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Deliciously creamy & tangy Lemon Icebox Pie is a classic chilled Southern dessert that’s perfect for summer!

Chilled treats like Easy Berry Icebox CakeAngel Food Ice Cream Cake, and Frozen Strawberry Dessert and this Lemon Icebox Pie are some of our summer go-to’s!

A slice of lemon icebox pie served on a white plate.

Our Favorite Icebox Pie

Have you had an icebox pie before? Today’s recipe is our favorite!

A traditional icebox pie does not need any baking and is kept in an ice box (refrigerator) and served chilled.

This recipe relies on an egg-based custard which needs to be baked in order for the filling to thicken and set and then is chilled in the ice box. 

If you put it in the freezer, it’s firmer – which is also delicious. I’m a big fan of both!!

Lemon icebox pie is the cousin to Key Lime Pie. It has a luxurious, creamy texture, and a sweet, tangy lemon flavor. The lemon flavor is refreshing, which makes this pie perfect for summer.

How to Make Lemon Icebox Pie

This recipe for a lemon icebox pie is simple, but does take some time to chill.

PREP. Preheat the oven to 325°F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.

CRUST. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.

Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form the crust. Then pop it in the freezer as you make the filling.

FILLING. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk.

In a separate large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and lemon zest until frothy and lighter in color. Then gently mix in the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice.

BAKE. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top looks set and there’s a slight wobble in the middle.

CHILL + SERVE. Allow to cool at room temperature, then chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 6 hours to set. Top with Whipped Cream to serve. 

Topping variations.

  • Top with whipped cream and a lemon slice.
  • Use fresh berries such as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.

Ingredient Tips

Lemon. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of juice from a bottle for this recipe. I find lemon juice from the bottle is way too tart. Instead of getting a deliciously tangy flavor, it can end up extra sour with a bit of a bite to it.

1 cup of fresh lemon juice is about 5-6 lemons.

Lemon zest is made using the peel of the lemon. Use the peels from the fresh lemon to grate 1 tablespoon of zest. A citrus zester works great, but the small side of a cheese grater also works. 

Egg whites. Don’t toss the egg whites. Store 2 egg whites per container in the fridge. Use them to make healthy scrambled eggs, Chocolate Macarons, or Chiffon Cake.

Graham crackers. To make 1⅔ C you will need approximately 12-15 sheets of graham crackers.

Lemon icebox pie in a glass pie dish topped with whipped cream.

Recipe Tips + Storing Tips

Firm pie. If the pie is too firm to cut, place a sharp knife in a tall glass of hot/warm water first, then dry it off and cut the pie. (I like to use this trick for ice cream cake too).

Soft pie. If the pie is too soft to cut, place it in the freezer to firm up.

Mixing tip. Use a stand mixer or electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Use low speed and don’t over mix. 

Perfect pie. Do not cover the pie until completely cool, otherwise, the steam will collect and drip moisture down on the dessert.

STORE. Once the Lemon Icebox Pie recipe is completely cool, wrap it in plastic and store it in the fridge for about 5 days.

FREEZE. To store it in the freezer, wrap it again with foil. It can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw a bit before serving.

Lemon Icebox Pie served on a white plate topped with whipped cream.

Recipe FAQ

How do you thicken a lemon pie?

The sweetened condensed milk thickens up this icebox pie quite nicely! Also, condensed milk continues to thicken up in the fridge or freezer.

What other toppings can I add to this pie?

I can find any excuse to add homemade whipped cream to any dessert and this lemon icebox pie is no exception! You can also add any fresh berry on top such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

For more citrus favorites:

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5 from 28 votes

Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Deliciously creamy & tangy Lemon Icebox Pie is a classic chilled Southern dessert that's perfect for summer!
Servings: 8 slices
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Chill: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients 

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

Lemon Pie Filling

  • 2 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice about 4-6 lemons
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F degrees and lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
  • In a medium bowl stir together the graham crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
  • Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form the crust. Then pop it in the freezer as you make the filling.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk.
  • In a separate large bowl beat together the egg yolks and lemon zest until frothy and lighter in color.
  • Then gently mix in the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice.
  • Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top looks set and there's a slight wobble in the middle.
  • Allow to cool at room temperature, then chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 6 hours to set.
  • Top with whipped cream to serve. 

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 207mg, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 80mg, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 505IU, Vitamin C: 12.8mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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About Fiona

My name's Fiona and I love to bake and blog. I share homemade, from scratch, classic recipes for desserts & sweet treats including cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Morgan E says:

    5 stars
    The most absolutely perfect dessert for the summer! I can’t wait to have another slice lol!

  2. Joseph E. Mann says:

    5 stars
    I never thought I would ever find this recipe. My memaw use to make this pie and I loved it so much as a kid ,damn this brings back some memories love it thanks so much for sharing this Lil recipe it’s one of life’s little joys

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Oh that makes me so happy to hear! Glad you found this recipe and it could bring back great memories!

  3. Sue says:

    5 stars
    My neighbor delivers bags of lemons to me every winter which I juice and then freeze. This ice box pie is a perfect use for some of them. I cant wait to try your other lemon recipes.

  4. Olivia says:

    5 stars
    A great dessert for summertime. It’s cool and refreshing. Easy to make and will be a hit at your next gathering!

  5. Toni says:

    5 stars
    This is such an amazing dessert! I will definitely make it again!

  6. Colleen G says:

    5 stars
    So happy I found this recipe, it tastes even better than my grandma’s! Such great memories. I will definitely make this again.

  7. Sharina says:

    5 stars
    Another addition to my go-to summer recipes! This lemon icebox pie is so refreshing and decadent. Even the kids can’t get enough of it!

  8. Gail says:

    I’ve made ice box but never had to bake
    Defeats the purpose of Ice Box
    Hope it comes out goodb🫰

    1. Ms. Laura says:

      Gail, the baking is necessary for egg yolks and the egg whites topping to brown, if that’s what you use instead of whip cream! You definitely need to cook the egg yolks, let cool before you add cool whip!

  9. Jessica Cooley says:

    5 stars
    Creamy and tangy. Absolutely delicious.

  10. Ana Maria says:

    5 stars
    Really refreshing!