Lemon Icebox Pie

This Lemon Icebox Pie recipe is the perfect marriage of two of my favorite things. The wonderfully sweet tartness of lemon and the soft and creamy texture of a key lime pie. It is seriously hard to stop eating.

Lemon Icebox Pie

And even though it’s an icebox pie, it’s awesome both frozen and refrigerated. It totally depends on your preference. Refrigerated is more like the soft, creamy texture of key lime pie, but when it’s frozen it’s firmer (and sometimes I really dig that). Fortunately, even when it’s frozen it never really gets hard so it maintains that smoothness that I love!

And it’s not hard to make. The directions for a graham cracker crust are pretty straight forward. Some crumbs mixed with sugar and butter, then you press it into the pan. My favorite kind of pie crust – quick and easy.

Lemon Icebox Pie

Of course if you want it to be even easier, you can always buy a pre-made graham cracker crust at the store. No shame in that.

The filling isn’t hard to make, but squeezing all the lemons and grating the lemon zest does take a bit of time. And don’t forget to zest the lemons before you juice them. Zesting already squeezed lemons isn’t easy.

Lemon Icebox Pie

Once you’ve got that covered, it comes together pretty quickly. I love my stand mixer because I can set it on high and just wait for the egg mixture to start getting a paler shade of yellow. No arm workout necessary.

But truly the hardest part of making this is having to wait for it to cool after baking. Absolute torture. I couldn’t wait to dig in and it did not disappoint.

Lemon Icebox Pie

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Lemon Ice Box Pie in pie plate

Lemon Icebox Pie

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 Slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Lemon Icebox Pie recipe is perfectly sweet and tart! The creamy lemon filling is set in a graham cracker crust for a pie that is seriously hard to stop eating!


  • 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 14 graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice (68 lemons)
  • 2 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 8 oz Cool Whip or Homemade Whipped Cream for topping, optional


1. Grease pie pan.
2. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
3. Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie pan to make the crust.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
5. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk.
6. In a large bowl, beat the lemon zest and egg yolks on high until pale.
7. Add sweetened condensed milk mixture to egg mixture and beat until smooth.
8. Pour filling into the pie crust.
9. Bake the pie for about 25 minutes. The edges should be set and the center should jiggle slightly when the pie is moved.
10. Cool for an hour, then refrigerate or freeze for at least 6 hours, depending on preference. The pie should keep for about a week.

Keywords: lemon icebox pie, lemon pie


Recipe slightly modified from Pip and Ebby.

This post linked to Skip To My Lou, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, I Heart Naptime, Inside BruCrew Life, Chef In Training, Pint Sized Baker, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Flamingo Toes and Mandy’s Recipe Box.


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Recipe rating

  1. Eve from Texas

    I made this! My family was ecstatic, loving lemon-anything. Thank you for the great advice to zest the lemons first. It might have been missed since use of the lemon zest was after use of the lemon juice in the process. I used eight lemons, zesting every inch of the outside to get exactly two tablespoons. I ended up with extra pie filling, even though I used a 9 inch pie pan, so I made one ramekin of pie (made some additional graham cracker crust). The family was happy bc they got to taste it before eating the actual pie with Easter Lunch. This is indeed an easy and delicious recipe. But the zesting, that was a good deal of work!! That will be the one thing to consider before making it again…

  2. Stacey

    I am curious about something. I bought a pre-made graham  cracker crust. Will it burn being cooked 25-30 minutes? 

  3. Chandra B

    I made this pie for the first time in May because I wanted something lemony and wanted to use up some farm fresh eggs I had been gifted. My family loved it and requested a repeat which I obliged.  This recipe will now be a staple in my dessert rotation. 

  4. Shari Taylor

    My daughter and I made this today and we both loved it! It tastes similar to the lemon icebox pie at La Madelines and that is our favorite so we’re so excited to have this recipe! Thank you!

  5. Lori Putnam

    Lynne of the disinfectant lime pie – I have a frozen recipe for “key lime” pie that is universally loved. Let me know if you want me to post it, or a link to it, or however these bogs work. But I have THIS lemon pie in the oven now. Cooking it extra long as no edges look set at all, but hoping it still turns out great, as it seems it will. 🙂

  6. Stacey Copple

    I made this cake for my family for Easter and they loved it ! They all said that it was best lemon cakes they have ever had! I plan on having it for my birthday in a few weeks! Lemon is one of my favorite flavors !

