This no-bake lemon berry icebox cake uses simple ingredients, and you can make it ahead of time. The perfect cool and refreshing summer dessert!
Nothing says summer time like fresh berries and a chilled dessert! So when I was trying to come up with a beautiful and light dessert that I could serve at a recent backyard party, I immediately turned to the classic combination of cake, berries, pudding, and whipped cream.
And the fact that I could make this easy no-bake dessert the day before my party was a bonus!
Think of this berry and lemon cake recipe as a trifle alternative… It has many of the same ingredients as the popular trifle summer desserts, only it’s made in a loaf pan and frozen ahead of time.
Not to mention, this lemon icebox cake with fresh berries and store-bought pound cake is a show-stopper right:
How to Make Lemon Berry Icebox Cake
This lemon berry icebox cake is super simple to make, so it’s the perfect summer dessert for your next backyard party! Just layer together the ingredients and stick this beautiful cake in the freezer. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Prep your ingredients.
One of the great things about this icebox cake is that it calls for simple ingredients that are easy to find, and you can easily substitute your favorite variety of jam or a different flavor of pudding. For my lemon berry icebox cake, I used:
- 1 Sara Lee’s frozen pound cake – But you can substitute any store-bought loaf style pound cake
- 1 package instant lemon pudding mix
- 2 cups milk – Needed to prepare the pudding
- 2 cups whipped cream
- ½ cup berry flavored preserves or jam of your choice – I used a combination of wild blueberry and raspberry preserves.
- 12 oz of fresh or frozen berries – I used fresh raspberries and blueberries for the inner layers of my icebox cake, and I added some blackberries to the mix for the pretty topping.
Once you’ve got your ingredients together, first make the lemon pudding according to package instructions so that it can start setting up in the fridge.
Then, while your pudding is setting up, you can prep the pound cake loaf by slicing it into three layers of equal thickness like this:
When your pudding has fully set, you can start layering your lemon berry icebox dessert!
Step 2: Prepare your loaf pan.
Before you can start layering your ingredients into a beautiful summery stacked dessert, you need to prepare the loaf pan.
Line a bread loaf pan with enough plastic wrap to extend completely over the sides of the pan. This will help you remove the cake from the pan when you take it out of the freezer, so don’t skimp on the plastic wrap. You may need to use two sheets and cross them one over the other like a plus sign.
Once your pan is lined with plastic wrap, it’s time to build your lemon berry icebox cake.
Step 3: Layer the lemon berry icebox cake ingredients in the loaf pan and freeze.
Next, layer the ingredients of your icebox cake into the plastic wrap lined loaf pan. Place one slice of the pound cake in the bottom of your loaf pan to start. Then, spread half of the lemon pudding over the pound cake, followed by half of the berry preserves or jam, then about a third of the berries.
Top the berries with about a third of the whipped cream, and then repeat the layering steps. Finish by topping with the final slice of pound cake.
Fold the hanging plastic wrap over the top of your icebox cake and then freeze for a minimum of 12 hours or overnight.
Step 4: Remove from the freezer beforehand and slice to serve.
About an hour before you’re ready to serve your icebox cake, take it out of the freezer and transfer it to your serving platter. This allows the berries, pudding, and cake to soften up a bit instead of serving the cake completely frozen. (When I made this no-bake summer dessert the first time, I served it frozen, but I found the taste and texture to be much better when the cake had a chance to thaw a bit, so I recommend removing it from the freezer in advance).
To transfer the cake to a serving platter, unwrap the top of the cake and use the hanging sides of the plastic wrap to gently start pulling the cake out of your bread loaf pan. Place your serving plate upside down over top of the cake, and then carefully invert the cake onto the platter.
Remove the plastic wrap and spread the reserved whipped cream on top of the lemon berry icebox cake. Top with some more fresh berries for a pretty garnish, or you could also add some thinly sliced fresh lemon, swirls of lemon peel, or grated lemon zest.
