This tart, tangy and creamy Lemon Icebox Pie is perfect for poolside dessert on a hot day. It's made with a graham cracker crust, fresh lemon-flavored filling, and whipped cream topping. So easy to make, and so good to eat!
Some of the most popular Summer desserts are cobblers, ice cream, and of course, pies like this lemon icebox pie recipe. A few of our favorites are Strawberry Cobbler, Key Lime Ice Cream, and Blueberry Pie.
Easy Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe:
An icebox pie is typically made with a graham cracker crust and a creamy filling. It gets its name from the fact that it needs to be refrigerated or "set" in the icebox (refrigerator) before serving.
These types of desserts were popular in the early 1900s when iceboxes were common kitchen appliances. Even though iceboxes have been replaced by refrigerators, icebox pies are still a popular dessert option!
Some commonly known icebox pies are lemon icebox pie, chocolate icebox pie, strawberry icebox pie, and peanut butter chocolate icebox pie.
How to Make Lemon Icebox Pie:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and get out a 9-inch pie dish.
- Place the graham crackers, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and coconut flakes in a food processor. Pulse until a fine, sandy texture forms. With the processor still running, slowly pour the butter into the mixture, and blend until the crumbs start to pull away from the edges. Transfer the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie dish.
- Using your fingers, press the crumb mixture into the dish. You can also use the bottom of a glass to press the crust into the dish.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is fragrant and nutty. Allow the crust to cool completely to set before adding the lemon filling.
- Combine the cream cheese and condensed milk by adding them to a large mixing bowl or electric stand mixer. Mix until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Then, add the sour cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix on medium-low speed until fully incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Use a rubber spatula to smooth it out evenly. Chill the lemon icebox pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours or until the pie is completely set. Remove from the refrigerator, and top with cool whip or whipped cream if desired. Slice and enjoy!
Tips and Variations:
- This homemade graham cracker crust is super delicious. However, if you need to save time or don't want to turn on the oven, you can absolutely use a premade 9-inch graham cracker crust.
- Make sure the crusts cools completely before pouring in the filling as the filling can melt when exposed to heat or warmth.
- Chilling is important! Lemon icebox pie needs at least four hours in the fridge to set properly. Overnight is even better!
- Use bottled lemon juice in place of fresh lemon juice if needed. The pie may taste slightly different due to the artificial lemon flavor.
- Use a homemade butter pie crust, Golden Oreo, regular Oreo, Chex cereal, or shortbread crust for a different base.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Store lemon icebox pie covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Freezing: To freeze this icebox pie, wrap tightly in plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. The pie will stay fresh for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 9 graham crackers, full sheets, broken into squares
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 16 ounces block-style cream cheese, softened
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 4 lemons)
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest
- Whipped cream or cool whip
- Lemon slices
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Place the graham crackers, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and coconut flakes in a food processor. Pulse until a fine, sandy texture forms. With the processor still running, slowly pour the butter into the mixture, and blend until the crumbs start to pull away from the edges.9 graham crackers2 tablespoons light brown sugar½ teaspoon ground cinnamon1 teaspoon ground ginger¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Transfer the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie dish. Press the crumbs into the dish firmly with your fingers or the bottom of a glass, making sure the crust is well packed.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is fragrant. Allow the crust to cool completely before adding the filling.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth ensuring no lumps remain. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until well combined.16 ounces block-style cream cheese14 ounces sweetened condensed milk¼ cup sour cream¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice3 tablespoons lemon zest
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Use a spatula to smooth the filling in an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until the pie is set.
- Serve cold and enjoy! See post for storage options.