American Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe

The lemon icebox cake recipe is of American origin and was published in 1877 by “Mrs. A. B. Marshall.” The original name of the recipe was lemonade cake, which has changed over time.

Mrs. Marshall’s original recipe consisted of bread dough with eggs and butter, spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar icing with lemon juice or water.

The cake was baked in a double loaf tin, wrapped with waxed paper, and served with lemon syrup.

Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe
Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe


How To Prepare Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe?

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 8


  • Electric Kettle
  • 6 Quart Electric Slow Cooker
  • Sifter
  • Baking Dish
  • Measuring Cups/ Spoons

Ingredients For Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • One teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • One teaspoon of nutmeg or mace powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Three tablespoons of dried lemon peel, finely chopped (optional)
  • 12 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • One teaspoon of lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or a mixture of milk and lemon juice.

To Prepare The Filling You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine.
  • Two cups of powdered sugar sifted.
  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract. (optional)

How To Make Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe

For Cake

Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and place a 6-quart electric slow cooker into the preheated oven.

Step 2: Prepare the cake batter by sifting all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda, mix with nutmeg or mace powder and salt, and mix thoroughly.

Step 3: Add butter and mix in with grated lemon peel. Measure 3/4 cup buttermilk or a mixture of milk and lemon juice with softened butter or margarine.

Step 4: Pour the batter into a 6-quart electric slow cooker.

Step 5: Pour the lemon juice or water over the batter in the slow cooker.

Step 6: Cover the slow cooker with waxed paper and seal it with a tight-fitting lid.

Step 7: Place the slow cooker into a preheated oven for 45 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. The cake will be ready when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake batter comes out clean.

Makes eight slices of the lemon icebox cake.

For The Lemon Filling:

Step 1: Whip the softened butter or margarine in a bowl of an electric mixer till creamy add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and whip till creamy.

Step 2: Take the hot cake from the slow cooker and remove the waxed paper.

Step 3: Place the cake onto a plate and spread with the lemon filling, covering the entire top of the cake.

Step 4: Wrap the cake with waxed paper and store it in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

Step 5: Remove the cake from the freezer and unwrap the roll gently on a serving plate.

Step 6: The cake is ready to be served. Cut the cake into eight large slices and serve cold with a glass of ice-cold milk or alone as a dessert. It tastes lovely with a cup of coffee or tea.

Nutrition Facts Of Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe

Carbs56 g
Fiber2.5 g
Protein3.1 g
Fat15.9 g
Saturated fat8.1 g

Why Is It Called Icebox Cake?

The original name of this cake was “Lemonade Cake.” The title “icebox cake” was given because the cake is made with bread dough, and in the old days, it was baked in a loaf tin and covered with waxed paper

or greased paper, wrapped in an old towel, placed inside an ice box or any other storage container, and kept for several days till served at room temperature.

The word “icebox” is an American term used to refer to a refrigerator, which in those days did not exist.

When Did Icebox Cakes Become Popular?

In 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named icebox cakes one of America’s 11 most endangered historic places.

Several cakes are still made nationally, but few people know about these desserts, which have fallen out of favor and are virtually unknown to younger generations.

What Makes An Icebox Cake So Special?

Icebox cakes were especially appreciated during hot summer months when no refrigerator kept food fresh. Most recipes require around 12 hours to chill, but some take as long as three days.

Do I Need The Ingredients On The Back Of The Pudding Box As Well?

Yes, the ingredients on the back of the pudding mix box are essential for this recipe’s success. The pudding mix is used to make the buttermilk filling and is required for a successful lemon icebox cake recipe.

What Can I Use As Garnish For Lemon Icebox Cake?

You can spoon this pudding crust on lemon or chocolate icebox cake. The recipe for vanilla ice cream and cream is easy, and the vanilla ice cream adds a nice flavor to the pudding crust.

How Do You Store Lemon Icebox Cake?

After you have prepared the lemon icebox cake as per the above steps, Let it chill/settle/cool down in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, and store it in a freezer box or any airtight container to keep it fresh and soft.


The lemon icebox cake is a must-try recipe. It is simple to make, delightfully cool, and refreshing.

The original recipe calls for baking soda, which gives the cake a slightly bitter taste. I have left out the baking soda.

I replaced the buttermilk with lemon juice and milk mixture or milk. If you want to serve this as a dessert or use it during the hot summer,

do not add nutmeg, mace powder, or vanilla extract. Follow the preparation steps as per the above instructions and serve as it is.


How long does cake last in the icebox?

As per the reports, icebox cakes can last in the icebox for 10-15 days.

Does icebox cake need to be refrigerated?

Yes, of course! Icebox cake should always be kept refrigerated. You must ensure you keep it away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Can I use the same recipe for lemon icebox cake without the pudding mix?

You can make the crust without pudding mix to make frozen lemon pie. You can also use lemon juice, sugar, and butter to make lemon dessert.

Can I use other citrus fruits besides lemon in the icebox cake recipe?

Yes, you can use other citrus fruits such as orange, lime, or grapefruit instead of lemon in a similar manner as presented above.