Lemon Lush Recipe - The Girl Who Ate Everything (2024)

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posted by Christy Denneyon Mar 31, 2021 (updated Mar 12, 2024) 115 comments »

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Lemon Lush recipe is a light and fresh dessert with a shortbread crust.Layers of shortbread, cream cheese, lemon pudding, and fresh whipped cream make this Lemon Lush recipe the best of all.

Lemon Lush Recipe - The Girl Who Ate Everything (1)

LEMON LUSH DESSERT

I’ve been on a lemon kick lately. I made 3 batches of lemon poppy seed muffins last week when my husband was out of town which means I ate way too many because I let my conscious have a sabbatical. And thank goodness I’m not taking a drug test anytime soon or I would surely fail from the two bottles of poppy seeds I used.

The muffins, however, still need tweaking which is why I’m bringing you another delicious lemony dessert.

I’m sure you’ve had this in some form or another. Maybe with chocolate pudding or pistachio, but lemon is the new black right now and it needed a turn in this dish. I have a Four Layer Yummy already on this blog but for this version I made the crust and cream cheese layer thicker.

This Lemon Lush dessert is light and creamy,with a crunchy shortbread crust. I could eat the whole pan. ThisLemon Lush would be a great dessert for Easter.

Lemon Lush Recipe - The Girl Who Ate Everything (2)
For some reason taking pictures of yellow food is one of the hardest things in the world for meto do. My camera sees yellow and wants to do back flips into shades of grey and blue. So I’m applauding myself on getting a picture that isn’t 50 shades of grey.

HOW TO MAKE LEMON LUSH

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. For the crust: In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together until a dough forms. Add the pecans and mix until combined. If you don’t have a good processor you can cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or 2 forks and add the pecans after the butter is cut in.

  3. Press the mixture into bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let crust cool. While the crust is baking prepare the remaining layers.

  4. For the Cream Cheese Layer: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice together until smooth. Spread evenly over the cooled crust.

  5. For the Pudding layer: In a separate bowl, mix the lemon pudding and milk together and beat for 3 to 5 minutes. Let the mixture set up slightly in the refrigerator if it’s not thick yet. Once it has set up a little spread it over the cream cheese layer.

  6. For the Whipped Cream: Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over pudding mixture.

  7. Chill dessert until ready to serve.

RECIPE NOTES

Usually I make all of the layers while the crust is cooking. I place them in separate bowls and chill them in the fridge until I’m ready to assemble.

OTHER LEMON RECIPES

  • Lemon Pie
  • Lemon Brownies
  • Creamy Lemon Squares
  • Lemon Bars
  • Blueberry Lemon Crescent Ring
  • Lemon Blueberry Trifle
  • Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Lemon Lush Recipe - The Girl Who Ate Everything (3)

Lemon Lush

4.30 from 84 votes

Lemon Lush recipe is a light and fresh dessert with a shortbread crust.Layers of shortbread, cream cheese, lemon pudding, and fresh whipped cream make this Lemon Lush recipe the best of all.

PrintPinRate

Prep Time: 20 minutes mins

Cook Time: 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 50 minutes mins

Servings: 16 slices

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon lemon juice

Pudding Layer:

  • 2 (3.4 ounce packages) instant lemon pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • Whipped Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • For the crust: In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together until a dough forms. Add the pecans and mix until combined. If you don't have a good processor you can cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or 2 forks and add the pecans after the butter is cut in.

  • Press the mixture into bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let crust cool. While the crust is baking prepare the remaining layers.

  • For the Cream Cheese Layer: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice together until smooth. Spread evenly over the cooled crust.

  • For the Pudding layer: In a separate bowl, mix the lemon pudding and milk together and beat for 3 to 5 minutes. Let the mixture set up slightly in the refrigerator if it's not thick yet. Once it has set up a little spread it over the cream cheese layer.

  • For the Whipped Cream: Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over pudding mixture.

  • Chill dessert until ready to serve.

Notes

Usually I make all of the layers while the crust is cooking. I place them in separate bowls and chill them in the fridge until I'm ready to assemble.

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes

Cuisine: American

Course: Dessert

Author: Christy Denney

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originally published on Mar 31, 2021 (last updated Mar 12, 2024)

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115 comments on “Lemon Lush”

  1. Bobette Gustafson Reply

    This sounds and looks wonderful. Do you think that I can substitute almond flour for the AP flour?
    THANKS SO MUCH for getting back to me. I am excited to have discovered your site.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Sorry I haven’t tried it with almond flour so I can’t be sure of the outcome.

