Lemon dessert lovers - you must give this lemon icebox cake a try. Golden oreos and sweet lemon mousse are layered and chilled until soft and cakelike.
This sweet lemon icebox cake is the perfect treat for the lemon-loving sweet tooth in your life. Vanilla Oreo cookies are layered with a sweet lemon mousse to make this easy, no-bake cake.
If you've never made an icebox cake before, it's so easy prepare to assemble. First, you'll make a fluffy lemon mousse (don't worry, it's easier than it sounds!). Next, you'll layer your lemon mousse with golden Oreo cookies. Last? Refrigerate until ready to serve. The cookies turn into a soft, cakelike layer that is absolutely irresistible!
Lemon desserts are the perfect addition to your spring and summer entertaining. Make this lemon icebox cake for a summer party, spring birthday, or to serve after Easter dinner.
Ingredients and substitutions
Golden oreo cookies can be substituted with any brand of vanilla sandwich cookies. Vanilla wafers or graham crackers can also be used, but will dramatically reduce the chilling time needed. See the recipe card for adjusted chilling times.
Heavy cream (sometimes labeled heavy whipping cream) is needed to make homemade whipped cream. Any other types of dairy, like milk, half & half, or milk substitutes will not work. Heavy cream contains a high percentage of milkfat, which is needed to whip into whipped cream.
Lemon curd can be homemade or store bought.
Whipped cream tips and tricks
Never made whipped cream before? If you'd like some extra information, check out my post on whipped cream, which contains extra photos and tips: Homemade Whipped Cream
My favorite tips for successful homemade whipped cream:
- Use a large bowl - your cream will double in size and there will be some splatter while whipping.
- Make sure your heavy cream is very cold, straight from the refrigerator.
- Use a stand mixer or a hand mixer instead of a whisk. While a hand whisk will work, it takes a lot of elbow grease and can take up to twice as long.
Layering your icebox cake
Your icebox cake is made up of three layers each of cookies and lemon mousse. You'll start off your pan with a thin layer of mousse that won't be repeated. After that, you'll add three layers each, alternating, of cookies and mousse.
Do your best to use about ⅓ of your ingredients for each layer. A standard package of Oreos contains 36 cookies - which means about 12 cookies for each layer.
Optionally, top your cake with more lemon zest, extra crumbled cookies (if you bought a larger package), or crumbled graham crackers.
Make ahead and chilling time
The great part about this lemon icebox cake is that it must be made ahead of time. I suggest making your cake a minimum of 12 hours in advance. After 12 hours, your cookies will be mostly softened, but still have a little firmness in the middle.
I find that this cake is ideal after 18-24 hours of refrigeration. At this point, your cookies will have softened to a tender, cake-like consistency.
Lemon Icebox Cake
- 2 cups (454 g) heavy cream
- 1 cup (340 g) lemon curd
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, zest of one lemon
- 36 (397 g) golden Oreo cookies, one 14 ounce package
- In a large bowl, add cold heavy cream. Whip with a hand mixer or stand mixer until medium peaks have formed. Gently fold lemon curd and lemon zest into whipped cream until evenly incorporated.
- In an 8x8 square pan, add a thin layer of lemon mousse (this layer is not repeated). Top with ⅓ of your oreo cookies, arranged in a single layer. Top the cookie layer with a ⅓ of your remaining mousse, spread into an even layer. Repeat these layers two more times, for 3 layers each of cookies and whipped cream. Optionally, top with additional lemon zest.
- Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours, up to 24 hours, to allow cookies to soften to a cake-like consistency.
- Slice and serve cold.
- Whipped cream can only be made with heavy cream or heavy whipping cream - light cream, half & half, or whole milk cannot be substituted.
- If desired, oreo cookies can be substituted with graham crackers or plain vanilla wafers for a less sweet cake.
- If substituting with graham crackers, cake will only need 1-3 hours to soften in the refrigerator. If substituting with vanilla wafers, cake will need 4-6 hours to soften in the refrigerator.
- Icebox cake will keep for 3 days covered and stored in the refrigerator.