Meyer Lemon Thyme Icebox Cake Recipe

This lovely (and easy!) Meyer Lemon Thyme Icebox Cake is the perfect celebration cake with no baking required!

Meyer Lemon and Thyme Icebox Cake Recipe

No need for an oven with this lovely cake. This icebox cake is perfect for any spring or summertime occasion. From baby showers and Easter lunch, to Mother’s Day and barbecues this cake would be a lovely addition to the celebration!This recipe is my answer to a challenge from KitchenAid®, a challenge to create a recipe for a springtime no-bake cake. The formal challenge: Elevate a No-Bake Cake that is seasonally relevant. Seasonally relevant … hmmm … bright, fresh, springtime flavors come to mind, like lemons, and thyme. So I gathered my favorite cake plate, a bunch of Meyer lemons, some pre-made vanilla cookies, a few other basic ingredients, and began to make a plan.

Meyer Lemon and Thyme

The cake should be simple to make, but still a showstopper—an impressive cake filled with loveliness and flavor, reminiscent of summertime, when the living is easy and sweetness abounds. But the best part? No baking required.

After checking the refrigerator to make space, and shifting things around a bit to make room for a new temporary occupant, I moved on to some basic mixing. Heavy cream was whipped up with fresh thyme and Meyer lemon zest, then folded into cream cheese that had been whipped with honey and lemon juice to create a smooth and fluffy filling. So aromatic too!

The cake assembly begins with a layer of cookies on a cake plate, followed by a layer of the whipped cream cheese filling. Then another layer of cookies, and so on until the desired height is reached. Top it all off with a lovely garnish of Candied Lemon Slices, and more fresh thyme.

Icebox Cake Recipe

Such a pretty cake! I have to admit it was quite fun building this cake—like legos for adults, only edible. And super duper easy too!

Lemon Thyme Icebox Cake Recipe

The flavor of the no bake cake is astounding, but not overwhelming. Meyer lemons, thyme and honey are such a heavenly combination. It is pure lightness and happiness on a fork!

Meyer Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe Meyer Lemon Icebox Cake Recipe

A few recipe notes:

  • The whipped cream cheese filling can be made a couple of days ahead, then covered and refrigerated until ready to assemble cake.
  • Any thin vanilla or lemon cookies may be substituted. I used a favorite Moravian lemon cookie found at a local grocer. A thinner cookie will work better as it is easier for layering evenly, and absorbs moisture to soften nicely for slicing and serving. Vanilla wafers, and those inexpensive butter cookies would work well too. You know the ones we enjoyed as kids that are shaped liked flowers with holes in the center that we wore as rings. Just be sure to adjust amounts accordingly. The recipe below is based on the very thin 2-inch Moravian cookie size.
  • Powdered confectioners sugar may be substituted for honey. Additional 1-2 tablespoons of cream may be needed to create a smooth consistency.
  • Edible Candied Lemon Slices are a wonderful garnish for this cake. They can be prepared ahead and refrigerated until needed for garnish.
  • If fresh thyme isn’t handy, substitute dried. If using dried, use 1/3 of the amount.

Meyer Lemon Thyme Icebox Cake Recipe
A wonderful flavor combination perfect for spring and summer.
Serves: 18
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 230 2-inch thin vanilla or lemon cookies (adjust amount according to cookie size)
  • optional garnish: candied lemon slices, fresh thyme
  1. Add heavy cream, chopped thyme and lemon zest to a large mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  2. Whip together cream cheese, lemon juice, and honey until smooth and light. Fold in whipped cream until combined and smooth, cover and refrigerate* until ready to assemble cake.
  3. Assemble cake by arranging 12 2-inch cookies in a circle on 10-inch cake plate (a ring of 9 cookies, edges touching, with 3 in the center). Gently spread ½ cup of cream cheese whipped filling over layer. Repeat cookie and filling layers until desired height. Top with final layer of cream.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until ready to serve. When ready to serve, garnish with candied lemons, and fresh thyme if desired.
*Cream cheese whipped filling can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and kept covered refrigerated until ready to assemble cake. Substitute vanilla wafers, sugar or butter cookies for the thin cookies. Powdered confectioners sugar may be substituted for honey. Additional 1-2 tablespoons of cream may be needed to create a smooth consistency.



Meyer Lemon and Thyme Icebox Cake Recipe

Originally posted March 19, 2014. Updated March 25, 2014.

This post was sponsored by KitchenAid, March 2014.

