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, slice then serve immediately.
- I used Enjoy Life Sugar Crisp Crunchy Cookies for the cookie layer.
- Since the homemade whipped cream has no stabilizers, I recommend keeping the icebox cake in the refrigerator when not serving.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
More No-Bake Gluten-Free Desserts!