A Delightful Gluten-Free Dessert Recipe

Piece of strawberry shortcake icebox cake on a plate

The scorching heat index has persisted in the upper 90s for the past few weeks. As someone who usually enjoys basking in the sun until I reach boiling point, even I have to admit it’s brutal out there. However, it certainly doesn’t compare to the summers I endured at my parents’ house during my childhood. Once school let out, they implemented two strict rules:

Rule #1: No TV, No Cable

That’s right, they canceled cable for three whole months. We were completely unplugged. In the moment, my brothers and I complained, but looking back, I’m grateful they made that decision. Let me clarify: I’m grateful they eliminated cable and forced us to spend every day outdoors instead of their strict enforcement of no air conditioning until the temperature reached 90 degrees. Sleeping with fans blowing hot air just a few inches from your face is far from pleasant!

Close up Photo of Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake on a plate

Fond Memories of Simpler Days

Thanks to my parents’ rules, my brothers and I eagerly left the house each morning after breakfast, returning home only briefly for a quick lunch. Most days, we wouldn’t come back until dinnertime. Our days overflowed with fun: friends, swimming, creek walking, bike riding, chalk drawing, and bug collecting. The only things we avoided were sitting in a sweltering house, mindlessly staring at a blank television screen.

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Today, I want to share a recipe that encompasses those carefree times. It’s a recipe devoid of complexities and unnecessary fuss. Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake requires just five ingredients, is gluten-free, requires no baking (did I mention how unbearably hot it is here?!), and is incredibly easy to make.

The Luscious Layers

My Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake boasts homemade whipped cream, layered with freshly sliced strawberries and crispy gluten-free sugar cookies. That’s it! As the cookies meld with the whipped cream overnight in the refrigerator, they soften and create a rustic yet extraordinary dessert that will captivate your friends and family.

A Brief History of Icebox Cakes

Icebox cakes made their appearance in America during the 1930s, with the advent of refrigerators, originally called iceboxes, becoming more widespread in households. The concept involved layering cookies or wafers with a creamy filling and refrigerating the concoction overnight. The result? A soft, cake-like dessert that required no baking, making it the perfect treat for enduring hot weather.

Fresh strawberries in a bowl

We prepare this gluten-free dessert recipe for various occasions, including Mother’s Day, the 4th of July (by swapping half the strawberries with blueberries for a festive twist), and every moment in between. Since the icebox cake needs to sit in the refrigerator overnight, it’s an excellent dish to prepare a day or two ahead of time. Once it’s dessert time at your gathering or cookout, simply retrieve it from the refrigerator, slice it, serve it, and revel in its deliciousness!

Ready to embark on this delightful journey?

A piece of Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake cut into on a plate

Step 1: Homemade Whipped Cream

While you can certainly use store-bought or dairy-free whipped cream like SoDelicious Coconut Whip, I implore you to take just 5 minutes and make your own. Homemade whipped cream is simply unparalleled, and it’s incredibly easy to whip up.

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Add chilled heavy whipping cream and a splash of vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer (or if you’re using a hand mixer, a chilled glass bowl). Gradually sprinkle in powdered sugar while the mixer is on low. Increase the speed as the cream begins to thicken, continuing to whip until you achieve the perfect whipped cream consistency!

Photo collage for how to make homemade whipped cream

Step 2: Layering the Ingredients

Start by spreading a thin layer of whipped cream on the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish, followed by a layer of gluten-free crispy sugar cookies. Then, add another layer of whipped cream and top it off with sliced strawberries. Repeat this process two more times to create three delectable layers.

Tip: Save the most visually appealing third of the strawberry slices for an eye-catching presentation on the top layer!

How to Assemble a Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake

These are the cookies I love using: Enjoy Life Sugar Crisp Crunchy Cookies. They soften beautifully while still maintaining a delightful texture. You’ll need two boxes, and you can find them in the gluten-free aisle of your local grocery store. If, for some reason, you can’t find these exact cookies, any crispy sugar cookies should work just fine. In a pinch, you could even use graham crackers!

Enjoy Life Sugar Crisp Crunchy Cookies

Step 3: Cover and Refrigerate

The final step is to cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight or until the cookies have softened, typically taking 6-8 hours. When it’s time to indulge, slice a piece, serve it up, and savor the sweet and simple taste of summer. Enjoy!

A pan of Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake waiting to be cut into

More Irresistible Icebox Cake Recipes

  • S’Mores Icebox Cake
  • Blueberry-Lemon Icebox Cake
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Icebox Cake
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Photo collage of gluten-free strawberry shortcake icebox cake

To discover more delectable recipes, visit Family Cuisine, your ultimate resource for family-friendly dishes.

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