  2. Patricia Reply

    Hi…I printed out the recipe for the 16 serving size. I will be making this soon. I notice this recipe can be increased to different serving sizes. I might want to make it in a larger pan. Any suggestions for a pan size for 24 servings? I don’t know how to figure it out. Please reply. Thanks.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You could use a sheet pan for 24 servings.

  3. Nancy Reply

    This is so easy and delicious I don’t know why anyone would change anything about it. No need to be snobby because it’s instant pudding, I always have the ingredients on hand for when I get the craving or when I need a dish for a potluck. I halve it in an 8×8 pan when it’s just the two of us. It adapts very well to a graham cracker crust and cool whip is just fine making it even easier. A little tip especially for those of us in rural areas who can’t just run to the store for a lemon; I buy several lemons when the price is good (or a bag if you get to Costco) take 20 or 30 minutes and juice and zest them. I put the juice in ice cube trays ( they measure approximately 1 tablespoon) and when frozen toss them in a gallon zip lock bag. Put tablespoons of zest in wax paper packets and freeze. You’ve always got both n hand!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Thank you!!

  4. Sharon Reply

    On the lemon lush crust what can I substitute the nuts for

  5. Inge Reply

    Beyond excellent! It’s so good I could just keep eating it! Instead of heavy whipping cream I used Extra Creamy Coolwhip on top just as good!

  6. lynda Reply

    Can you use lemon curd instead of lemon pudding?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Sure!

  7. Linda Reply

    I am going to try this for Easter.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Hope you do!

  8. Bonnie Reply

    My husband came home raving about a dessert someone made at a luncheon at church. I requested the recipe and tried it, and single handedly almost ate the whole thing!! I made this for my in laws and they loved it! My mother-in-law makes it for every occasion now! The chocolate version is good but the lemon is divine👍

    • Christy Denney Reply

      That’s amazing!

  9. CM Reply

    My mom used to make this in the 70s and I was crazy about it, still am. I got the recipe from her long ago, and it’s the same one. Yum!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Haha awesome

  10. Michele Fliginger Reply

    Can this be made the day before even with the whipped cream topping?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Yes! Just refrigerate it.

  11. Ruth mccleese Reply

    What is nutritional analysis particularly carbs?

  12. Deloris Reply

    Can this recipe be frozen ?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Yes!

  13. Michelle J Reply

    This is an excellent recipe and has become one of our favorites! Thank you for sharing!!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You’re welcome!

  14. Peg Reply

    Can you use cool whip instead oh the heavy cream, which I never have good luck with?

    • Michelle J Reply

      Hi Peg, I have used Cool Whip in place of the “real stuff” — especially this summer since it has been so hot. Cool Whip tends to stand up longer; it works and tastes great – but the real stuff is always better!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Yes of course!

  15. Kate Reply

    For a nut allergy , can you omit or substitute?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You can omit. Or maybe do a graham cracker crust.

    • Michelle J Reply

      I omitted the nuts due to an allergy for my niece, it turned out great.

      • Christy Denney Reply

        Glad to hear that.

  16. Lynn Reply

    It’s a great recipe & I do cut my recipe in 1/2 for a 8by8 pan . Does anyone know how to blueberrys cooked down on top?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      I bet they’re great!

  17. Maureen Reply

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! How much ahead of time can you make it? Thank you!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Actually pretty far in advance. Up to 4 days at least.

  18. Carol Waggoner Reply

    Do you use fresh or bottled lemon juice? Thanks

    • Christy Denney Reply

      I try to always use fresh.

  19. MichaelMary Reply

    Great recipes. I am looking for recipes to make for my male friend who is blind from birth. He is retired and seems to eat the same foods every day. I know what he likes and the creamy shrimp enchiladas will be a great surprise to share with him.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Haha awesome!

  20. Holly Reply

    Absolutely divine! Will be making again !!!

  21. Lorraine Y. Reply

    Lemon lush is definitely a keeper! It was better than my mom’s lemon meringue pie from scratch. The next time I make this I will grease my dish as I had trouble getting all the crust.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Yes, good idea!

  22. Sonya Reply

    Wondering if i could make it pineapple. Substitute vanilla pudding with crushed pineapple in it instead of lemon

  23. Wendy Reply

    Would it be possible to 1/2 this recipe into an 8×8 pan?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Absolutely! You could definitely half it.

  24. Chris Reply

    The most refreshing dessert for hot summer get togethers! Everyone in my family loves this dessert. I made it the first time at Easter and my husband requested it for his birthday. This weekend is Labor Day. I’m bringing this Lemon Lush dessert to my cousin’s BBQ. It is amazing!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Thank you Chris!

  25. June Dreskin Reply

    Oh my goodness….this looks, and sounds delicious!! Question: do you think it would be good if I substituted mascarpone cheese and lemon curd instead of cream cheese and lemon pudding? I may add shaved white chocolate on top. Thank you for posting this recipe.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      I think that would be a great substitution!

      • Maddy Reply

        How much lemon curd would you need to substitute for the pudding?

        • Christy Denney Reply

          I’m not sure. probably 2-3 cups.

  26. mickel Reply

    can the 3.4 ounce packages instant lemon pudding be substituted for something else as I cant find the product in New Zealand

    • Christy Denney Reply

      It definitely gives it that creamy lemon flavor. Just leave out the milk and pudding mix and use lemon curd instead.

  27. Joan Perkins Reply

    I just stumbled onto your recipe; can’t wait to try it. I don’t have anyone to share it with but I do bring a lot to the nursing homes/hospitals that I used to work at. At 82 y/o hardly anyone left, but I LOVE to cook & can’t resist a new recipe. Thank you sooo much

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Oh Joan nice to meet you. My dad is 84 and my mom 80. You sound wonderful!

  28. Veronica Reply

    This looks delicious, thinking of making it for Easter. Do you think it would work with a graham cracker crust instead of the shortbread?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Graham cracker crust would be great.

  29. John Reply

    Make a similar no bake version with cream cheese, lemon jello and cool whip and a lady finger border in a springform. The crust sounds interesting though. May have to tweak ours.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      I really love this crust.

  30. BETH Reply

    A new guest at our family Easter dinners is allergic to chocolate (imagine the horror!) so i had been looking for something non-chocolate to serve. This looks like just the thing. How far ahead of time can you make it?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You can actually make it a day or two ahead of time!

  31. Lynn Reply

    How long will this stand (particularly the whipped cream) before serving

    • Christy Denney Reply

      the whipped cream is good for a day or two

  32. shawnna griffin Reply

    hey girl- this is right up my alley! yummy!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      It’s a good one.

  33. Paige Flamm Reply

    Yum! This looks absolutely perfect! Totally making this to munch on during conference next weekend!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

    • Christy Denney Reply

      ooh yes!

  34. Kate A Reply

    This was delicious. As my family likes serious citrus, I substituted 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice for the same amount of milk in the pudding layer. I also added a layer of crushed lemon wafers in between the pudding and cream cheese layers

  35. Cherrie Cadran Reply

    It looks good but the dough looks so ugly when cooked I threw one batch away because I used cold butter not softened I thought that was why it looked so bad and it was crumbly. I made another batch as directed still ugly and did not brown I left it in for 25 min Im hoping it taste ok it’s going to a party tomorrow .

    • Christy Denney Reply

      It does not need to be brown and it will look uncooked. It’s a shortbread crust.

  36. Suzanna Reply

    Instead of using the pudding mix, could you use lemon curd?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      I’m sure you could! I haven’t done it though.

  37. Michelle Mcdiarmid Reply

    My great grandmother made this every holiday recipe a little different but always a family fav

    • Christy Denney Reply

      It’s one of my favorites!

  38. CAROL STEWART Reply

    I made this for Christmas eve and everyone went crazy over it! I have to print out recipes to give out! I make a lot of desserts but by far, my son says it’s the best lemon dessert he ever had. Thanks for sharing!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You’re welcome. It’s honestly one of my favorites and you can do any type of pudding you want!

  39. Linda Reply

    i’ve been making this for years . It’s a favorite in Canada I got it from a Canadian cookbook. Delicious.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      It’s so good right?

  40. Victoria Via Reply

    Everyone so far is talking about it was a big hit and I just have a question while the crust on mine is cooling. I baked for 20 minutes and it tasted floury. Then another 5 minutes, no change. I ended up with another 10-15 minutes of baking it and I swear it cooked but didn’t taste like a crust. Is it supposed to be kind of crumbly?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Yes, it’s a shortbread crust which by definition is crumbly. Try it all together. It’s delicious.

  41. Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian Reply

    Christy, I am in lemon heaven. I have been on such a lemon kick lately. I love layered desserts. This is soooo on my list!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Haha! Thanks Donna!

  42. Eugene Lindemann Reply

    can I use splenda sugar blend for powered sugar because I am diabetic

    • Eugene Lindemann Reply

      I can eat nuts but not sugar can I use splenda blend sugar blend

      • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

        I’ve never tried it but I’m sure you can.

  43. Debra Reply

    Is there any idea for a nut free crust. Have nut allergy. Thanks

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      You can leave out the nuts. It will still be great!

  44. Angela Reply

    Made this for Easter and it was a huge hit! Super delish!

  45. Mindy Reply

    Absolutely the best dessert for our Easter dinner. All the guests gave rave reviews! Keep up the excellent recipes. 🙂

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      Wahoo! Awesome!

  46. Grandma Reply

    I love lemon desserts and this looks so good.

  47. Lisa Reply

    Lemon is perfect for this time of year as it always reminds me of warmer sunnier days!! Thus looks lush! :0)

  48. Kerri Reply

    This looks delish! My husband and I just moved to the Fort Lauderdale area and I’m pretty sure I saw you at the Fort Lauderdale LDS Temple Open House earlier this week! Were you working as one of the volunteers?? I even thought, “Wow, she looks a lot like the girl from ‘the girl who ate everything blog!'” Now I’m wishing I would have come up and said hi! I had no idea you lived in Florida until you mentioned it in passing in one of the posts I was reading and put two and two together. Anyways, disregard if I’m wrong. Thanks for all the awesome recipes! Haven’t made anything from your blog that I haven’t loved.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      Kerri!!! What a small world! Yes, I was working as one of the volunteers with my husband. I’m still carrying a little baby weight so I might look a little different from my profile picture. Where were you? That’s so funny. You should have totally said hi. What ward did you move into? We’re in the Pines ward.

  49. Carol at Wild Goose Tea Reply

    I am afraid I am going to have to steal your excuse line—my conscious took a sabbatical—-that’s one I haven’t used and I thought I used them all. Laughing here. I am looking around of Easter dinner desserts. I thought I would have more than one. Thus they would have to be easy. I don’t want to be exhausted and not enjoy the event. This one is luscious and make ahead and easy. Excellent.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      Yes it’s totally perfect for making ahead. I love that about it.

  50. pilla Reply

    Wow! Looks delicious, I wish I had someone to bake for!

    http://pernillabredolt.com

  51. Jess Reply

    This recipe brings back so many memories of when my mum made a similar thing when I was younger! I really love the layering of the different flavours as well.
    I have been loving lemon lately, and use it in this pie recipe where it makes such a difference http://whatjessdoesnext.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/a-pretty-perfect-pie.html but I will be making this on the weekend for friends for sure!

  52. Ilona @ Ilona's Passion Reply

    Delicious, Pinned it! For my desserts to do:)

  53. Anne [A Squared] Reply

    My mom and grandmother always made a version of this with a raspberry filling… looks delish!

  54. mila bassett Reply

    A lover of citrus here as well! Do you think lemon curd will work here instead of the pudding? I have recently made a batch of lime curd for the first time and fell in love, could eat it with a spoon. It was so easy to make that I want to use it in everything now. I love the suggestion about using sweetened condensed milk too!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      Absolutely! Lemon curd would be great here!

  55. Shari Reply

    This used to be my ‘signature’ dessert, I was ALWAYS asked to make it to take to any and every potluck! I guess I got tired of making it b/c I haven’t made it in years! LOL BUT….I will be making it soon!!! Thank you for bringing it back!! I like it a lot more than the chocolate etc, I love lemon desserts!!

  56. Medeja Reply

    This is really amazing recipe! I haven’t seen such layered lemony treats before!

  57. Suzanne S Reply

    I love lemon lush! When I make mine I don’t use lemon pudding & milk for that layer. Instead I mix one can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk with about 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice. It starts out runny but as you stir it thickens up to a pudding consistency. It is the lushous part to me!! Although, I told my high school home ec teacher that & she dissed the Eagle Brand milk!!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      I love Eagle Brand milk! Sounds like a great substitution.

  58. Becky P. Reply

    I don’t always love lemon; but I do love lemon poppy seed muffins. Oh, and by the way, I LOVE your fork. ;D

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      Homegoods. The fork is from homegoods. Lemon is a very polarizing flavor.

  59. JanetFCTC Reply

    This looks sooooo good! I’m right there with you on the lemon; seems that this time of year, I just crave lemon everything. I will definitely be trying this!

  60. Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Baker Reply

    I’m totally loving these bars. I went through a citrus phase recently too, still always in the mood for citrussy things!

  61. Ashanti Reply

    This looks perfect for the warmer weather, that I’m being told is on its way LOL
    My aunt makes this Mississippi Mud Pie that is made the same way, only with chocolate pudding instead of the lemon. So I’m sure this is a winner. I’ll have to give it a try for Easter, which happens to fall on my birthday this year. Yay, for an excuse to have double (or triple) desserts at dinner this year!

  62. Lavender Reply

    This looks absolutely amazing! I love lemon and can’t wait to try the recipe!

  63. Katrina @ WVS Reply

    This is so pretty!! LOVE the recipe!

  64. Nazia @ This Baker Girl Blogs Reply

    Oooh I love anything with lemon and this looks delicious 🙂

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