Lemon Lush


Delight citrus fans with this nostalgic layered dessert.

Two slices of Lemon Lush dessert on plates with forks with a glass of lemonade and a napkin.

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Lydia Pursell

Prep Time:
0 mins
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 45 mins

This impressive-looking but easy-to-build treat combines a cookie crust, cream cheese filling, lemon pudding, and whipped cream. The best part about this layered dessert is that no oven is required—it’s a true icebox dessert.

The oreo cookie crust is sweet, buttery, and slices like a dream when chilled. The cream cheese layer is not overly sweet and is pleasantly lemony. The box pudding mix is a vibrant yellow color and has a sweet lemon flavor for the right balance of sweet and tart.

To make this dessert even easier, use a food processor to blitz the sandwich cookies into fine crumbs for the crust. And for nice and even layers, don’t rush the freezing process; each layer needs time to chill and set before placing the next component on top. 

But What Is a Lush? 

A lush is an old-school no-bake layered dessert that usually contains some sort of press-in crumb crust, a pudding filling, and whipped cream topping. Some lush recipes use graham crackers or cookies as the base of the crust, and others make a quick shortbread-like press-in crust.

The pudding layer, keeping with the easy theme, is typically made from instant box mixes, and the whipped cream topping can be homemade or store-bought ready-made.

Lush is only one of the many names this dessert goes by; chocolate versions are often called Chocolate Delight, for example. Whatever you call it, this dessert is as delicious as it is easy.


  • 1 (19.1-oz.) pkg. cream-filled vanilla sandwich cookies, crushed (about 4 1/2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 2 (8-oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tsp. lemon zest plus 3 Tbsp. fresh juice

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 2 (3.4-oz.) pkg. lemon instant pudding mix and pie filling

  • Lemon slices, for garnish


  1. Coat a 13- x 9-inch freezer-safe baking dish with cooking spray, and line the dish with parchment paper.

  2. Stir crushed cookies and melted butter in a large bowl until combined. Press firmly into bottom of prepared baking dish in an even layer. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, and 1 1/4 cups of the powdered sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Place heavy whipping cream and remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer on high until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Spread mixture over crust; freeze until set, about 10 minutes.

  4. Whisk milk and pudding mix in a large bowl until smooth and thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Spread pudding over cream cheese mixture in crust. Chill until pudding sets slightly, about 15 minutes.

  5. Gently spread remaining whipped cream over pudding. Chill, covered, until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Garnish with lemon slices. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 4 days.

Related Articles