This lemon icebox pie is a perfect combination of creamy, tangy, sweet, and cool. With only a few ingredients this no-bake recipe comes together quickly and easily! It is perfect for a hot summer day, picnics and barbecues or any holiday gathering!
If you’ve never had a lemon icebox pie before imagine if a key lime pie and fresh lemonade had a baby! It has the delicious crunch of a graham cracker pie crust filled with a creamy filling that the perfect blend of sweet and tart it is always family favorite!
Two of my favorite things are lemon desserts and no bake pie recipes! I love pie so if I can whip one up without a ton of effort or heating up my kitchen I’m a happy girl! This is a great dessert for lemon lovers, and anyone who loves a tart, delicious, easy dessert!
Some lemon icebox pie recipes require egg yolks for the pie filling and cooking or baking. This is a no-bake recipe, there is zero cooking required, so it is the best lemon icebox pie recipe for hot weather, or holidays when your oven is busy with other things! It only takes a few minutes of stirring and then filling the pie crust. The hardest part is waiting for it to refrigerate so that you can dig in!
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(For ingredient amounts see the recipe card at the bottom of this post)
Graham Cracker Crust– I use a store bought crust for mine, because it is quick and easy! If you have a recipe for a homemade graham cracker crust that you would rather use that is fine too! Just use a standard pie pan, the filling isn’t enough for a deep dish pie plate.
Lemon Juice- Fresh lemon juice is the best because it is nice and tart! If you don’t have fresh lemons bottled is fine too, the lemon flavor just won’t be quite as strong. You can add 1/4- 1/2 tsp of lemon extract if want to enhance the flavor.
Lemon Zest- This helps add more lemon flavor to the pie. Make sure to zest your lemons before squeezing them.
Sweetened Condensed Milk- You’ll need the typical 14oz. cans, not the fat free kind.
Vanilla Extract– Real vanilla extract is best!
Yellow food coloring– This is total optional but this recipe results in a creamy yellow pie, if you want a more vibrant yellow color add a few drops of yellow gel food coloring.
Whipped cream- Whipped cream or cool whip makes a delicious garnish for this pie! A nice dollop on the top of the pie slices or a ring around the edge of the pie makes it prettier and creamier. You can even add little lemon slices on top of the whipped topping to make a pretty presentation!
Here’s how to make this lemon pie
In a large bowl whisk together sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Mix until well blended. This filling is very easy to stir by hand but if you prefer using an electric mixer just use it on low, you don’t want to whip a lot of air into it.
Next add in lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk until thickened. If this is your first time making this you may think it looks a little strange at first but keep stirring it will be nice and smooth and thicker. If you want it to be a brighter yellow color add a drop or two of yellow gel food coloring and mix until the color is nice and even, add a little more if desired.
Now pour the lemon mixture into crust and spread it evenly across with a rubber spatula.
Now cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I like to cover mine with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, try to keep it from touching the top of the pie so it doesn’t stick.
You can also freeze the pie if you want it to be colder and firmer when you serve. When it is frozen it is the perfect dessert for a hot day! If you freeze it you’ll want to leave it about 8 hours or overnight, take it out of the freezer for about 20 minutes to soften a bit before serving.
Slice into 8 equal pieces and serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
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Frequently Asked Questions & Tips For Success
Can this be made in advance? This pie is the perfect make ahead dessert! It can be made 2-3 days before serving and still taste amazing! It is a great recipe for any gathering or occasion where you need to be available for entertaining or cooking!
Can I use a different crust – If you need an alternative to graham cracker crumb crust you can use one! I know my Walmart has gluten free pie crusts, and even one made from walnuts! Or you can use your favorite crumb pie crust recipe for this no-bake lemon icebox pie.
Can I use different juice? Want to make another variation besides lemon ice box pie? You can swap the lemon juice for lime juice for something close to a key lime pie! I imagine you could use any citrus juice so next time you could even try an orange ice box pie!
Serve the pie right out of the fridge. The filling will get looser the warmer it gets so this is best served nice and cold. If you are traveling with it keep it in a cooler or refrigerate it when you get where you’re going. A sharp knife cuts through it easily and cleanly.
- Graham Cracker Crust
- ¾ Cup Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- 2 Cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
- ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Yellow food coloring (if desired)
- Whipped cream for garnish (if desired)
- In a large bowl whisk together sweetened
condensed milk and vanilla until well mixed.
- Add in lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk until thickened.
If a brighter yellow color is desired add a few drops of yellow food coloring
and mix until evenly colored.
- Pour lemon mixture into crust and spread it out evenly.
- Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. You can also freeze it overnight.
- If frozen remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving.
- To serve slice into 8 equal pieces and serve with a dollop of whipped
cream if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g