This Lemon Lush dessert recipe is perfect for Spring and Summer picnics and gatherings. It’s so light and refreshing with 4 layers of bottom pecan crust, lemon cream cheese, lemon pudding and topped with a whipped topping garnished with lemon zest.
Lemon Lush Dessert Recipe This recipe has a layer of lemon cream cheese and lemon pudding, which is similar to our lemon cheesecake pudding dessert. And who doesn’t like pudding? Pudding is comfort food for me. It’s not too sweet, so you can have a little more and really enjoy it. What’s even better? It’s a one-pan dessert which is perfect for potlucks, parties, barbecues, and holidays!
Ingredients Bottom Pecan Crust Layer:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter melted and cooled
1/2 cup pecans finely chopped or food processor processed
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
Lemon Cream Cheese Layer:
16 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar sifted
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Lemon Pudding Layer:
6.8 ounces instant lemon pudding mix 2 3.4-ounce packages
2 cups milk
Whipped Topping & Lemon Zest Garnish Layer:
8 ounces whipped topping Cool Whip or you can substitute the same amount whipped cream
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Optional: Sprinkle finely chopped pecans on top
Optional: Lemon quarter slices to garnish the top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, melted and cooled butter, finely ground pecans, and 1/4 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes (25 mins works best for me) until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before adding any layers.
Using a hand electric mixer, combine cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 tablespoons works best for me). Mixture should be even and smooth. Spread evenly on top of the baked and cooled bottom pecan crust.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk milk and instant lemon pudding mix until set. It may take 4-5 minutes to thicken. Spread evenly on top of the lemon cream cheese mixture.
Spread thawed whipped topping on top of the pudding layer. Add lemon zest and optional finely chopped pecans. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set before serving. Optionally, you can freeze the Lemon Lush overnight for more defined slices. Do not freeze if you substitute homemade whipped cream because it might not hold up like frozen whipped topping like Cool Whip. Enjoy!
Expert Tips & FAQs I suggest using an offset spatula for spreading the layers and make sure it's clean before starting a new layer. After refrigerating, for serving to show more defined layers, you can just take a butter knife and "wipe" along the sides and the layers will show nicely. You can freeze the Lemon Lush overnight (at least 6 hours) to get more defined slices. Make sure you use a sharp knife to cut down into the bottom crust first before removing it with the spatula. It will defrost fairly quickly.I suggest getting an organic lemon, if you can, since you will be using the zest to top the Lemon Lush.
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