Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

The Lemon Icebox Pie is a refreshing and tangy dessert, perfect for any occasion. This pie recipe combines zingy lemon with creamy sweet condensed milk to create a luscious lemon filling that is simply irresistible. The graham cracker crust adds a nice crunch to the overall texture. This is a simple yet elegant dessert that is sure to impress your guests.

Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe
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Photos of Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

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Most of the ingredients required for this recipe are common staples in many homes. However, some people might not commonly have sweetened condensed milk or graham cracker crust on hand. Sweetened condensed milk can usually be found in the baking aisle of your local supermarket, while graham cracker crusts are often located either in the baking aisle or with the premade pie crusts.

Ingredients for the Lemon Icebox Pie

Egg yolks: They are used to help thicken the pie filling. Their high fat content also adds a creamy texture to the pie.

Egg: This is used as a binding agent in the pie filling.

Sweetened condensed milk: This is a key ingredient in making the pie filling. It gives the pie its sweet flavor and creamy texture.

Lemon juice: This gives the pie its characteristic tart, tangy flavor. It’s best to use fresh lemons for the most authentic taste.

Graham cracker crust: This forms the base of our lemon icebox pie. The sweetness and crunch of the crust perfectly balances out the tart, creamy filling.

Sour cream: This is used in the topping of the pie to add a tangy, creamy contrast to the sweet, lemony filling.

Sugar: This is used in the topping to sweeten the sour cream.

Vanilla extract: This is used in the topping to add a hint of vanilla flavor.

One reader, Annabal Deanda says:

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This lemon icebox pie recipe is a game-changer! The creamy texture and zesty lemon flavor make it an absolute delight. It's so easy to make and the perfect dessert for any occasion. I highly recommend trying it out - it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!

Annabal Deanda

Techniques Required for Making Lemon Icebox Pie

Preheat the oven: Set the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the middle. Whisk the eggs: Combine the egg yolks and whole egg until thoroughly blended. Bake the pie: Place the pie in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are set and the center slightly jiggles. Cool and chill the pie: Allow the pie to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Prepare the topping: Stir together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Spread the topping: Evenly spread the topping over the pie before baking. Bake the topping: Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F to set the sour cream. Chill the pie: After baking, cool the pie briefly, then return it to the refrigerator to chill for at least 45 minutes until cold.

How To Make Lemon Icebox Pie

Layered with a graham cracker crust and a rich cream filling, this lemon icebox pie makes a sweet, tangy dessert that’ll leave you wanting more!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Total: 7 hours 30 minutes



For Pie:

  • 2egg yolks
  • 1large egg
  • 28ozsweetened condensed milk,(2 cans)
  • 1cuplemon juice,freshly squeezed
  • 1graham cracker crust,prepared, cooled for at least 10 minutes if homemade

For Topping:

  • cupssour cream
  • 2tbspsugar
  • 1tspvanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set a rack in the middle position.

  2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and whole egg until thoroughly combined. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk until blended. Add the lemon juice and stir to blend.

  3. Pour into the baked pie shell.

  4. Set the pie in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the outside edges look set and the center still jiggles slightly.

  5. Set the pie on a rack to cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  6. In a bowl, stir together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until blended.

  7. 1 to 2 hours before serving, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set a rack in the middle position.

  8. Spread the topping over the pie.

  9. Bake the pie for 10 minutes to set the sour cream.

  10. Remove the pie from the oven, cool briefly, and return to the refrigerator to chill for at least 45 minutes until cold.

  11. Slice and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This pie will keep for up to 24 hours before serving.


  • Calories: 556.44kcal
  • Fat: 24.38g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.08g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 9.09g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.35g
  • Carbohydrates: 75.39g
  • Fiber: 0.53g
  • Sugar: 63.36g
  • Protein: 11.33g
  • Cholesterol: 115.94mg
  • Sodium: 264.90mg
  • Calcium: 345.63mg
  • Potassium: 499.32mg
  • Iron: 1.08mg
  • Vitamin A: 172.15µg
  • Vitamin C: 14.77mg

Technique Tip for Making the Perfect Lemon Icebox Pie

To ensure that your lemon icebox pie has a smooth and creamy texture, it's crucial to whisk the egg yolks and egg until they're thoroughly combined before adding the sweetened condensed milk. This will help to emulsify the ingredients, preventing any lumps or curdles in your pie filling. Additionally, when adding the lemon juice, stir it in slowly to ensure it's evenly distributed throughout the mixture. This will give your pie a consistent lemon flavor in every bite.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Lemon Pie Recipe

Plan ahead: Prepare the pie a day in advance to allow it to chill and set properly, saving time on the day of serving.

Use store-bought crust: Opt for a pre-made graham cracker crust to save time on preparing and baking the crust from scratch.

Chill while baking: While the pie is baking, use this time to prepare the sour cream topping to streamline the process.

