Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Recipe

As the mercury rises and the days stretch longer, the quest for the perfect summer dessert leads us to a classic favorite with a twist. This no-bake Summertime Strawberry Shortcake Delight is a layered masterpiece that promises to be the crown jewel of your dining table, especially during those balmy evenings. Combining the airy sweetness of angel food cake with the creamy richness of vanilla pudding, fresh bursts of strawberries, and the gentle caress of Cool Whip, this dessert is a symphony of textures and flavors that speak directly to the soul of summer.

What sets this dessert apart is its brilliant simplicity, making use of readily available ingredients like instant vanilla pudding and store-bought angel food cake, ensuring that the kitchen stays as cool as the treat itself. It’s a concoction that invites you to celebrate the season’s bounty without tethering you to the stove. Whether you’re looking to end a sun-soaked day with a bang or seeking a show-stopping centerpiece for your next garden party, the Summertime Strawberry Shortcake Delight is your answer.


  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding (the size depending on how much pudding you prefer)
  • 2 cups of milk (or whatever your pudding mix calls for)
  • 1 angel food cake (store-bought or homemade, if you’re feeling ambitious)
  • 1-2 pounds of fresh strawberries, depending on your preference
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip or whipped cream


  1. Prepare the Pudding:
    • In a large bowl, whisk together the instant vanilla pudding mix and milk according to the package instructions.
    • Place in the refrigerator to set, usually about 5 minutes.
  2. Prepare the Strawberries:
    • Rinse the strawberries under cold water. Hull them and then slice to your preferred thickness. Reserve a few whole or halved strawberries for the topping.
  3. Slice the Angel Food Cake:
    • Cut the angel food cake into 1-inch thick slices. If you prefer smaller pieces for easier layering, feel free to cut them to your desired size.
  4. Layer the Dessert:
    • In a large trifle dish, glass bowl, or individual serving cups, begin layering your dessert. Start with a layer of angel food cake pieces at the bottom.
    • Spread a layer of the set vanilla pudding over the cake.
    • Add a generous layer of sliced strawberries on top of the pudding.
    • Repeat the layering process (cake, pudding, strawberries) until all components are used, finishing with a layer of strawberries.
  5. Top and Serve:
    • Just before serving, spread a thick layer of Cool Whip or whipped cream over the top. Decorate with the reserved whole or halved strawberries for a beautiful presentation.
    • This dessert can be served immediately or refrigerated for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld together and the cake to soak up some of the pudding and strawberry juices, making it even more delicious.

Additional Tips:

  • For an extra touch of flavor, you can mix a little vanilla extract into the Cool Whip or sprinkle the strawberries with a bit of sugar if they’re not very sweet.
  • Consider drizzling a little strawberry syrup or chocolate sauce over the top for a decadent finish.
  • This dessert keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days, though it’s best enjoyed within the first day or two for optimal freshness.

Why You’ll Love it:

Effortlessly Elegant

This dessert manages to be both uncomplicated and utterly elegant. It requires no baking, which means you won’t be adding heat to those warm summer days, and the assembly is so simple that even the most novice of cooks can put it together with ease. Yet, when layered in a clear serving dish, its colors and textures look sophisticated enough to grace any dinner table.

Perfectly Balanced Flavors

Each component of the Summertime Strawberry Shortcake Delight plays its part to perfection. The light, airy angel food cake provides a subtle sweetness that complements the rich creaminess of the vanilla pudding. Fresh strawberries add a juicy, tangy contrast, while the Cool Whip rounds everything out with a smooth finish. It’s a harmonious blend of flavors that dance on the palate.

Make-Ahead Magic

In the realm of entertaining, anything that can be made in advance is a blessing. This dessert not only can be, but it should be assembled a few hours before serving, giving you more time to enjoy with your guests. The flavors meld beautifully as it chills, and the cake becomes delightfully moist as it absorbs the juices from the strawberries and the creaminess of the pudding.


While the basic recipe is delightful on its own, it’s also a canvas for your culinary creativity. Mix in a splash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of sugar with the strawberries to enhance their natural sweetness, layer in different fruits for a multi-berry version, or even add a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce for an extra decadent touch.


It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love this dessert. Kids are drawn to its sweetness and fun layers, while adults appreciate the complexity of flavors and textures. It’s as suitable for a casual family dinner as it is for a special occasion, ensuring that everyone leaves the table with a smile.

Summertime Staple

Most importantly, this dessert captures the essence of summer in every bite. It’s cool, refreshing, and loaded with the season’s favorite berry. Whether you’re enjoying a slice on your porch, at a picnic, or as the finale to a barbecue, it’s guaranteed to be a hit.

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