Skip to Content

Lemon Icebox Pie

This Lemon Icebox Pie is so easy to make! It’s creamy and zesty, with fresh lemon juice and zest and sweetened condensed milk—it’s a classic Southern dessert!

We serve this pie year-round and usually have one stored in the freezer to pull out for unexpected company. It’s like a breath of spring in the middle of winter.

A slice of lemon icebox pie on a plate with a fork.

Classic Southern desserts abound for the simple reason that they are usually easy and made of just a few, handy ingredients, and that’s the hallmark of this classic Southern Lemon Icebox Pie.

This old-fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie is creamy, zesty, sweet, and refreshingly cool as it slides down your throat.

And it’s so EASY to make!

Lemon icebox pie eagle brand in a graham cracker crust with mint leaves as garnish on top.

Lemon Icebox Pie

The pie is called Lemon Icebox Pie because it’s kept in the refrigerator. Ice box pie history is that these desserts were easy to make and could be easily stored in the ice box.

Nowadays we have refrigerators, and you can also store this pie in the freezer if you want a firmer texture.

When stored in the refrigerator, the pie has more of a creamy texture, similar to one of our other family favorites, my luscious Key Lime Pie.

Ingredients for the Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

👋 Want the printable recipe? Just scroll down!

This pie is one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts because it’s easy, number one, but also because it’s fabulous in its simplicity:

  • Graham cracker crust
  • Sweetened condensed milk I prefer Eagle brand condensed milk
  • Egg yolks
  • Fresh lemon juicedon’t skimp on this, no bottled juice!
  • Fresh lemon zest

Optional Whipped Cream Topping:

  • Heavy whipping cream, cold
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract

**Cook’s Tip: The crunch of the graham cracker crust is the perfect accompaniment to the creamy, lemony filling, but this pie could also be made in a regular pie crust or with a vanilla wafer crumb crust the way my friend Stacey makes it. 

Tools Needed for the Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

For this old-fashioned lemon icebox pie, you can use a store-bought crust or make your own with crushed graham crackers. I’ve done both and either way turns out just fine!

If you make your own crust you’ll need a pie plate for the pie and that’s it!

This plain, glass one from Pyrex is my go-to every time and it’s so inexpensive—you can keep multiple ones if you need to make lots of pies at one time! Check the price on Amazon and you can have the perfect pie plate in a couple of days!

How to Make Easy Lemon Icebox Pie:

Step 1.

Zest a couple of lemons.

Two lemons with zest and a grater on parchment paper for making lemon icebox pie.

Step 2.

Whisk together a couple of egg yolks along with a can of condensed milk and fresh lemon juice and zest.

**Cook’s Tip: Fresh lemon zest and juice will make your lemon icebox pie have the best flavor!

A bowl with egg yolks and a whisk, with lemons and zest for lemon icebox pie.

Step 3.

Toss in a pinch of salt, whisk it all until blended, then pour into the crust.

Graham cracker crust beside a bowl of filling for lemon icebox pie.

Step 4.

The pie only needs to bake about 15 minutes, then just let it cool and keep it in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or until you’re ready to serve.

Southern Lemon Icebox Pie Tips

  • Pay close attention to what size pie crust you purchase. This filling is enough for a 9-inch store-bought graham cracker crust, which will say 6-ounces on the package. If you purchase the one that says 9-ounces that is actually for a 10-inch pie and you will not have enough filling.
  • You can make the pie a couple of days in advance if you need to. It will keep well in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • This is a great potluck pie to take to any event and it’s even ok if it’s still slightly frozen when you serve it. Folks will just think it’s a lemon ice cream pie!

Can You Freeze Lemon Icebox Pie?

Yes! Here are my tips for freezing:

  • Wrap the chilled pie in plastic wrap, then cover with foil.
  • Place the wrapped pie in the freezer. Store for 1-2 months.

How’s that for flexibility?

And don’t think you should only serve Lemon Icebox Pie in the summertime—it’s often on our Thanksgiving table and Christmas too!

Overhead view of a whole lemon icebox pie with a lemon and serving utensils.

Serve with Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Slaw or Fried Chicken, Butter Beans, and Mashed Potatoes


If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below!

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

And please join the Southern Food and Fun Facebook group to get all the Southern Food and Fun recipes.

A slice of lemon icebox pie on a plate.

Lemon Icebox Pie

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Old-fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie is creamy and zesty, with fresh lemon juice and zest and Eagle Brand condensed milk–it’s a classic Southern staple!

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch graham cracker crust (the 6-ounce)

Pie Filling

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Whipped Cream Topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Pie Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely on wire rack, about one hour. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours and up to two days. 

Whipped Cream Topping

  1. Beat whipping cream at high speed of a stand mixer until foamy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Spoon whipped cream over slices of pie.

Notes

Tips for Making the Best Lemon Icebox Pie

  • Pay close attention to what size pie crust you purchase. This filling is enough for a 9-inch store-bought graham cracker crust, which will say 6-ounces on the package. If you purchase the one that says 9-ounces that is actually for a 10-inch pie and you will not have enough filling.
  • You can make the lemon icebox pie a couple of days in advance if you need to. The pie will keep well in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • This is a great potluck pie to take to any event and it's even ok if it's still slightly frozen when you serve it. 

How to Freeze Lemon Icebox Pie

  • Wrap the chilled pie in plastic wrap, then cover with foil. 
  • Place the wrapped pie in the freezer. Store for 1-2 months. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Saturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 114mgCarbohydrates: 22gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag me!

If you love Lemon Icebox Pie, you might also like these great desserts:

Lemon Crinkle Cookies with Brown Sugar

Easy Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Update Notes: This post was originally published September 21, 2016, and on October 23, 2018, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

Closeup of pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling on a platter.
Previous
Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
A white bowl filled with navy bean and ham soup with a sprig of parsley.
Next
Navy Bean and Ham Soup

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Candice

Thursday 2nd of July 2020

My husband LOVED it!! This time I bought the 10oz crust by accident so I doubled the ingredients. How long should I allow it to bake?

Francelle

Saturday 8th of September 2018

This pie was voted best old fashioned lemon icebox pie out of 4 different recipes from my family. Super easy and yummy!

Sunday 2nd of July 2017

Sooooo glad to find the original recipe. Mom is up in her 90 's could not remember all the recipe. Now we have it, thanks!