These homemade Strawberry Shortcake Ice cream bars are the perfect frozen summer dessert! Ultra creamy, perfectly tart & sweet, & bursting with strawberry flavor. You’d never guess this healthier take on the classic ice cream bar is gluten-free, vegan/dairy-free, and refined sugar-free!

A stack of healthy vegan strawberry shortcake ice cream bars.

I think most of us can agree the best part of summer days as kids, was when you’d hear that nostalgic sound coming down the block – the ice cream man. As a creature of habit, i’d always get the same thing. Every now and then i’d sway and get one of those cookies and creme bars or a fudge bar, but 98% of the time you’d see me with a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. The perfect treat for hanging by the pool. The good ol’ days :’)

I set out to create my own version. I wanted options for everyone – those who didn’t have a popsicle mold, those who wanted to make them as bars, or for those who only have a circular cake pan. There’s nothing worse than wanting to make a recipe and needing a special pan!

These bars are even better than the classic, in my opinion. When summer hits we all deserve a creamy, frozen dessert and these are just that – and bursting with strawberry flavor. They’re made with simple ingredients and you only need about 20 minutes to make them. If you love nostalgic frozen delights, try my Dairy Queen copycat homemade Dilly Bars!

Why you’ll love these homemade ice cream bars

  • No bake/no fuss – Although there are a few layers, these strawberry shortcake ice cream bars are incredibly easy to make and require no baking. The perfect frozen summer dessert!
  • They are vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free – These ice cream bars are much lower in sugar than the typical ice cream treat.
  • Packed full of strawberry flavor! These make the perfect spring/summer treat during strawberry season! They can be made with fresh or frozen strawberries.
  • They’re versatile! You can make them in popsicle molds (sans the crust), in a springform pan for a circle cake, or as bars!
  • A kid and toddler-friendly snack/treat!
A stack of healthy vegan strawberry shortcake ice cream bars.

Are strawberry shortcake ice cream bars healthy?

You guys know I’m always looking for a more wholesome option to my childhood favorites. Being gluten and dairy-free, it can be tough to find something that hits the spot like the classic. These are it! I’m all for treating yourself to the real deal every now and then but this is a great option for those who have dietary restrictions or just want a more wholesome option sometimes!

Classic Good Humor/Nestle strawberry shortcake ice cream bar: NONFAT MILK, CAKE CRUNCH (BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, PALM OIL, SALT, BAKING SODA, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SOYBEAN OIL, FD&C RED 40 LAKE, SOY LECITHIN), WATER, CORN SYRUP, SOYBEAN OIL, PALM OIL, SUGAR, FRUCTOSE, COCONUT OIL, LESS THAN 2% OF: WATER, STRAWBERRY PUREE, WHEY, COCONUT, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, CITRIC ACID, GUAR GUM, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, LOCUST BEAN GUM, TARA GUM, RED 40, SALT, POLYSORBATE 80, RED 3, CARAMEL COLOR.

Dani’s strawberry shortcake ice cream bars: Fresh & freeze dried strawberries, raw cashews, maple syrup, coconut milk, lemon juice, vanilla, sea salt, Siete cookies (gluten, dairy, refined sugar-free). 

Ingredients to make strawberry shortcake ice cream bars

  • Strawberries: Fresh or frozen strawberries will work for this recipe! The sweeter the strawberries, the better the flavor will be!
  • Sweetener: I like to use honey or maple syrup. Honey compliments the strawberries so well and tastes amazing. Maple syrup adds an amazing flavor to the recipe as well.
  • Cashews: Raw cashews make up the base of the ice cream layer. It creates an extremely creamy homemade dairy-free ice cream!
  • Coconut cream: You can use a can of coconut cream or full-fat canned coconut milk. If using full-fat canned coconut milk, simply scoop the cream from the top of the can and measure!
  • Lemon juice
  • Coconut oil: You can also sub melted grass-fed butter, vegan butter, ghee, or avocado oil.
  • Cookies: I use refined sugar-free cookies for the base. I have two brands I love – Simple Mills toasted pecan cookies and Siete cinnamon cookies. Both of these cookies are made with healthy ingredients and are free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. You can also use graham crackers or a similar cookie.
  • Freeze dried strawberries: These create that nostalgic strawberry shortcake coating! Unfortunately there are no subs but these can be found at almost any store! Trader Joes has them at a great price, as do stores like Kroger & Walmart!
  • Baking staples: Vanilla extract, sea salt

Equipment needed

  • Food processor: This is food processor i’ve had for years! I love it.
  • Blender: I highly recommend a high-powered blender. I use a Vitamix (the best investment! I use mine every single day!)
  • Pan: You can use a 6″ springform pan, loaf pan, a 7″ square pan (you an also use an 8″ the bars just may not be as thick!), or Popsicle mold!

