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.
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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Refrigerate– covered until the inside has set and is firm. This should take around 4 hours to completely set.
- Top– with the remaining 1/2 tub of Cool Whip and serve!
- Store– covered in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
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.
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.
Frequently asked questions
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.
This pie will last in the refrigerator covered for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to one month.
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.
Tips and tricks
* 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.
More delicious dessert recipes
- Puppy Chow Cereal Snack– an addictively delicious treat with crunchy Crispix cereal, creamy peanut butter, melted chocolate, and covered in powdered sugar.
- Chocolate Strawberry Jam Oatmeal Bars– easy make ahead dessert filled with a sweet chocolate and strawberry jam filling and have a buttery oatmeal crumble top.
- Slow Cooker Strawberry Peach Dump Cake– fast and easy dessert filled with sweet strawberries and peaches topped with a buttery cake crumble.
Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie (No-Bake)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 8 ounces Cool Whip
- 9 inch graham cracker crust
- 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.
- 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.