A Lemon Curd Icebox Cake to Ring in Warm Weather

This lovely light dessert comes from chef Lauren Katz. Her version of the recipe calls for homemade lemon curd, but the store bought variety would work well too. This cake is easy to pull together, but needs to chill for at least 6 hours, so plan ahead. 

lemon curd icebox cake slice
Just look at those layers

I like to think of this as a cross between ice cream cake and frozen lemon meringue pie. The recipe is based on one of my favorite things to make: tart and luscious lemon curd. Two other easily accessible ingredients, whipped cream and graham crackers, play a supporting role. The cake itself is easy to make; the layering process is one of my ultimate forms of zen. The best part (second to eating it) is that I always end up with some extra lemon curd to mix into yogurt, spread on toast, and spoon into ice cream throughout the week.

All together now

Lemon Curd Icebox Cake

For the lemon curd 

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 7 lemons)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick room temperature butter, diced
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

For the cake

  • 1 batch homemade lemon curd (or store bought) 
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 18 full graham cracker sheets 

Make the lemon curd:

1. In a small pot, combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Whisk until thoroughly combined, then stir in the lemon juice, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon zest. 

2. Cook on medium, stirring constantly, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon (you should be able to run your finger through the mixture on the spoon and leave a trail). Transfer to a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl and strain thoroughly to remove any lumps. 

3. While the mixture is still hot, gradually whisk in the butter until melted and combined, then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk. Let cool to room temperature. 

Assemble the icebox cake:

1. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream on high until slightly thickened. Add the lemon zest and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. 

2. Line an 8 x 5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 3-inch overhang on each side. Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of graham crackers (breaking into small pieces if necessary). Spread an even layer of lemon curd over the crackers, followed by an even layer of whipped cream over the curd. Repeat layering until you’ve reached the top (ideally ending with a layer of graham crackers). Tightly cover with the plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 6 hours.

3. When ready to serve, unwrap the plastic on top of the cake, then invert the pan onto a serving dish. Carefully remove the pan and plastic wrap. Slice and enjoy! 

lemon curd icebox cake oozing
Seriously, how good does this look?

Looking for more easy desserts? Try these five-ingredient blondies.