Skip to Content

Old-Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe is cool and creamy and comes together in less than 30 minutes. This easy Lemon Pie with Jello is delicious and uses only 4 ingredients. 

Top down view of a white pie plate filled with a yellow lemon Icebox Pie in a graham cracker crust. The pie has been decorated with stars of cool whip topping and grated lemon. The pie sits over a blue striped napkin and two lemons sits in the background and the pie sits next to an antique pie server.

Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe is one of those old-fashioned desserts that are meant for summer gatherings. Make this easy Lemon Pie recipe ahead of time for a potluck, picnic, or family get-together.

Why is it called a Lemon Ice Box Pie?

Growing up we called our refrigerator an icebox. It wasn’t.

Iceboxes are what people used before we had refrigerators. People would get deliveries of large blocks of ice which were put in an icebox to keep their food cold.

There are many recipes for Lemon Icebox Pies. Some recipes call for eggs, sweetened condensed milk, or cream cheese.

This recipe uses none of these which is one of the reasons I love it!

Close up side view of a slice of Lemon Icebox Pie. The slice has a thick graham cracker crust topped with a cool creamy layer and topped with a star of cool whip topping. The slice sits on a white plate over a blue napkin.

How to make a Lemon Icebox Pie

I started by making my own Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. You can certainly buy one for a No-Bake Lemon Icebox Pie.

I like making my own graham cracker crust because I love a coarse texture and can make it as thick as I want.

Here’s how to make a homemade graham cracker crust.

4 photo collage of how to make a graham cracker crust. The first photo shows graham crackers being crushed in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. The second is the crushed graham crackers mixed with melted butter and sugar. The 3rd is the course texture of the graham crackers. The 4th is the mixture pressed into a white pie plate.
  1. Add about 12 sheets of graham crackers to a resealable bag and roll the crackers until they are ground to the consistency you like.
  2. Add melted butter and sugar to the graham cracker crumbs.
  3. Mix the ingredients together until the graham cracker crumbs are moist.
  4. Line the pie pan with the crust. I like using the bottom of a measuring cup to even out the bottom. A spoon or fork will also work.
  5. Bake and then cool the pie crust completely.

How to make the Lemon Icebox Pie Filling

Making the Lemon Icebox Pie filling isn’t difficult either. This is how you do it.

3-grid photo of mixing lemon pie filling. Lemon jello is added to boiling water and grated lemon in the first photo. The second photo is folding cool whip into the cooled jello and the third photo shows the creamy consistency of the filling.
  1. Fill a 1-cup measuring cup 3/4 full of water. Add enough ice to bring it up to 1 cup.
  2. Using a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, boil 2/3 cup of water.
  3. Add Jello and lemon zest to the boiling water. Stir until the Jello is dissolved.
  4. Add the ice water and stir until slightly thickened.
  5. Fold in the Cool Whip and chill. NOTE: You can save a couple of tablespoons for the star garnish or purchase additional Cool Whip for garnishing.

Tips for the perfect Lemon Ice Box Pie

  • You can substitute vanilla wafers for graham crackers but personally, I like the graham cracker crust for this pie.
  • Don’t stir or mix the filling too aggressively. Fold the cool whip into the Jello mixture.
    • As you can see, my filling still has lumps of cool whip in it. That’s fine. Over beating your filling will result in less height and fluffiness. I think fluffiness is a word?
  • I like mixing the ingredients in a large measuring cups. That allows me to easily pour the filling onto the crust.
  • Make the pie a day in advance. I added the Cool Whip stars after the pie was chilled so they didn’t get crushed under the plastic wrap.
Top down photo of the creamy lemon pie filling being poured from a pyrex cup into a pie plate with a graham cracker crust. The pie pan sits over a white board background.
Don’t over mix the filling. Lumps are ok!

How to store a Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

Can you freeze lemon pie? Freezing Jello can ruin it so I don’t recommend freezing this pie.

This Old fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie will last 5 days stored in the refrigerator lightly covered with plastic wrap.

Freaky Friday Blog Hop

As much as I would like to take credit for this Lemon Ice Box Pie recipe, I can’t. This recipe is inspired by the summer edition of our Freaky Friday Blog Hop.

Sign for a Freaky Friday Summer 2020 Blog Hop that has a top-down photo of a white heart-shaped bowl filled with mixed fruit.

What is the Freaky Friday Blog Hop? Freaky Friday is a blog hop with some of my favorite food blogger buddies!

We secretly get assigned one another’s blogs to make a recipe from, and then we all reveal who we had and what we made on the same Friday, and that is today!

The Freaky Friday blog hop is organized by Michaela who runs An Affair From the Heart. I was given her blog for our summer edition!

An Affair From The Heart Blog

I was super excited to get Michaela’s blog for a bazillion reasons. First of all, Michaela and I have been blogging for about the same amount of time.

Little did we know that we actually live fairly close to each other.

We’ve become good friends and have a lot in common.

We both love entertaining, cooking, and baking, and our families are very important to us. A lot of our activities and entertaining revolves around or includes them.

Many of our recipes were inspired by our Mothers and Grandmothers.

Slice of Lemon Icebox pie with a creamy lemon filling over a thick graham cracker crust on a white plate sitting over a blue striped napkin. A fork, and a partial second piece of pie sitting on a white plate is in the background.

Picking one recipe was no easy thing for our Summer edition of Freaky Friday. She’s got some delicious appetizers and dips including her Crack Dip and her Texas Trash Dip that I make all the time for our tailgating parties.

