Berry parfait with cake and ice cream is an easy, delicious, and perfect summer dessert!! Made with layers of vanilla sponge cake, ice cream, and macerated fresh berries, this easy and elegant dessert is perfect for the 4th of July Holiday or for your next summer party or celebration!!
If you are looking to whip up a red, white, and blue dessert for the 4th of July holiday, this berry parfait with cake and ice cream is just perfect!!
This mixed berry parfait is my favorite way to use up that leftover cake and also my go-to dessert to bring to BBQs and summer parties.
And if you love parfaits don't forget to try this healthier version, Tropical Granola Parfait.
This Mixed Berry parfait is
- easy, elegant, and fancy
- has cake and ice cream
- super delicious
- full of different textures and flavors
- perfect for the 4th of July holiday or any celebration.
Parfait is a dessert that originated in France and consisting of layers of cream (either ice cream, or whipped cream, or yogurt) along with granola, or cake, and fruit. There are many variations and versions of a parfait.
This berry parfait is made of layers of Vanilla sponge cake, ice cream, and macerated berries. It's super easy and delicious!!
For this parfait, I like to macerate the berries in some sugar & orange juice. I feel it really brings this dessert together and adds a fresh citrusy flavor.
Maceration is the process of soaking fruit in liquid and sugar to soften and flavor it. During this process, the berries release their liquid creating a flavorful juicy syrup. It is like marinating, yet different and more commonly used with fruits.
This mixed berry parfait a highly customizable recipe and so easy to put together. All you have to do is prep in advance and then just layer and serve.
It looks super fancy and each bite has so much flavor and texture from the macerated berries, creamy ice cream, and last but not least that spongy cake that soaks up all the flavors. It's truly yum!!
Let see how to make this delicious cake ice cream and berry parfait!!
Cake - I've used my eggless vanilla sponge cake but you can use store-bought sponge cake or pound cake or angel food cake or any cake of choice.
Ice cream - going with the vanilla theme, I've used vanilla ice cream but any flavor like chocolate or strawberry ice cream will work too. Or substitute ice cream for, whipped cream or yogurt (for healthy choice) but highly recommend ice cream.
Fruits - I've used fresh mixed berries like strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry since they are in season. You can use either all or some of these varieties. Or any other fruits of choice.
Sugar - I've used white granulated sugar for macerating the berries. You can also use brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
Orange - We will be using the zest of an orange as well as the orange juice to further macerate the berries. It adds a nice fresh citrusy flavor which goes so well with the berries and also makes a nice juicy citrusy berry syrup.
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
Step by Step Instructions
To Macerate the Berries:
Clean your berries and orange and dry them thoroughly.
1 - Cut the strawberries into bite-sized pieces (one strawberry into 8 pieces) such that all the berries are almost the same size.
2 - Add all the berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry) to a large bowl.
3 - Sprinkle it with sugar. Zest the orange using a Microplane or grater, just the orange skin, not the white beneath as it will get bitter.
After zesting, cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice of half an orange into the berries.
4 - Mix until everything is well combined. Cover & macerate the berries for a minimum of 30 mins (half an hour) and a maximum of 3-4 hours.
This marination will make a nice sugary berry citrus syrup which we will add to our parfait.
To assemble the parfait:
5 - Cut the Vanilla sponge cake into cubes and arrange it at the bottom of your serving bowl, glass, or cup. Pack and press so it covers the base completely. This is our first layer.
6 - Top it with 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Spread the icecream to even it out.
7 - Add the next layer of the soaked berries (2-3 tablespoons). Spread them evenly. Drizzle some syrup over to enhance the flavor (optional).
8 - You can serve this now or repeat the layers (cake, ice cream, and berries) depending on the size of your serving cup.
Top it with some whipped cream and mint leaves (for garnish) and serve immediately.
That's it!! Enjoy these flavorful and delicious Vanilla Cake Berry and Ice cream parfait for your next celebration!!
Storage and Serving
I prefer to serve this ice cream parfait as soon as it is assembled since it has ice cream which melts.
Prep everything ahead of time like macerate the berries, bake the cake, cut it into pieces, and stock up on that homemade or store-bought ice cream.
Just before serving, assemble the dessert. You can also lay it out so everyone can make their own. Kids love it this way!
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a day but remember the ice cream will melt. Still tastes delicious but finish it within a day or two as the berries can go bad.
You can freeze it too for up to a month but that will result in a frozen parfait. All the frozen layers melt at different rates so best to make it when ready to eat.
Fresh or leftover cake, both work for this recipe. Warm the stale cake slightly so it gets nice and spongy and then use it.
To zest, the orange, use a Microplane or grater and grate just the orange skin, not the white beneath as it will get bitter. Keep rotating the orange so you aren't zesting the same spot twice.
Do not macerate the berries for more than 6-8 hours or overnight as they will get too soft. The ideal is 30 mins to 4 hours.
Use a clear, clean cups to serve since it makes the dessert look fancy and gorgeous.
This is a rich dessert so adjust layers (single or double) or serving cup sizes that best suits you and your family. I've used 12.5 oz short tumblers with two layers and honestly, we always share it between the two of us.
Frequently asked questions
Since this recipe involves ice cream, my suggestion is to prep everything ahead of time and keep it ready and assemble the parfait before serving for the best taste. Alternately you can replace ice cream with whipped cream to make them ahead of time up to 4-6 hours and keep them refrigerated and covered.
Yes, but highly recommend making it fresh for the best experience. Freezing the parfait will freeze all layers including the cake and berries. Thaw it at room temperature for 10-15 mins and then eat so it's scoopable.
More summer dessert recipes
Hope you enjoy this Mixed berry parfait with cake and ice cream!! If you give this recipe a try, please rate by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️ ! You can also follow me on Facebook | Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Berry Parfait with Cake and Ice Cream
- 10-12 strawberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup blackberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- 4 cups vanilla sponge cake cubes (pieces) or cake of your choice.
- 1 medium orange zested and juiced
- 1½ tablespoon white granulated sugar or honey
- 8 scoops vanilla ice cream or of your choice and as needed
- Whipped cream and mint for garnishing, as needed,
To Macerate the Berries:
- Clean your berries and orange and dry them thoroughly.
- Cut the strawberries into bite-size pieces (one strawberry into 8 pieces ) such that all the berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry) are almost the same size.
- Add strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry to a bowl. Sprinkle in the sugar.
- Zest the orange using a Microplane or grater, just the orange skin, not the white beneath as it will get bitter.
- After zesting, cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice of half an orange into the berries.
- Mix until everything is well combined. Cover & macerate the berries for a minimum of 30 mins (half an hour) and a maximum of 3-4 hours.
- This marination will make a nice sugary berry syrup which we can add to our dessert.
To assemble the Berry Parfait:
- Cut the Vanilla sponge cake into cubes and arrange it at the bottom of your serving bowl, glass, or cup. Pack and press so it covers the base completely.
- Top it with 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Spread the icecream to even it out.
- Add the next layer of the macerated berries (2-3 tablespoons). Spread them evenly. Drizzle some juicy berry syrup over to enhance the flavor (optional).
- You can serve this now or repeat the layers (cake, ice cream, and berries) depending on the size of your serving cup.
- Finally, top it with some whipped cream and mint leaves (for garnish) and serve immediately.
- That's it!! Enjoy these flavorful and delicious Berry parfait with cake and ice cream for your next celebration!!
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Jul 2, 2012, but was republished with, step by step instructions, new photos, tips, and a video in Jul of 2021.