A delightful spring and summer dessert, this Lemon Lush recipe has layers of shortbread crust, cream cheese, pudding, and whipped cream. Easy to make, and yummy to eat!
Lemon is the epitome of spring and summer. It’s fresh, light, and the perfect ingredient for desserts during the warmer months. This recipe for Lemon Lush Dessert is one of my favorites, and I’ve been making it since my college days. It’s perfect for Easter menus, or any other time you need to make or bring a dessert. Best of all, it’s very easy to make…don’t let all those layers fool you!
Lemon Lush Dessert
Isn’t it pretty? This dessert not only tastes amazing, but it looks stunning on a plate. All the layers together make for such a beautiful presentation, and I love to serve it for special occasions, including as an Easter dessert. Then there’s the way it tastes…the creaminess of the cream cheese with the coolness of the lemon pudding and buttery crunch of the crust…it’s perfection!
Ingredients you’ll need to make Lemon Lush Dessert
- Walnuts (you can omit if there are allergies, or use pecans instead)
- Instant lemon pudding
- Cream cheese
- Cool Whip
- Powdered sugar
Many of these are basic pantry ingredients you may already have on hand, and if not, they’re easily accessible at a grocery store. The nuts provide great texture and crunch to the crust, but if there’s an allergy, you can absolutely leave them out. It will still taste amazing! You can also switch out the walnuts for pecans, which I’ve done on occasion when that’s all I have in my pantry. Both work well.
How to make Lemon Lush Dessert Recipe
Start by making the crust first…it needs to bake for 20 minutes and cool before adding other layers. It’s easier if the butter is at room temperature, but not really soft. Use a fork to combine the flour and butter, then add the nuts. Butter a 9×13 baking dish really well, then press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake in oven preheated to 325 degrees.
You can make the other layers and keep them in the fridge until the crust has cooled, or wait to make them until the crust has just come out and while it’s cooling. At this point you can just add each layer on top of each other, with no waiting in between.
Start with the second layer, then the third, and finally the top layer. For that fourth layer, you have a couple of options. You can either use the other half of large Cool Whip container, or make your own whipping cream. Making your own with heavy cream and powdered sugar takes a bit longer, but only about 5-7 minutes. I usually prefer to make my own, because I like the taste of it better, but you can certainly use the Cool Whip. I’ve included details in the recipe for both!
Once you’ve finished all the layers, refrigerate until ready to serve.
Lemon Lush Dessert
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powedered sugar
- 1/2 large container Coop Whip
- 2 3 oz. packages lemon instant pudding
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1/2 large container Cool Whip
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- Combine crust ingredients, and press into a buttered 9x13baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, then let cool.
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth, and then add the powdered sugar. Fold in the Cool Whip until it’s completely incorporated, then spread the mixture on top of the cooled crust.
- Mix pudding and milk until thick, and then spread on top of the cream cheese layer.
- For the final layer, you have one of two options. Either use the other half of the large Cool Whip container, or make whipped cream. If so, beat the heavy cream until it reaches a soft peak stage, then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread which ever you choose on top of the pudding layer. Sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate until time to serve.