Lemon Lush is an easy dessert recipe made with layers of pecan shortbread, sweetened cream cheese, lemon pudding, and whipped topping. Rediscover this classic summer dessert or enjoy it for the first time.
You'll want to go light on dinner so you have plenty of room left for Lemon Lush!
How do you make Lemon Lush?
Lemon Lush always has a crunchy crust on the bottom. I use a pecan shortbread version, but some recipes use Pecan Sandies® (the actual cookies ground up) or even graham crackers.
Some recipes add sugar to the crust, but I think that makes the dessert overly sweet. You won't miss that added sugar!
To finish the Lemon Lush dessert:
- Top it with a layer of cream cheese, sweetened with sugar.
- Add a layer of lemon pudding.
- Finally, top it off with a layer of cool whip.
Lemon Lush is the sort of dessert that makes you pass on seconds at dinner. It's light, sweet, tangy, and the cool whip (or whipped cream) has a clean vanilla flavor and a light, fluffy texture.
Lemon Lush Recipe
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted (see notes)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
For the filling:
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant lemon pudding mix
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 (8 ounce) container whipped topping thawed, or whipped cream
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch x 13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
- In a food processor, pulse pecans until finely chopped but not ground, about 5 to 7 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.
- To the food processor (no need to clean it), add flour and butter. Process until soft dough forms. Add pecans and pulse until combined.
- Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely.
To make the filling:
- In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or by hand using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Spread on top of cooled crust.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk until combined, about 30 seconds. Let sit at room temperature until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Pour on top of cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Remove from refrigerator and top with truwhip whipped topping. For best results, and for the cleanest slices, refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight (or freeze for 30 minutes). However, the dessert can be eaten immediately after being topped with truwhip.
- Toasting the pecans is optional but always recommended.