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  1. 4

    Patty says

    This recipe looks wonderful, but honestly, I’m a little afraid of that much thyme in a cake! Amy, is it crucial, or is there a substitute for it?

    • 5


      Hello Patty,

      The recipe calls for fresh thyme, not dried. If using dried, the amount will need to be reduced. I think most say to use 3 times the amount of fresh herbs versus dried. So if using dried thyme in this recipe, use only 2 teaspoons.

      • 6

        Patty says

        I understand that part, I’m just not sure about using thyme in a sweet dish. I’ve only used it in savory applications. Try anything once, right?!

  2. 9

    Sommer @ASpicyPerspective says

    Girl, your pictures are gorgeous! We need to line up our days that we are creating desserts and exchange desserts for “taste testing” aka “stuff our faces”! Pinning!

  3. 11

    Kathi @ Deliciously Yum! says

    This looks absolutely beautiful! I am such a huge fan of Meyer Lemons and Thyme. I just posted a cookie recipe using the exact same flavors today… when I saw your post I just had to stop by :). These pictures look so, so stunning. Wish I could dive right in!

  4. 15

    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says

    This is just the most beautiful icebox cake I’ve ever seen. Love it!! Stumbling

  5. 16

    Brandi Bryant says

    My favorite no bake desserts are chocolate delight and banana pudding. Thanks for the giveaway. Good luck everyone.

  6. 17

    Pam says

    Love this! I have an abundance of Key limes in the fall, maybe I can do the same thing.

  7. 18

    Amy @ The Nifty Foodie says

    I love my Memaw’s peanut butter pie. It calls for no baking, and it’s even better frozen vs. out of the fridge. :-)

  8. 21

    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says

    This is just gorgeous! I make the chocolate wafer and whipped cream ice box cake on occasion but this looks like the best dessert ever! I have to try it!

  9. 22

    Sandy Headtke says

    Would like tolearn to make a cake like this that serves two. Dangerous to have leftovers

  10. 24

    Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living says

    Wow, this cake is gorgeous! Would you recommend making it for Easter?

  11. 25

    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says

    What a gorgeous cake! I am also intrigued by thyme in a dessert. I bet it pairs incredibly well with the lemon.

  12. 26

    Kim Beaulieu says

    I have the ingredients for a similar cake sitting on my counter right now. Now I want to make yours instead. I love anything meyer lemon, add that it’s easy and I’m in. This is stunning Amy, just love the photos.

  13. 27

    Amy H. says

    My new favorite no bake dessert are (vegan) gingerbread truffles–made with dates. So yummy!

  14. 28

    Becky Richied says

    My favorite is my chocolatte cherry cheesecake…so yummy!! Started out making my normal cheesecake from scratch and then just started changing my recipe.

  15. 29

    Joann says

    This cake is something I would really like to try! My current favorites are Caramel Apple Salad and good old-fashioned “Dirt”.

  16. 31

    valleycat1 says

    Just found this after looking at a different recipe here. This looks gorgeous and sounds really tasty. Will be fun to give it a try with my granddaughter sometime soon.

    Our favorite family recipe is a lemon frozen pie made with evaporated milk. Really quick to throw together. Back in the day we used ice cube trays because of the small freezers we had, now I use a cake pan:

    Lemon Cream Freeze

    1 (14.5 oz.) can evaporated milk
    1/2 c. lemon juice (preferably fresh)
    3/4 c. sugar
    dash of salt
    2 tsp. grated lemon zest

    Pour milk into ice cube tray (or similar container) and freeze until it gets icy around the edges. Dump into a cold bowl, add lemon juice, and beat until thick. Add sugar and salt gradually, then rind, beating until stiff and fluffy, like whipped cream. Return to ice cube tray and freeze until firm.

  17. 33

    Tess says

    I made it! It’s not as pretty as yours but still impressive. I used mascarpone and lemon curd (instead of cream cheese, lemon juice and honey) and added fresh blueberries to each layer. Thank you for your lovely recipe.

  18. 39

    Kim Gawronski says

    How far ahead can the building begin? Could I assemble Friday for Sunday?

    • 40


      Whoops, sorry for the delayed reply. Yes, you can begin assembly ahead by a day or two. It is actually better made a day ahead as the cookies soften as it chills.

      • 41

        Kim Gawronski says

        Thanks! No worries. I took a chance and built on Saturday morning, for Easter Sunday. It was a big HIT! So beautiful and yummy. Thanks so much for sharing. :-)

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