Cold as ice-box strawberry cake

Sympathy weight - oh it’s a real thing alright.  In bulking my mom up five pounds (in less than two months), my dad and I have probably collectively put on double that much.  The best thing to have for dinner is company, right?  And we’re not doing physical rehab with intense cardio three days a week.  Well, I know my dad isn't...

I served this strawberry icebox cake back over July 4th weekend at my parents’ dinner party and for a group of “old folks” that were purportedly not fans of dessert or sweet things,  they enjoyed it immensely.  So much so that I had made two cakes and they finished both of them.  Even enemies of dessert and those who claim not to have a sweet tooth can be vanquished by a simple frozen treat that requires zero baking.  No need to turn on the sweatbox of death during these stifling summer days.

Mixing is really key to this recipe and allowing the fruity, buttermilky, cookie goodness to get all muddled up with one another during the freezing process.  This means lots of trips back and forth to the freezer.  But it also means lots of dirty spoons and lots of tastings in between.  Silver lining, folks.

Icebox Strawberry Cake

Adapted from Strawberry Delight by Matt Lee and Ted Lee


1 lb. fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1  pint heavy cream
2  pinches kosher salt
1  cup half-and-half
1  cup buttermilk, whole or low-fat
3 oz. of crumbed lady fingers, roughly crumbled into oyster-cracker-size pieces
1  cup chopped pecans, toasted

Put the strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until the syrup is glossy red but still runny. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the salt until peaks begin to hold their shape. Fold in half-and-half, buttermilk, cookies, and toasted pecans until evenly combined.

Line a 3-quart loaf pan (or two 1.5-quart loaf pans and divide cream mixture evenly) with plastic wrap and pour the cream mixture into it. Then pour in the fruit and syrup from one end of the pan to the other, but do not stir (if using two pans, divide the fruit and syrup evenly between them). The syrup and fruit may float on the surface at first but will gradually sink through to the bottom. Lightly cover the loaf pan(s) with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until a cap of crystallized cream has formed about an inch thick, about 2.5 hours (or 1.5 hours if using two loaf pans). Use a broad serving spoon to break up the cream and fold the ingredients together, taking special care to lift the strawberry pulp up off the bottom. With the back of the spoon, smooth the surface and return the pan to the freezer for 1.5 hours (about 45 minutes if using two pans). Fold again, freeze for another hour, and fold a third time (if using two loaf pans, you might not need to do a third fold). Allow to set for an hour more.

To serve, turn an entire loaf upside down onto an oval platter and slice off individual portions with a knife warmed in hot water.


  1. This looks bloody delicious! I know it's weird but I love reading American recipes for things I don't understand. For example, why kosher salt? And what are oyster crackers? I find it so interesting! I'm off to google them now.

  2. Gotta love a family with this much of a sweet tooth c:
    Good job in making these ice cream cakes, it looks
    hella good! Xx

  3. Oh..em...gee...Rooth,now wonder this got devoured!

  4. Okay, so I left a comment like 2 seconds ago and when I hit 'publish', it just up and disappeared! Where did it go? I don't know, but I basically said something along the likes of "wow, this looks crazy good!". Either way, I felt like I had to post that again, just to let you know I've got my eye on this one. I love ice cream cake!

  5. I ate so much cake and ice cream and chocolate is getting really bad. At least I also worked out a lot so I don't feel too bad about it. :)

  6. The cake looks great--and I'm sure you and your dad do too. It's good you're keeping mom company as she rebuilds her're enhancing yours too.

  7. Yum! I made something similar to this but with a graham cracker-pretzel crust!

    I used to be OCD about my weight and now.... I like eating and being lazy too much. Maybe I'll make it back to the gym one of these days!!!

  8. ahhhhhhh. now I need to go and get ice cream. it's 11 pm, I'm home alone and will be walking to the 7/11 all by myself. and if I never make it back, no one will know. and all because of your evil cake :(

  9. wow. i want to have it too!

  10. um. yummy. i used to not have a sweet tooth. i remember those day, how do i get back there? because now i think i simply have a mouth full of sweet teeth. and they are all crying and begging right now 'give us some of rooth's cake!'

  11. LOOK AT THAT!!!! I feel like I suck at baking, so maybe I would be better at this...

  12. Oh sympathy weight is a thing. Look at all the husbands of pregnant women!! xo

  13. You should start making only things you don't want to eat yourself. :)

  14. Ooh, that sounds (and looks) delicious!

  15. That looks delicious. I think I'll save this recipe and make it sometime this summer. I am trying to get in the habit of "baking" more so I think this would be considered baking. Right?


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