Mexican Lime Icebox Cake (Carlota de Limón)

Ingredients (7)

  • 3/4 cup lime juice (about 5-6 medium limes)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Maria cookies (2 packs or more depending on the shape & size of your baking dish)
  • Lime zest
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzle (optional; I recommend Arbequina)
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Mexican Lime Icebox Cake (Carlota de Limón)

This easy lime icebox cake (Carlota de Limón in Mexico) is a no-bake dessert that’s creamy from condensed and evaporated milk and bright with fresh lime juice and zest—the perfect summer dessert. It takes me back to the first thing I ever made in the kitchen with my grandma. If you like Key lime pie, you’ll love this too. And here’s hoping you make your own warm memories around this dish.

See a video demo of the process here (note: this was shot before the news about Goya CEO Robert Unanue’s comments—I do not endorse Goya products, and you can find other brands of Maria cookies).

Special equipment: You’ll need a baking dish, a silicone spatula, and a juicer or hand-held citrus press.

Also see our Chocolate Icebox Cake recipe with Mascarpone and Blackberries and our basic guide to making icebox cakes of your own creation.

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  1. 1Strain lime juice through a fine mesh sieve and pour into a blender. Add evaporated and condensed milks and vanilla extract.
  2. 2Blend for a couple of minutes until you achieve a smooth mixture. Be careful to not over do it or you’ll end up with too many air bubbles.
  3. 3In your baking dish, pour in a little bit of the mixture and tilt the pan to cover evenly. You can also use a silicone spatula.
  4. 4Arrange a single layer of Maria cookies on top.
  5. 5Pour in a bit of the liquid mixture over the cookies to coat them and use a spatula to smooth, then add another layer of cookies, and so on, repeating until you have used up all of the mixture. Finish on a layer of the liquid mixture.
  6. 6If need be, you can break up some of the cookies to fill in any small gaps (see the video link above for a demo).
  7. 7Cover and refrigerate to set. It needs at least 3 hours in the refrigerator, but I recommend leaving it overnight.
  8. 8When ready to serve, zest lime over the top layer and portion onto plates. I like to finish mine with a drizzle of olive oil.

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