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Luscious Lemon Dessert

April 30, 2012 in bars, Chilled Desserts - 10 Comments - 3 min read

My junior year in college, my roommate and I thought it’d be fun to have a tea party.  We made cute little sandwiches, where we cut them in small triangle wedges and trimmed the crust, had different fruit bars, and of course, a variety of teas.  Our friends came over and we ate, laughed, and played games.  One friend brought over this delicious lemon dessert, and when the get-together was over, I asked her for the recipe.  Many years later, I pulled out the recipe and tried to make it.  At the time I got the recipe, I really wished I had asked her exactly how she made it, because the recipe said mix such-and-such together and bake, then add this on top, etc.  It never said what pan to put it in, or what temperature to have the oven (although it did say how long to bake it), or even how exactly to mix something–which is very important to any baker.  I had to improvise much, and unfortunately, the dessert flopped miserable.  Fast forward eight years, and I found the recipe, tucked away amongst other long-forgotten ones.  I thought I’d give it another chance.  However, this time, I went the internet to see if I could find something similar, and piece together the two.

It’s a good thing I gave the recipe another chance.  Talk about one of the best chilled desserts I have ever tasted!  There are four distinct layers, and it might seem like a lot of work, but really, it takes about 15 minutes (minus the cooling of the crust) to make.  And it is one of the lightest tasting desserts too, so you can have lots of it.  (Which is really a good thing, I think.)

So make it for yourself, make it for friends.  Heck, make it for a tea party, but whatever you do, make it. :)  I promise, it’ll be worth every small effort.  Enjoy! xoxo

P.S.  If you don’t’ like nuts, you can omit them from the top of the dessert, but I would leave them in the crust.  It adds a small nutty flavor which compliments nicely with the other layers.

P.P.S. I’m linking this up at Add a Pinch’s Mingle Monday.  Feel free to check out other fantastic desserts!

Layered Lemon Dessert

printable recipe


1 ½ c flour

¾ c walnuts or pecans

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Using a food processor, chop the nuts until really fine.  Cut up the cold butter into smaller cubes and add it and the flour into the food processor with the chopped nuts.  Pulse until the butter is pea-size.  Press into an ungreased 9 x 13” glass pan and bake for 15 minutes.   Cool fully on a wire rack.  Once the crust is fully cooled, begin the second layer.


2 packages cream cheese, room temperature

2 c powdered sugar

12 oz. Cool Whip, thawed and divided

Using a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and 2 cups Cool Whip.  The mixture will be thick.  Add on top of the crust, getting all the way to the edges.


3 packages lemon instant pudding

5 c cold milk

In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, mix the milk and pudding on low speed for 3 minutes.  The mixture will be thick.  Layer evenly on top of the cream cheese mixture.


Add remaining Cool Whip over the lemon pudding and sprinkle with ½ c chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts).  If you don’t like nuts, you can omit this part.

Chill in the fridge about 2 hours or overnight before serving.

Recipe Source: adapted from Southern Food


Thanks for stopping by! I love baking and hope these recipes inspire you to create something wonderful in your kitchen. xoxo

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  • Kathy August 26, 2016 at 7:57 am

    In NZ and would love to know what 2 packages cream cheese equivalent to grams in NZ

    • holly August 26, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Kathy!
      The cream cheese package here in the States is 8 ounces, or 226 grams. So two packages would be 452 grams. Hope that helps!

      • Kathy August 26, 2016 at 9:48 pm

        Thanks so much, yes very helpful

  • Koren August 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    can’t to try this!! YUMMY!!

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  • Noelle May 1, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I think I have had a similar dessert, except with chocolate instead of lemon. This sounds delicious!

    • holly May 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Chocolate sounds delicious too. :)

  • habaphotography April 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Omg this sounds and looks so delicious, wish you lived within the few yards so I could get a slice myself….sorry I just invited myself over, didn’t I? I love lemon desserts!!! Happy Spring.

    • holly April 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      Oh I would totally invite you over if you were my neighbor!! I love lemon too. :)

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