This is perhaps one of the easiest desserts, and yet, it’s usually inaccessible to dairy-free sweets lovers. Luckily, a quick ingredient swap yields a dairy free icebox cake that everyone will love. Sarah whipped up a full cake recipe using one of the coconut whipped cream recipes from my book, Go Dairy Free. She also gave it some red, white and blueberry flair for the holidays!
Sarah’s version is perfect for parties or family barbecues, but I wanted something that you could scale up or down for smaller households, or that simply offers a fun single-serve dessert option. So I took her full recipe and made dairy free icebox cake jars!
Dairy free icebox cake jars are just as easy to make, and can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, allowing you to grab only as many as needed.
The coconut whipped cream you are making for either recipe version is very forgiving. With a dairy-free milk powder on hand you can thicken it easily if too soft, and you can adjust the powdered sugar up or down, to taste. If using ordinary grahams on a full cake, we usually go for it with the sugar. However, if I’m making cake jars with cookies, I use about half the sweetener.
That said, when I use So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk, I never have an issue with the whip being too soft. In fact, if you do add the milk powder, it becomes quite thick and holds its own.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy Free Icebox Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
For a strictly vegan icebox cake, it’s important to know that most graham crackers do contain a touch of honey. There are a few rogue honey-free brands out there, but you can also go the cake jar route and use Enjoy Life Crunchy Sugar Cookies.
- 2 cans or packages full-fat coconut milk (I use So Delicious Original Culinary Coconut Milk), chilled overnight
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup rice milk powder, soymilk powder or dairy-free coconut milk powder (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
- 8 ounces strawberries, sliced
- 6 ounces blueberries
- 11 to 12 whole dairy-free graham crackers (see post above for gluten-free and strict vegan)
- Skim the thick coconut cream from the chilled coconut milk (leaving any watery / pure liquid behind) and place it in a chilled mixing bowl. Add the sugar, dairy-free milk powder (if using), vanilla, and lemon juice, if using). Blend with a hand mixer to combine and lightly whip. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the rest.
- Spread a thin layer of the whipped coconut cream in the bottom of an 8 X 11-inch pan.
- Then cover with a layer of graham crackers, using smaller rectangles to fill in the edges as needed.
- Top the graham crackers with a single layer of strawberries and blueberries. Alternate the fruit in single-file, red and blue 'stripes', if making for the holidays.
- Spread half of the remaining coconut cream on top of the fruit, followed by another layer of graham crackers, and then the remaining coconut cream.
- Cover the cake and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight. Refrigerate the remaining strawberries and blueberries separately.
- Before serving the cake, decorate the top with the remaining strawberries and blueberries. Slice into squares and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers; they will keep for a couple of days.
Dairy-Free Milk Powder Note: If you have a very thick coconut whip without the milk powder, and you don't have any on hand, then this can be omitted. You may want to reduce the powdered sugar in half, and add more to taste, if desired.
Cake Jar Option: Layer as described above, but into single serve jars. I use Enjoy Life Crunchy cookies (which are round) instead of graham crackers, and trim the cookies with a knife if they are a little too big (will depend on your jar width).