Lemon Lush from All Recipes Magazine

It’s starting to feel like Spring around here, so how about a nice lemony dessert? Er, sort of. This dessert doesn’t contain any actual lemons, but rather a box of instant lemon pudding, Cool Whip and cream cheese. In other words, it’s Todd’s favorite type of dessert.

Lemon Lush

The recipe is called Lemon Lush and the original source is Allrecipes.com.  However, I might have missed it if I hadn’t seen it in a sample of the new All Recipes magazine which came bundled with the latest issue of Family Circle.

It reminds me of a cross between Taste of Home and Food Network Magazine, with articles written especially for the magazine as well as recipes and tips pulled straight from allrecipes.com. They’ve done a nice job laying out sidebars and blurbs with reader tips, recipe recommendation and quotes you might not have noticed while scrolling through the reviews.  This being just a preview, I’m anxious to see how they will fill a full magazine.  Food Network has all their Food TV celebrity features, so maybe allrecipes.com will make readers the stars and feature more everyday people kind of like Taste of Home does.  We shall see.

Anyway, because Todd’s pretty much the only person who will be eating this, I halved the recipe and made it in an 8 inch metal pan. To slice it neatly, I lined the pan with nonstick foil, froze the entire dessert, lifted it from the pan while frozen, and cut into squares a few hours before serving.  That step is completely optional, but I like things to look nice on a plate.

UPDATE:  I made this again with a few changes.  The original version does not call for sugar in the crust, but I added a little and think it tastes much better.  So the revised version has sugar in the crust, but you can leave it out if you wish.  I also made the crust slightly thinner.

Lemon Lush from All Recipes Magazine
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy lemon dessert made with instant lemon pudding mix, cream cheese and a shortbread crust
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • Crust:
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened**
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Filling
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon
  • pudding mix
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped
  • topping, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F if using a glass dish or 350 F if using a metal dish. Grease the 8 inch square dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the sugar. Add the flour and stir until well mixed. Press into bottom of pan and bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until the edges are just slightly golden. Let cool completely.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar with a handheld mixer until smooth and well blended. Spread evenly over the cooled crust.
  4. Wipe out the bowl and add the pudding mix and milk. With the mixer on low speed, beat for about 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over the cream cheese layer. Chill until set, then spread whipped topping over the top.
If using unsalted butter, add a large pinch of salt to the crust mixture when creaming the butter and sugar.

To loosen the crust from a glass pan, put the cold dessert on a rimmed baking sheet and fill the rimmed baking sheet with hot water. The heat from the water will loosen the crust somewhat and you'll be able to scoop it out with a metal spatula. Another trick is to bake and assemble the dessert in a metal pan lined with parchment paper. When it's very cold, lift from pan by grasping and lparchment from pan, set dessert on a cutting board and cut into squares. You lose the aesthetic appeal of the glass pan, but the dessert is so much easier to cut when you lift the whole thing out. If you want a really neat cut like the one in the photo, freeze it before lifting from the pan. Cut it into squares while frozen and let the frozen squares thaw in the refrigerator.


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  1. says

    I love Allrecipes. My banana brownie recipe which you helped me with is a published recipe out there. This dessert looks refreshing and easy to make. Plus it is pretty with the different layers. And in regards to the comment about Todd being lucky, I second that. How does he and how do you stay in shape (assuming you are not both 400 pounds by now) with all the dessert-making goin’ on?

  2. says

    I’ve received two of those, and admittedly I haven’t looked very closely at them. I was sort of taken by the photo on the front cover. I can’t remember why I passed on that and looked further. I hope Todd liked the dessert!

  3. T. Martin says

    What makes this Todd’s favorite type of dessert? The Cool Whip, the cream cheese or the pudding? Or the combination of all three?

    Anyway, looks like a good dessert for the height of summer when one doesn’t want to turn on the stove if you swapped out the crust in the recipe for a graham cracker crust.

  4. Julie says

    Oops was that me with the bad email? Sorry, temperamental iPod. Hope 2nd times the charm…. I had the question about the granulated vs. powdered sugar. If you decided to use granulated, typo or the all recipe version you had called for granulated? I find powdered too sweet but I want to make it right since it looks great. I’m also going to try a chocolate version. Thanks!

  5. says

    Hi Julie,
    No problem! To answer your question, I used granulated. This recipe was new to me at the time, so I didn’t make any real changes other than to halve it and do what the allrecipes.com version told me to do. And as far as I know, “white sugar” has always meant “granulated”. I went looking for the versions you saw with the confectioners’ sugar and most of them had different proportions. For instance, the ones that called for confectioners’ sugar used double the amount. So if you DO prefer granulated over confectioners sugar, you should feel safe using this version and sticking with the 1/2 cup.

    My worry when making this was that the crust wouldn’t be good since it doesn’t have any sugar, but Todd liked it the way it was. I noticed some reviewers on allrecipes.com added a little sugar to the crust.

  6. says

    Hmm, now you’ve got me wanting to try that other version just for comparison’s sake. The older version, the one everyone’s grandma makes, must be this one.


    The crust is much thinner and it uses 2 cups confectioners’ sugar instead of 1 cup of “white” sugar. I may pick up the ingredients and make it this afternoon to compare.

  7. julie says

    Thanks! The “white” sugar threw me 🙂 I prefer granulated and a thicker crust(and a sweeter crust). I might try a sugar cookie dough. i made some great choc chip cheesecake bars using cookie dough which was basically the same cream cheese mixture but no pudding, dough crumbles on top and a short time in the oven- came out nice. I am also going to try the chocolate pudding and the cookies and cream pudding. I might give a graham crust a try too, especially since I live in phoenix and it is a million degrees and I really want to avoid the oven. 🙂 Thanks again!

  8. says

    I hate the term “white sugar” for that reason.

    I’m going to make it again the same way, but add a little bit of sugar to the crust.

    Your idea of using graham cracker crust is great! I think that would be better than the sugar cookie dough. The sugar cookie dough might be a tad *too* sweet. Or it might be okay. I don’t know. But I’m going to make this again and add a small amount of sugar to the bottom layer. Will report back!

  9. julie says

    please let me know! the graham does sound better then the sugar cookie- lighter-. if you like how the crust works out your way I will give that a go!

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