  7. Sierra

    My momma has been making “Lemon Icebox pies” for years and I also have made them, though not often at my house since I’m the only one who eats it here. Your variation is a little more more complex/involved than ours though. We simply juice the lemons, mix it with the sweetened condensed milk (has to be mixed very well or it will not set!) And pour it into the crust, whether homemade or store bought, and put it into the refrigerator, taking care to ensure it’s sitting level, and that’s pretty much it. Once it’s set, just slice and serve! Perhaps those who thought your recipe was too tart would enjoy this somewhat milder version instead. We also make something we call “Banana Split Cake” which uses this simplified version our family has made for generations as a base. Once that is set, in a rectangular cake pan instead of a pie plate, halved small bananas are layered in with pineapple chunks between them, then a thick layer of whipped cream, and topped with chopped nuts and maraschino cherries! It’s very good but extremely rich so it’s best to enjoy small pieces at a time but it’s definitely one of my all-time favorites! And to think I ended up on this page after searching for peanut butter and banana dog ice cream recipes! ????

      1. Sierra

        Well, I’m not going to be be the one eating it but at least it’ll be a good way to attempt to bribe the bratty diva dog into liking me again because she’s about to be very mad with momma! The weather here keeps jumping back and forth between “almost spring” and “Haha, just kidding, here’s some more snow!” ???????????? so, I’m not mean enough to make her and her brother get in the tub for actual soap and water baths yet but it’s coming soon. In the meantime, they’re both getting sprays baths, which she doesn’t actually mind, but she does, however, mind being forced to sit still for the ~20 minute brushing with the Furminator to try and keep some of the what will surely be a full grocery bag of shedded hair off the furniture and carpets. I mean, I know it’s called “FUR”niture but when the winter coat starts coming out I can only deal with so much between my hair shedding and hers before the insanity gets the better of me! ???? For the first time in my life I find I’m envious of the folks with the pocket dogs! Lol! Although in her own mind, she’s a pocket dog too. I mean, I don’t personally have any clothes that would support a 75 pound dog in the pocket but surely someone somewhere does! I’m just glad my 95 pound American bulldog has a single, short coat. He’s far more hyper and it’d surely take me an hour at a minimum to get all that loose fur off! I think I’d just shave them both completely or have myself committed at that point! Haha! My pit bull (possible mix but at least mostly pit anyway) if mostly black with a white chest, blaze on her nose, white-tipped tail, and varying amounts of white on each of her feet! They both LOVE the peanut butter flavored “Frosty Paws” from Purina so I’m think the peanut butter banana homemade ice cream will be a big hit. Plus, I think once the weather is warm enough to sit on the deck for a while it’ll keep her occupied and still for a while so I can paint the little brat’s nails and she can stay put long enough for them to dry. I know, it sounds like I’m the crazy dog lady but I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I should paint the dog’s nails. I was painting my own while sitting on my bed with her right next to me one day and I got 2 nails painted before she started shoving her big paw in my way. I moved it a few times but eventually, as I was getting rather flustered, I thought, “maybe she just thinks that her nails ought to be painted too.” So I put down a towel in front of her, she presented her paws and sat still just watching me paint her nails as though it was a regular occurrence. Maybe her original owner(s) did it for her before getting rid of her and she was picked up as a stray where I adopted her at 1 1/2 years old. I won’t paint them inside the house because they don’t always dry quickly and I hate trying to remove nail polish from my carpets. She ignored me for the rest of the day when I painted my nails 3 weeks ago and she kept trying to shove her paw on my hand/in front of me in an attempt to get me to do hers too. When I told her “no” she sulked and pouted. I find that spraying the newly painted nails with cooking spray cures them nearly right away but still she always manages to get it on the carpet anyway if it’s not done outside/on the deck.

        Holy crap I really got off on a tangent with that “essay” of a response! Sorry! Lol! In regards to my previous comment I realized I didn’t quite give the right description of the bananas being added. They are cut in quarters with one cut in the center horizontally and then each half cut into halves lengthwise. Then they are placed with the flat side down. Talking about it is making me crave it since I haven’t had it in years! If I decide to get the ingredients I may make an instructional video. If I do I’ll send you a link to try it out for yourself if you’d like. Also, I can’t remember how to get back to the dog ice cream recipe page so I’ll ask this while I’m here so I don’t forget: do you have a suggestion on the portion sizes? How big is your dog and what is the approximate serving size she gets?

        Again, sorry for the long reply/comment here!!!

  8. JSG

    An easy way to smooth out the tart, is to blanch your zest, once or twice. It all depends on what variety of lemons your using. It may take a few trys till you find the right acidity your looking for. You can also add a very little bit of salt, but this can also be a taste challenge. A way to keep your centers from be too liquidity, use a whole egg or 2, if centers crack, use less whole eggs.

