Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Strawberry Crunch Icebox Cake

I have been seeing these pop up all over Pinterest, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Here is the original post if you'd like to check it out:

Strawberry Crunch Icebox Cake

Here is the link to the recipe (it is not on the original post):

Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe

1 box Nature Valley Granola Bars
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1  lemon
4 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups freshly chopped strawberries


Put the Nature Valley granola bars in a food processor and process until you achieve a course crumb. In a large bowl, add the crumbs, brown sugar, flour and melted butter and mix together. Then spread into an 8x8" pan that has been covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool. Then divide in half and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, combine eggs whites and sugar and mix on high. Add the heavy cream and continue mixing for another five minutes.  Continue to add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and softened cream cheese. Mix on low speed until incorporated.  Fold the fresh strawberries into the cream mixture.  In a buttered glass cake pan, press half of the crumb crust mixture on the bottom. Top with strawberry mix and then add the remaining crumbs to the top.  Cover and freeze for three hours or more and enjoy!

Cost for ingredients we did not have on hand:
Nature Valley Granola Bars: $2.98
Heavy Whipping Cream: $1.98
Total: $4.96

Total prep, mixing, and freezing time:
35 minutes + 5 hours to freeze

I did not chop the strawberries, instead I put them in the food processor so they were a little more squishy for me.  I think it worked awesome and took less time than hand chopping them. 

I also did not use parchment paper.  We have wax paper on hand and it does the same thing for this process as the parchment paper would have.  But, considering the crumbs stayed super crumbly I don't know that you'd need a liner at all.  Use one though - just in case!
Here are photos documenting the process:

Taste and evaluation:

This is a very light and summery flavored cake.  So refreshing that it is cold!  We ate it out of the freezer the first time, but after that we cut small pieces and put them in the fridge for about an hour to soften them up.  I liked the very subtle flavor the lemon added to the cake.  The amount of available crumb for the crust was almost a perfect fit.   

Though this cake was quite tasty I do have to point out that the crumbs did not solidify at all for me.  I'm not sure if more butter should be added to half of the mixture and the bottom layer be baked separate so that it hardens in to a crust or if there is another alternative.  The bottom for me stayed crumbly, which made a mess getting it out of the pan and usually meant that they weren't any left on the filling by the time it got to my mouth.  I would have preferred it to have been solid so when you take a bite with your fork it doesn't fall apart.  The crumbs on the top of the cake were great and seemed to be just the right consistency.  This is the only thing I would change when making it in the future.

I could see adding any kind of berry or fruit to this recipe.  I will try it later on (with a different bottom layer) and let you know how it turns out!

This recipe is so super easy I would let kids help.  It would be fun for them to break up the granola bars, stir in the strawberries and put it all together.   

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