Strawberry Icebox Cake with Maple-Ginger Cream

If you love strawberry shortcake, this inspired icebox dessert is for you. Buttery, rich shortbread cookies make an inspired (and easy) base for the cake, layered with plenty of sliced strawberries and a creamy filling with hints of spicy fresh ginger and sweet maple syrup. A topping of strawberries macerated in maple syrup adds a final burst of berry flavor.

Strawberry Icebox Cake
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Active Time:
15 mins
Refrigerate Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 45 mins
8 to 12 servings


  • 1 ½ pounds fresh strawberries, divided

  • 1 (8-ounce) container crème fraîche

  • ½ cup (about 2 ounces) unsifted powdered sugar

  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • ¼ cup, plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, divided

  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 3 (5.3-ounce) packages pure butter round shortbread cookies (such as Walker's Pure Butter Shortbread Rounds)


  1. Hull and thinly slice 1 pound of the strawberries (you'll have about 3 cups); set aside. Cut remaining 1/2 pound strawberries into mixed halved and quartered pieces (you'll have about 1 cup); set aside.

  2. Beat crème fraîche, powdered sugar, ginger, and 1/4 cup of the maple syrup in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until thickened, about 1 minute. Set aside.

  3. Beat whipping cream in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute, 30 seconds. Fold whipped cream into crème fraîche mixture. Spread about 1/2 cup whipped cream mixture evenly in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish.

  4. Place milk in a small bowl. Dip each cookie briefly into milk to coat, letting excess drip off; place dipped cookies on a plate. Arrange a single layer of cookies over whipped cream mixture in baking dish. Spread evenly with 1 heaping cup whipped cream mixture. Top evenly with half (about 1 1/2 cups) of the sliced strawberries. Layer with an additional single layer of cookies, 1 heaping cup whipped cream mixture, and remaining sliced strawberries. Layer with an additional single layer of remaining cookies, followed by remaining whipped cream mixture.

  5. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cake is set and cookies are softened, at least 8 hours (or up to 24 hours).

  6. Stir together halved and quartered strawberries and remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup in a small bowl. Let stand, stirring often, until berries begin to release juices, about 30 minutes. Spoon strawberry mixture over top of cake. Serve immediately.

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