These Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars are a grownup, homemade version of a favorite ice cream truck treat! An easy recipe with fresh strawberries and layers of bourbon vanilla ice cream and strawberry ice cream made from scratch.
Every time I make these homemade Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars, I can practically hear the tune of the ice cream truck echoing through my kitchen. These deliciously layered ice cream treats instantly make me think of summer! As a kid, getting a strawberry ice cream bar was the ultimate reward for a day well spent in the sun. Now, I make them at home as a sweet nostalgic treat.
What Are Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars?
This is a homemade version of the classic Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars that come on a stick, often found at ice cream trucks. I’ve ditched the stick with this recipe, as they’re easier to make without it! I also make mine with a boozy bourbon vanilla ice cream instead of plain vanilla (perks of adulthood).
Because homemade ice cream tends to melt quickly, the boozy ice cream bars in this recipe are actually easiest to eat with a spoon.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make your homemade strawberry shortcake ice cream bars. I’ve included full amounts for each ingredient in the recipe card further down.
- Golden Oreo Cookies – Or a similar generic brand of vanilla sandwich cookies. You’ll crush these for the topping and the cookie crust.
- Butter – You’ll combine softened, melted butter with the crushed cookies to make the crust and topping.
- Vanilla Ice Cream – I make these bars with homemade bourbon vanilla ice cream recipe. You can use your favorite store bought brand of regular vanilla ice cream instead if you prefer.
- Strawberries – Fresh strawberries, thinly sliced.
- Strawberry Ice Cream – I used this no churn strawberry ice cream, but you can use store bought here as well.
- Freeze Dried Strawberries – These are crushed up and used in the topping, giving the bars a beautiful burst of flavor and color.
Do I Have to Use the Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream?
If you don’t want to have any bourbon in your ice cream bars, or would prefer to skip making ice cream from scratch, you can definitely swap both the vanilla and strawberry ice creams for your favorite store bought brand.
Just make sure you let the ice cream soften a bit before attempting to assemble the bars. Homemade ice cream also needs some softening time, but because store bought ice cream doesn’t melt as quickly as homemade, you’ll need to give it a bit of extra time.
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars
Here are the steps to assemble your very own creamy strawberry ice cream bars.
Prep your tools. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving at least an inch or so overhanging on each side.
Make the crust. Pulse the Golden Oreos in a food processor until you reach a fine crumb, then combine the crumbs in a bowl with melted butter. Press your crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and then leave it to chill until set.
Make the topping. Crush the remaining cookies into medium-sized chunks. I like to use a freezer bag and a rolling pin. Next, mix the cookie crumbles together with a spoonful of melted butter and give the bag a shake. Add in the crumbled freeze dried strawberries and give the bag a final shake to combine.
Soften the vanilla cream. Take your vanilla ice cream out of the freezer and leave it on the counter to soften to a spreadable consistency.
Begin assembling the bars. Get out your prepared pan with the cookie crust. Scoop about two cups of vanilla ice cream onto the crust, and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the whole pan. Pop this first layer into the freezer to set while you soften the ice cream for the next layer.
Soften the strawberry ice cream. Take the strawberry ice cream out of the freezer to soften.
Add the strawberry ice cream layer to the bars. Take the pan out of the freezer again, and this time spread two cups of strawberry ice cream over the vanilla layer. Top this with a layer of fresh strawberry slices, and then return the pan to the freezer.
Add the final vanilla ice cream layer and toppings. Once the strawberry layer is frozen, spread a final layer of vanilla over the pan, then top everything off with your cookie mixture.
Freeze. Return the bars to the freezer. Aim to let them freeze for a minimum of four hours, or overnight.
Serve. Take the bars out of the freezer, and use the parchment paper to lift the slab out of the pan. Cut the slab into equal-sized bars and serve right away. Don’t forget to return any uneaten bars back to the freezer ASAP!
Tips for Success
These strawberry shortcake ice cream bars are super easy to make, but a few tips never hurt!
- Find ice cream with fresh strawberries. I love making the strawberry ice cream for these bars myself because I know it’s going to be choc full of fresh strawberries. If you’re using store bought, I highly recommend finding an ice cream that’s also made with fresh berries! The flavor is second to none.
- Use chocolate Oreos instead. Feel free to change it up if you’d prefer to use chocolate sandwich cookies instead of vanilla cookies for the topping and crust.
- Eat these with a spoon or fork. As mentioned earlier, these homemade strawberry shortcake ice cream bars tend to melt quickly. A fork or spoon is your best bet when serving!
How to Store
Once the bars have been cut, lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet to freeze solid. Then transfer the bars to an airtight, freezer safe container to store for up to 1 month.Print
Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars
These Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars are a grownup, homemade version of a favorite ice cream treat! Made with fresh strawberries and no churn ice cream made from scratch – plus a flavorful dash of bourbon.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Chilling Time: 5 hours
- Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 16 servings
- Category: Ice Cream
- Method: Freeze
- Cuisine: American
For the Crust and Bars
- 20 Golden Oreo Cookies
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 cups vanilla ice cream or bourbon vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 cups strawberry ice cream
- 10 Golden Oreo Cookies, crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 4 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries, crushed
Prep your tools. In an 8×8 inch baking dish, place a layer of parchment paper on the bottom. Be sure to leave an overhang for easy removal later.
Make the crust. In a food processor, add 20 cookies and pulse until a fine crumb mixture is achieved. Pour into a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix until fully combined. Press into the bottom of the lined pan and freeze for 20 minutes, or until the cookie crust has set.
Make the topping. Place the remaining cookies in a large plastic storage bag and close. With a rolling pin or weighted utensil, gently roll over to crush the cookies into medium sized crumbles. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted butter and mix to combine. Add in the freeze dried strawberry powder and seal the bag again. Shake to fully combine and then set aside until after you assemble the bars.
Soften the vanilla cream. Remove your vanilla ice cream from the freezer and allow it to slightly soften for 15 minutes.
Begin assembling the bars. Remove your pan with the cookie crust from the freezer and place on a flat work surface. With a large scoop, place 2 cups of vanilla ice cream on top of the cookie crust. With the back of a large spoon, evenly spread the ice cream to cream a layer over the whole pan. Set in the freezer for an additional 20 minutes to set this layer.
Soften the strawberry ice cream. While the vanilla layer is freezing, remove your strawberry ice cream from the freezer to slightly thaw.
Add strawberry ice cream layer to the bars. Once the vanilla ice cream layer is frozen, add a layer of 2 cups strawberry ice cream using the same method. Add a layer of fresh strawberries on top of the strawberry ice cream. Place the pan into the freezer for an additional 10 minutes.
Add final vanilla ice cream layer and toppings. Remove from the freezer and add a final layer of 2 cups of vanilla ice cream on top. Sprinkle the top evenly with the cookie crumble mixture.
Freeze. Place back in the freezer to chill for four hours or overnight.
Serve. Once set, take out of the freezer and carefully use the parchment paper overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. Use a long sharp knife to cut into 16 equal bars. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers promptly back into the freezer.
Keywords: strawberry shortcake ice cream bar, ice cream truck desserts, bourbon desserts