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Vertical shot of lemon pudding dessert with crumbly crust.
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5 from 2 votes

Lemon Lush Dessert

Lemon Lush Dessert is a perfectly light and refreshingly easy summer recipe! A base crust layer of crushed Lemon Oreos AND pecans is topped with a cream cheese layer, a lemon pudding layer, and then freshly whipped cream. It's smooth, tart, and luxurious tasting! Feeds a crowd, too.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Chill time4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Calories: 393kcal
Author: Karen


For the pudding

  • 2 (4.3 oz boxes) Cook-and-Serve Lemon pudding*
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 5 & 1/4 cups whole milk or half and half

For the crust

  • 1 (15.25-oz package) Lemon Oreos about 29 oreos
  • 1 & 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted

For the cream cheese layer

  • 1 (8-oz package) cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest from 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice from about half a large lemon

Whipped cream layer

  • 1 & 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream**
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Add one 8-ounce package of cream cheese and 1/4 cup of butter into a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, to soften. Set aside.
  • Make the pudding.* Add two (4.3-ounce) boxes of cook-and-serve lemon pudding to a 3 quart saucepan. Add 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar and whisk together. Add 6 egg yolks. Add 5 and 1/4 cups whole milk. Whisk it all together thoroughly, making sure there are no lumps or bits of egg. Put your back into it, now.
  • Set the pan over medium heat and use the whisk to stir frequently for the first couple of minutes. After about 2 minutes, stick around and whisk constantly. We don't want any lumps in our pudding and this is where the magic happens, so don't walk away! You need to whisk until the mixture starts to boil. As soon as you see bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pan, turn off the burner and remove from heat.
  • Once the pudding has cooled for a couple minutes (Keep whisking every now and then), press plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding and up the sides of the pot (a film will form on top of your pudding if you don't.) Chill in the fridge while you make the rest. Pudding will thicken as is cools.
  • Meanwhile, make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the whole 15.25-ounce package of Lemon Oreos to a food processor (about 29 Oreos.) Add 1 and 1/2 cups pecans and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Process until the Oreos and pecans have turned into fine crumbs, stopping to stir as necessary. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine.
  • Scrape the mixture into a glass 9x13 inch casserole dish. Use your hands or a measuring cup to press the crust firmly into the pan. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Set aside to let cool.
  • Make the cream cheese layer. Beat the softened 8 ounces of cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter that you already have in a bowl. Beat until it is smooth and there are no lumps, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.
  • Add 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat well.
  • Add the zest from one lemon, use a microplane grater if you value your sanity. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more if you're feeling frisky. Beat well.
  • Once the crust is cool enough to comfortably put your hand on it for several seconds, add the cream cheese layer. Spread it all the way to the edges of the pan so you don't have any mixing of layers.
  • Top with the lemon pudding that should be not-hot and a little more set up at this point. Spread all the way to the edges.
  • Use another sheet of plastic wrap to cover the pudding layer, pressing it right onto the pudding so it doesn't make a film. Try to get any big bubbles out from under the plastic. Chill these layers for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight is great too.
  • Make the whipped cream. Just before you are ready to serve, make the whipped cream. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat cold heavy cream on high speed. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or lemon juice. Beat until soft peaks form.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the top of the lemon pudding layer. Chill until ready to serve. It's best not to cover at this point, so you don't ruin the pretty whipped cream on top.
  • Use a sharp knife to make slices, cleaning the knife each time. Sprinkle each serving with lemon zest, or toasted crushed pecans, or more crushed lemon oreos if you want!
  • To make the lemon twisties you see in the photos, slice a lemon into thin rounds, then make a slice halfway through the center of each round. Arrange on top of the Lemon Lush just before serving.


*You can use 2 (3.4 oz) boxes of Instant lemon pudding if you want! Skip all the other ingredients listed for the pudding, and just add the milk called for on the instant box (2 cups per box, so 4 cups total.) No eggs or sugar needed. You lemon pudding layer will be slightly thinner than if you had used Cook and Serve. Once your instant pudding has set up for about 5 minutes, you can pour it on top of the cream cheese mixture and chill as usual.  
**Heavy whipping cream, whipping cream, ultra heavy cream, or just "cream" are all the same thing: the cream that rises to the top of milk when you milk a cow. (No, I'm not talking about coffee creamer, yes, people ask me this every time 😂) The difference in the names is a reference to the fat content level of the cream. Any kind will work for this recipe. The higher the fat content (40% is ideal), the sturdier and tastier your whipped cream will be. 
Freezer instructions: Cover pan well with plastic wrap, then cover in foil. It will keep for 2 to 4 months. To thaw, simply place in the pan in the fridge overnight and let thaw slowly. If you serve it while it's still a little frozen, I can't see why this would be a problem!


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 737IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 0.5mg