Make ahead: The pie can be made a day in advance, allowing the flavors to meld and the pie to set properly for serving.

Substitute Ingredients For Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

  • egg yolks - Substitute with 1/4 cup silken tofu: Silken tofu can provide a similar creamy texture and binding properties as egg yolks in the pie filling.

  • large egg - Substitute with 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce can act as a binding agent and add moisture to the pie filling, similar to a large egg.

  • sweetened condensed milk - Substitute with coconut condensed milk: Coconut condensed milk can be used as a dairy-free alternative with a similar sweet and creamy consistency.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with lime juice: Lime juice can provide a tangy and citrusy flavor similar to lemon juice, adding a refreshing twist to the pie.

  • graham cracker crust - Substitute with shortbread crust: A shortbread crust can provide a buttery and slightly sweet base, complementing the tangy lemon filling.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can offer a tangy and creamy topping similar to sour cream, adding a hint of richness to the pie.

  • sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add sweetness and a subtle floral flavor to the topping, complementing the tartness of the pie filling.

  • vanilla extract - Substitute with almond extract: Almond extract can provide a nutty and aromatic flavor similar to vanilla, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the topping.

Best Way to Present This Lemon Pie Recipe

  1. Elevate the pie crust: Create a homemade graham cracker crust using browned butter for a nutty, rich flavor and a touch of sea salt for a perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness.

  2. Garnish with lemon zest: Sprinkle freshly grated lemon zest on top of the pie for a vibrant pop of color and a burst of citrus aroma.

  3. Incorporate edible flowers: Adorn the pie with delicate edible flowers such as nasturtiums or violets to add a touch of elegance and a subtle floral note.

  4. Create a decorative swirl: Use a piping bag to create a beautiful swirl pattern with the sour cream topping, adding a touch of finesse to the presentation.

  5. Serve with a raspberry coulis: Drizzle a vibrant raspberry coulis on the plate in an artistic manner to add a contrasting color and a tangy, fruity element to the dish.

  6. Add a touch of gold leaf: For a luxurious touch, delicately place a few flecks of edible gold leaf on the pie, adding a shimmering and opulent finish to the dessert.

Essential Tools for Making Lemon Icebox Pie

  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for whipping, beating, and stirring ingredients together. It is commonly used for mixing eggs, sauces, and batters.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for combining ingredients and mixing them together. It comes in various sizes and materials, such as stainless steel, glass, or plastic.
  • Pie dish: A round, shallow dish with sloping sides used for baking pies. It is typically made of ceramic, glass, or metal.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking and roasting food by providing controlled heat. It is essential for baking the pie crust and setting the sour cream topping.
  • Food processor: A versatile kitchen appliance used for chopping, pureeing, and blending ingredients. It can be used for making graham cracker crust or processing lemon zest.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Essential tools for accurately measuring ingredients such as sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • Spatula: A kitchen tool with a broad, flat, flexible blade used for lifting, spreading, and turning food. It is useful for spreading the sour cream topping on the pie.
  • Pie server: A utensil with a triangular-shaped blade used for cutting and serving pie slices. It is essential for serving the lemon icebox pie.

How To Store and Freeze Lemon Icebox Pie

  • This lemon icebox pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, covered tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from absorbing any odors.
  • If you want to freeze the pie, it's best to do so before adding the sour cream topping. Wrap the cooled pie tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To serve a frozen pie, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, add the sour cream topping and bake as directed in the recipe.
  • If you have leftovers after adding the sour cream topping, you can still freeze individual slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then wrap each slice in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month.
  • To defrost a frozen slice, unwrap it and let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. The texture of the sour cream topping may change slightly after freezing and thawing, but it will still taste delicious.

How To Reheat Lemon Icebox Pie Leftovers

  • To reheat leftover lemon icebox pie, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes. This will help the pie to warm up evenly and prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the pie on a baking sheet and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. This will help to prevent the top of the pie from browning too quickly.
  • Bake the pie for 10-15 minutes, or until it is heated through. You can check the temperature of the pie by inserting a knife into the center. If it feels warm to the touch, the pie is ready.
  • If you prefer a crisper crust, remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking. This will allow the crust to brown slightly and become crispy.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat individual slices of lemon icebox pie in the microwave. Place a slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high for 15-20 seconds, or until it is warm to the touch.
  • If you have a toaster oven, you can also use it to reheat individual slices of pie. Preheat the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the slice on a small baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to let the pie cool for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the filling to set and prevent burns from the hot filling.
  • If you want to add a little extra flavor to your reheated pie, consider topping it with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a sprinkle of lemon zest. This will brighten up the flavors and make the pie feel fresh and new again.

