Luscious Lemon Icebox Cake + Video

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Lemon icebox cake is easy to make and bursting with bright citrus flavor. Serve this no bake treat for a little sunshine throughout the year!

Luscious Lemon Icebox Cake on a trivet

Recipes like Luscious Lemon Icebox Cake

No bake desserts are the perfect way to make something sweet without ever having to turn on the oven!

Layer upon layer of tender cookies, tart lemon filling, and homemade whipped cream gives this a scrumptious twist to a classic recipe. It truly tastes “like a slice of sunshine.”

Lemon Bars are another easy citrus dessert that is popular at bake sales and parties. It’s ready in a fraction of the time, and you only need 7 simple ingredients!

Or, try my Rosemary Lemon Pound Cake for something a little more refined. Tender, fragrant, and lightly sweet, this loaf is perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning or after a heavy meal.

no bake desserts filling

How To Make Lemon Icebox Cake

While this is prepped and ready for the freezer in just 25 minutes, it needs several more hours to chill.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time or make it the day before so it’s ready to serve when you need it!

Mix the whipped cream and lemon filling in separate bowls, then layer them with the shortbread cookies in a loaf pan.

Cover and freeze until firm, then flip it out of the pan and top with more delicious whipped cream.

mixing filling in a bowl

Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Short on time? Feel free to use frozen whipped topping instead of homemade whipped cream. Just keep in mind that it won’t have the same rich flavor, and it may take longer to set since it’s not as stable.
  • Adjust the lemon flavor. Lemon zest adds a punch of citrus, so be sure to use it in the cake if you want noticeable flavor. Otherwise, go ahead leave it out to make the cake a bit milder.
  • Make it look fancy. Add extra zest over the top or layer on some candied lemon slices to make a pretty design.
  • Swap out the shortbread. This recipe would taste just as delicious with Nilla Wafers or add even more citrus flavor with lemon Oreos!
Mixing whipped cream and lemon mixture in a bowl
Lemon filling spread into the bottom of a bread pan

FAQ – Common Recipe Questions

Is this served frozen?

Yes, but you can let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes to soften if you prefer. However, it is easier to slice it while frozen and the cake will hold its shape better as well.

Cookie layer topped with cream

Why is there pudding mix in the whipped cream?

One of our fabulous readers had messaged to tell me that this was their favorite way to stabilize whipped cream for frosting.

Since shortening or gelatin is typically used, I knew I had to give it a shot.

Let me tell you, this cake features the best whipped cream frosting I have ever eaten!

Whipped cream frosting

Do I need to invert this cake?

While it’s quite impressive on a platter, you could easily serve it straight out of the pan. Plus, the presentation is just as gorgeous if you use a glass baking dish so you can still see the layers.

slice of no bake desserts on a plate

Enjoy!

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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No Bake Desserts on a plate


No Bake Desserts Recipe Video

To see us make the recipe from start to finish, watch the video at the top of this post.

lemon icebox cake sliced to expose inside

Luscious Lemon Icebox Cake + Video

Donna Elick
Lemon icebox cake is easy to make and bursting with bright citrus flavor. Serve this no bake treat for a little sunshine throughout the year!
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method No Bake
Servings 12

Ingredients
 

  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 2-4 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest, optional
  • yellow food coloring, optional
  • 4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 10 ounce package Lorna Doone shortbread cookies
  • 1 tablespoon Jello Instant Cheesecake pudding mix, dry

Instructions
 

  • In a tall bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) whip 2 cups heavy cream with an electric mixer until you can start to see a trail of the mixer through the cream. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. (In other words when you turn off the blender and lift the beaters out of the cream, the cream stand up on the end of the beater). Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine milk, lemon juice and zest. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired to achieve a bright lemony color. Stir until combined. Add 1/2 of whipped cream mixture to bowl. Reserve the remaining whipped cream for the filling. Fold whipped cream into lemon filling. Set aside.
  • Line a 9 x 5-inch baking dish with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Layer 1/2 of whipped cream into pan. Smooth cream into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Spoon ½ of lemon mixture into pan, smooth layer. Top with a layer of cookies, breaking them if necessary to make them fit.
  • Then add the remaining whipped cream, smoothing out evenly. Add the remaining lemon mixture and top with a layer of cookies, breaking them if necessary to make them fit. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 3-4 hours (or overnight).
  • Before serving combine 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon pudding mix in a tall bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. (In other words when you turn off the blender and lift the beaters out of the cream, the cream stand up on the end of the beater).
  • Remove cake from freezer, use the loose edges of wrap to remove from the pan. Flip cake over and remove wrap. Frost cake with whipped cream frosting and decorate cake with candied lemon slices or fresh lemon zest.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Video

Donna’s Notes

For a more mild lemon flavor, skip the lemon zest. If you like a lemon burst, use the lemon zest in the cake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 544cal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 164mg | Sugar: 36g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Lemon Icebox Cake on a wood trivet

Originally published April 2015, updated and republished February 2021

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