Lemon Lush Dessert

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FireUpTheGrill #CollectiveBias

A cookie crust is layered with a creamy lemon pudding, sweet cream cheese, and a fluffy whipped topping. This dessert is perfect for spring and summer!

Lemon Lush Dessert - This light and creamy citrus dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy after a delicious summer meal from the grill! #FireUptheGrill #ad

We’ve been grilling up a storm lately! I think we used our grill four of the seven nights last week. We’ve really enjoyed this beautiful summer weather and being able to enjoy dinner outside. Not to mention the greatness we’ve had coming off that grill!

Today I wanted to share a dessert that is not only easy, but it’s perfect to go with any grill recipe! Lemon Lush is something I’ve been making for years with my grandma. We grilled some mean pork chops and topped it with delicious Kraft BBQ sauce. And my kids loved that we had started the meal with Country Time Lemonade. This dessert was the perfect way to end the meal!

Lemon Lush Dessert - This light and creamy citrus dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy after a delicious summer meal from the grill! #FireUptheGrill #adSpeaking of Kraft, this recipe includes three of my favorite Kraft products: Jell-O lemon pudding, Philadelphia cream cheese, and Cool Whip. Two ingredients that I love using to make amazing desserts. They were super stocked up at Walmart! I ended up getting a few extra boxes of different puddings.

Lemon Lush Dessert - This light and creamy citrus dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy after a delicious summer meal from the grill! #FireUptheGrill #ad

Are you one of those people who opens up the Cool Whip and licks the inside of the lid? Just me?

Lemon Lush Dessert - This light and creamy citrus dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy after a delicious summer meal from the grill! #FireUptheGrill #ad

If you’re one who loves lemon desserts, you’ll want to make this! Four layers of creamy, citrusy goodness. The bottom layer is like a shortbread cookie for a little bit of texture. Then you’ve got a fabulous sweet cream cheese layer, lemon pudding, and topped with Cool Whip. This dessert is a Kraft party at its finest!

Lemon Lush Dessert - This light and creamy citrus dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy after a delicious summer meal from the grill! #FireUptheGrill #ad

And this dessert stores so well! Simply cover up the dish and place it in your fridge. Pull the dish out of the fridge and serve yourself up a piece perfectly chilled. It’s pretty much the best thing ever.

Lemon Lush Dessert - This light and creamy citrus dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy after a delicious summer meal from the grill! #FireUptheGrill #ad

Lemon Lush Dessert


    For the Crust:
  • 1 c. butter, softened but not to room temperature
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. pecans, chopped in small pieces
  • For the Cream Cheese Layer:
  • 2 (8oz) packages Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • For the Pudding Layer and Topping
  • 2 small packages Jell-O instant lemon pudding mix
  • 3 1/2 c. cold milk
  • 1 (16oz) container Kraft Cool Whip
  • lemon zest, to garnish (optional)


  1. Stir together butter, flour, sugar, and chopped pecans in a mixing bowl. A fork works really well to get everything mixed together.
  2. Press into a 9x13 baking dish and bake 15-20 minutes at 350°, or until a light golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Beat together cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth. Spread over cooled crust.
  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to thicken up a little. Spread on top of the cream cheese layer. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Spread whipped topping over the pudding layer. Cut into 18-24 pieces (depending on how large or small you cut them) and garnish with fresh lemon zest.

Kitchen tools and gadgets needed for this recipe:

This recipe went perfectly with the yummy meal I put with it. I purchased a Marketside cobb salad at Walmart and drizzled the ranch dressing that came with it over the salad, as well as Kraft Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce. It was so perfect! I loved the flavor of the grilled chicken with the barbecue sauce.

Lemon Lush Dessert - This light and creamy citrus dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy after a delicious summer meal from the grill! #FireUptheGrill #ad

I also picked up Marketside garlic knots for a side dish. I love those things!

Lemon Lush Dessert - This light and creamy citrus dessert is the perfect treat to enjoy after a delicious summer meal from the grill! #FireUptheGrill #ad

Don’t make another summer recipe without getting the digital cookbook from Kraft titled “Fire Up the Grill!” Click here to download this cookbook. It’s full of great recipes for summer grilling!


  1. DJ says

    This looks really yummy. One question, in your instructions you mention lemon juice, but in ingredients listing there is none.


    • Alli says

      Hi Dj! Thanks so much for your comment. You’re so right! I remember making it with lemon juice and wasn’t a huge fan of the extra lemon flavor. But it looks like I typed it up in the instructions anyway! I adjusted the recipe so it makes sense now. Thank you!

      • Carol Israel says

        I already bought the kind of pudding and pie filling that has to be cooked. There are 2 different directions, one for pie – without milk, using water instead, and one for pudding, with milk. Either way, it involves cooking. Now what?

  2. Dianne says

    I love lemon desserts, the more lemony, the better. Can you tell me how much lemon juice you used the first time you made this and what you replaced with the actual juice (I’m assuming the milk or part of the milk).

  3. MK says

    I found this recipe when I searched or low calorie desserts. Have you calculated the calories for this? I can
    calculate as I make I it, but I was just curious. It looks delicious!

    • Alli says

      Thank you!! I was just thinking today that I need to make it again. I haven’t calculated the calories for this. I hope you like it when you do make it! It’s one of my favorites.