When you’re slicing the icebox cake to serve it, it may help to run your knife under warm water to help cut through the cake. And you can top with an extra dollop of whipped topping if you wish!
This dessert is so pretty, don’t you think:
FAQ’s about this Berry Icebox Cake Recipe
Have questions… I’ve got answers! And if you have any other comments or questions about this lemon icebox cake, just drop them in the comments section at the end of this post!
Can I swap out the berries in this icebox cake?
Absolutely! I used a combination of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries for this lemon berry icebox cake, but feel free to experiment with other berries or fruits as well. Sliced strawberries, peaches, or even cherries would be a great addition, especially if you change the pudding flavor to vanilla!
I’m having problems removing the icebox cake from the loaf pan… Can you help?
If you find that it’s difficult to remove your icebox cake from the bread loaf pan, you can gently run lukewarm or warm water over the sides and bottom of the loaf pan for a few seconds to allow the cake to pull away from the insides of the pan. Just be careful to not get water in your actual icebox cake!
What if I can’t find a loaf-shaped pound cake?
If you can’t find the Sara Lee pound cake that I used in the freezer section of your grocery store, then you can also use store-bought fresh pound cake from the bakery section. If your pound cake is in a round bundt shape instead, just cut it into slices of equal thickness and piece them together in your loaf pan (kind of like a yummy dessert Tetris!).
Berry Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe
Want to print this easy no-bake summer dessert recipe to file away for the next time you need a beautiful and light party dessert? Just print the recipe card below:
- 1 loaf pound cake (like Sara Lee’s frozen pound cake)
- 1 package instant lemon pudding mix - 3.4 oz box size
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups whipped topping (Cool Whip)
- ½ cup berry flavored preserves or jam of your choice
- 12 oz (1.5 cups) fresh or frozen berries
- Prepare the lemon pudding according to package instructions. Allow it to set in the fridge before building the icebox cake.
- Line a loaf pan with enough plastic wrap to extend completely over the sides of the pan. You may need to overlap two sheets of plastic wrap in a plus sign shape to cover the pan. Set the pan aside.
- Slice the pound cake into three layers of equal thickness.
- Place one slice of pound cake in the bottom of the plastic-lined loaf pan.
- Spread 1/2 of the prepared lemon pudding evenly over the pound cake.
- Spread 1/2 of the berry preserves or jam over the pudding.
- Scatter about 1/3 of the berries over the preserves.
- Top with another slice of pound cake, and repeat steps 5-7. Finish by topping with the final slice of pound cake. Refrigerate the remaining whipped cream and berries until you're ready to serve the cake.
- Fold the hanging plastic wrap over the icebox cake and then freeze for a minimum of 12 hours or overnight.
- About an hour before serving, remove the cake from the freezer. Unwrap the top of the cake and use the sides of the plastic wrap to gently pull the cake out of the loaf pan.
- Invert the cake onto a platter, then remove the plastic wrap.
- Let the cake thaw for about an hour, then spread the remaining whipped cream on top, and top with the remaining berries.
- Slice and serve.
If you find that it’s difficult to remove your icebox cake from the bread loaf pan, you can gently run lukewarm or warm water over the sides and bottom of the loaf pan for a few seconds to allow the cake to pull away from the insides of the pan.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 503Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 82gFiber: 12gSugar: 51gProtein: 9g
And be sure to check out some other awesome summer dessert ideas below:
- Blueberry Peach Cobbler Dump Cake – This is one of my favorite summer dessert recipes, and it’s SUPER easy to make! Just “dump” all of the ingredients in a baking dish for a dump cake that is very similar to a cobbler!
- Mama’s Blue Ribbon Chocolate Sheet Cake – This is my Mom’s recipe… She actually won a blue ribbon at the fair when she made this as a little girl! Similar to a Texas Sheet Cake, this chocolate cake has a pourable frosting that hardens nicely, so you can cut it into small squares perfect for picnics or your party dessert table!
- Or check out more icebox cake ideas here!