I wanted to go the dessert route, and contenders were her Strawberry Cake and her Lemon Blueberry Trifle.

It’s been blistering hot here. I’ve had my eye on her Lemon Icebox Pie recipe. I knew this was the perfect time to make it.

Michaela made her pie in a pie plate handed down from her Grandmother.

I made mine in a pie plate given to me by my Mother-In-Law. It has that little blue flower at the bottom. I think every household had one of those dishes prior to 1980.

If you enjoyed this pie recipe, here are a few more I think you’ll like

We LOVE Dessert! You can find all of our dessert recipes here!

Some of our favorite Lemon Recipes

Don’t forget to pin this delicious recipe to your favorite board!

Slice of Lemon Icebox pie with a creamy lemon filling over a thick graham cracker crust on a white plate sitting over a blue striped napkin. A fork, a partial second piece of pie and the pie is in the background. The title "Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe" is in the upper right hand corner.

Michaela’s Lemon Icebox Pie recipe is so easy and absolutely delicious. This was the perfect pie recipe for chilling on the front porch and watching the world go by at the end of a hot day.

I hope you’ll hop on over to An Affair From the Heart and check out all of her amazing recipes!

Take a look at all of our 2020 Freaky Friday Summer Edition Recipes:

  1. An Affair from the Heart – Blueberry Banana Bundt Cake
  2. Aunt Bee’s Recipes –  The Best Ever Chicken Gyros
  3. Bowl Me Over – Alabama White BBQ Sauce
  4. Hostess at Heart – Old Fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie
  5. House of Nash Eats – Smoked Spatchcock Chicken
  6. Lemoine Family Kitchen – Lemon Cream Cheese Blueberry Kolaches
  7. Lemon Blossoms – Lemon Poke Cake
  8. Life, Love & Good Food – Healthy Greek Coleslaw
  9. Or Whatever You Do – French Onion Risotto
  10. Sugar Dish Me – Coconut Macadamia Nut Ice Cream
  11. Take Two Tapas –  Cherry Cupcakes with Mint
  12. The Speckled Palate – Pepperoni Pizza Dip
  13. West Via Midwest – Buffalo Cheese Dip: Easy Party Dip
Close up side view of a slice of Lemon Icebox Pie. The slice has a thick graham cracker crust topped with a cool creamy layer and topped with a star of cool whip topping. The slice sits on a white plate over a blue napkin.
Print
5 from 11 votes

Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe

Lemon Icebox Pie Recipe is cool and creamy and comes together in less than 30 minutes. This Easy Lemon Pie with Jello is delicious and uses only 4 ingredients.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Chill 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 30 mins
Servings 8
Author Julie Menghini

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • cups Graham Cracker crumbs 12 sheets
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Lemon Icebox Pie Filling

  • 3 oz Lemon Jello
  • 8 oz Cool Whip thawed
  • 1 Lemon zest large lemon, divided

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F
  • Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar and stir until all of the graham cracker crumbs are moist.
  • Press into a 9" pie plate.
  • Bake for 7 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

Lemon Icebox Pie Filling

  • Combine 3/4 cup of ice cubes and enough water to make 1 cup. Set aside.
  • Using a microwave, bring 2/3 cup water to boil in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Add 3/4 of the lemon zest and the lemon Jello to the boiling water. Stir until the Jello is dissolved. Add the ice water and stir until the Jello mixture has slightly thickened.
  • Fold the Cool Whip into the Jello mixture and then pour it over the graham cracker crust.
  • Garnish with and remaining lemon zest. Chill at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • Add Cool Whip stars and serve.

Notes

This recipe originated on An Affair From the Heart.
Tips:
  • Don’t stir or mix the filling too aggressively. Fold the cool whip into the jello mixture.
    • As you can see, my filling still has lumps of cool whip in it. That’s fine. Over beating your filling will result in less height and fluffiness. (I think that’s a word?
  • I like mixing the ingredients in a large measuring cups. That allows me to easily pour the filling onto the crust.
  • Make the pie a day in advance. I don’t add the Cool Whip stars until after the pie is chilled.

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 286IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!

Our most popular recipes

Recipe Rating




Brandi Burgess

Sunday 19th of July 2020

I love how simple this ingredient list is. I love no fuss desserts. They are just so perfect for summer!!!

Julie Menghini

Monday 20th of July 2020

Thank you Brandi!

Jennifer Stewart

Sunday 19th of July 2020

I love all the tart lemon flavor and how it cools me down on hot day! This is my new go-to dessert for summer time!

Julie Menghini

Monday 20th of July 2020

Thanks, Jennifer! I totally agree!

Deb Clark

Saturday 18th of July 2020

Lemon Icebox is one of my favorites! It's like lemonade in fork-form - YUM!!! My birthday is in just a few days - I'm thinking Dan can even make this recipe, I know it's going to be amazing!!!

Julie Menghini

Monday 20th of July 2020

Happy Birthday, Deb! Pie for you!

Amy Nash

Saturday 18th of July 2020

I love how creamy and easy this gorgeous pie is! So funny that you grew up calling your fridge an icebox!

Julie Menghini

Monday 20th of July 2020

Thanks Amy! I knew what they were because of the old shows we watched. LOL

Erin Parker

Saturday 18th of July 2020

I love a FOUR INGREDIENT dessert recipe like this one! And seriously, what a treat for the summer! This pie reminds me of summers spent with my grandmother and the pies she would make. Which is to say, it tastes like nostalgia and is utterly delicious. Well done!

Julie Menghini

Saturday 18th of July 2020

I totally agree, Erin! We loved this recipe!