This delicious dessert has the reputation of being a Southern classic tradition, particularly during the hot, balmy days of summer.
Almost everyone's Grandmother made at least one of these in the summer! It's super easy to make and delicious!
Use a pre-made or homemade graham cracker crust, freeze it and call it dessert!
Why you'll love this recipe!
- This easy and requires no eggs and no baking!
- Great for crowds-double the recipe and make it in a 9 X 13 baking dish to serve up to 16 slices
- It's not too sweet or tangy, but just right
Here's what you need:
- Cream cheese, fresh lemon juice, prepared graham cracker crust (or you can make your own; instructions below in the recipe card) and a can of sweetened condensed milk!
- Note, the prepared graham cracker crusts usually come in 8"-inch aluminum tins.
- If you want to make a 9"-inch pie, make the graham cracker crust from scratch. Instructions for homemade crust are in the recipe card below.
Here's how to make it:
Combine softened cream cheese, lemon juice and sweet condensed milk in food processor; pulse till smooth; do not over pulse
Pour lemon filling into a pre-made or homemade baked graham cracker crust (see recipe card below); freeze for 4 hours
- Use fresh lemon juice; not bottled or juice from Meyer Lemons
- To make lemon zest, use the smallest side of a cheese grater
- Do not over pulse in food processor - over processing breaks it down and it doesn't set up well
- You don't have to use a food processor, you can mix it by hand as well-just mash up the cream cheese really well first
- If you want more lemon flavor, use up to ½ cup lemon juice
- Graham cracker crust: I prefer to make my own instead of using the pre-made ones in the aluminum pie plates. Homemade tastes better and the texture isn't like cardboard.
- Use a super sharp knife to slice the lemon icebox pie; make a slice; clean the knife; make the same slice again (be sure to get all the way through the crust); clean knife and repeat
Can I make this in advance?
Make this icebox pie up to three days in advance. Keep it in the freezer and remove it about 15-minutes prior to serving.
Serving suggestion for a large group
- If you want to serve this to a big group, double the graham cracker and filling recipe.
- Place the graham cracker crust in a 9 x 13 baking dish; then pour in filling. Slice into squares.
Want a whipped cream topping?
No need to fuss over a topping! Make fresh homemade whipped cream in less than 10-minutes!
Graham cracker crust
- If you don't want to make one, use a pre-made crust!
- The homemade version does require about 15-minutes of baking time; let it cool before adding the lemon filling
- If you don't have a food processor to break up the crackers, put them in a big plastic bag and hammer them with the flat side of a meat mallet until they turn into fine crumbs.
- If you make your own, you'll need 12 crackers for a 9" inch pie pan; this allows enough crust to go up the sides of the pie pan
- If you double the recipe and put it in a 9 x 13 pan, use 2-3 packages of graham crackers (about 24 crackers)
Real vs. bottled lemon juice
Use real lemon juice, not concentrated. The fresh flavor of lemon is The Star of this recipe!
Can I use Meyer lemons?
For best results, do not use Meyer Lemons. They are much more acidic and have a bit of a different flavor profile.
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No Bake No Egg Lemon Icebox Pie
- 12 whole graham crackers (pulsed in food processor)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 stick butter , melted
- ¼ cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed (2-3 large lemons, depending upon size) See Recipe Notes
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (for garnish)
To Make Homemade Graham Cracker Crust
- Skip this step if you're using a pre-made graham cracker crust
- Preheat oven to 350º F
- Melt butter in small saucepan
- In food processor, combined broken pieces of graham crackers and sugar; drizzle in melted butter
- Pour graham cracker mixture into 9 inch pie plate; press graham cracker mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan (use the back of a spoon to do this)
- Bake on middle rack at 350ºF for 12-15 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool before filling
- In the food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until it reaches a smooth consistency
- Scoop filling into cooled graham cracker crust; cover with plastic and freeze for 4 hours
- Prior to serving, garnish with whipped cream and lemon slices
- Allow pie to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing
- About the crust:
- Real vs. Bottled Lemon Juice
- Can I Use Meyer Lemons for Lemon Icebox Pie?
- How Do I Make Lemon Zest?
- Can I Make a Lemon Icebox Pie in Advance?
- If serving this pie outdoors, place the pie pan in ice to keep it chilled