clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Mexican lime ice box cake in a glass trifle dish with galletas Marías on top

Carlota de limón

  • Author: Maura Wall Hernandez
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 1 hour (inactive)
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Mexican


How to make a Carlota de limón (postre de limón). This Mexican icebox cake is also known as a Charlotte in English.


  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk, also known as leche condensada (La Lechera)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk, also known as leche evaporada
  • 1 to 1 ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
  • 1 sleeve of galletas María

Glaze for the galletas María:

  • ½ cup granulated cane sugar
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Juice enough limes to yield 1 to 1 ¼ cup juice–about 10 to 12 limes (more if you use smaller key limes). Set juice aside.
  2. In the stand mixer bowl (or a glass bowl if using a handheld mixer), add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and whipped cream cheese until smooth. Mixture will be somewhat soupy because of the liquid evaporated milk.
  3. Slowly add the lime juice while stirring. Mixture will begin to thicken. Add the lime zest. Blend until lime juice and zest are completely incorporated. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the granulated cane sugar and water until it becomes a light amber syrup. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper and place the galletas María in rows on the sheet. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, lightly coat the tops of the cookies with the syrup. This will seal them a little and prevent them from getting too soggy before the filling gets cold enough in the freezer. When the cookie tops have dried, flip them over and brush the other side. You’ll have a little bit of glaze left over, which you can use for something else or discard.
  6. When the cookies have dried completely, line the bottom and sides of your trifle or casserole dish with whole cookies. Remove the filling from the refrigerator and pour some over the bottom layer of cookies, being careful not to drown the cookies on the sides. Use a spatula to even out the filling if necessary. You’ll layer cookies & filling until you reach the top of your dish. You can either use whole cookies or, as I sometimes like to do, coarsely crush the cookies for the middle layers. For the top layer, I like to use crushed cookies with one whole cookie placed in the center.
  7. Carefully place your dish into the freezer and allow it to set for at least two hours. If you use individual-sized dishes, you may need less time in the freezer, and if you use a deep dish like a trifle dish (as shown above), you may need more than two hours. It’s also fine to leave in the freezer overnight if you want to make it the day before you plan to serve the dessert. The ideal consistency will be like an ice cream cake.
  8. Remove the dish from the freezer about five to 10 minutes to soften slightly before serving.

Keywords: dessert, carlota, charlotte, ice box cake