This lemon icebox cake is the perfect refreshing summer dessert. It’s a no bake dessert, that is bursting with the flavor of fresh lemon throughout.
In the hot summer, I love no bake desserts like this because it comes together with hardly any effort, and without turning on the oven. I don’t want to heat up the kitchen anymore than I have to already. Summer is already winding down with a month left till school starts back up, but I think the hot temperatures are here to stay for a while longer.
This lemon ice box cake is so refreshing, and like I said, it only takes a few minutes of work to actually make. All you need to make it is some lemon instant pudding, milk, lemon zest, cool whip, and graham crackers. Only 5 ingredients and a few hours and you’ll be gobbling up this amazing and refreshing dessert.
I’m quickly adding to my repertoire of delicious ice box recipes with this lemon ice box cake. In addition to my already favorite banana icebox cake, and strawberry icebox cake recipes. I’m hoping to add a s’mores ice box cake in the coming weeks, we’ll see if we can get the recipe to turn out how I’m hoping.
But back to this lemon icebox cake. It’s refreshing, easy to make, no bake – so it’s the perfect dessert for the hot summer, and did I mention delicious? It comes together with just a few minutes of work, but unfortunately you have to be patient because the cake needs to chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 4 hours so that the pudding can solidify and for all the flavors to come together nicely.
How to make lemon icebox cake?
First you’ll lay out some graham crackers into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. You want to line the pan completely, breaking up some of the graham crackers as needed.
You’ll then make your pudding. You’ll mix both boxes with 2.5 cups of milk, and not the amount of milk as called for on the box (probably 2 cups a box). Mix some lemon zest in with the pudding and then fold in a little bit of the cool whip. Spread half the pudding over the top of the graham crackers.
Place another layer of graham crackers over the top of the pudding to cover it completely, and go all the way to the edges of the pan. Spread the rest of the pudding over the top of the graham crackers. Then place a final layer of graham crackers over the top of the pudding. Spread the cool whip over the top of the final graham cracker layer.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge for 4 hours, up to overnight. Or place the cake in the freezer for a more solid texture. I like the texture the cake gets in the freezer, because it’s more firm, and a little bit more like an ice cream cake.
I like topping each slice with a couple fresh berries, for a little burst of berry, as well as I love the color the fresh berries add to the cake. I also like a little lemon zest on top. It makes the cake extra pretty.
This lemon icebox cake is so light and creamy. The lemon flavors throughout gives it the perfect flavor, it’s like a bit of sunshine in each slice. It’s the perfect refreshing dessert for a summer party or potluck.
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Lemon Icebox Cake
- 2 3.5oz instant lemon pudding mix (dry, unprepared)
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 TBS lemon zest
- 8 oz cool whip (thawed, divided)
- 3 1/2 sleeves graham crackers
- Place a layer of graham crackers, into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Set the graham crackers side by side to cover the whole bottom of the pan. Break graham cracker pieces as needed to fill the whole pan.
- Stir together your dry pudding mix and milk in a large bowl for about 2 minutes till it starts to thicken.
- Fold in the lemon zest and 1/2 cup of the cool whip until mixed throughout. Set aside.
- Carefully spread half of the pudding mixture over the top of the graham crackers. Spread evenly to the edges.
- Place another layer of graham crackers to cover the pudding completely and go to the edges of the pan.
- Spread the remaining pudding over the top of the graham crackers, evenly to the edges.
- Add final layer of graham crackers, placed evenly over the pudding.
- Spread remaining cool whip over the top of the final layer of graham crackers, evenly to the edges.
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 4 hours, up to overnight.
- **Or place ice box cake in the freezer. Remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.
- Slice and serve.
Preferred with crushed vanilla wafers, but great and super easy recipe. Thank you.
Ann McGehee says
Excellent and easy, the first time I made it per the directions, I made it again using thin lemon cookies in place of the Graham crackers- left with an empty pan!!
Diane G says
I wasn’t sure if I would like it with the graham crackers, but I tried it anyway. It was delicious! Everyone at the luncheon I served it at loved the light summery flavor. I’ll definitely do this one again.
Susan McGrath says
Can shortbread cookies be used instead of graham crackers?
I haven’t tried it with shortbread but it should work! Let me know how it turns out!
Katie Luna says
What if I don’t have cool whip…can I use heavy cream and mix it with the dry pudding mix?
The pudding mix is mixed with milk, which you’ll still need to do as most of the layers are made from pudding. You could make your own whipped cream instead of using cool whip and then mix that with the pudding, but you’ll still need the milk. And I like putting some of the whipped topping on top of it all too.
HAN Mooncake says
Wow, this cake look so yummy! Thank you so much for such wonderful recipes you provided
Thank you for your kind words and support. I hope we continue to please you.
So pretty and refreshing. I can’t wait to make this.