There's always room for dessert in our recipe repertoire (and bellies), and this matcha strawberry icebox cake is the perfect addition. Courtesy of Tasting Table recipe developer , this no-bake chilled cake offers an enticing layered result that will have you coming back for seconds. Graham crackers pair with matcha cream and sliced strawberries for a fruity and subtly earthy treat. If you're looking for a new concoction to serve to your dinner guests, you can't go wrong with this icebox cake.
Although this cake offers novel flavors and combinations you may not find in the dessert section at your local grocery store, Hoffman remarks, "Matcha and strawberry is a classic Japanese flavor combination, and an icebox cake is a great playground for these ingredients to mingle." She raves, "I love the juicy, bright strawberries, tangy cream cheese, and earthy matcha," and adds, "This icebox cake is oh-so-simple, requiring just seven ingredients and 30 to 40 minutes of hands-on time." The final whipped cream and strawberry garnish goes on once you're ready to serve, but the rest can even be made the day before. Talk about stress-free hosting!
Start by bringing a pack of cream cheese to from temperature. Next, you'll need powdered sugar, , vanilla extract, , , and fresh strawberries (⅕-inch slices). That's all!
Place a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper in a loaf tin, letting a few inches overhang on the sides. If you're using plastic wrap, Hoffman recommends lightly wetting the inside of your loaf pan to help the lining stick.
Next, add the cream cheese to a large bowl and beat it on low speed with a hand mixer until it is smooth. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar, matcha powder, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix the contents until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture is uniform with no streaks. Finally, pour 1 cup of heavy cream into the bowl and beat until the contents are smooth and fluffy.
To assemble the cake, start by evenly spreading about ½ cup of the matcha cream mixture across the bottom of the lined loaf pan. Next, scatter a layer of sliced strawberries over top, then layer the graham crackers. Break the crackers as needed so they cover the entire surface. Repeat the process, starting with a layer of matcha cream followed by sliced strawberries and graham crackers. Finish it off with a final layer of matcha cream on top.
Use the plastic or parchment paper overhang to cover the top of the cake. Transfer the loaf pan to the fridge to chill for 5 hours or overnight. While you can get even more of a head start, Hoffman notes, "This icebox cake can keep in the fridge for about 48 hours, but the texture is best within 24 hours. After 48 hours, the graham crackers absorb too much moisture and become overly mushy rather than soft and cake-like."
Another option Hoffman suggests is to freeze it "for a couple of hours before serving to allow for nice clean cuts." However, she points out, "I wouldn't recommend freezing it solid for several days because the texture of the strawberries may become mushy after thawing."
When you're almost ready to serve it, make the whipped cream topping. Beat together ½ cup of heavy cream, ¼ cup of powdered sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
Remove the cake from the fridge and peel off the plastic layer. Carefully flip the it onto a plate and remove the rest of the plastic wrap. Spread whipped cream over the surface of the cake and finish by garnishing the top with fresh strawberries.
Slice the cake and serve it immediately while it's still chilled. "This shareable dessert is great for feeding a crowd," Hoffman notes. "This icebox cake is perfect for those days when it's too hot to turn on the oven, or when you don't have time to wait for cake layers to cool — but still want the communal fun of a cake!"