Lemon Lush

This Lemon Lush recipe is a light and fresh dessert with a shortbread crust. 

Layers of shortbread, cream cheese, lemon pudding, and fresh whipped cream make this Lemon Lush recipe the best of all.Lemon Lush slice on a plate with a fork

LEMON LUSH RECIPE (originally posted April 2009)

I’ve been on a lemon kick lately. I made 3 batches of lemon poppy seed muffins last week when my husband was out of town which means I ate way too many because I let my conscious have a sabbatical. And thank goodness I’m not taking a drug test anytime soon or I would surely fail from the two bottles of poppy seeds I used.

The muffins, however, still need tweaking which is why I’m bringing you another delicious lemony dessert.

I’m sure you’ve had this in some form or another. Maybe with chocolate pudding or pistachio, but lemon is the new black right now and it needed a turn in this dish. I have a Four Layer Yummy already on this blog but for this version I made the crust and cream cheese layer thicker.

This Lemon Lush dessert is light and creamy, with a crunchy shortbread crust. I could eat the whole pan. This Lemon Lush would be a great dessert for Easter.Lemon Lush slice
For some reason taking pictures of yellow food is one of the hardest things in the world for me to do. My camera sees yellow and wants to do back flips into shades of grey and blue. So I’m applauding myself on getting a picture that isn’t 50 shades of grey.

Lemon Lush
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 16 slices
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter , softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon lemon juice
Pudding Layer:
  • 2 3.4 ounce packages instant lemon pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • Whipped Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the crust: In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together until a dough forms. Add the pecans and mix until combined. If you don't have a good processor you can cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or 2 forks and add the pecans after the butter is cut in.
  3. Press the mixture into bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let crust cool. While the crust is baking prepare the remaining layers.
  4. For the Cream Cheese Layer: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice together until smooth. Spread evenly over the cooled crust.
  5. For the Pudding layer: In a separate bowl, mix the lemon pudding and milk together and beat for 3 to 5 minutes. Let the mixture set up slightly in the refrigerator if it's not thick yet. Once it has set up a little spread it over the cream cheese layer.
  6. For the Whipped Cream: Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over pudding mixture.
  7. Chill dessert until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

Usually I make all of the layers while the crust is cooking. I place them in separate bowls and chill them in the fridge until I'm ready to assemble.

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes

Lemon Lush - a light and refreshing lemon dessert with a shortbread crust. the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Speak Your Mind



  1. Oooh I love anything with lemon and this looks delicious 🙂

  2. This is so pretty!! LOVE the recipe!

  3. This looks absolutely amazing! I love lemon and can’t wait to try the recipe!

  4. This looks perfect for the warmer weather, that I’m being told is on its way LOL
    My aunt makes this Mississippi Mud Pie that is made the same way, only with chocolate pudding instead of the lemon. So I’m sure this is a winner. I’ll have to give it a try for Easter, which happens to fall on my birthday this year. Yay, for an excuse to have double (or triple) desserts at dinner this year!

  5. I’m totally loving these bars. I went through a citrus phase recently too, still always in the mood for citrussy things!

  6. This looks sooooo good! I’m right there with you on the lemon; seems that this time of year, I just crave lemon everything. I will definitely be trying this!

  7. I don’t always love lemon; but I do love lemon poppy seed muffins. Oh, and by the way, I LOVE your fork. ;D

  8. I love lemon lush! When I make mine I don’t use lemon pudding & milk for that layer. Instead I mix one can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk with about 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice. It starts out runny but as you stir it thickens up to a pudding consistency. It is the lushous part to me!! Although, I told my high school home ec teacher that & she dissed the Eagle Brand milk!!

  9. This is really amazing recipe! I haven’t seen such layered lemony treats before!

  10. This used to be my ‘signature’ dessert, I was ALWAYS asked to make it to take to any and every potluck! I guess I got tired of making it b/c I haven’t made it in years! LOL BUT….I will be making it soon!!! Thank you for bringing it back!! I like it a lot more than the chocolate etc, I love lemon desserts!!

  11. A lover of citrus here as well! Do you think lemon curd will work here instead of the pudding? I have recently made a batch of lime curd for the first time and fell in love, could eat it with a spoon. It was so easy to make that I want to use it in everything now. I love the suggestion about using sweetened condensed milk too!

