These Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Bars taste like the ice cream bars from our childhood but in a deliciously chewy and crunchy bar! You’ll LOVE these!
Boy howdy, I did it again!
You guys LOVE my Strawberry Crunch Poke Cake (and for good reason – it’s amazing!), and based on how popular it was for Easter (so many of you made it!), I knew I had to make something same-same but different.
Those strawberry shortcake ice cream bars from our childhood are so nostalgic. I always remembered debating between those and Spongebob pops from the ice cream man. And based on how popular my cake recipe is, you guys clearly love the flavor too!
These bars are very similar to the ice cream bar, but in a delicious chewy and crunchy bar.
Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Bars
The recipe begins with the strawberry “bar” base. It consists of strawberry cake mix, melted butter and an egg mixed together until it forms a dough consistency. Remember, you’re just mixing the strawberry cake mix powder, melted butter and an egg – don’t follow the ingredients on the back of the package or you’ll have a huge mess. When you mix just cake mix powder, an egg and a stick of melted butter together, it creates almost a brownie texture: chewy and fudgy. So good.
Next up we have our whipped cream cheese frosting. It’s just cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract mixed together. This mimics that ice cream layer and is so creamy, smooth, vanilla-y and delicious.
Lastly, we have the most important part of the “crunch” bar: the crunch! This is what MAKES the crunch factor. It consists of coarsely crushed Golden Oreo cookies, strawberry gelatin powder (just the dry powder) and melted butter mixed together. Sounds weird, but trust me on this one – it works and gives that nearly identical nostalgic strawberry shortcake ice cream flavor!
Once it is all layered together, you have a soft and chewy strawberry bar with a cool and creamy whipped cream cheese frosting and a mouth-watering crunchy strawberry shortcake topping. To die for!!
Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Bars: welcome to your childhood remixed!
Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Bars
For the Bars:
- One box strawberry cake mix any brand
- 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
For the Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Shortcake Crunch Topping:
- 18-20 Golden Oreos, coarsely crushed (use the whole Oreo, but make sure there's no huge chunks)
- 3 oz (1 small box/85g) strawberry gelatin powder just the dry powder
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 350° degrees F. Line a 13x9" light metal baking pan with foil or parchment, extending the sides of the foil or parchment over the edges of the pan. Spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix powder (just the powder, do not prepare the cake mix), melted butter, and egg with a rubber spatula until a soft dough comes together. Spread the dough evenly into the prepared pan using your hands to form an even layer. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- For the frosting: In the bowl fo a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape out of the bowl and reserve in another smaller bowl. In the same stand mixer bowl, add the heavt whipping cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla and use the whisk attachment to whip until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Gently fold the beaten cream cheese back into the whipped cream until no streaks of cream cheese remain, taking care not to fold too vigorously or you'll deflate your whipped cream.
- Spread the whipped cream cheese frosting evenly over the bars. Refrigerate while you prepare your shortcake crumb.
- For the shortcake crunch topping: In a medium bowl, combine the coarsely crushed Golden Oreo crumbs, strawberry gelatin powder, and melted butter and stir until fully combined and coated. Take handfuls and liberally sprinkle over the frosted bars, using your hands to gently press the crumb mixture into the frosting layer. Cut into bars and serve immediately, or store leftovers in the fridge.
If you loved those strawberry ice cream bars growing up, you’re going to LOVE these!
Have a super sweet day!
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