This icebox cake is cool and refreshing with its layers of softened graham crackers, luscious cream filling, and fresh berries. It’s easy to make, there is no baking, and it can be made in advance. It’s a perfect summer treat and a great way to celebrate the 4th of July! A 4th of July icebox cake on a wooden board with a white plate, napkin and two forks beside it.

With the 4th of July coming up, I thought I would salute my American friends, family, and followers with a festive and patriotic dessert. So something red, white and blue to celebrate the nation’s independence. I also wanted to make something cold and summery to celebrate the season. A lovely icebox cake dressed with blueberries and strawberries seemed to fit all the criteria. A 4th of July icebox cake with a slice on a white plate in the corner.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • No-bake dessert – There is no need to turn on your oven during the summer heat with this recipe. Just assemble and let the cake set in the fridge.
  • Make-ahead recipe – You can make this cake 4 hours in advance or the day before, so it gives you plenty of time to prepare for and enjoy the party.
  • Tastes amazing and can feed a crowd – This 4th of July icebox cake tastes like a fancy torte or 3-tier fruit-filled cream cake, but it’s so much easier to make. The flavor in this cake is nutty from the graham crackers, creamy from the filling and slightly tart from the fresh berries. It’s not too sweet and best served cold. It’s an easy make-ahead dessert, yet it’s impressive and can feed a crowd.
  • Here are some reviews:

“I made this yesterday with some berries I had picked with my boys. We all loved it. Not overly sweet, so it’s easy to eat. I love that it’s nice and cold from the fridge, just the thing you want on a hot July day. And she’s right, the mix of the sweet cream with the tart berries is the perfect combo.” – Sara

“Made this for the 4th of July picnic and everyone loved it.  It’s hard to stop eating it if the pan is in front of you.” – Steven

How to make this no-bake 4th of July dessert:

(the ingredient amounts are listed in the printable recipe card further below)

how to make 4th of July icebox cake steps 1-4

  1. You start by beating the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  2. Then you combine a block of cream cheese with the instant vanilla pudding mix.
  3. Slowly mix in the milk.
  4. Fold in the whipped cream until the mixture is combined.
  5. In a 9×13″ pan, spread a thin layer of cream on the bottom and layer some graham crackers on top.
  6. Spread 1/3 of the cream mixture on top of the crackers followed by a cup of blueberries.
  7. Repeat for another layer with strawberries.
  8. Then finish the last layer with the remaining crackers, cream, and berries. Chill for 4 hours or overnight and let the fridge do its magic.

how to make 4th of July icebox cake steps 5-8 While the cake chills in the fridge, the graham crackers soften into a tender cake-like layer. Even the berries get more flavorful and softened by the cream as well. It’s like a marriage of all the flavors and textures between all the layers. There is a tanginess from the cream cheese in the filling and a rich vanilla flavor from the pudding mix. The whipped cream adds a light-airy texture to the filling. The overall dessert is cool, creamy and not too sweet.

Expert tips:

  • Make sure the cream cheese is softened – Take your cream cheese out 1 hour before you plan to start to ensure that it’s softened. This will make it much easier to mix with the other ingredients, especially the milk.
  • Add the milk slowly and gradually –  Adding the milk a little at a time and mix in between will prevent a lumpy cream mixture. But not to worry of your cream mixture does get lumpy during the process, just keep mixing and it will become smooth.


  • Why is it called an icebox cake? This style of cake was created back in the 1920s before refrigerators were invented and most homes were equipped with iceboxes. The name stems from the fact that an icebox was used to set the cake instead of an oven. (source: Baking Bites)
  • Can you freeze this icebox cake? No, because the texture of the fresh fruit in the cake will change once frozen.
  • How long does this icebox cake last? This icebox cake will last 2-3 day covered and stored in the fridge.

A slice of 4th of July icebox cake on a white plate with a fork infront.

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Did you make this recipe? Please kindly leave a comment with your star rating below.

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4th of July Icebox Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 25 reviews
  • Author: Lily Ernst
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 12-16
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: no-bake
  • Cuisine: American


This icebox cake is cool and refreshing with its layers of softened graham crackers, luscious cream filling and fresh berries.


  • 1 box (400g) graham crackers
  • 1 pkg (250g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 pkgs (102g each or 3.4oz each) INSTANT vanilla pudding mix (see notes*)
  • 2 & 1/2 cups (625ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (188ml) heavy cream
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups blueberries


  1. In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer; beat the heavy cream until stiff. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and the dry pudding mix until combined. Slowly and gradually beat in the milk until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the cream mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish. Layer the graham crackers on top. Spread 1/3 of the cream onto the crackers. Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the cream.
  4. Repeat with another layer of crackers, cream, and half of the strawberries.
  5. Repeat with a final layer of crackers and the remaining cream. Decorate with the rest of the berries. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight. Serve cold.


Leftovers can be covered and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.

*The vanilla pudding mix gives the cream filling a slight yellow tinge. If you want the cake to be pure white, you can use white chocolate pudding mix or add an extra layer of whipped cream or cool whip on top before adding the final layer of berries.

Recipe adapted from Cakescottage.