Lemon ice box pie, summer, icebox, lemon
Aunt Emily’s lemon icebox pie is a cool summer delight.

Beat the summer heat with this lemon icebox pie

What’s better on a hot summer day than a slice of cool lemon icebox pie? Well, nothing comes to mind!

Icebox pies are easy and oven-free

Icebox pies require a minimum of cooking (none if you use a store-bought crust) and are easy to make. You just have to remember to make them at least 4 hours in advance so they have time to chill in the freezer. To celebrate these dog days of summer, here’s an amazing lemon icebox pie recipe. You should also try this strawberry icebox pie recipe.

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Picture of Lemon Icebox Pie from the top
Lemon Icebox Pie with a homemade Graham Cracker Crust is a delicious dessert for a hot summer’s day.

What makes this Lemon Icebox Pie old-fashioned

I found this recipe when I was going through my grandmother Lucy’s recipes after she died. It was titled “Aunt Emily’s Icebox Pie,” a reference to my grandfather’s sister Emily. Back when Aunt Emily made this pie, it was literally put into an icebox – a pre-refrigerator device that used blocks of ice to keep food cool.

Once I started making it, this pie became a favorite of my children and their friends, especially my son-in-law, Cody. I guarantee it will become a favorite at your house, too.

Lemon Icebox Pie from the top

Making an old-fashioned recipe modern

The handwritten index card I discovered in my grandmother’s recipes called for a homemade graham cracker crust and homemade whipped cream. I simplified the recipe with a few modern adjustments – substituting a store-bought graham cracker crust and a tub of Cool Whip instead of the hand-whipped cream.

I’ve made the pie both ways many times — all homemade and with store-bought conveniences. I honestly prefer the pie made with Cool Whip. It makes the pie lighter in texture and flavor, and the lemon really stands out. That said, the homemade graham cracker crust does elevate the pie, not only in taste but also in appearance. Still, this pie is delicious either way. If you want to try a homemade crust, try this recipe for A Divine Graham Cracker Crust.

Looking for vintage recipes?

I love finding vintage cookbooks. You can usually pick them up for $1 or so at garage and estate sales. But if you’re looking for something specific, here’s a great online source, Blackbird Cookbooks.


Recipe by JanaCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy

Don’t forget to allow at least 4 hours in the freezer. Even better, make it the night before and freeze overnight.


  • 1 graham-cracker crust (bought or use A Divine Graham Cracker Crust recipe)

  • 3 eggs, separated

  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Zest from 1 lemon

  • 1 container Extra Creamy Cool Whip


  • Separate eggs into two mixing bowls — egg whites in one, egg yolks in the other.  In the bowl with the egg whites, add 1 tablespoon sugar and beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  • In the bowl with the egg yolks, add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until thick. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt and mix to combine.
  • Fold Cool Whip into egg yolk mixture, and then fold in egg whites. Stir in lemon zest.
     Pour into graham cracker crust and freeze for at least 4 hours. 

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