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Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie (No-Bake)

This Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie recipe is a classically sweet dessert full of flavor with tart lemons and sweetened condensed milk and cool whip. Easy to make ahead for special occasions, potlucks, or special holidays.

close up of a slice with the rest of the pie in the background

The Easiest Pie

Some family recipes are so special that they are passed down from generation to generation to be shared for many years. Lemon Icebox Pie is an easy classic dessert recipe that has been enjoyed for decades and signals that spring is here! It is creamy and cool with the best balance of tartness from the lemons and sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping. Plus, it is one the simplest no-bake desserts to make with only 4 ingredients (no eggs!), one bowl, and takes just minutes to mix together. Make this ahead of time for any potluck, get-together, or holiday like Easter or the 4th of July.

old fashioned lemon icebox pie with a lemon and pie server

Ingredients

  • Lemon– the main ingredient that is the heart of the dessert. While fresh lemon juice gives it that extra something special, there’s no need to worry if you do not have it on hand. Bottled lemon juice will work just as well.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk– this is what balances out the tartness of the lemon and brings a creamy sweet flavor.
  • Cool Whip– fold this in and it becomes creamy and dreamy. Enjoy it with homemade whipped cream instead if you prefer to make this yourself.
  • Graham Cracker Crust– while homemade crust is a personal favorite, premade makes this so much quicker and easier with a great flavor.

How to make it

This is so simple to make. All you have to do is:

  1. Mix- lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl until it blends together. No need to get out the mixer, just a whisk or large spoon will work well.
  2. Fold – in 1/2 a tub of Cool Whip into the bowl with a large spoon or spatula. Try to do this lightly so it doesn’t get over-mixed and lose some of its fluffiness.
  3. Pour– mixture into a graham cracker crust and smooth the top. Be sure to save the plastic covering that comes with the crust. Flip it over to make it into a dome shape and pinch the aluminum sides so that it becomes the perfect top to cover the pie.
  4. Refrigerate– covered until the inside has set and is firm. This should take around 4 hours to completely set.
  5. Top– with the remaining 1/2 tub of Cool Whip and serve!
  6. Store– covered in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.

Variations

Try using crushed vanilla wafers, pretzels, or Oreos for a new twist on the crust. Or even a pre-baked traditional crust would taste delicious!

Use homemade whipped cream in place of the Cool Whip for a made-from-scratch taste.

If you would like to cut a few calories, try using lite Cool Whip or fat-free sweetened condensed milk. While I have not tried these personally, I think it would still produce similar results.

close up of the pie with lemon zest on top

Make ahead options

This dessert is perfect to make ahead! Just mix the filling, pour it into the graham cracker crust, and refrigerate until ready to eat. Top with remaining Cool Whip when ready to serve.

You can also freeze it! Be sure it is tightly covered and freeze for up to one month without topping. Allow to thaw slightly before topping and serving.

one slice of pie on a plate with the rest of the pie and a lemon on the table

Frequently asked questions

Why is it called Lemon Icebox Pie?

Icebox pies are easy desserts that were stored in an icebox and are now stored in a refrigerator, have a simple filling, and are typically topped with whipped topping.

How long does it last?

This pie will last in the refrigerator covered for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to one month.

Why is my Lemon Icebox Pie runny?

After a few days in the refrigerator, you will notice a little runniness in the bottom of the pie pan. This is normal as the lemon juice will start to separate. It will still taste delicious and is safe to eat.

close up of a bite on a fork with the pie in the background

More delicious dessert recipes

slice of old fashioned lemon icebox pie on a red plate with the pie and lemons in the background

Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie (No-Bake)

Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie is a classicly sweet dessert full of flavor with tart lemons and sweetened condensed milk and cool whip. Easy to make ahead for special occasions, potlucks, or special holidays.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Resting Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices
Calories 258 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 9 inch graham cracker crust

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk until well blended. Lightly fold in 1/2 of the container of Cool Whip (4 ounces) until smooth and creamy. Pour into the graham cracker crust.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until the center has set and is mostly firm.
  • Top with the remaining Cool Whip and serve. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for 5-7 days.

Notes

Helpful tips:
  • Homemade graham cracker crust or whipped topping can be used in place of premade.
  • The pie will become slightly runny after a few days in the refrigerator.
  • Make ahead and store in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days or in the freezer up to one month.
  • Be sure to save the plastic covering that comes with the crust. Flip it over to make it into a dome shape and pinch the aluminum sides so that it becomes the perfect top to cover the pie.
*Nutritional values and cook times vary due to differences in cookware and product brand selection.

Nutrition

Serving: 8slicesCalories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSodium: 53mgSugar: 35g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Nutrition Facts
Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie (No-Bake)
Serving Size
 
8 slices
Amount per Serving
Calories
258
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9
g
14
%
Sodium
 
53
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
39
g
13
%
Sugar
 
35
g
39
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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5 Comments

  1. This looks delicious and refreshing! Perfect for our summer parties. I love that it is no bake. Plus I need easy! Thanks for sharing.

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