I love an easy, no-bake summer dessert. It means not heating up the kitchen and more time for summertime activities like lounging on the beach or by a pool or just hanging out on the patio with some good conversation and something cool to sip. This berry-spangled icebox cake is the perfect no-bake treat for any summer gathering but it’s particularly festive for a 4th of July spread.
If you’ve never made an icebox cake, you’re in for the easiest treat ever! It’s a basic combo of crisp cookies layered with whipped cream–though I think pudding or custard would work too, but whipped cream keeps it easy. The whole ‘cake” gets chilled in the refrigerator for several hours, which is where the magic happens. The cookies absorb the cream and turn soft, making a cake-like texture without ever turning on the oven.
In this recipe, I’ve layered spicy gingersnap cookies with a sweetened, sour cream-enriched whipped cream with juicy red raspberries and plump blueberries here for a contrast in texture and flavor. A crown of berries on top make this “cake” extra festive.
Switch up your cookies! You can pretty much use any crisp cookie here. The classic is a chocolate wafer, but get creative! Any crunchy, thin cookie will work.
Whip it good. You can also just use plain whipped cream, but I love the slight tang and extra stability a little sour cream lends. Be sure not to overwhip the cream, a soft, medium peak is perfect.
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- 52 thin gingersnap cookies
- 8 ounces each raspberries and blueberries
- Beat the cream and sour cream together using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until slightly thickened, add the powdered sugar and beat until you reach a soft, medium peak. Layer 13 cookies on a platter to create the base of the “cake”, spread ¼ of the whipped cream mixture over the cookie base and sprinkle a few berries over the top–repeat with the remaining cookies, cream, and berries to create 4 layers ending with the cream. Pile any remaining berries on top of the “cake” and refrigerate for several hours (a minimum of 6 and up to overnight). Dust with powdered sugar before serving and slice like a traditional cake.