Nostalgic Strawberry Shortcake Ice-Cream Bars Will Take You Straight Back to Childhood

strawberry shortcake ice cream bars on a platter on a yellow cloth
Strawberry Shortcake Ice-Cream BarsBecky Luigart-Stayner

Good Humor’s vanilla-and-strawberry-filled Strawberry Shortcake Bars, complete with its signature cake coating, has satisfied the sweet-toothed for more than 100 years. (If you know, you know.)

Featuring homemade sorbet and crushed shortbread cookies, these Strawberry Shortcake Ice-Cream Bars will inspire the same sort of dessert devotion.

Yields: 16 servings

Prep Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 15 hours 45 mins


For the vanilla ice-cream base:

  • 2/3 c.

    granulated sugar

  • 4

    large egg yolks

  • 1 1/2 c.

    whole milk

  • 1 1/2 c.

    heavy cream

  • 2 tbsp.

    pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp.

    kosher salt

For the strawberry sorbet base:

  • 2 lb.

    fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large

  • 1 c.

    granulated sugar

  • 2 tbsp.

    fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp.

    kosher salt

  • 3 tbsp.

    vodka, optional but recommended for texture

For the crust:

  • 21

    pure butter shortbread cookies (14 ounces, such as Walkers), divided

  • 6 tbsp.

    (3/4 stick) salted butter, melted, divided

  • 1

    (0.8-oz.) package freeze-dried strawberries


  1. Make the vanilla ice-cream base: Whisk together sugar and egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering. Slowly whisk hot milk, 1/2 cup at a time, in a thin stream, into egg yolk mixture until warm. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium heatproof bowl. Whisk in cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

  2. Make the strawberry sorbet base: Puree strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor until smooth. Pour through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Stir in vodka, if using. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

  3. Make the crust: Line a 9- by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. Pulse 15 cookies in food processor until fine crumbs form, 14 to 16 times. Add 3 tablespoons melted butter, and pulse until combined, 6 to 8 times. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Freeze at least 20 minutes.

  4. Pour chilled vanilla ice-cream base into an ice-cream machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spread half of the vanilla ice cream (about 2 cups) in an even layer over the crust. Place a piece of parchment paper directly on surface of ice cream; freeze until slightly firm, at least 1 hour. Cover and freeze remaining half of ice cream.

  5. Pour chilled strawberry sorbet base into an ice-cream maker. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Remove parchment paper and spoon strawberry sorbet in an even layer over the vanilla ice cream in pan. Place a piece of parchment directly on the surface of sorbet, and freeze until slightly firm, at least 1 hour.

  6. Meanwhile, place remaining 6 cookies in a large zip-top bag. Finely crush with a rolling pin. Place in a bowl. Repeat process with freeze-dried strawberries, lightly crushing into similar-size pieces as cookies. Sift crushed strawberries in fine-mesh strainer to remove excess powder. Add crushed strawberries and remaining 3 tablespoons butter to bowl with crushed cookies. Stir to combine. Cover and set aside.

  7. Remove parchment and spread remaining 2 cups ice cream in an even layer over strawberry sorbet. Sprinkle crushed strawberry mixture evenly over top, pressing gently to adhere. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.

  8. Remove from pan using parchment overhang. Cut into 16 bars.

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