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Easy Lemon Dessert

Fresh, sweet, and ridiculously easy to make, this lemon icebox dessert can be served in a glass or as a frozen cake. Either, it's the perfect no bake recipe!

  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


Units Scale

Lemon Cream:

  • 1 pound (450g) of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 14oz. can (400g) regular condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest (about 3-4 lemons)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

To assemble:

  • 3 cups (about) fresh or frozen raspberries or other berries (use blue and red berries for the 4th of July)
  • 7-oz (200g) graham crackers or plain vanilla cookies or wafers (this amount can vary depending on how you decide to serve it and your personal ratio preference with the cream cheese layer)


For the lemon cream:

  1. Beat the cold heavy cream in a large bowl until medium peaks form. 
  2. Beat the room temperature cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Add the condensed milk and beat until well incorporated and creamy. Make sure there are no lumps of cream cheese.
  4. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and mix until well integrated but don't overbeat.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream and mix until uniform in color and smooth. Don't beat! Stir until it's all well incorporated. 

To assemble:

  1. If using individual glasses, put a few berries in the bottom and a layer of vanilla wafer or graham cracker crumbs.
  2. Spoon the lemon cream cheese mixture on top.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  4. Serve cold and top with additional berries right before serving.
  5. If using a ceramic dish (the one I use is 9x13 inches), alternate layers of cookies side by side with the lemon cream, like you would in a lasagna. You will have two layers of each.
  6. You can put a layer of berries in between or add them when serving the dessert.
  7. It needs to refrigerate for at least 8 hours, covered.
  8. It can be frozen, well wrapped, for 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator and serve cold. 


Flavor combinations: you can use whatever cookie flavor and fruit you like with lemon (it reminds me of fruit crumbles). Today I used coconut cookies and raspberries. A combination that I like a lot is chocolate cookies, lemon cream, and strawberries. It's surprisingly good.

Refrigeration: either way you serve it, this dessert needs refrigeration to set and to moisten the cookies. Pretty much like no-bake cheesecakes. Even if you're going to freeze it, refrigerate it for 6-8 hours before.

Freezing it: this is a wonderful dessert to have frozen at all times. I, personally, like to eat it half frozen, but even if you like it to thaw more, having a frozen icebox cake can save you from any dessert emergency.

Make-ahead: you can have the lemon cream waiting in the fridge up to 3 days before assembling the dessert.

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 120 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Refrigeration
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/12
  • Calories: 336
  • Sugar: 26.6 g
  • Sodium: 228.5 mg
  • Fat: 19.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.2 g
  • Protein: 6.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 49.7 mg

Keywords: lemon no bake dessert