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Lemon Lush Square CROPPED IMAGE
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5 from 22 votes

Lemon Lush Dessert

Light, summer dessert that starts with a shortbread crust and is topped with layers of cream cheese, lemon pudding and whipped topping.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Chill Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24
Calories: 244kcal
Author: Julie Evink



  • 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

Pudding Layer

  • 2 boxes instant lemon pudding 3.4 oz each
  • 3 c. cold milk

Top Layer

  • 8 oz container whipped topping, thawed

Garnish options

  • Zest of lemon
  • Lemon slices


Shortbread Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Spray 13x9 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 13x9 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.


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.


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg