Strawberries are the perfect fruit to use in summer-time desserts that are light and fresh. I’ve made this strawberry cheesecake layer cake (some also call it an ice box cake) many times now and it’s always a huge hit.
It’s because it has so many wonderful flavors in it: fresh, juicy strawberries that add the perfect pop of color, a cheesecake-flavored pudding layer, graham crackers, and a light layer of whipped cream on top. What makes this recipe extra special is that you don’t have to bake it to get the cheesecake flavor which makes is a great dessert to take to a pot luck or big family gathering.
The easiest way to make this is to use a 13×9 baking or pyrex pan and do a simple layer cake. This is perfect for your office or church potluck. It transports easily and can be cut into squares.
The first step is to slice all of the strawberries. Cut the green off and then slice into thin segments. To make the slicing go quickly, I use an inexpensive strawberry slicer tool that my son bought me last year for my birthday. It works like a hard-boiled egg slicer, but is made specifically for strawberries. It has sharper blades than an egg slicer and cuts each strawberry into even slices.
Next you mix the ingredients (see recipe below) to make the cheesecake pudding mixture. Oh, this is so good I almost ate it all! Then you can start layering!
Line the bottom of the pan with graham crackers, and then layer the cheesecake mixture, add a layer of the sliced strawberries, another layer of cheesecake mixture …. then on top you put a layer of strawberries and top it with a layer of whipped cream. It’s that easy!
Another way to do this is to make individual cheesecakes in mini mason jars. Assemble the ingredients in the same order, but just in individual jars. To do this, just crush up the graham crackers in the jars.
Look at these little jars all in a row.
I think these are incredibly cute and make people feel special to have their own individual dessert. The pan version is perfect to bring to a potluck! Either way this recipe is a winner.
- 2 lbs. fresh strawberries (not frozen)
- 2 sleeves graham crackers
- 1 8-oz.box of cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 3.4-oz packages instant cheesecake flavored pudding
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1 12-ounce container whipped cream
- Clean and slice the strawberries, set aside.
- Line bottom of 13x9 baking dish with a layer of graham crackers. You may need to break some crackers to fill the bottom of the pan.
- Combine cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in mixing bowl, mix until smooth.
- Add both pudding mixes and milk and mix together on low speed until mixture thickens (2-5 minutes).
- Gently fold in half of the container of whipped cream. Fold until color of the pudding mixture is the same and you don't see white streaks from the whipped cream.
- Pour half of the cream cheese mixture on top of the layer of graham crackers.
- Top with a layer of sliced strawberries.
- Add another layer of graham crackers.
- Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
- Just before serving, add the final layer of strawberries and whipped cream.
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