Steps to make ice cream bars

  • Prepare a loaf pan or small 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. You can also make this into a cake by using a springform pan.
  • Process the base: Add the cookies and oil to a food processor, processing a minute or so until no large chunks remain. Add the cookie base to the pan, spreading it out evenly.
  • Blend the filling: Add all of the ice cream ingredients to a high-powered blender. Blend a few minutes until completely smooth. You can taste the mixture & adjust as you’d like (more strawberries, more lemon, more sweetener, etc). Pour the ice cream layer over the base, spreading it out evenly.
  • Make the strawberry shortcake crumb topping: Add the cookies and freeze dried strawberries to the food processor, processing 30 seconds or so until it creates a crumb texture and no large chunks remain. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the ice cream layer, pressing it down into the top very slightly. Place the pan in the freezer for 3-4 hours until completely firm.
  • Cut into bars & Enjoy!

FAQ’s, Tips, & Tricks

  • These ice cream bars are best thawed from the freezer 10 minutes or so prior to eating! This allows them to thaw a tad so they’re ice cream-like texture and easier to eat!
  • How to store leftover ice cream bars: Store leftover slices in an air-tight container in the freezer. They will last 1-2 months. 
  • Can you make vegan ice cream bars with other fruit? Yes! You could use fresh blueberries and freeze dried blueberries for the topping. You could do the same with raspberries, etc. 
  • Can you make these ice cream bars keto/sugar-free? You can use keto cookies for the base and crumb topping and use monk fruit or stevia as the ice cream sweetener!
  • How to make strawberry shortcake ice cream pops/popsicles: To make these bars in popsicle form, skip the crust. Make the crumb topping and ice cream filling according to the instructions. You can stir the crumb topping into the ice cream mixture to make this easiest, then pour the mixture into your popsicle mold and freeze!

More healthy frozen desserts to try

Strawberry shortcake Ice cream bar recipe video

If you make these Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars, it’d mean the world to me if you leave a comment and/or rating below! I also love when you tag me in your creations on Instagram @danishealthyeats! Looking through remakes is my favorite!

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars (Dairy-free)

These Strawberry Shortcake Ice cream bars make the perfect frozen summer dessert and are bursting with strawberry flavor! A cookie base is topped with ultra-creamy strawberry cashew-based ice cream, and a strawberry shortcake crumb topping. You'd never guess this healthier take on the classic ice cream bar is gluten-free, vegan/dairy-free, and refined sugar-free!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Freezer time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

Cookie base

  • 1 16oz bag Siete Mexican Shortbread cookies or Simple Mills toasted pecan cookies *or similar cookies. See notes.
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil, butter, ghee, or avocado oil

Ice cream layer

  • 2 1/4 cups raw cashews *soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey *If you want it less sweet, you can start with 1/3 cup, taste, & adjust as needed
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream from a can of full-fat canned coconut milk *scrape the solid part out from the top of the can. You can use any liquid after to make 2/3 cup.
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted & cooled a little *use refined for no coconut flavor!
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract & good pinch of sea salt

Strawberry shortcake crumb

  • 1 16 oz bag Siete meixcan shortbread cookies *or similar
  • 1 1.2 oz bag freeze dried strawberries

Instructions
 

  • Prepare a loaf pan or small 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. You can also make this into a cake by using a springform pan.
  • Process the base: Add the cookies and oil to a food processor, processing a minute or so until no large chunks remain. Add the cookie base to the pan, spreading it out evenly.
  • Blend the filling: Add all of the ice cream ingredients to a high-powered blender – be sure the coconut oil isn't super hot as it'll seize up with the cold strawberries. I melt mine and let it cool to room temp. Blend a few minutes until completely smooth. You can taste the mixture & adjust as you’d like (more strawberries, more lemon, more sweetener, etc). Pour the ice cream layer over the base, spreading it out evenly.
  • Make the strawberry shortcake crumb topping: Add the cookies and freeze dried strawberries to the food processor, processing 30 seconds or so until it creates a crumb texture and no large chunks remain. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the ice cream layer, pressing it down into the top very slightly. Place the pan in the freezer for 3-4 hours until completely firm.
  • Remove from the pan and let thaw 10 minutes to make cutting them into bars easier. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

*Cookies I recommend: Simple mills toasted pecan cookies or Siete Mexican Shortbread cookies. You can also use graham crackers.
  • These ice cream bars are best thawed from the freezer 10 minutes or so prior to eating! This allows them to thaw a tad so they’re ice cream-like texture and easier to eat!
  • How to store leftover ice cream bars: Store leftover slices in an air-tight container in the freezer. They will last 1-2 months. 
  • Can you make vegan ice cream bars with other fruit? Yes! You could use fresh blueberries and freeze dried blueberries for the topping. You could do the same with raspberries, etc. 
  • Can you make these ice cream bars keto/sugar-free? You can use keto cookies for the base and crumb topping and use monk fruit or stevia as the ice cream sweetener!
  • How to make strawberry shortcake ice cream pops/popsicles: To make these bars in popsicle form, skip the crust. Make the crumb topping and ice cream filling according to the instructions. You can stir the crumb topping into the ice cream mixture to make this easiest, then pour the mixture into your popsicle mold and freeze!
Keyword cashew ice cream, dairy free ice cream, dairy-free strawberry ice cream, dairy-free strawberry ice cream bars, healthy ice cream, strawberry ice cream, strawberry shortcake, vegan ice cream, vegan strawberry ice cream

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