Random Fact About Lemon Icebox Pie

Lemon icebox pie is a classic Southern dessert that originated in the United States. It gained popularity in the 1930s when refrigerators became more common in households. The pie is known for its tangy and refreshing flavor, making it a perfect treat for hot summer days.

Is Making Lemon Icebox Pie Economical for Home Cooking?

This lemon icebox pie recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and lemons, are relatively affordable and can be found in most grocery stores. The total cost for a household of 4 people would be approximately $10-$15, making it a budget-friendly dessert option. In terms of taste and presentation, this pie is a solid 8 out of 10. It offers a delightful balance of sweet and tangy flavors, and the creamy texture is sure to please the taste buds.

Is Lemon Icebox Pie Healthy or Unhealthy?

This lemon icebox pie recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. The main ingredients that contribute to its high calorie and fat content are:

  • Sweetened condensed milk, which is high in sugar and calories
  • Graham cracker crust, typically made with butter and sugar
  • Sour cream topping, adding more fat and calories to the dish

The pie also lacks any significant nutritional value, as it is primarily composed of sugar, fat, and refined carbohydrates. However, there are a few ways to make this recipe healthier without compromising its delightful taste and texture.

To improve the nutritional profile of this lemon icebox pie, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace the graham cracker crust with a whole-grain or nut-based crust to increase fiber and healthy fats
  • Use a lower-fat alternative to sweetened condensed milk, such as evaporated skim milk or a combination of low-fat milk and honey
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the sour cream topping or replace it with a healthier sweetener like stevia or monk fruit extract
  • Incorporate fresh berries or a berry compote as a topping to add antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber to the dessert
  • Serve smaller portions to control calorie intake and promote mindful eating

Editor's Thoughts on This Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

The lemon icebox pie recipe is a classic and delightful dessert. The combination of tangy lemon filling and creamy sour cream topping creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures. The pie is easy to make and is a great make-ahead dessert for any occasion. The sweet and tart flavors are refreshing and satisfying, making it a crowd-pleaser. The addition of the sour cream topping adds a creamy and slightly tangy element that complements the lemon filling beautifully. Overall, this recipe is a winner and is sure to impress anyone who tries it.

Enhance Your Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy garlic mashed potatoes with a hint of parmesan cheese
Grilled Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears drizzled with a balsamic glaze and sprinkled with toasted almonds
Fruit Salad: A refreshing mix of seasonal fruits tossed in a honey-lime dressing

Delicious Alternatives to Lemon Icebox Pie

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is a comforting and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy texture makes this soup a crowd-pleaser.
Grilled Peach Salad: Grilled peach salad is a delightful combination of sweet, smoky, and tangy flavors. The grilled peaches add a delicious charred flavor to the salad, while the vinaigrette dressing brings a refreshing and zesty kick.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Braised beef short ribs are a hearty and satisfying dish that is perfect for a special occasion or a comforting family dinner. The tender, fall-off-the-bone meat is cooked in a rich and flavorful sauce, making it a true crowd-pleaser.

Appetizers and Main Dishes That Go Well with Lemon Icebox Pie

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory stuffed mushrooms are filled with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs, creating a perfect bite-sized appetizer for any occasion.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Indulge in this creamy and cheesy spinach and artichoke dip, served with crispy tortilla chips for a delicious and satisfying start to any meal.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Indulge in a creamy, decadent pasta dish that combines tender chicken with rich alfredo sauce. The flavors meld together perfectly for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stir Fry: Create a vibrant and flavorful stir fry using tender beef and a colorful array of vegetables. The savory sauce ties everything together for a delicious and nutritious dish.

Why trust this Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe:

This #food# recipe is a tried and true classic, guaranteed to impress with its perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors. The combination of lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk creates a luscious filling that is both refreshing and indulgent. The addition of a creamy sour cream topping adds a delightful contrast in texture and taste. With its simple yet precise instructions, this #recipe# ensures a foolproof result every time. Trust in the timeless appeal of this #dessert# and savor the delightful harmony of flavors in every bite.

Share your thoughts on the Lemon Icebox Pie recipe in the Baking and Desserts forum and let us know how it turned out for you!
Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice?
Yes, you can use bottled lemon juice as a substitute for fresh lemon juice. However, fresh lemon juice will provide a more vibrant and natural flavor to the pie.
Can I use a different type of crust for the pie?
Absolutely! You can use a different type of crust, such as a traditional pastry crust or a cookie crust, if you prefer. Just make sure to adjust the baking time and temperature accordingly.
Can I make the pie ahead of time and freeze it?
Yes, you can make the pie ahead of time and freeze it. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.
Can I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for the topping?
Yes, you can use Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in the topping. It will provide a tangy and creamy flavor to complement the lemon filling.
Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the topping?
Absolutely! You can adjust the amount of sugar in the topping to suit your taste preferences. Just be sure to taste and adjust as needed before spreading it over the pie.

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