Are strawberry shortcake ice cream bars the best thing you can order from the ice cream truck?
Yes. They are.
And if you don’t feel like waiting for the ice cream truck to roll by (I suppose you could go to the grocery store, but shhhhh) then how about making your own strawberry shortcake ice cream bars at home?
Well, now you can!
I mean, how amazing do these look?
Believe it or not, they taste just as good as they look, too!
Don’t get me wrong, these do not dethrone the real-deal Good Humor bars, because those are simply perfect. But you’ll be shocked at just how similar these taste.
Calorically, the regular strawberry shortcake bars are not all that bad. At 160 calories per bar, you could do much worse. But, they contain a very tiiiiiny amount of actual strawberries.
For our bars, we’re using real strawberries in the ice cream AND for the coating, giving you a fair amount of fruit in every serving.
Our version of the strawberry shortcake ice cream bars end up being only 135 calories, and have an extra 5g of protein to boot!
How to make these strawberry shortcake ice cream bars
This recipe has two steps: the first is making our strawberry ice cream base, and the second is the signature strawberry shortcake coating.
Step 1: Making the strawberry ice cream
To make our filling, we’re going to blend together fresh strawberries, cool whip, vanilla extract, and a half scoop of vanilla protein powder (you can omit the protein powder if needed, but it’s encouraged to leave it in!)
You can certainly use frozen strawberries if you have them on hand, too, but fresh strawberries work very well.
Blend together until it leaves you with a mixture that resembles a strawberry smoothie (it’s going to smell incredible, too).
The Cool Whip in this mixture is necessary to leave us with a nice soft center (like in my Fudgsicle recipe). If we were to just do strawberries and some liquid, it would freeze too much like ice. The addition of the cool whip ensures that we’ll have more of an ice cream consistency in our bars.
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds (it will make enough for 3 popsicles) and add to the freezer for about 3-4 hours or so. You can certainly freeze for longer, like overnight, but when I tested mine, they were the perfect consistency after about 3 hours: totally frozen, but still nice and soft.
Step 2: Making the strawberry shortcake coating
You’re gonna be shocked at just how easy it is to make this coating.
All we need are some vanilla wafers and freeze-dried strawberries!
Just add these to a bowl and crush them up into crumbs. You can use a blender or food processor, but I always prefer using my hands when I can, especially because I prefer having fewer dishes to clean.
I didn’t want to break these up into too fine of a crumb, because I like having some of the larger cookie pieces in my coating. This is just preference, though, and you can make it as fine as you’d like.
That’s it! Your coating is ready to go.
We’re only going to need about half of the coating, but I like making more than needed because it makes dipping the bars significantly easier.
Step 3: Assemble the strawberry shortcake ice cream bars
Once your strawberry popsicles are fully frozen, remove them from the freezer and add them to your coating one at a time.
Use your hands to make sure all surfaces are completed covered with the coating, then add the bars to a sheet of parchment paper or foil.
Return your ice cream bars to the freezer for one more hour to allow the coating to harden and for the flavors to marry a little bit.
These bars hold up great in the freezer, so if you want to enjoy them later in the week, simply wrap them in foil to prevent freezer burn and they’ll be good to go!
Note that the coating isn’t going to be quite as crunchy as the Good Humor bars, but that’s because we’re using real strawberries here. While the texture may be slightly different, the taste is spot-on! Trust me on this one.
If you end up making these bars, I’d love to hear what you think! These are officially one of my favorite recipes here on the blog, so I’d love to see you guys enjoying them, too. If you make these, please share a photo and tag me on Instagram so I can see ’em!
Healthy Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars
Hands down, the best things you can order from an ice cream truck are the Strawberry Shortcake Bars! And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying those, I wanted to create a slightly healthier spin on 'em. Let me tell you, these do not disappoint.
Ice Cream Filling
- 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 100g Lite Cool Whip (You can buy vegan "truwhip" to make this dairy-free)
- 15g (Half Scoop) Vanilla Protein Powder
Strawberry Shortcake Coating
- 30g Vanilla Wafer Cookies (I used Mini Nilla Wafers)
- 10g Freeze-Dried Strawberries
- Slice the tops off of your fresh strawberries, and measure out roughly 1 cup. Add to a high-speed blender or food processor.
- Add the cool whip, vanilla extract, and half scoop of protein powder, then blend on high for about 30 seconds. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the sides, then run on high again until you have a smooth consistency (it will look like a smoothie at this point).
- Pour the mixture into your popsicle mold (should fill 3, but will depend on the size of your mold) then freeze for 3-4 hours, or overnight.
- Once frozen, make the coating by adding the vanilla wafers and freeze-dried strawberries to a sandwich bag and smashing them into crumbs. You can also use a food processor, but I am a fan of minimal dishes!
- Pour this mixture onto a plate, or a bowl that is wide enough to dip your popsicles.
- Remove the popsicles from the freezer and add them to your coating mixture one at a time. Use your hand to lightly press the mixture onto the surface until fully coated. Note that you will only need about half of the total mixture if making 3 popsicles.
- Put the finished strawberry shortcake bars on parchment paper or foil and freeze for one more hour for the coating to harden, then enjoy!
- Make these gluten-free by using gluten-free vanilla wafers or a comparable cookie.
- If you are having a hard time getting the coating to stick, leave the bars out at room temperature for a few minutes before coating to allow them to slightly melt.
- You can use any kind of cool whip you'd like here, I just happened to use the "lite" version. Just note that this is very different from whipped cream you'd use from the can, because that will not work here.
- The protein powder is optional, and you really cannot taste it at all. I like to use it because it thickens these bars up a bit, and of course because it adds extra protein, but you can omit it no problem in this recipe if you need to.
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Nutrition InformationYield 3 Serving Size 1 Bar
Amount Per Serving Calories 135Total Fat 1gCarbohydrates 20gFiber 1gSugar 9gProtein 5g