Kirbie's Cravings

4 Ingredient No Bake Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

This no bake strawberry lemon icebox cake is an easy dessert to make. There is no cooking or baking involved. You only need four ingredients. The cake comes out creamy and refreshing. This easy dessert can be made ahead of time and is great to serve at summer events.

I love making icebox cakes this time of year. They are so easy to prepare and they are a refreshing dessert. This version is made with strawberries and lemon cream, making you feel like you are eating a strawberry lemonade dessert.


  • Strawberries
  • Lemons
  • Cool Whip
  • Shortbread

Strawberries: We used fresh strawberries to make this cake.

Lemons: The cream layer is a lemon cream which is made with lemon juice and Cool Whip.

Cool Whip: You can use Cool Whip or make your own whipped cream. The reason why we chose Cool whip is that it is just the right consistency. Cool Whip is generally lighter and airier than homemade whipped cream. When it is mixed with the lemon juice, the lemon juice thickens up the cream to a firmer cream consistency that holds up well for layering. If you make your own homemade whipped cream you will need to make sure to keep it at very soft peaks so that it becomes the right consistency when the lemon juice is added.

Shortbread: Icebox cakes are usually made with wafers or graham crackers though shortbread cookies are also used. I like using shortbread because I think they taste more cake-like. In addition, they also fit perfectly into a 9 x 9 inch baking pan so you don’t have to deal with cutting or breaking up cookies to get them to fit. I also sometimes make these with lemon shortbread cookies to give the cake even more lemon flavor.

What is an Icebox Cake

Icebox cakes are usually a no-bake dessert. They are called icebox cakes because they used to be stored in iceboxes. The dessert is made of layering cream and wafers. Sometimes fruit and other toppings are also mixed in. When the cake sits in the fridge, the cream will soften the cookies, turning the cookie layer into a cake-like consistency, so you end up with a dessert that tastes and looks like a layered cake.

How to Make Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

  • The lemon juice is combined with the Cool Whip until the cream thickens.
  • A thin layer of cream is added to the bottom of your cake pan. This is to help stabilize the dessert and the cookie layer. Then a layer of cookies is added, covering the bottom of the pan. A layer of cream is then added on top, followed by a layer of strawberries. This is repeated until you have 3 layers of cookies.
  • The dessert is then placed into the fridge to set. It will take a few hours for the cookies to soften but I usually make it the night before I plan on serving it.

Taste and Texture

This cake is sweet and creamy. The fresh strawberries and lemon juice do add a little tartness to help balance out the sweetness of the cookies. The cookies are softened by the cream so they do taste similar to a cake but a slightly firmer cake.

More No Bake Desserts

4 Ingredient No Bake Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

Servings: 16 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
This no-bake Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake is a delightful summer treat that requires only four ingredients. Layers of lemon cream, strawberries, and shortbread cookies create a refreshing and creamy dessert perfect for any occasion. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors meld together before serving slices of this delicious cake.
5 from 1 vote


  • 6 cups (426 g) Cool Whip
  • 3 tbsp (1.5 fl oz/44 ml) lemon juice
  • 75 Lorna Doone shortbread cookies can use other kinds of shortbread or graham crackers
  • 4 cups (476 g) 1/4 inch thick sliced strawberries plus additional for garnish


  • Line a 9 x 9 inch square pan with parchment paper. Make the sides of the parchment paper a bit higher than the pan so that when the cake is done, you can lift up the whole thing using the excess parchment as handles.
  • Add 6 cups of Cool Whip to a large mixing bowl. Add in 3 tbsp of lemon juice. Mix until lemon juice is evenly incorporated. When the lemon juice is mixed in, it should stiffen the Cool Whip so that it becomes firmer.
  • Spread a very thin layer of lemon cream across the bottom of the lined pan. Line the bottom with a layer of shortbread cookies. You should be able to fit exactly 25 cookies. You want to make sure the cookies are touching side by side so that when the cake is cut, it will look like a uniform even layer.
  • Add about 2 cups of lemon cream on top of the cookies, spreading it evenly across. I like using an offset spatula to help me spread it evenly across but a regular spatula should also work. Add a layer of strawberries on top of the cream. Line the strawberries in a way that prevents too many gaps. My method was to add them in alternating directions (i.e., the first strawberry slice has its pointy side facing up and the strawberry slice next to it has its pointy side facing down. See photo in post for reference.).You will need about 2 cups of sliced strawberries per layer. Add another layer of cookies, followed by another layer of cream and berries. Add one more layer of cookies; you should have 3 layers of cookies.
  • Top the last layer with a thin layer of lemon cream. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake for a few hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to meld and the cookies to soften. Save remaining cream for the frosting. If you have leftover Cool Whip, you can also save that to give the top cake layer a thicker layer of frosting.
  • When cake is ready to be served, remove cake from fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Add the remaining cream on top to make a frosting. You can also add any leftover Cool Whip you have to make a thicker layer of frosting. Garnish with some sliced strawberries. You can also add lemon curls and mint for garnish. Slice and serve chilled.


  • You will need 2-3 large lemons to make 3 tbsp of lemon juice. 
  • You will need a 2 lb box of strawberries (you won't need them all but you do need more than 1 lb).
  • You can replace the shortbread with other cookies like wafer cookies or graham crackers. I like Lorna Doone cookies because they fit perfectly without having to cut any of the cookies. 
  • Lorna Doone cookies are usually sold in packs of 4. So you will need about 19 packs for the dessert.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 331kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 270mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, NET CARBS: 44

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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Recipe Rating

12 comments on “4 Ingredient No Bake Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake”

  1. I live in New Zealand and we do not have cool whip so what would be the substitute for that?

  2. Looks great and easy to mak

  3. Can frozen strawberries be used? If so, thawed or not?

    • I have not tried with frozen berries. I don’t recommend them because they retain a lot of moisture which can make the cream watery

  4. Instead of Cool Whip, would you be able to use whipped cream? Not sure about adding the lemon juice because it would curdle the cream?This is about the strawberry icebox cake. 

  5. Hello Im from Dublin,you cannot get coolwhip here what can I use instead
    Greetings from Dublin Patricia

  6. We don’t have Cool Whip in the U.K. what would be a substitute please.
    Kind regards Gwyneth Ferguson