An easy, refreshing and delicious frozen strawberry dessert, with a lovely fresh strawberry flavour and a cookie crumble topping.
This frozen strawberry dessert is a vintage recipe and I suspect that many might have already enjoyed it over the years, but for those that haven’t, it’s a recipe that I think of every strawberry season.
It’s a lovely light fresh strawberry dessert, that is easily made ahead and can sit in the freezer until ready to serve. And while it’s especially lovely with local field strawberries and enjoyed in the heat of Summer, it is still nice with grocery-store strawberries throughout the year.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Walnuts: I love using walnuts here, as the slightly bitter nut is a great foil for the sweet. You could use pecans, if you prefer.
Strawberries: You will need fresh strawberries for this one. The nicer the strawberries, the nicer the dessert, but I’ve found that even grocery-store strawberries do quite well here.
Lemon Juice: The lemon juice addition here serves several purposes, so I strongly recommend using it. First, it preserves the brightness of the colour of the strawberries. Secondly, it helps to stabilize and firm up the egg whites as they beat. Finally, it’s long been thought that the addition of acid to uncooked egg whites is wise, though I don’t know if science actually bears that out. Given the first two reasons though, it’s potentially a bonus.
Whipping Cream: This is heavy, whipping cream, typically 35% butterfat. As you need to whip the cream, you will not be able to substitute another cream, as lighter creams will not whip :)
Egg Whites – This dessert contains uncooked egg whites, which are generally considered quite safe for healthy people to consume. Always use pasteurized eggs that you separate yourself or use the pasteurized liquid egg whites sold in the carton at the grocery store. Out of an abundance of caution, the very old, the very young and anyone with a compromised immune systems should probably avoid consuming uncooked egg of any sort.
You can make this dessert either as a cake, as I have done here using an 8-inch springform pan, or make it as squares, using a 9×13-inch pan. The squares are handy for casual family eating, while the cake form is nice for entertaining or special occasions.
An 8-inch springform pan will make the highest cake. Using a 9 or 10-inch pan will make a larger, shorter cake. For the smallest cake (8-inch) you may find you don’t need quite all of the crumble, as you don’t want to cover the top completely with crumble.
When adding the whipped cream to the strawberry mixture, be sure to fold in gently, so you don’t deflate the whipped cream. Use a spatula and make a slicing motion from about 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock position then scoop the bottom up and over the top. Rotate the bowl and repeat until the mixture is a uniform colour, with no streaks of white whipping cream.
Making ahead, storing and freezing
This one can easily be made a day or two ahead and is at it’s best for the first 7-10 days in the freezer. I find that after that, as it sits in the freezer, the crumble topping begins to taste a bit flat. In any event, be sure to wrap it well.
There is no need to take this out of the freezer early to serve. It is soft and ready to go right from the freezer. It also melts somewhat quickly, so eat up right away :)
Get the Recipe: Frozen Strawberry Dessert
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup melted butter, melted
- 2 cups strawberries, fresh, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream, 35%, whipped to medium peaks
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Prepare the crumble: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and chopped walnuts. Pour melted butter over-top and stir with a fork until crumbly. Scatter mixture onto a baking sheet and place into preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking, or until set, but not starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Prepare the strawberry mixture: In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the egg whites, white sugar, strawberries and lemon juice. Beat at high speed for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream to medium peaks. Using a spatula, gently fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture.
- Assemble: Scatter 1/2 of the crumble mixture into the bottom of a 8, 9 or 10-inch springform pan (for a cake) or into a 9x13-inch pan for squares. Pour strawberry mixture over-top. Top with remaining crumble mixture. Leave in pan. Cover top with plastic wrap and then a sheet of aluminum foil and freeze at least 6 hours before serving.
- To serve: Dessert is ready to serve right from the freezer, so no need to take it out of the freezer early. Simply remove from the pan and you're good to go.
I have made this several times and it is a family favourite ! I am wondering if mangos can replace the strawberries or any other fruit for that matter?
So glad you are enjoying it, Sonia :) I have made a version of this with lemon, but haven’t tried another fruit. That said, there is really no reason why almost any fruit shouldn’t work just fine here. If you try it, let me know how it was!
I followed recipe but After freezing ,I found it to have a very grainy ,crystallized texture , not smooth texture like a mousse .
Is it supposed to be like that ?
I used frozen strawberries , thawed and drained as best as I Could
Melts quite quickly .
Hi Anna and it sounds like a couple of things at play here. First, this is not a mousse at all, so you were probably expecting one thing and got another. Secondly, as I have never found it grainy or crystallized, I suspect the issue there is your use of frozen strawberries. I have only ever made this one with fresh strawberries, so that is what I recommend.
Thank you for reply .
Yes ,I think maybe too much water left in frozen strawberries made it ice crystal like texture . Did not hold together when sliced but fell apart into crystals that melted quickly.
I read comments like “ smooth and fluffy” and mine wasn’t that at all. I will try with fresh strawberries .
But very tasty I must say and crumb crust was excellent
Best summer strawberry dessert ever! It made 8 ramekins + 1- 7″ pyrex dish. I wondered about beating it for 10 minutes but it thickened the mixture a bit and it took time to break up the strawberry slices. Good instructions, delicious result.
So glad to hear, Margo! It’s one of my favourites :) Thanks!
My Mom used to make this when I was a little girl. She sprinkled ground cinnamon In the crumble, but other than that, it’s exactly the same!! Thank you so much for sharing.
Mine, too (and still does). It’s always been a favourite of mine :)
This is just lovely, and so refreshing, pinned!
Thanks so much, Sue :)
The crumble topping reminds me of those strawberry short cake bars I would buy at the store as a kid. They were a real treat, as I’m sure a slice (or two) of this strawberry dessert would be! Love the pretty pink colour too!
Thanks so much, Leanne :)
Totally reminds me of those frozen strawberry ice-creams growing up! What a delicious, cooling treat for a hot summer day! Can’t wait to try :) Pinned! Happy Friday, Jennifer!
Thanks so much Dawn and you, too :)
How beautiful Jennifer! I need to pick up some more strawberries and make this fluffy frozen treat. Love that topping. PINNED!
Thanks Tricia! The topping is the perfect foil for the creamy, strawberry dessert :)
I saw this on Insta and needed to pop by! wow! So pretty and sweet! I can’t get enough strawberries these days either!
Thanks so much, Annie :)
I’ve actually never had or heard of this frozen strawberry dessert, so thank you SO much for sharing, Jennifer!! As much as I love all the fresh fruit summer has to offer, strawberries will always be my favorite! This dessert is just beautiful and begging to be made in my kitchen!!! Pinned!
Thanks Cheyanne and I think you will love this strawberry deliciousness :)
This is probably the prettiest, most summery dessert I’ve ever seen. And on top of that it sounds amazingly delicious, I’m going to order this for my birthday!
Thanks Chris and it would make a wonderful birthday treat!