With cream cheese, lots of zesty lemon, whipped topping, and softly sweet vanilla wafer cookies, this easy no-bake lemon icebox cake recipe is a creamy citrus dream that tastes like sunshine and joy with every bite.
No-bake lemon icebox cake gets its name from the fact refrigerators were called iceboxes back in the day. While this cake recipe might be old-fashioned, lemon icebox cake is anything but. It’s creamy, dreamy, citrusy, and fresh. This cool dessert is perfect at the end of any day and a great weekend treat. I just love lemon desserts because they taste like sunshine and joy.
Fortunately, this cake is super easy to whip together. You only need 6 ingredients: cream cheese, vanilla pudding, milk, lemon, whipping cream, and vanilla wafer cookies. The instructions are simple and include a little mixing and a little layering to make the most delicious cake.
The best part is, there’s no baking required. Simply pop it in the fridge to cool and enjoy! With layers of lemon-flavored cream cheese, whipped topping, and vanilla wafer cookies, your friends and family will love this summer dessert. It’s also a great dessert to make ahead of time. Make it a day or two before your event and let that zesty lemon flavor soak into the wafers.
This old-fashioned lemon icebox cake recipe is similar to our Elvis Presley cake, so when you get a chance check out the Rock n Roll King’s favorite cake.
So if you need a little extra joy today, I hope you’ll print this one off to try.
- Cream cheese (here’s our easy homemade cream cheese recipe)
- Instant vanilla pudding
- Lemon (the lemon juice and lemon zest)
- Whipped topping like Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream
- Vanilla wafer cookies
How to Make Lemon Icebox Cake
Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy (a minute or so). Add in the pudding mix, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat until well combined (about two minutes).
Add in 1/2 cup of whipped topping and beat again until incorporated.
Place a layer of cookies in the bottom of a standard-sized loaf pan (about 10 or so).
Spread half of the cream cheese mixture on top of this and spread the remaining lemon cream cheese mixture on top of the second layer of cookies.
Top with remaining whipped topping and sprinkle with lemon zest. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow the cookies to soften. Enjoy!
- Store lemon cake leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- You can also freeze leftovers for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
- Substitute the Nilla wafers for graham crackers or shortbread cookies.
- You can also substitute the vanilla pudding for instant lemon pudding mix for even more lemon flavor.
- Another way to enhance the lemon flavor is to add two layers of microwave lemon curd.
- Garnish your lemon icebox cake with lemon wedges, curled lemon zest, or raspberries, or decadent caramel sauce.
You might enjoy these other delicious recipes:
Vanilla Wafer Pudding Recipe With Pineapple
How To Make Homemade Banana Pudding From Scratch
Lemon Angel Food Cake Roll (A Heavenly Dessert)
Vanilla Wafer Cake Recipe From Mama Reed
- 1 package cream cheese 8-ounce
- 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 lemon: lemon juice and lemon zest save a little zest to sprinkle on top
- 1.5 cups whipped topping or homemade whipped cream
- 25 vanilla wafer cookies approximate number
- Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy (a minute or so). Add in the pudding mix, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat until well combined (about two minutes).1 package cream cheese, 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix, ¾ cup milk, 1 lemon: lemon juice and lemon zest
- Add in 1/2 cup of whipped topping and beat again until incorporated.1.5 cups whipped topping or homemade whipped cream
- Place a layer of cookies in the bottom of a standard-sized loaf pan (about 10 or so).25 vanilla wafer cookies
- Spread half of the cream cheese mixture on top of this and spread the remaining cream cheese mixture on top of the second layer of cookies.
- Top with remaining whipped topping and sprinkle with lemon zest. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow the cookies to soften. Enjoy!
This looks really yummy . Please do you know what instant vanilla pudding and vanilla wafer cookies would be here in England . Hope you can help thank you
Pauline, there is a young woman from the U.K. who posts her recipes online at U.S. recipe sites. Her name is Gemma Stafford. She has a recipe for the nilla wafers (online). Perhaps you could contact her and ask questions about products in the U.K. which would be comparable to ours. Her site is named biggerbolderbaking.