Strawberries and Custard Icebox Cake

Strawberries and Cream Icebox Cake


  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk

vanilla bean custard:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

strawberry filling:

  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • whipped cream
  • fresh strawberries

Bake the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the paper as well.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, cream cheese and butter on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Beat in the eggs and the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour, mixing just until moistened.

Divide batter between the pans and bake for 28-30 minutes, until the center springs back when gently touched and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cover the pans loosely with clean kitchen towels and cool completely on wire racks.

Make the Custard:

In a saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla bean seeds or paste, sugar and cornstarch.  Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks to break them up.  When the milk mixture begins to bubble around the edges, slowly stream about a cup of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking them constantly to temper them.  Scrape the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan.

Whisking constantly, bring the custard to a boil over medium heat, then cook for 1-2 minutes until thickened.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, right against the surface of the custard.  Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Note, to speed up the chilling process, you can place the bowl of custard in a larger bowl filled with ice water, and whisk the custard to bring the temperature down more quickly.

Make the Strawberry Filling:

In a saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, corn starch, lemon juice and water.  Simmer over medium low heat, mashing the berries a little, for about 15 minutes.  When the berries are very juicy, increase the heat to medium.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened like jam.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Cover and chill thoroughly.


Remove the cooled cakes from the pans and peel off the parchment paper.  Using a sharp knife, slice the cakes into several thin layers - the more layers the better. (I sliced each cake into 3 layers, for a total of 9 thin layers).

Place a layer of cake on a cake board or serving pedestal.  Spread with a thin layer of the chilled vanilla custard, right to the edge of the cake.  Place another layer of cake on top and spread that one with a thin layer of the strawberry filling.  Repeat with the rest of the cake layers, custard and strawberry filling, alternating the custard and strawberry filling with each layer.

Cover and chill the cake for 1-2 hours, so that the cake absorbs the moisture of the custard and strawberry filling.

Garnish and Serve:

Before serving, garnish with freshly whipped cream and strawberries.  If you have any leftover custard or strawberry filling, serve that on the side.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen