Lemon Lush

Lemon Lush is an easy layered lemon dessert that will have you wondering why you haven’t made one of these before. It has a creamy lemon pudding layer, fluffy cream cheese topping, and crunchy nut crust.

lemon lush topped with strawberries on a plate.

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What is Lemon Lush?

Light and tart, Lemon Lush is a chilled triple-layer dessert that will bring back memories of when the best way to spend lazy summer afternoons was running through the sprinklers.

The nut-based crust makes a crunchy base for the thick lemon filling, and the whipped cream cheese topping adds even more creaminess to this classic recipe. 

Why This is the Best Recipe for Lemon Lush Dessert

Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Bars, Lemon Cheesecake, there is no end to the number of lemon-flavored treats you can bake. This Lemon Lush dessert is simpler to make than most yet still delivers in the flavor department.

If you bring a Lemon Lush pie to your next family gathering or potluck dinner, don’t forget to bring extra copies of this recipe. You’ll need them!

This creamy cool dessert recipe is so easy to make.

  • The buttery nut crust can be baked in a matter of minutes.
  • The lemon layer is made with a boxed pudding mix.
  • And you are going to love the fluffy cream cheese layer on top.

If you want to be extra fancy, you can top the whole dessert with sliced strawberries, blueberries, or lemon zest.

Lemon Lush Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Butter
  • Chopped nuts
  • All-purpose flour
  • Lemon instant pudding mix
  • Milk
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cool Whip topping
lemon lush ingredients on a baking sheet.

How to Make Lemon Lush

Making Lemon Lush dessert is very simple, but breaking the process into three sections makes it even easier. Feel free to prepare the crust up to a day before filling and keep it covered in the fridge. 

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Place the nuts in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into small pieces.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave or a saucepan over low heat.
  4. Stir in the melted butter, crushed nuts, and flour until it resembles wet sand.
lemon lush crust mixture in a skillet.
  1. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking pan with your fingertips. 
  2. Blind bake the crust until it is lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. Allow the crust to cool completely before filling. 
baked crust for lemon lush dessert.

To make the pudding layer:

  1. Combine both packets of pudding mix with the milk in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix until the pudding begins to thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t worry if the consistency of the filling is a little thick – that is what you want. 
lemon pudding mixture in a bowl.
  1. Scoop the pudding onto the cold crust carefully. 
  2. Use an offset spatula to even out the filling. Don’t leave any spaces around the sides of the pan. 
  3. Place the pan in the fridge while you make the cream cheese layer. 

To make the cream cheese layer:

  1. Soften the cream cheese by leaving it on the counter for about 30 minutes. 
  2. Combine the softened cream cheese, whipped topping, and powdered sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer.
  3. Use a hand or stand mixer to beat the mixture until it increases in volume and becomes light and fluffy. 
lemon lush cream cheese layer mixture in a bowl.
  1. Scoop the cream cheese mixture onto the pudding layer and smooth with an offset spatula be sure to spread in an even layer. 
  2. Refrigerate the dessert until serving.
lemon lush dessert and a fork on a plate.

Recipe Variations

Crushed walnuts, cashews, pistachios, or pecans work well in this Lemon Lush delight crust recipe, but you can make it extra special by using candied nuts.

If you don’t care for lemon or want something different, you can change the flavor of this recipe. Simply substitute the lemon pudding for the flavor you prefer. Here are some recommendations:

  • Banana Cream
  • Butterscotch
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate
  • Pistachio

Changing the flavor is up to you, so be creative!

How Long Do You Need to Chill Lemon Lush Before Serving 

Cover the Lemon Lush dessert with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for a minimum of two hours before serving. 

How Do You Cut Lemon Lush Dessert

To cut, run a butter knife around the inside edges of the pan to loosen the sides. Slice the Lemon Lush into 3X3-inch squares using the point of a knife. 

What To Serve With Lemon Lush Pie

Try garnishing a slice of Lemon Lush pie with fresh, dried, or macerated fruit. A dollop of lemon curd and citrus zest are two ways you can add a bit more tartness to the dessert.

Sprinkle crushed nuts or sugar cookies on top for an extra layer of crunch. 

How To Store Lemon Lush Delight

Always keep the wrapped pie in the fridge. The Lemon Lush recipe will keep for up to three days this way, but it is a good idea to finish it within a day or two since the crust can get a bit soggy.  

overhead view of lemon lush dessert in a dish and on a plate.

Love lemon? Try these recipes!

Favorite Dessert Recipes

Check out more of my easy dessert recipes and family favorite recipes here on CopyKat!

lemon lush topped with strawberries on a plate.

Lemon Lush

Lemon Lush is a layered lemon dessert you will love. A cream cheese layer on top of a lemon pudding layer over a nut crust.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Lush
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 172kcal



  • 4 ounces melted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Lemon Layer

  • 2 packages instant lemon pudding mix 4-serving size
  • 3 cups milk

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Cool Whip


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Mix together the melted butter, chopped nuts, and flour.
  • Spread the mixture into a 9×13-inch pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Let the crust cool for 20 minutes.
  • In a bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk, and beat until it starts to thicken.
  • Pour this over the cooled crust.
  • Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and Cool Whip, and spread over the pudding.


  • You can try other flavors by substituting the lemon pudding for the flavor of your choice.
  • Be sure to store lemon lush dessert in the refrigerator.
  • You can garnish this with strawberries, blackberries, lemon zest to make it extra fancy!
Recipe by Virginia McDowell. Jefferson City, MO. 1983.


Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Jerry S.

    I’ve made this for years, but I use a double graham cracker pie crust instead. No one’s ever complained, great, simple recipe..

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