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Lemon Icebox Pie

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.

Lemon icebox pie on a plate.

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 Even though iceboxes have been replaced by refrigerators, icebox pies are still a popular dessert option!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:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and get out a 9-inch pie dish.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
Collage showing how to make lemon icebox pie.

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.
Top down view of sliced lemon icebox pie.

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.

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Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie

Lemon Icebox Pie

Top down view of a sliced lemon icebox pie.

Lemon Icebox Pie made with a graham cracker crust, fresh lemon filling, and whipped cream topping is the perfect summer dessert.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 9 graham cracker sheets, broken into squares
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 16 ounces (2 brick-style packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 4 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest

Optional Toppings:

  • Whipped cream or cool whip
  • Lemon slices

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is fragrant. Allow the crust to cool completely before adding the filling.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. Serve cold and enjoy! See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

*Photos courtesy of Alicia Jeanne Photography.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 412Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 427mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 15g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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