  12. My mom and grandmother always made a version of this with a raspberry filling… looks delish!

  13. Delicious, Pinned it! For my desserts to do:)

  14. This recipe brings back so many memories of when my mum made a similar thing when I was younger! I really love the layering of the different flavours as well.
    I have been loving lemon lately, and use it in this pie recipe where it makes such a difference http://whatjessdoesnext.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/a-pretty-perfect-pie.html but I will be making this on the weekend for friends for sure!

  15. Wow! Looks delicious, I wish I had someone to bake for!


  16. I am afraid I am going to have to steal your excuse line—my conscious took a sabbatical—-that’s one I haven’t used and I thought I used them all. Laughing here. I am looking around of Easter dinner desserts. I thought I would have more than one. Thus they would have to be easy. I don’t want to be exhausted and not enjoy the event. This one is luscious and make ahead and easy. Excellent.

  17. This looks delish! My husband and I just moved to the Fort Lauderdale area and I’m pretty sure I saw you at the Fort Lauderdale LDS Temple Open House earlier this week! Were you working as one of the volunteers?? I even thought, “Wow, she looks a lot like the girl from ‘the girl who ate everything blog!'” Now I’m wishing I would have come up and said hi! I had no idea you lived in Florida until you mentioned it in passing in one of the posts I was reading and put two and two together. Anyways, disregard if I’m wrong. Thanks for all the awesome recipes! Haven’t made anything from your blog that I haven’t loved.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Kerri!!! What a small world! Yes, I was working as one of the volunteers with my husband. I’m still carrying a little baby weight so I might look a little different from my profile picture. Where were you? That’s so funny. You should have totally said hi. What ward did you move into? We’re in the Pines ward.

  18. Lemon is perfect for this time of year as it always reminds me of warmer sunnier days!! Thus looks lush! :0)

  19. I love lemon desserts and this looks so good.

  20. Absolutely the best dessert for our Easter dinner. All the guests gave rave reviews! Keep up the excellent recipes. 🙂

  21. Made this for Easter and it was a huge hit! Super delish!

  22. Is there any idea for a nut free crust. Have nut allergy. Thanks

  23. Eugene Lindemann says:

    can I use splenda sugar blend for powered sugar because I am diabetic

  24. Christy, I am in lemon heaven. I have been on such a lemon kick lately. I love layered desserts. This is soooo on my list!

  25. Everyone so far is talking about it was a big hit and I just have a question while the crust on mine is cooling. I baked for 20 minutes and it tasted floury. Then another 5 minutes, no change. I ended up with another 10-15 minutes of baking it and I swear it cooked but didn’t taste like a crust. Is it supposed to be kind of crumbly?

  26. i’ve been making this for years . It’s a favorite in Canada I got it from a Canadian cookbook. Delicious.

  27. CAROL STEWART says:

    I made this for Christmas eve and everyone went crazy over it! I have to print out recipes to give out! I make a lot of desserts but by far, my son says it’s the best lemon dessert he ever had. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Michelle Mcdiarmid says:

    My great grandmother made this every holiday recipe a little different but always a family fav

  29. Instead of using the pudding mix, could you use lemon curd?

  30. Cherrie Cadran says:

    It looks good but the dough looks so ugly when cooked I threw one batch away because I used cold butter not softened I thought that was why it looked so bad and it was crumbly. I made another batch as directed still ugly and did not brown I left it in for 25 min Im hoping it taste ok it’s going to a party tomorrow .

  31. This was delicious. As my family likes serious citrus, I substituted 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice for the same amount of milk in the pudding layer. I also added a layer of crushed lemon wafers in between the pudding and cream cheese layers

  32. Yum! This looks absolutely perfect! Totally making this to munch on during conference next weekend!


  33. shawnna griffin says:

    hey girl- this is right up my alley! yummy!

  34. How long will this stand (particularly the whipped cream) before serving

  35. A new guest at our family Easter dinners is allergic to chocolate (imagine the horror!) so i had been looking for something non-chocolate to serve. This looks like just the thing. How far ahead of time can you make it?

  36. Make a similar no bake version with cream cheese, lemon jello and cool whip and a lady finger border in a springform. The crust sounds interesting though. May have to tweak ours.

  37. This looks delicious, thinking of making it for Easter. Do you think it would work with a graham cracker crust instead of the shortbread?

  38. I just stumbled onto your recipe; can’t wait to try it. I don’t have anyone to share it with but I do bring a lot to the nursing homes/hospitals that I used to work at. At 82 y/o hardly anyone left, but I LOVE to cook & can’t resist a new recipe. Thank you sooo much