Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake
Also known as: The Easiest Summertime Cake Ever. No creaming, no chopping, no oven. This Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake is made with simply a pile of lemony whipped cream, some fresh-off-the-vine raspberries, and graham crackers. And that’s it!
I guess I just launched right into this one, didn’t I? No lulling summery intro, no stories of potlucks and family fun. Just: Here! An icebox cake! Eat it, you fools!
I guess I could slow down. I apologize. My world is weirdly wavy right now. I wish I had some exciting reason why, but mostly it’s because I’m getting over the last vestiges of a doozy of a summer virus (so annoying) and my brain and body aren’t quite back up to snuff. Which apparently causes me to launch right into things without so much as a hello. Please pardon my rudeness. Here, have a slice of cake as a peace offering. I promise it doesn’t have cooties.
So! Icebox cakes! I’ve been hearing about them for awhile now, but this recipe is the first time I’ve delved into this particular dessert – both tasting-wise and making-wise. A crime, right? In a nutshell, icebox cakes are made with cookies or graham crackers, whipped cream or other whipped topping, usually some sort of fruit, and/or maybe some chocolate. Some folks will add candies, sauces, or puddings, even. You layer it – sort of like a no-bake, sweet lasagna, except way easier – and then you refrigerate it until the cookies get, for lack of a better word, soggy. But stay with me! Because it’s a glorious sog!
Oh, this is not at all turning out like I wanted it to. The truth is, I wasn’t totally sure about these cakes because they sort of did make me think of soggy cookies and I thought, oh, that doesn’t sound very good at all. But then I tried it and basically, the cookies transform into cake-like goodness, and all is right with the world. Not a sog in sight. Just cakiness. Good cakiness. Really.
I decided to make the simplest of icebox cakes, because that’s me – simple. Okay, and a little lazy, especially right now.
Homemade whipped cream sweetened with sugar and subtly flavored with fresh lemon – both zest and juice. Juicy, peak-of-season raspberries. And graham crackers out of the box, because, well, let’s be honest. I just wasn’t going to make those myself (though it did cross my mind)!
You whip the cream, layer with the graham crackers and fruit, and plop here and there with raspberries. Cover it with plastic wrap, refrigerate that sucker, and pull it out a few hours later. Icebox cake, my friends! Totally worth launching into. Both figuratively and literally.
Oh, and ignore the particularly artfully-placed raspberries in the back, there. My two-year-old “helped.” 🙂
Raspberry Lemon Icebox Cake
Icebox cake is already easy, but this one is the easiest! Lemony whipped cream and fresh raspberries layered with graham crackers and chilled until perfect - it's the quintessential no-bake summer dessert.
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 2 medium lemons)
- 3 sleeves graham crackers (8 double crackers each)
- 1 pound fresh raspberries
- Add whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or add to a large bowl and use the whisk attachments on a hand blender. Or whisk by hand, if you're feeling up to it! Whip cream on medium speed until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and lemon juice and continue whipping until soft peaks form. Don't whip until very stiff; it makes the cake too difficult to assemble! With a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the lemon zest.
- Smear a little whipped cream on the bottom of a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. This will help to hold the first layer of graham crackers in place. Lay a single layer of graham crackers over the whipped cream, breaking a few apart if necessary to make them fit. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the graham crackers and smooth. Top with 1/3 of the raspberries - if they're large ones, I like to break them in half first. Top with another layer of graham crackers, another 1/3 of the whipped cream, and another 1/3 of the raspberries. Then add the remaining graham crackers and spread on the last of the whipped cream. Top decoratively with remaining raspberries.
- Carefully cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 36 hours.
- Remove from fridge, cut into squares, and serve.