This dessert is as delicious as it is stunning! Who doesn't love simple icebox cakes, right? Strawberries, cream, and dulce de leche come together in this unforgettable recipe. It's SO ridiculously easy to put together and such a crowd-pleaser, you might as well stand up for the applause.
You're only 5 ingredients away from a memorable dessert.
It's strawberry season for most of you and that means the oven is not the greatest ally right now. So, we put together this stunning no-bake dessert for you.
You're probably familiar with strawberries and cream paired with some type of cookie or pound cake. Well, we added dulce de leche to the mix and sent this up several notches. If you never tried this combination you're in for a fantastic surprise!
- Strawberries - fresh is the way to go here. Frozen berries will add too much water and turn mushy.
- Dulce de leche - you can buy it online and I will post my favorite brands in the recipe card Notes. Or, you can make your own milk jam from a can of condensed milk.
- Cream - you can use double, heavy, or whipping cream. Cream varies according to what country you're in, but using full-fat rarely fails. I use one that has between 42-44% fat content.
- Powdered sugar - it's used to sweeten the whipped cream.
- Cookies - I use vanilla cookies but graham crackers or chocolate wafers work really well too.
What is dulce de leche?
Dulce de leche is a sweet jam made with milk, sugar, and baking soda, the latter being accountable for its dark color.
The flavor is very sweet, similar to caramel but not quite. It does have a milk undertone, something that caramel lacks, and some might say it’s not as sophisticated, and they might be right. I’m a raving fan so my opinion is biased.
I'm linking my favorite brands in the recipe card Notes, below.
All you have to do here is layer ingredients. That's it. How's that for convenience and simplicity, huh?
The order in which the layers are stacked is key to making this dessert work.Vintage Kitchen Tip
So, I recommend using cookies as a way to separate the cream layers, while moistening them at the same time (images 1 and 2, above).
And adding only one thick layer of strawberries (image 3) and one thick layer of dulce de leche (image 4).
- Make-ahead: you can have the whipped cream made 2 hours in advance. Keep well covered in the refrigerator.
- Strawberries: for the top layer, cut them at the last minute for best results.
- Serving: you can make it as a no-bake cake like you see in the images here, or you can make it as a large or individual trifles in cups as we suggest with the very popular Lemon Icebox Dessert.
There are so many! Below you have my favorites.
- Peaches - sub them, fresh of course, for the strawberries. Nectarines work well too.
- Bananas - with or instead of the strawberries, it's a magic combination together with the dulce de leche.
- Cookies - use coconut cookies or even chocolate wafers.
- Cream - you can make chocolate whipped cream. It goes really well with strawberries.
- Zest - add some lime zest to the sugar before whipping the cream. It will add some acid that works very well with the rest of the ingredients.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- 1 cup cream (whipping, heavy or double)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 24 plain vanilla cookies or wafers (170g or 6oz)
- 1 ½ cups dulce de leche
- Have ready an 8 or 9-inch glass or ceramic dish.
- In a bowl beat cold cream with powdered sugar until medium peaks form. If making ahead reserve, covered, in the refrigerator.
- Wash, dry, stem, and dice ⅔ of the total amount of strawberries. Reserve.
- Put a thin layer of cream in the bottom of the pan.
- Add a layer of cookies, covering the bottom completely.
- Top with half the amount of remaining cream, spreading evenly.
- Now add the diced strawberries covering completely.
- Top them with the rest of the cookies.
- Add a layer of dulce de leche, using the total amount. You might need to be careful when spreading depending on the consistency as some are thicker than others.
- Top the dulce de leche with the rest of the cream.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Before serving, top with fresh strawberries.
- Serve cold.
- Keep covered in the refrigerator.
Make-ahead: I suggest making it 2 hours before serving so you give it time to come together in the fridge. It does last 1-2 days refrigerated, but the cookies soften a bit more every hour and the strawberries release more juice.
Sweetness: you can add 1-2 extra tablespoons of powdered sugar to the cream before whipping, but take into account that dulce de leche is very sweet.
- Prep Time: 30
- Refrigeration time: 90 minutes
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1/9
- Calories: 315
- Sugar: 38.1 g
- Sodium: 142.1 mg
- Fat: 11.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 49.2 g
- Protein: 5.1 g
- Cholesterol: 39.2 mg
Keywords: strawberry icebox cake