This 4th of July, impress your guests with this no-bake, fruity Icebox Cake! With layers of fresh berries and graham crackers and an American flag on top – it’s patriotic fun that’s super easy to make.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Our no-bake Icebox Cake is a fruity delight that looks as good as it tastes. Layers of fruit: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries; work together with layers of graham crackers; to make this all-American fruit cake treat.

And the best part? It’s such an easy and delicious dessert to make. Just put it all together, and throw it in the fridge overnight. Done – no baking needed! The cream slowly combines with the graham crackers to form a delicious cake texture – a true no-bake cake wonder, and the perfect make-ahead dessert.

And to top it all off, you’ll see the fruit on top is artfully arranged to look like the American flag – making it a great centerpiece for your 4th of July celebration, along with our lemon orzo salad and jalapeno turkey burgers. Just assemble it the night before and let the fridge do the magic.

Classic Icebox Cake History 

Why is it called an Icebox Cake? This no-bake dessert became popular in the 1920s when a new kitchen appliance called the “icebox” was invented. Basically, it was just an insulated box that used ice to keep food fresh.

Clever cookie companies seized the moment and developed a dessert that could be made using this new device. They’d print recipes for these icebox cakes on their packaging.

Even though we’ve swapped iceboxes for refrigerators, the name, like the cake itself, has stuck around – It’s a true testament to the cake’s charm. 


Gather these easy-to-find Icebox Cake ingredients from your local grocery store, and let’s get started:

ingredients for no-bake icebox cake recipe.
  • Cream cheese: Use a block of full-fat cream cheese. It adds richness but also a tangy component to the cream.
  • Heavy cream: Whipped to form the backbone of the cake. It gradually softens the graham crackers into a cake-like texture. 
  • Confectioners’ sugar: Sweetens our cream and gives it a smooth, velvety texture. It dissolves easily, so there are no gritty sugar crystals.
  • Vanilla extract: Brings a nice, warm flavor to the whipped cream, and helps balance the sweetness from the sugar.
  • Graham crackers: These give the structure of the cake, soaking up the whipped cream and becoming delightfully soft and cake-like.
  • Strawberries: These juicy berries add a burst of fresh sweetness and are perfect for flavor or creating the red stripes in our patriotic cake instead of the raspberries.
  • Blueberries: Small but mighty, these add a tangy flavor contrast. They’re our ‘stars’ in the cake’s flag design.
  • Raspberries: Deeply flavored and a bit tart, these add a lovely complexity and ‘stripes’ to this icebox cake recipe.

See the recipe card for quantities.


Instead of making an Icebox Cake with fruit, you can use whatever you fancy. Check out these Icebox Cake variations:

  • Chocolate Icebox Cake: For chocolate lovers, layer instant chocolate pudding with chocolate wafer cookies.
  • Icebox Cake with Oreos: Alternate layers of creamy filling and Oreos. It’s like having your favorite cookie in cake form!
  • Red Velvet Icebox Cake: Use cream cheese filling and red velvet cookies to make this uniquely-colored dessert. 
  • Gluten-Free Icebox Cake: Just use gluten-free graham crackers or wafers! Now everyone can enjoy the fun.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow this Icebox Cake step-by-step guide, and this simple dessert will be ready in no time. If you need more help, see the printable recipe card below.

chopped up strawberries and blueberries in a glass bowl.

Step 1: In a large bowl, combine the chopped strawberries and blueberries.

mixed chopped strawberries and blueberries in a glass bowl.

Step 2: Gently mix the berries together and set aside.

whipped cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl.

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until incorporated.

whipped cream cheese with vanilla extract in a bowl.

Step 4: Add vanilla and continue to beat until mixed in well.

whipped heavy cream in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 5: In a separate bowl, beat cold heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

cream cheese mixture and whipped cream with rubber spatula in a glass bolw.

Step 6: With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

layered whipped cream and graham crackers in a glass baking dish.

Step 7: Spread the smallest amount of cream mixture on the bottom of a 9X13 dish. Top with a layer of graham crackers.

Layered cream and chopped up fruit in a glass baking dish.

