Pay de Limón / Lime Icebox Cake

Pay de limón is a very common dessert in Mexico.  It reminds me of a 1950´s style cake that my Grandma Frances would have made.  She loved making recipes with “secret” ingredients and using all sorts of canned products to cook,  as did many home cooks  at the time.  Basically, all of the ingredients for this recipe can be bought at your local corner store, except maybe the limes. In the States these types of pies or cakes are referred to as icebox cakes and became popular  during World War I because they were easy and cheap to prepare, required almost no fresh ingredients and no baking!

While I cannot tell you when or how pay de limón, came to be a classic Mexican dessert what I can tell you is that it’s deliciously creamy, tangy and a most refreshing dessert for a hot summer day.


  • 1 ½ – 2  packs of galletas Marías
  • 1 can of condensed milk (397 grams)
  • 1 can of evaporated milk (397 grams)
  • ½ a cup of freshly squeezed lime juice

In a blender mix the condensed milk, evaporated milk and lime juice.  In a metal or glass baking dish put down a layer of galletas Marías and then a thin layer of the milk/lime mixture. Repeat 3 times and then add the remaining milk/lime mixture on top.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled with lime zest or any chopped up fruit that you have lying around for garnish.

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