This lemon icebox cake is the perfect dessert recipe for summer. Graham crackers, pudding, lemon, whipped cream …It’s cold, creamy, super easy to make, and completely no-bake.
Lemon Icebox Cake
If you need an easy dessert recipe for summer, then this no-bake lemon icebox cake is just the thing. It only requires a few, simple ingredients -and takes under 15 minutes to make (plus chilling time).
It has layers of graham crackers between creamy lemon filling. And a layer of whipped topping to top it all off.
It’s Fiona from Just So Tasty stopping in today to share this easy recipe. I don’t know about you, but when the weather gets hot outside, turning on the oven is the last thing I want to do.
If you’ve never made an icebox cake before, I promise it’s super easy. You definitely don’t need to be an experienced baker, and you don’t even need an electric mixer.
If you are looking for another really easy type of dessert recipe, we love dump cakes and we are totally obsessed with our Cherry Dump Cake Recipe! Check it out!
What is an Icebox Cake
An icebox cake consists of layers of graham crackers and creamy filling. Sometimes the filling is just whipped cream, and sometimes it has other flavors – like the lemon icebox cake we’re making today.
It gets the name “icebox” because the cake goes in the fridge or freezer before serving. The crackers get soft & delicate, giving it that cake-like texture, without even baking – hence No Bake Cake!
For this recipe, you’ll only need a few ingredients:
- lemon instant pudding mix (the 3.5 oz / 4 serving package size)
- lemon zest (Invest in a Microplane to get fresh lemon zest! I love mine!)
- whipped topping (try our homemade whipped topping here!)
- and graham crackers
How to Make Lemon Icebox Cake
- Whisk together the lemon pudding mix (not made into pudding already) with 1 1/2 cups milk. (The box will say 2 cups, but for this recipe, you’ll only need 1 1/2 cups).
- Gently fold in 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 2 cups whipped topping. If you like a stronger lemon flavor, feel free to use 2 tablespoons of lemon zest instead.
- Line an 8×8 inch square pan with aluminum foil. Place a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of the pan. You might need to trim/break the crackers so the whole bottom is covered.
- Then spread 1/2 of the lemon mixture over top.
- Repeat the process with a layer of graham crackers, and then the rest of the lemon filling.
- Add a layer of graham crackers over top.
- Then spread 1 cup of whipped topping over top.
- The cake then goes into the fridge or freezer for at least 4 hours to set.
PRO-TIP: I prefer placing it in the freezer because it gets firmer & more like ice cream. I personally find that the cake is best enjoyed the day that it’s made, otherwise the crackers can get too soggy for my taste.
The texture is so light and creamy, and the delicious hint of lemon tastes like sunshine. I like to sprinkle a little extra lemon zest on top, and decorate each piece with a few berries or other fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and slice of lemon) – but that’s totally up to you.
This lemon icebox cake is the perfect refreshing dessert for all your summer parties & events. And you’ll seriously love how easy it is to make.
If you love lemon, make sure to try these other lemon treats:
- Lemon Lush
- No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
- Strawberry Lemonade Bars
- Cream Cheese Lemon Bars
- Lemon Cake Mix Cookies
- Lemon Bars
- Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- Lemon Blueberry Bread with Lemon Zest Drizzle
- Lemon Meltaway Cookies
Lemon Icebox Cake
- 1 package lemon instant pudding mix (3.5 oz package)
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 cups whipped topping , divided
- 12 sheets graham crackers
- Line an 8x8 or 9x9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang around the edges.
- In a large bowl whisk together the pudding mix & milk.
- Gently fold in the lemon zest and 2 cups of the whipped topping.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of the lemon filling onto the bottom of the pan.
- Place a layer of graham crackers over top. You may need to break or trim some of the crackers.
- Spread 1/2 of the lemon filling over top.
- Place a layer of graham crackers over the lemon filling. Then add another layer of graham crackers.
- Spread 1 cup of whipped topping over top.
- Place in the freezer for 4 hours to set.
- When ready to serve, lift the cake out using the aluminum foil overhang and cut into pieces. If it's been in the freezer for over 4 hours, I recommend letting it soften in the fridge for 30 minutes before enjoying.
For the lemon icebox cake do you use Cool Whip or make your own whipped cream
Hi Karen – It depends on how much of a rush I am in! I always prefer homemade, but I have been known to use Cool Whip on MANY occasions!
My wife and some friends put on a Friday night community Supper for fifty to 125 people from October to May for 5 years. A variation of this dessert was used at least a couple times a month. It always got raves. several combinations of instant pudding were used, real whipped cream when time allowed, Dream Whip when in a hurry. Often canned Cherries or blueberries went on top of the whipped cream.
I have made this with cool whip inside and real whipped cream on top two times. Really delicious.
Do you have to put in the freezer? Or can you just refriger?
This reads like a great recipe and I can’t wait to try it! I only hesitate to use aluminum foil touching lemon. It could easily leach. I would use baking parchment. I also would use whole wheat grahams or sprouted, if I could find them.
I like cinnamon grahams. There’s something extra delicious with lemon and cinnamon.
It so Delicious
I couldn’t find lemon pudding at my local grocery store so my stepdaughter and I decide to double the recipe using a box of banana and a box of butterscotch pudding to make this recipe and it was a delicious combo. Will definitely make again and try it in all kinds of flavor combinations.
I want to try this recipe, however, I am a little confused. On the Lemon Icebox Cake, it calls for 3 cups of Whipped Topping. I printed your Homemade Whipped Cream (stabilized recipe). I assume this is used for the above Homemade Whipped Topping? On the recipe for the Homemade Whipped Cream, the recipe calls for 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream and then it also calls for 1 teaspoon Heavy Cream. What’s the difference in the two? Thanks so much