Lemon Lush Recipe | The Recipe Critic


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This lemon lush dessert has a delectable combination of flavors. Its buttery pecan crust serves as a delightful base, complementing the refreshing layers of creamy lemon goodness above. It’s the best way to stay cool and satisfy your sweet tooth!

Need more amazing lemon desserts in your life? Try lemon pudding cake, these classic lemon bars, or lemon brownies!

Closeup of a slice of lemon lush.

Lemon Lush Dessert

Lemon lush is one of my all-time favorite lemon desserts. The crust is all buttery with chopped pecans, and on top of that, you’ve got these super refreshing layers of lemon pudding, a lemon cream cheese mixture, and whipped cream. It’s sweet, tangy, and oh-so-yummy!

You should totally make lemon lush because it’s a piece of cake (well, more like a piece of dessert) to put together! The recipe’s straightforward, so whether you’re a pro in the kitchen or just starting out, you’ll nail it. Once you’ve made it, pop it in the fridge, and let everything set up. When you’re ready to serve, you’ll unveil this gorgeous, layered dessert that’ll blow everyone away. Lemon lush is perfect for any occasion, or even just to treat yourself on a sunny day.

Ingredients in Lemon Lush

Lemon lush is made with a handful of simple yet essential ingredients that come together to create an irresistible dessert. Each ingredient plays a crucial role in building the buttery and flavorful crust, setting the foundation for the layers of refreshing lemon goodness to come. All measurements are in the recipe card below.

Crust

  • All-Purpose Flour: This is the main ingredient for the crust. It gives the base structure and holds everything together.
  • Powdered Sugar: Adds a delicious sweetness to the crust.
  • Chopped Pecans: Pecans give the crust a nice crunch and a nutty flavor that goes well with the lemony layers. If pecans aren’t your thing, you could also use chopped almonds or walnuts.
  • Salt: A small pinch of salt balances the sweetness and enhances the overall taste.
  • Unsalted Butter: This is what binds everything in the crust. It makes the crust rich and tender, and also adds a lovely buttery flavor to the lemon lush.

Cream Cheese Layer

  • Softened Cream Cheese: For some creamy, tangy flavor.
  • White Sugar: To add sweetness to this layer.
  • Lemon Zest: For a little extra lemon flavor!

Lemon Layer

  • Instant Lemon Pudding Mix: Gives the lemon layer a rich, creamy texture and lemony flavor.
  • Milk: I used whole milk for some extra creaminess.

Whipped Topping Layer

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Chilled so it sets up properly!
  • Powdered Sugar: Gives the whipped topping stability and sweetness.

How to Make Lemon Lush

I’ve broken it up into a few simple sections! It’s super easy to make. Just be sure to allow yourself enough time for the lemon lush to chill and set up.

Crust

  1. Preheat Oven, Prepare Pan: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9×13 baking dish with pan spray. Then set aside.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, pecans, and salt. Add the butter and then cut in with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the mixture until it begins to form a dough, but is still quite dry and crumbly.
  3. Bake: Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 23-25 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and just starting to brown on top.
  4. Cool: Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Layer

  1. Combine Ingredients: Add the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon zest to a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.
  2. Add Cream Cheese Layer: Add cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled crust and smooth evenly over it.

Lemon Layer

  1. Thicken Pudding: In a large bowl, add the instant pudding mix and the milk and whisk until beginning to thicken, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add Pudding Layer: Pour the lemon pudding over the cream cheese and then use a spatula to spread it evenly.

Whipped Topping Layer

  1. Whip: Add the chilled cream and powdered sugar to a large bowl and use a hand mixer or stand mixer to mix until you achieve stiff peaks.
  2. Layer: Spread evenly over top of the lemon pudding.
  3. Chill: Cover with plastic wrap or foil and chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before serving.
4-photo collage of each layer of lemon lush being prepared.

Tips and Variations

These are a few ways to make your lemon lush just the way you like it! It’s so delicious, refreshing, and sweet, you won’t be able to get enough.

  • Omit Pecans: If you have an allergy to or dislike nuts, the pecans can be omitted without affecting the recipe’s outcome. Continue without them as directed.
  • Graham Cracker Crust: For a quicker and no-bake alternative, swap the pecan crust for a graham cracker crust. Simply mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and press into the baking dish. You can also use a premade graham cracker crust for easy prep.
  • Use Lemon Curd: The lemon pudding is interchangeable with lemon curd, either store-bought or homemade. This recipe is pretty easy but needs to be prepared and cooled beforehand.
  • Use Cool Whip: The whipped cream can be replaced with an 8-ounce tub of thawed whipped topping. This makes the dessert just that much easier to prepare!

Storing Leftovers

Lemon lush needs to be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for 3-4 days. It is best served chilled, so keep it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

The crust portion can be made up to 1 day in advance and can sit at room temperature until the cream cheese layer is added.


Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9×13 baking dish with pan spray. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, pecans, and salt. Add the butter and cut in with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the mixture until it begins to form a dough, but is still quite dry and crumbly.

  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 23-25 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and just starting to brown on top.

  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Layer

  • Add the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon zest to a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.

  • Add cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled crust and smooth evenly over it.

Lemon Layer

  • In a large bowl, add the lemon pudding powder and the milk and whisk until beginning to thicken, about 2 minutes.

  • Pour the lemon pudding over the cream cheese and use a spatula to spread it evenly.

Whipped Topping Layer

  • Add the chilled cream and powdered sugar to a large bowl and use a hand mixer or stand mixer to mix until you achieve stiff peaks.

  • Spread evenly over top of the lemon pudding.

  • Cover with plastic wrap or foil and chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before serving.



Serves: 24

Serving1servingCalories327kcal (16%)Carbohydrates21g (7%)Protein4g (8%)Fat26g (40%)Saturated Fat15g (75%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat7gTrans Fat0.3gCholesterol71mg (24%)Sodium128mg (5%)Potassium116mg (3%)Fiber0.5g (2%)Sugar13g (14%)Vitamin A905IU (18%)Vitamin C0.5mg (1%)Calcium78mg (8%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Keyword lemon, lemon desserts, lemon lush, lemon lush recipe





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