This 4th of July icebox cake is quick and easy to whip up for your 4th of July celebration! This no bake, make ahead dessert is made with layers of sweet whipped cream cheese and pre-made cookies.
When I was growing up, my mom used to make the same dessert every 4th of July. It was called “star spangled pie”. Basically it was cookies crunched up and mixed with a whipped cream cheese mixture and spread into a graham cracker crust. To finish it off, she added a bunch of rainbow sprinkles to the top.
It was so fun, festive and delicious!
I wanted to make a version of that easy dessert, but instead of a pie, I make a star spangled cake! Its the easiest cake you can make! No baking, and it can be made ahead of time so you have less food prep to do on the 4th!
Basically, its made from layers of crunchy pre-made cookies, layered with a fluffy and tangy whipped cream and cream cheese mixture. And of course, I top it off with festive sprinkles to give it extra flare!
My family asks for it every year, and I’m glad I get to carry on a tradition from my childhood, but at the same time putting my own twist on it.
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Why You’ll Like This Recipe:
- quick to make – it takes 15 minutes to assemble this cake!
- can be made ahead of time – this cake needs to sit in the fridge at least 4 hours. But you can make it a day or two in advance.
- can be made gluten free – to make this recipe gluten free, just use your favorite gluten free cookies for the cookie part of the cake
- its light and not a heavy dessert – you can have a big slice and not feel too full afterward.
What You Need To Make a 4th of july icebox cake
- cookies – I find that crunchy cookies work best in this recipe since they add more texture to the cake. Red, white and blue m&m cookies are the most festive option for the 4th of July, but you can use any cookies you like.
- cream cheese – cream cheese is the main ingredient in the whipped layer that goes between the layers of cookies. Softened whipped cream cheese gives this cake a delicious tangy flavor that is not too sweet.
- heavy whipping cream – heavy whipping cream is mixed with the cream cheese and helps it hold its shape in the cake.
- sour cream – to lighten up the cream cheese mixture.
- sugar – white granulated sugar to sweeten the whipped cream cheese.
- lemon juice – for an extra tanginess that balances the flavor of the sweet cream layers.
- stand mixer or a handheld beaters and a bowl – to whip the cream cheese layer into stiff peaks.
- spatula – to scrape down the bowl.
- 8 inch springform pan – this cake has to be made in a springform pan so that the layers can chill in a cake shape. After 4 hours, the outer rim of the pan can be taken off so that you can see all of the layers when its served.
- piping bag and large star tip – for decorating the top of the cake with a decorative piped edge. You can leave this part off if you want.
How To make a 4th of july icebox cake:
Mix – Use a hand held or stand mixer to beat the softened cream cheese, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until it is completely smooth.
Add in the sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract, beating until combined.
Lastly, add the heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup of the sprinkles and beat on high until the mixture is stiff and doesn’t move when the beaters are lifted up.
Assemble – Start by creating a single layer of cookies on the bottom of a spring form pan. Break some pieces of cookies to fill in any big cracks.
Next, smooth a layer of the whipped cream mixture on top of the cookie layer.
Repeat these four layers until you have four layers of cookies and whipped cream mixture.
Decorate – Using a large cake decorating piping bag and large star tip, decorate the top edges of the cake. Sprinkle with the remaining sprinkles.
To Serve – Run a butter knife around the edges of the cake before removing the sides of the springform pan. Serve cold.
To Store – Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Variations – Any kind of cookies will work for this recipe. I find that crunchy cookies work better since the cake holds together better with crunchy than soft.
FAQ About This 4th of july icebox cake recipe:
can you make this icebox cake gluten free?
Yes! This is the easiest gluten free cake ever! All you have to do is use your favorite brand of gluten free cookies as the cookie layers of the cake. No baking involved!
how long will this 4th of July Icebox Cake cake last in the fridge?
This cake tastes extra good the second day after making it because the cookie layers soak in the delicious flavor of the whipped cream cheese layers.
The cake lasts up to a week in the fridge in an airtight cake saver container.
More Dessert Recipes You Might Like to try:
If you liked this recipe, I think you’ll really enjoy these other treats on the blog!
- Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
- Healthy Berry Jello
- Homemade Strawberry Marshmallows
- Rice Crispy Treats Sweetened With Dates
- Homemade Honey Lollipops
I hope you love this recipe for 4th of July icebox cake! If you make it, I’d love for you to come back and leave a comment and rating so that I know how you like it!
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