Once summer is in full swing, this No Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake shows up a lot at our house. Our weekends are usually busy visiting family and friends and they all love whenever we show up with this cool and creamy dessert. It reminds me of the classic Strawberry Shortcake with a creamy cheesecake filling.
3 1/2 cups freshly whipped cream divided (or can use 3 1/2 cups of your favorite whipped topping like Cool Whip)
**one 3.4 ounce package cheesecake pudding can also use vanilla pudding or beat in one 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese minus the milk
2 cups cold milk to make the pudding - omit if using cream cheese option
12 graham crackers
2 1/2 cups mixture of fresh sliced strawberries divided leaving the prettiest slices for the top
crushed graham cracker crumbs
drizzle of chocolate
powdered sugar for dusting
To make freshly whipped cream: With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 2 cups of heavy cream until it just holds soft peaks. Add 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and whip to combine until stiff peaks hold. Do not overmix. Set aside 1/2 cup whipped cream for topping.
In a separate large bowl, make the pudding according to package directions using the 2 cups of cold milk. Allow 5 minutes to thicken. Once thickened, fold in the 3 cups of whipped cream.