Super Simple Lemon Icebox Cake


I love making custom cakes for my friends’ birthdays, but sometimes life requires something simpler like a No-Bake Super Simple Lemon Icebox Cake.

My good friend’s birthday is this week, and I had elaborate plans for a decorative cake, but I wound up getting sick during the week. Even though I was feeling better over the weekend, I had lost a lot of energy. So I decided to make something lemony I knew he would love, but something simple enough that I wouldn’t possibly kill myself try to make.


I assembled this in less than 20 minutes. Then all I had to do was put it in the fridge to chill overnight. Is it wrong to take credit for something that easy? If it brings people joy, then I don’t think so. Plus it’s so pretty, in a rustic kind of way. I know, I hate the word “rustic” too, but it was appropriate. Let’s hope I don’t need to use it against.

If you’ve never taken advantage of the ease of an icebox cake, then what are you waiting for? All you do is layer Nilla wafers with a fluffy lemon filling and let it chill overnight. This makes the cookies soften and turn into instant cake! And it requires zero artistic ability! Yay!


A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. This is a subtly lemon filling. If you want more pop, try folding in lemon marmalade (if you do, omit the powdered sugar).
  2. Some pretty sprinkles are enough to jazz this cake up.
  3. Be careful not to over-beat the cream; you’ll wind up with butter instead of whipped cream.
  4. Save yourself a few bucks and grab the store brand of Nilla wafers. They’re just as good!
  5. Did you know you can make Nilla Wafers into delicious truffles??


No-Bake Super Simple Lemon Icebox Cake
By The Smart Cookie Cook


  • 11-oz.-box Nilla Wafers
  • 1 box lemon Jell-o instant pudding (not cook and serve)
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • optional: sprinkles and extra whipped cream, for topping


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together Jell-o filling and cold milk for 2 minutes until thickened. Place in fridge to continue thickening.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, use a hand beater on high speed to beat together sugar, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest, and cream until thick, fluffy, stiff peaks form. Fold in the chilled pudding mix.
  3. Spread a thin layer of filling onto the serving plate you intend to use for chilling and serving the cake, just enough to lightly cover the bottom, in the shape of a circle. Place Nilla wafers on top in a circle until you’ve created a single layer. Top with a thick layer of filling that you spread out just to the edges of the wafers. Repeat layering cookies and cream, making each layer smaller in diameter to create a pyramid shape, until you run out of filling and cookies.
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  4. Cover and chill overnight, or at least 10 hours. Top with sprinkles and serve with whipped cream, if you like, and enjoy.


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Colleen Bierstine