Step 8: Spoon 1/3 of the cream over the graham crackers, spreading evenly. Then top with half of the berry mixture.

layered graham crackers over chopped fruit in a glass dish.

Step 9: Add another layer of graham crackers over the berries. Feel free to break crackers to make one even layer.

whipped cream spread over graham crackers with a rubber spatula.

Step 10: Spread more cream over the graham crackers. Repeat one more time with a layer of berries, graham crackers, and finishing with cream.

cake decorated with berries to look like American flag.

Step 11: Arrange the remaining berries on top, creating an American flag design with blueberries for the ‘stars’ and raspberries for the ‘stripes’. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

slice of cake with graham crackers, cream, and fruit.

Expert Tips

Want to make the best no-bake cake? Follow these expert tips, and this homemade cake recipe will turn out perfectly every time:

  • Stiff peaks: The key to a luscious cake is getting the cream just right. Beat until stiff peaks form, but don’t overbeat, or you might end up with butter. 
  • Berry nice: Choose fresh, ripe berries for the best flavor and color. Remember, presentation is key for this patriotic cake! Feel free to use any combination of berries you like.
  • Patience: Let the cake rest overnight in the fridge. This gives the graham crackers enough time to soften into that dreamy, cake-like texture.
  • Size matters: Keep an eye on your graham cracker layers. You don’t want them too thick or thin. It’s all about achieving the right balance for that perfect texture.
  • Chill out: Make sure your cream is cold before you start whipping. Warm cream won’t hold its form as well, leading to a less sturdy cake. Remember, it’s all about that perfect peak!

Recipe FAQs

Can I use other fruits in my Icebox Cake?

Absolutely! Feel free to get creative with the fruits you use – Icebox Cakes are very versatile. 

Peaches, cherries, or even a tropical mix of mango and pineapple can work beautifully.

Can I make Icebox Cake ahead of time?

Definitely! In fact, it’s best to make it ahead – The cake needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator for the graham crackers to soften and become cake-like.

How long will the cake last in the fridge?

The cake should last about 2-3 days in the fridge. It will continue to soften the longer it sits in the fridge, especially if very juicy fruit is used. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container.

Can I make this with frozen berries?

No, it’s best to use fresh berries since frozen berries will release too much liquid even after thawing.

no bake American flag cake decorated with fresh berries.

If you try our no-bake Icebox Cake, please leave a star rating and let us know how you like the recipe in the comments below.

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icebox cake in a glass dish decorated as American flag.

Icebox Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American


This 4th of July, impress your guests with this no-bake, Icebox Cake! With layers of berries and graham crackers and an American flag on top.


Units Scale
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 11 oz. fresh blueberries, divided, about 2 cups
  • 8 oz. block cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (14.4 oz.) box graham crackers, with little leftover
  • 12 oz. fresh raspberries, about 3 cups


  1. In a large bowl, combine strawberries and 1 1/2 cups (about 8 oz.) of blueberries. Set aside.
  2. Add cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and with a hand mixer beat on high speed until smooth.
  3. Add confectioners’ sugar. Beat on low speed and then increase the speed to medium-high once the sugar is incorporated, and beat for about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add in vanilla.
  4. To a separate large mixing bowl, add cream, and beat for 3-4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. To assemble the cake, spread a small amount of cream on the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch glass baking dish. You only need the smallest amount to help the crackers stick. Then layer graham crackers on top. Feel free to break the crackers apart to make one even layer. Spread 1/3 of the cream over the graham crackers and top with half of the berry mixture. Repeat layers of graham crackers, cream, remaining berry mixture, graham crackers, and finishing with cream.
  6. Decorate the cake, creating an American flag with remaining blueberries for the ‘stars’ and raspberries for the ‘stripes’.
  7. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Slice and serve cold.


  • Berries: This cake works great with any combination of fresh berries or summer fruit, such as thinly-sliced bananas, kiwi, mango, blackberries, or peaches.
  • Storage: Cake is best eaten within 2-3 days. It will continue to soften the longer it sits in the fridge, especially if very juicy fruit is used. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap, or store in an airtight container.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 367
  • Sugar: 20.2 g
  • Sodium: 288.8 mg
  • Fat: 19.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.4 g
  • Protein: 4.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 53 mg