Refreshing and delicious Lemon Lush Dessert starts with a homemade shortbread crust that’s topped with a light and fluffy cream cheese layer, lemon pudding, and whipped cream. It’s the perfect cool summer dessert to serve to your guests at backyard parties!
I have the best summer dessert for you today – lemon lush! This is a layered dessert that is cold, creamy, and bursting with lemon flavor.
If you’ve never made a lush dessert before, all you need to know is that its layers of pudding, cream cheese, and whipped topping with a crust. There are so many types of lush desserts – one of my other favorite ones is chocolate lasagna (or chocolate lush) which is made in a similar way.
Why This Recipe Works
- This cold and creamy lush dessert is perfect for all the lemon lovers! The bright and fresh flavor is also great for all the summer BBQs, potlucks, and pool parties.
- The only baking you have to do is the crust. I use a tender shortbread crust that pairs perfectly with the creamy layers. The rest of the dessert is no-bake. All you do is mix up the ingredients for each layer and assemble the dessert.
- There are layers of lemon pudding, creamy cheese, and whipped topping. Once chilled, you will have a perfectly set dessert that’s easy to slice and serve! I promise the filling won’t run out all over the place.
- It serves a crowd! This recipe makes enough for 24 servings.
Sometimes this lemon dessert is called lemon lush delight and I can see why – it is delightful! Give it a try and you’ll see – you’ll want to make it all summer long.
Ingredients for the Layers
There are four layers in this dessert, but I promise it’s easy to make! Just follow the steps and soon you’ll be pulling this amazing treat out of the refrigerator.
Crust: All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, finely chopped walnuts or pecans, and softened unsalted butter.
Cream Cheese Layer: Softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, lemon juice and zest, thawed whipped topping.
Pudding Layer: Instant lemon pudding mix and cold milk.
Topping: Thawed whipped topping, lemon zest and lemon slices for garnish.
How to Make the Crust
Combine the flour, sugar, nuts, and softened unsalted butter in a large bowl. Use a mixer and once the ingredients are well combined, press the dough into an even layer in a prepared pan.
Bake the crust for 15 to 18 minutes at 350°F or until it’s golden brown. Take it out of the oven and let the crust cool completely.
How to Make the Cream Cheese Layer
Cream the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the zest, juice, and whipped topping. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
Spread the cream cheese filling over the cooled crust and then place the baking pan in the refrigerator. Chill the filling for 30 minutes.
How to Make the Pudding Layer
Place the pudding mix and milk in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine and once it’s smooth and creamy, pour it over the cream cheese layer in the baking dish.
Chill the pudding layer until it’s set. It usually takes about 15 minutes. Once the filling is set you can add the toppings.
Topping and Decorations
Spread more whipped topping over the top of the pudding layer. For decoration, sprinkle more lemon zest over the top or you can arrange sliced lemons in a pattern.
Crust Tip: I love walnut or pecans in the crust, but you could also use almonds. Whichever nut you decide to use, be sure to finely chop them. The easiest way to do this is in a food processor.
Whipped Topping Substitute: You can use homemade whipped cream instead of whipped topping for this dessert. Just be sure to whip the heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. I like the whipped topping because it’s easier – one less step to do.
Flavor Variations: So, here’s the best thing about this dessert. You can use the same crust and cream cheese filling but switch the pudding flavor and decorations to create a whole new dessert. Lime lush is great – just use lime-flavored pudding! Or, try other flavors to put your own spin on it.
Make-Ahead Tip: You can make this dessert a day in advance, and the leftovers will keep for two to three days in the refrigerator.
Everyone is going to LOVE this lemon lush dessert! It’s always a hit when I make it! Lemon is always a crowd-pleaser, so be sure to give it a try the next time you need a treat for friends and family.
More Lemon Desserts!
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake made with cake mix and dressed up with a sweet glaze. This is a great cake if you need something easy!
- Make a classic Lemon Bundt Cake! It’s soft, tender, and perfect for dessert or as a snack cake for the afternoon.
- My Lemon Raspberry Sherbet Dessert is an old family recipe that you will love! It’s cold and creamy with a sweet and salty twist!
Tried this recipe? Be sure to comment below, I definitely want to hear from you!!!
And if you’re like me and snap photos be sure to tag me on Instagram @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats that way I’m sure to see your yummy treat!!!
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ c. finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- ½ c. unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
Cream Cheese Layer
- 8 oz package 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 8 oz container whipped topping, thawed
- 2 boxes instant lemon pudding 3.4 oz each
- 3 c. cold milk
- 8 oz container whipped topping, thawed
- Zest of lemon
- Lemon slices
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Spray 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Add crust ingredients to large bowl and combine using a stand or hand mixer until completely mixed.
- Press crust mixture into prepared 13×9 baking dish.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Layer
- In a large mixing bowl cream together softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth using a hand mixer or stand mixer.
- Stir in zest, juice and whipped topping to cream cheese mixture until smooth.
- Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust.
- Place in refrigerator to chill at least 30 minutes.
Lemon Pudding Layer
- In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and milk until smooth and creamy.
- Spread over cream cheese layer.
- Place in refrigerator to chill at least 15 minutes or until pudding is set.
Whipped Topping Layer
- Spread remaining whipped topping over pudding layer.
- Optional – add chopped nuts, lemon zest or slices.
- Place in refrigerator until ready to serve at least 1 hour.
- Store leftovers in refrigerator in airtight container.