Lemon Icebox Cake

4.53 from 92 votes
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A ridiculously easy no-bake lemon icebox cake recipe, made using just 4 simple ingredients: lemon pudding mix, milk, Cool Whip, and graham crackers. The easy dessert is perfect for hot summer days, backyard BBQs, special occasions, or as a sweet treat following family dinner.

Slice of lemon pudding cake on a plate next to cake dish.

While some people (like me) call me no-bake desserts like these icebox cakes, I have seen them also referred to as a lemon lush or lemon dream dessert.

But, typically a lush has a cream cheese layer, which this particular recipe does not. (I do also have a lemon lush recipe if you would like something with a cream cheese layer.)

So, I think lemon icebox cake, lemon icebox dessert, or no-bake lemon pudding cake are better-suited names for this delicious treat.

Looking for a no-bake cheesecake? Check out this amazing no-bake cherry cheesecake or these no-bake strawberry cheesecake bars.

Lemon Pudding Cake with layers of graham crackers, lemon pudding, and Cool Whip. Topped with a raspberry.

I know, I know, who really cares what you call it? What matters is how it tastes, right?

Well, I can assure you that this lemon cake tastes incredible. Cool, light, and creamy lemon goodness. I love how it has just the right amount of lemon flavor so that it isn’t too lemony.

Related: 3-Ingredient Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

No Bake Lemon Pudding Cake with a few slices removed to show layers

If you love lemon desserts, you won’t be able to resist this lemon pudding icebox cake.

And just like our no-bake eclair cake and strawberry icebox cake, you won’t believe how easy it is to make. The hardest part is waiting the 4 hours for it to chill in the fridge!


This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Lemon instant pudding mix – Make sure you get instant pudding mix and not cook and serve pudding. For a milder lemon flavor, you can use one box of lemon pudding and one box of vanilla pudding.
  • Milk – Use whole milk for an extra creamy filling – although 2%, 1% or skim milk will work, too.
  • Cool Whip – Two 8 ounce tubs or one 16 ounce tub, thawed. Cool Whip or Cool Whip Lite both work well for this recipe.
  • Graham crackers – You will use just about the entire box of grahams for this recipe.

How to Make Lemon Ice Box Cake

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

The cake is made by simply alternating layers of graham crackers, lemon pudding, and Cool Whip.

Four image collage of steps to make the ice box lemon cake: mix pudding mixture in a bowl, layer graham crackers in baking dish, top with pudding mixture and repeat layers, top with cool whip and fresh berries.

Step 1. Mix to combine lemon pudding mix and milk. Fold half of the whipped topping into the lemon mixture.

Step 2. Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of whole graham crackers. Break as needed to cover the entire bottom with a single layer. Next, spoon half the pudding mixture over the graham crackers and gently spread into an even layer. Repeat the layers once more then top with a final layer of graham crackers followed by the remaining whipped topping.

Step 3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh berries and/or graham cracker crumbs before serving, if desired.


If you are lucky enough to have any leftovers you can store them covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

This no bake summer dessert also keeps well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving. It’s delicious slightly frozen, though, so it doesn’t have to thaw completely.

Slice of lemon pudding cake on a plate next to cake dish.

Recipe Tips

  • Vary your toppings! Crushed vanilla wafers, lemon zest, and / or lemon slices would be perfect on top of this icebox lemon cake.
  • For neater slices, use a sharp knife to cut the lemon dessert while it’s slightly frozen.
  • Be careful when covering your cake. I used the lid that came with my 9 x 13 glass casserole dish but it wasn’t high enough and left a large hole in the top layer of my cake. Now that I know better I ordered an extra deep glass baking pan to use next time I make a no-bake cake… which will probably be next week, knowing me. You could use toothpicks and plastic wrap, too.


Read on for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to ensure your lemon icebox cake turns out perfect every time!

Can I make the lemon icebox cake in advance?

Absolutely! The lemon icebox cake is perfect for making in advance. It actually gets better with time as the flavors meld together. You can make it a day or two ahead and keep it refrigerated until serving.

Can I add other fruits or flavors to the lemon icebox cake?

Yes! This easy icebox cake recipe is versatile, and you can customize it to your liking. Adding fresh berries like fresh blueberries or strawberries between the layers can provide a burst of flavor and color. You can also experiment with adding a touch of vanilla extract to enhance the flavors.

Can I use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip?

Yes, you can use homemade whipped cream. Simply whip 3 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form, then sweeten it with powdered sugar to taste. Keep in mind that homemade whipped cream isn’t stabilized like Cool Whip is, so the texture of your cake may be slightly different and it may not keep as well.

9 x 13 glass baking dish with lemon cake topped with raspberries

I hope that you enjoy this easy recipe!

More easy ice box cake recipes

Lemon Pudding Cake with layers of graham crackers, lemon pudding, and Cool Whip. Topped with a raspberry.
4.53 from 92 votes

Lemon Icebox Cake

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 15 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
The absolute BEST lemon icebox cake recipe! All you need are 4-ingredients to make this easy and delicious no-bake lemon dessert.


  • 6.8 ounces lemon instant pudding mix (2 boxes)
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 16 ounces whipped topping thawed and divided
  • 16 ounces graham crackers (1 box)
  • fresh raspberries optional topping


  • In a large bowl, whisk instant pudding mix and milk together for 2 minutes. Fold in half of the whipped topping.
  • Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with a single layer of graham crackers. Add half of the pudding mixture and gently spread into an even layer. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers and then the rest of the pudding. Top with a final layer of graham crackers and the remaining whipped topping.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
  • Top with fresh berries and/or graham cracker crumbs before serving, if desired.


Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1mg
Lemon Pudding Cake with layers of graham crackers, lemon pudding, and Cool Whip. Topped with a raspberry.

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No-Bake Lemon Pudding Cake Pin.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made it last minute for Thanksgiving Dinner and it was a hit! Quick and easy to put together for a get together, sympathy gift, or weeknight meal.

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