Lime Maria Icebox Cake – “Carlota de Limon”

Carlota de limón, a popular dessert in Mexico and the Americas, is not only easy to make, but uses only 4 ingredients. What’s not to love!?

Now, because it is made in so many different places, this dessert goes by many different names including “carlota de limon,” “pie de limon,” and “postre de limon.” For English speakers, we’ll just call it Lime Maria Icebox Cake.

I’ve included it in my post 10 Around-the-World Desserts You Can Make at Home if you want to learn about other delicious dessert recipes from across the globe.

Only 4 ingredients, you say?

Yes, that’s right: Maria cookies, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and fresh lime juice. That’s it!

Now, a beautiful thing happens when we add acid to dairy: it coagulates, creating a beautiful, thick, custard-like cream. This cream becomes not only the base, but the individual layers of this dessert. So, as the Maria biscuits will be the bricks for our construction, the cream will be the mortar. 

You construct the whole cake, or pie, in layers, then leave it overnight in the fridge to set up. When you take it out, you’ll have creating a beautiful, delicious layered dessert. And no baking invloved!

I adapted my recipe from Goya. Let me know in the comments what you think!

Lime Maria Icebox cake on a plate with a lime and a package of Goya biscuits in the background.

Lime Maria Icebox Cake

A delicious no-bake cake made with alternating layers of Maria biscuits and sweetened, condensed milk, topped with lime.
4.45 from 34 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Resting time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 people
Calories 222 kcal


  • juicer
  • blender
  • baking tray or aluminum brownie pan


  • 1/2 cup lime juice about 4 good-sized limes
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk 14 oz
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 oz
  • 1 pkg Maria cookies



  • With a citrus juicer, squeeze 4 or so limes until you have 1/2 cup of lime juice. Set aside.
  • In a blender, add one can of sweetened, condensed milk and one can of evaporated milk.
  • Blend until combined.
  • With blender on, slowly add lime juice. Blend until the cream reaches a pudding-like consistency.

Constructing the Cake

  • On a 7 inch aluminum brownie pan (or comparable) put down a layer of Maria cookies. (I fit 9 cookies on the bottom of my pan.)
  • Spread a generous layer of your cream mixture on the cookies.
  • Keep alternating layers of biscuits and cream, reserving about a half a cup of cream for the top.
  • Garnish with lime zest and a thin, twisted slice of lime.
  • Place in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 8 hours) to allow it to set up before serving.


To make the cake more sturdy, give the cookie layers a little mush when you lay them down.
If you don’t have a square pan, you can use a pie dish — really any kind of baking dish will work.
If the cookies don’t fit perfectly, just break them in half to make them fit. The important things is to have a nice layer.
If you wanted, you could also crush up your cookies for the bottom layer. Also there is no regulation height, so lay down as many or few layers as is feasible. 


Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 110mgPotassium: 335mgFiber: 1gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 245IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 258mgIron: 1mg
Keyword condensed milk, lime, Maria biscuits, no-bake cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

8 thoughts on “Lime Maria Icebox Cake – “Carlota de Limon””

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this for the second time and it is absolutely delicious. It’s so easy and my kids love it!

  2. Nancy Robinson

    5 stars
    This recipe is delicious and just as easy as described. I used the concept to make something similar to ‘tiramisu’ by using cheesecake-flavored sugar-free pudding (mixed with half unsweetened almond milk and half 2% milk) with some various extracts (almond, cheescake, vanilla) and layering with the Maria biscuits. Topped with some whipped topping and a bit of cocoa and it was ready to eat in an hour (ish). Kept well for days.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday for a party — omigosh, parties, remember those?! — and everyone LOVED it. It was so easy and so delicious. One of my friends was so impressed with all the layers, like a mille feuille; he said, “it’s like key lime that decided to get its Ph.D.” 😊

    BTW I doubled the recipe as I was using a fair deep rectangular container that perfectly held 2×4 of the biscuits, and made 2 batches of green. I used 5 limes (not 4) limes in each batch, as well as the zest of a couple of limes. I also used the zest of 2 limes in each batch.

  4. Attempted to make this recipe using the cans of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and the juice of 4 fresh limes. in my blender. The limes equaled more than 1/2 cup of juice. The custard never thickened; it was very liquid. Did I put too much juice into it? Did I not blend it enough? Thanks for your help!

  5. SO EASY!
    I’m a Brit, so did the conversions of 1 tin condensed milk and 2 small tins of evap.
    Amazing at how it coagulates before your eyes!!
    I used custard creams instead of Maria biscuits (they make good subs for nilla wafers too!)
    Thanks Emmy!

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