  9. Arielle

    I make this pie all the time just a bit different on three whole eggs and 1 pkg of cream cheese in addition to the other ingredients but I don’t bake mine I put in fridge for 5+ hours and u can dig in. HEAVEN

  10. Pamela

    I made this for Easter dinner at the in-laws yesterday and it was a huge hit!  Even my picky nephew asked if I could leave the left-overs, lol.  Thanks!

  11. Sarah

    I made this pie last night. It as so delish. I made it as a surprise for my boyfriend who loves lemon icebox pies. He is actually a chef, and he really enjoyed it. So, I think this recipe is definitely a keeper.

  12. Jess

    If I wanted to bake these in mason jars as individual sized pies, do you think the baking time would be about the same or less?

  13. Mariah

    I just made this last night, and I’m sorry to say it was a disappointment. The filling was just way too tart, and I’m someone that loves all things lemon. The recipe calls for 2T. of zest and over a cup of juice, but most key lime pies call for only 2t. of zest. I know I’m comparing lemons to limes, but all the same it was still too tart. Everything else about the recipe worked well, it cooked up beautifully and sliced perfectly. I would recommend anyone else trying this not to hesitate to cut back on the zest.
    Love your website though, and I’m excited to try some other recipes on here! : )

  14. Elizabeth

    Thank you for the recipe for Lemon Icebox Pie, great reviews from the birthday girl! The only thing I am wondering is why did my pie get mushy the day after serving it? It still tasted great but was loose and watery in the center. Did I not cook it long enough? I cooked it longer than the recipe called for because it was jiggling too much in the center. What is your experience with this if any?

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Hmm, I actually haven’t had that happen before. That seems strange. I’m sorry, I don’t know what would cause that.

  15. Sylvia


    I saw your lemon ice box pie on The Southern Lady Cooks weekly potluck – pies for Fathers Day. I haven’t read your blog before but clicked on the pie because my husband had just ordered lemon pie for the family Father’s Day gathering. I knew instantly that your recipe would be a much better, richer recipe than the old basic lemon ice box pie I had always used with one can of condensed milk and two eggs. I made the pie and took it to the gathering and you now have raving fans in our family. It was wonderful. Thank you I will be following you. Sylvia

  16. lynne

    I’m wanting to make this in the worst way but am afraid of a strong taste of lemon. I made key lime pie which was basically the same as this lemon pie recipe and sadly it went straight in the garbage. It tasted like disinfectant. So….has anyone actually MADE it here? I see all I’m gonna make it but nothing else.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      If you don’t like strong lemon flavor, I’m afraid you won’t like this pie. Its similar to key lime in strength of flavor.

  17. Jessi

    Lindsay, I have been following your blog for a while, and I must admit I love it! From the beautiful photographs to the organization of the blog (I looove organized blogs, it is so much easier to find a recipe!) Your decorations are amazing, somehow you make everything look beautiful 😉 I also wanted to ask you if you had a Lemon Meringue Pie recipe? I’ve been looking for one in other blogs but cannot seem to find one! Congratulations on your blog!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thank you so much Jessi! That means a lot! I have a thing about organized sites too, so I’m SO glad you find it easy to navigate. I don’t actually have a Lemon Meringue Pie recipe right now, but honestly, you could refrigerate this and add meringue or whipped cream and it’d be very similar. Not the same, I know, but it’d be delicious. I’ll add Lemon Meringue Pie to the list to try and make soon. Thanks again Jessi! 🙂

      1. Jessi

        Haha organized blogs are the best, especially when you always have the new recipes listed in the index! Thank you for replying! I’ll try the refrigerating trick 😉


    Howdy just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Hmmm, I wonder if the site was running slow. It seems to be working now. Please let me know if you continue to have issues so I can look into it. Thanks!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Hi Dane! I didn’t really come up with the name of the pie, though I supposed I could’ve called it something different. However, I believe the “icebox” is in reference to the fact that it’s typically a frozen pie.

      1. Dane

        Thank you, sounds good and will make it soon when I get some lemons. I wonder if I could use lemon juice instead, since I always have it on hand.

      2. Jamie

        My grandma said it was called icebox pie bc when it was first made there were no refrigerators so the women had to put it In The ice box. The ice man came every week and brought huge blocks of ice that lasted a week. This was the early 1900’s.

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  20. themondaybox

    Smooth, creamy, and lemony sounds like the pie for me! I love it when pies have crumb crusts. It is so much easier! 🙂

  21. Carrie

    YES. this is exactly my kind of dessert. i love my key lime pie for the exact same reason – that smoothness plus the tartness is perfection. and lemon i love even more. i will absolutely be trying this! like ASAP!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12