Carlota (Mexican Lemon Ice Box Cake) Recipe

Refreshing and light, and easily made using only four ingredients from your pantry.
April 21, 2020, 11:00am
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes (plus 4 hours freezing)


¾ cup|175 ml fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest, plus more for garnish
1 (14-ounce|395-gram) can condensed milk
1 (12-ounce|375-gram) can evaporated milk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 (11-ounce|310-gram) box ‘Nilla Wafers
lemon wedges, to serve


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, and milks until smooth and thick.
  2. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with plastic wrap, taking care to leave about 2-inches of plastic wrap hanging over the edge (this will help you release and remove the dessert from the baking dish later). Evenly layer the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish with ‘Nilla wafers. Cover with about 1 cup of the lemon-milk mixture, then repeat layering with wafers and the mixture, ending with the lemon-milk mixture. You should have 3 layers of each.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours. Garnish with more lemon zest and some lemons wedges before slicing and serving.

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