Easy No Bake Lemon Icebox Pie

This easy no-bake, no-egg Lemon Icebox Pie has the reputation of being a Southern classic tradition, particularly during the hot, balmy days of summer. 

Creamy fresh lemon pie is good year round and is a perfect light dessert, plus that, it’s super easy to make and delicious!

Use a pre-made or homemade graham cracker crust, freeze it and call it dessert!Slice of lemon icebox pie on white plate.

 

Icebox pies are a staple dessert in the South any time of the year! This light, creamy lemon pie does not contain any eggs and you don’t cook it!

Just assemble the ingredients, pop it in the freezer and call it done!

Why you’ll love this recipe!

If you’re in a crunch for an easy dessert, this lemon icebox pie is the answer! Just combine the ingredients and freeze until ready to serve.

This pairs well after a dinner of fried catfish, chicken fried steak or Mom’s meatloaf

The beauty of this recipe is that it 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

Food processor with condensed milk and cream cheese in it.

Pour the fresh lemon filling into a pre-made or homemade baked graham cracker crust (see recipe card below); freeze for 4 hours

Expert tips

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

Two slices of pie on crystal plate.

 

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.

Lemon Icebox pie on crystal platter.

Make this no bake, no egg Lemon Icebox Pie for your next gathering, family reunion, family dinner or get together! It’s a sure-fire winner everytime!

Lemon Icebox pie with whipped cream.

No Bake No Egg Lemon Icebox Pie

A Southern classic, lemon icebox pie that requires no baking or eggs! Foolproof and delicious every time!
4.94 from 64 votes
Print Text Recipe Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freezer time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Yield: 8 slices
Author: Anecia Hero

Ingredients 

Crust

  • 12 whole graham crackers (pulsed in food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 stick butter , melted

Filling

  • 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)

Instructions 

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
    1 stick butter
  • In food processor, combined broken pieces of graham crackers and sugar; drizzle in melted butter
    12 whole graham crackers, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 stick 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

Prepare Filling

  • In the food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until it reaches a smooth consistency
    14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 8 ounces cream cheese, ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 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 or lemon zest (optional)
    1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Allow pie to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing

Notes

About the crust: 
I prefer to make my own graham cracker crust because it tastes better and has a better texture than the pre-made pie shells; it’s your call
A 9″-inch pie crust uses about 12 whole graham crackers–this is enough to be able to press the crumbs up around the side of the pie dish
 
Real vs. Bottled Lemon Juice
One caveat is that you must use fresh squeezed lemon juice. The artificial or “real” juice in a jar doesn’t cut it. You’ll need about a 1/4 cup of lemon juice, so roughly 3-4 big lemons, plus more for garnish.
You can use up to ½ cup of lemon juice if you really like lemon:)
If you want to serve this soon, place covered pie in freezer. Remove and allow it to sit at room temperature a little while before you serve it.
Can I Use Meyer Lemons for Lemon Icebox Pie?
Meyer lemons are less acidic and sweeter than ‘regular’ lemons. When the lemon is not the star of the show, it’s fine to substitute with a Meyer lemon; however, in this recipe, the tang of the lemon is the star and therefore I do not recommend the substitution.
How Do I Make Lemon Zest?
If you don’t have a citrus zester, use the smallest side of a cheese grater. This recipe calls for one tablespoon of zest, which can be produced from about two large lemons.
Can I Make a Lemon Icebox Pie in Advance?
This pie can easily hold its own in the freezer for up to a week, provided its covered with plastic. 
  • If serving this pie outdoors, place the pie pan in ice to keep it chilled

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 373kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 6gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 229mgPotassium: 255mgFiber: 1gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 732IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 173mgIron: 1mg
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26 Comments

    1. I haven’t ever tried lemon icebox pie with a regular pie crust, so I don’t know what would happen to the texture of the crust upon freezing.

  1. I had to add almost an additional 1/4 cup of lemon juice to get it to taste more like lemon. Also, the filling didn’t come out yellow like in your picture. Did I do something wrong? Thanks!

    1. Thank you for sharing! The recipe post indicates that this is a light lemon flavor and, if you like more lemon, you can add a little more juice.

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this pie and it was delicious. It was so simple and easy. I may eat the entire pie myself. The sweet, tangy filling is very smooth and satisfying. The crust came out perfect. Thanks for sharing this recipe. BTW, I used a mixer instead of a food processor with no issues.

      1. I made this, but I’m wondering about the lemon. One lemon provided the required 1/4 cup of juice. Do I use more? The flavor seems a little mild.

      2. Hey Ellen! I suppose you could add more lemon to the icebox pie, but I’m not sure what would happen to the consistency….if you add more, please let me know how it turns out! Thank you!