How to Make a Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake

We turned an iconic ice cream truck treat into a dessert you can make at home. Learn how to make a strawberry shortcake ice cream cake.

When it comes to ice cream truck treats, we’ve all got our favorites, like the classic ice cream sandwich or Choco Taco. For me, one of the most iconic treats was the strawberry shortcake ice cream bar—you know the one with a strawberry ice cream center layered with vanilla ice cream and cake crumbles? It was the perfect combination of strawberries, cream and crunch.

But why wait for the ice cream truck? You can make a similar treat big enough to share right at home. And the best part: It’s super simple to make. I’ll show you how!

How to Make a Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake

This recipe is easy to make and doesn’t require many ingredients (and hardly any baking). Just grab these on your next grocery run:

Ingredients

  • 24 Golden Oreos
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 5 cups strawberry ice cream
  • 8-ounce tub of whipped topping

For the topping:

Step 1: Make Your Cookie Crust

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The foundation of this dessert is a nice cookie crust. To make the crust, crumble about 24 Golden Oreos. You can use a food processor to get nice fine crumbs or break out the rolling pin and zip-top bag. You can also use graham crackers, shortbread cookies or vanilla wafers (here are some great ways to use up a box) here if you prefer.

When you’ve got nice crumbs—somewhere between a powder and coarse crumbles—you can stir them together with your melted butter. Press into an 8×8″ pan lined with parchment. Pop this into a 350ºF oven for about 20 minutes. Once baked, let it come to room temperature.

Step 2: Make the Strawberry-Cookie Crunch

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While you have the food processor (or rolling pin) out, you’ll want to make the crumble that coats the outside of the cake. Start by crumbling the Oreos. You can leave them fairly coarse so you can have a nice crunchy outside. Remove them from the food processor and set them aside.

Then process the freeze-dried strawberries. I recommend crumbling them up separately from the cookies because they will turn the whole batch dark pink. The taste will be the same, but by separating them at this stage you’ll get a more impactful two-tone effect later.

When you’re ready to use the cookie-berry crunch, toss them together lightly.

Pro tip: New to freeze-dried strawberries? Me too! They sound kind of space age but are fairly easy to find these days. I got mine at Target, but they’re also available at Trader Joe’s, Aldi, some dollar stores and grocers. A freeze-dried berry has all the water removed leaving behind a super crunchy and super flavorful treat. They almost have the texture of sponge candy (another one of my faves).

Step 3: Laying Down the First Layer of Ice Cream

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To make the first layer of the strawberry shortcake ice cream cake, you’ll want to grab your favorite vanilla ice cream—this is our Test Kitchen’s favorite brand. Allow it to sit out for a bit on the counter so it’s easy to spread. When it’s soft, but not runny, spread a nice even layer across the graham crackers. Be careful so you don’t mess up your nice crust. Then pop it in the freezer to get nice and firm, about an hour.

Step 4: Spreading the Strawberry Ice Cream

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Repeat step three with the strawberry ice cream. If you’d like, stir in a few extra freeze-dried berries (a handful will do). This will give you a bit more color and flavor. When you’re satisfied with this layer, freeze it. An hour should do the trick.

Step 5: Topping It All Off

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With the ice cream layers nice and firm, you can remove the 8×8 pan from the freezer. Layer on some whipped topping. Use as much or as little as you like. Pop this in the freezer one more time. It’s a lot of back and forth with the freezer, but this helps the layers really set up ensuring you get beautiful layers when it’s time to slice.

When it’s all chilled, sprinkle on a healthy dose of the cookie-strawberry crumble.

Serving Up the Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake

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You can serve this simple strawberry shortcake ice cream cake right in the pan if you’d like. I like to show off all my hard work, though, so use the parchment paper lining the pan to pull it right out. You might need to let the pan sit for a minute, but it should pull out easily (a thin spatula always helps, too).

The end result is crunchy yet creamy and pretty. It’s a really great way to serve up those ice cream truck flavors just a bit more elegantly—plus everyone loves homemade treats! If you to take homemade to the next level, learn how to make your own ice cream without a machine!

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.