  4. says

    So, I would love to make this for the office and was wondering if maybe I could make the crust, let it cool, break it up and put it in the bottom of cups and then put the other ingredients on top of that? Do you think it would work? The guys in my office are always on the run and instead of them having to eat it here, they could take it with them and eat it whenever. Little individuals desserts.

    • Alli says

      Linda, that is genius. Genius! I LOVE that idea and it would work perfectly. Thanks so much for the question!

  5. Marie Y Robinson says

    I have made this dessert and used cooked lemon pudding and it is delicious! You have to let it cool first of course, but it gives it a great texture. I have never tried the instant pudding so I really can’t comment on that.

  6. Vicki B says

    It’s great with chocolate pudding. Also banana cream pudding with slices of banana in it……or coconut cream.

  7. says

    I have used Chocolate, pistachio, Cherry, and blueberry pie filling instead of the lemon. Also, my recipe says to add 1 cup if the Cool Whip to the cream cheese layer and finish it off with the remainder
    of the Cool Whip.

  8. Maureen Baisden says

    On several occasions I have use the lemon pie filling instead of the pudding and milk, it has more of a citrus flair to it.

  9. Cora says

    Hi Allie,
    I can’t wait to try this! I am thinking of saving a step and buying some shortbread cookies and crushing them with softened butter to form a no bake crust. What do you think?

    • Alli says

      In the ingredients list you’ll see that the sugars are placed with the layer they’re used in. So the sugar goes in the crust and the powdered sugar goes in the cream cheese layer.

  10. Linda says

    I have made this before and it was absolutely scrumptious! I have also made it with chocolate pudding mix and pistacio pudding mix. Personally, I like the lemon best and the pistacio next best! Mmmmm……reading this makes me want to fix it now!

    • Alli says

      I’m going to have to try it with pistachio pudding! That sounds wonderful. Thank you for the comment!

    • Alli says

      Hi Delores! I have never used canned strawberry filling before. But if it’s anything like the cherry or blueberry I’ve tried, I’m sure it’s great!

  11. says

    I would never use cool whip – so fresh whipped cram would be better And always make a homemade pudding. For this – I would use a fresh lemon curd and whipped cream for the lemon filling. You will find it to be more lucious and flavorable and FRESH.

  12. Sam mcghee says

    I am dietetic. Could I use sugar free cool whip and pudding. Splenda brown sugar and either low or no fat cream cheese?

    • Alli says

      Absolutely! I think all that you mentioned would work great. And an excellent way to cut back on the sweetness. Thanks so much for your question!

    • Alli says

      Yes, you could replace the pecans with something else. I’ve heard of people using graham crackers in the crust instead of pecans.

  13. Julia says

    I’m not much of a nut person, so instead of the nuts, I used crushed golden Oreos. My family LOVED it. It was so good. I don’t know where you come up with these recipes!

    • Alli says

      Julia, that is genius! I love that idea! I definitely need to try it with those Oreos. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Lorraine Ocillos says

    Hi! You must be Allison Miller. You were the one who left a comment with the other post on this Lemon Lush recipe. Oh I was salivating when I saw the picture but thanks to you I’ve got to try baking this. Well done!

  15. Mary Ann Ginn says

    Thanks so much for having a print option for your recipe as I do not twitter or any other new electronic things. The recipe looks so good. Thanks for being helpful in doing your recipe in a print option.

  16. Maryanne Zadell says

    I love lemon desserts. However I find Cool Whip to be beyond disgusting. Has anyone tried fresh whipped cream instead? That’s the only WAY I would make/serve it.

      • Barbara says

        Hi Alli….my mom made something similar to this all my life but she never let me in her kitchen so I did not have the recipe. I do know that she hand made her own whipped cream and put it in the oven to make a light brown top to the whipped cream. Have you ever prepared it like that before? Is the recipe for the topping different than regular whipped cream? I wish she had given me all her secrets because I am going nuts trying to find out what it was she was making. She was a fabulous cook!!!!

        • Alli says

          Hi Barbara! The recipe your mom made sounds amazing. If it had a light brown topping she might have made a meringue on top and not a whipped cream. (Here’s a recipe for a soft meringue if you want to give it a try:
          3 egg whites, room temperature
          1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
          6 Tbsp sugar
          1/2 tsp. vanilla

          Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy.
          Beating constantly, add sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved before adding the next. (You’ll know if it is if you rub a bit of meringue between your thumb and forefinger. It should feel completely smooth.) Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Beat in vanilla.

          Then you can spread the meringue right over the dessert and put it in the oven on about 350° until it browns a little. I might have to try it this way! The topping I did on this one is a Cool Whip whipped topping that you can get at the grocery store. I haven’t tried it with real whipped cream, but my husband sure wants me to! Thanks so much for your comment. I hope this helps in some way!

  17. Sue Brissette says

    I found this recipe, on a face book ad, a few months ago and made it right away. I made it for a gathering and everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. I have also made it with Banana pudding and sliced banana slices added, before the cool whip. I have made several of your recipes and have never been disappointed. Love your site.

    • Alli says

      Sue, thank you SO much for your comment! This makes me so happy. And I absolutely love your banana pudding and banana slices idea for this dessert. I can’t wait to try that. Thank you again for your wonderful comment!

  18. Christine says

    My great grandmother gave me this recipe many years ago. It is almost exactly the same one. It is delicious! We also make it using chocolate pudding and that also tastes great. Lush is always a crowd pleaser.


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