7 Great Layered Dessert Ideas - Delishably - Food and Drink
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7 Great Layered Dessert Ideas

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Rose Mary's mother and all of her aunts are great Southern cooks. She likes to think she's not so bad herself.

Chocolate Delight

Chocolate Delight

In the '80s, layered desserts of pudding, Cool Whip, and Jell-O, in various combinations were all the rage. I’ve selected the cream or Cool Whip (wink) of the crop. Several of these came from the recipe book of the church I grew up in.

Layered Desserts in This Article

  • Chocolate Delight
  • Strawberry Pretzel Dessert
  • Banana Split Pie
  • Oreo Dirt Cake
  • Mandarin and Lemon Fluff Gelatin Dessert
  • Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
  • Creamy Lemon Squares
Serving of Chocolate Delight

Serving of Chocolate Delight

Chocolate Delight

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups chopped nuts, divided
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large container of Cool Whip, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 small packages of instant chocolate pudding
  • 3 cup milk

Bottom Crust

Crust made from flour, nuts, and butter.

Crust made from flour, nuts, and butter.

Instructions

1. Mix 1 cup flour, 1 stick melted butter, and 1 cup chopped nuts.

2. Spread in the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish.

3. Bake until brown, approximately 10 minutes at 425°. Cool completely.

Cool Whip and Cream Cheese Mixture

Layer 2 is made with cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip.

Layer 2 is made with cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip.

4. Combine 8 oz cream cheese, 1/2 tub Cool Whip, and 1 cup powdered sugar with a mixer.

5. Spread cream cheese mixture over crust.

Chocolate Pudding

Layer 3: Chocolate Pudding

Layer 3: Chocolate Pudding

6. Mix 3 cups milk and 2 small packages chocolate instant pudding.

7. Spread pudding over 2nd layer. I used the pudding requiring heating and cooking on the range, instead of instant pudding. Cool to room temperature, or only slightly warm before spreading over layer 2.

Top With Cool Whip and Nuts

Layer 4: Cool Whip and Toasted Nuts

Layer 4: Cool Whip and Toasted Nuts

8. Top chocolate pudding with remaining 1/2 tub of Cool Whip.

9. Toast 1/2 cup chopped nuts in dry skillet or in oven. Cool briefly.

10. Sprinkle top of dessert with nuts.

11. Chill for several hours.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Ingredients

  • 8 oz pretzels, crushed
  • ¾ cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 1 (20-oz) can crushed pineapple
  • 2 (3-oz) packages of strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 (10-oz) packages of frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed

Bottom Crust

Press crushed pretzel mixture into dish

Press crushed pretzel mixture into dish

Instructions

1. Coat 9” x 13” pan with non-stick spray.

2. Combine crushed pretzels, melted butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press into the bottom of the pan.

3. Bake at 400º for 18 to 20 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Cream Cheese Mixture

Carefully spread cream cheese mixture on top of pretzel layer

Carefully spread cream cheese mixture on top of pretzel layer

4. In a bowl, beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip.

5. Spread Cool Whip mixture over cooled crust, and refrigerate until chilled, several hours.

Prep Jell-O and Fruit Mixture

Mix Jell-O with fruit juice and water, and chill for about an hour. Stir in drained fruit and chill 30–60 minutes.

Mix Jell-O with fruit juice and water, and chill for about an hour. Stir in drained fruit and chill 30–60 minutes.

6. Open pineapple and drain the juice into a measuring cup. Add water to equal 1 cup. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour into a large bowl.

7. Stir gelatin into the hot liquid until dissolved.

8. Drain strawberry juice into a measuring cup. Add water if necessary to equal 1 ½ cups. Stir liquid into gelatin mixture.

9. Refrigerate until partially set. Add drained pineapples and strawberries.

Top Dessert With Jell-O Mixture

Carefully spread Jell-O mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill Several hours.

Carefully spread Jell-O mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill Several hours.

10. Carefully spoon fruit and gelatin mixture over Cool Whip mixture.

11. Cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours until firm.

Banana Split Pie

This is my variation of Banana Split Pie—a compilation of about three different recipes. I can't put into words how delicious this is!

Ingredients

  • 1 large graham cracker crust (9 oz)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 1 large can crushed pineapple, well-drained
  • 1 small package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 ¼ c milk
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 medium-sized bananas
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, divided
  • Chocolate syrup
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans, walnuts or almonds

Cream Cheese Mixture Topped With Bananas and Strawberries

Spread pineapple-cream cheese mixture on crust. Top with sliced bananas, then sliced strawberries

Spread pineapple-cream cheese mixture on crust. Top with sliced bananas, then sliced strawberries

Instructions

1. With an electric mixer, beat sugar into softened cream cheese. Blend in 3-4 oz Cool Whip.

2. Stir well-drained crushed pineapple into cream cheese mixture.

3. Spread cream cheese mixture into the pie crust. Refrigerate for 4 or more hours.

4. Top pie with sliced bananas, then sliced strawberries. Reserve prettiest strawberries for decoration.

Top With Pudding Mixture

Spread pudding mixture over fruit

Spread pudding mixture over fruit

5. Blend vanilla instant pudding mix with 1 ¼ c milk. Beat 2 minutes per package directions. Let stand about 5 minutes to thicken.

6. Blend ½ cup confectioner’s sugar into pudding, then 4 oz Cool Whip.

7. Spread pudding mixture on top of bananas and strawberries.

8. Refrigerate for 4 hours or longer.

Finishing

Decorate and freeze briefly before cutting

Decorate and freeze briefly before cutting

9. Put the pie in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours before cutting. Remove from freezer.

10. Drizzle pie with chocolate syrup.

Dirt Cake is often served in flower pots, with Gummie Worms sticking out!

Dirt Cake is often served in flower pots, with Gummie Worms sticking out!

Oreo Dirt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 ½ cups milk
  • 2 (4 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding
  • 8 oz container Cool Whip
  • 20 oz package of Oreo cookies, crushed

Instructions

1. Combine butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, combine pudding mix and milk.

3. Add Cool Whip to pudding mixture. Stir to combine.

4. Combine pudding mixture with cream cheese mixture.

5. In a large dish, alternate layers of crushed Oreos and pudding mixture. Be sure to begin and end with crushed cookies.

6. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

How to Make Oreo Dirt Cake in a Flower Pot

Mandarin and Lemon Fluff Gelatin Dessert

This layered dessert is a mash-up of my Mandarin & Yogurt Gelatin Dessert from Weight Watchers and the Lemon Fluff dessert from Tasty Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 small packages orange gelatin
  • 1 (15-oz) can mandarin oranges
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • ¼ cup sour cream, optional
  • 1 small packages lemon gelatin
  • 1 can evaporated milk, chilled
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Hot water
  • Cold water

Mandarin and Jell-O Mixture

Prepare orange Jell-O. Chill 1–2 hours before dropping mandarin slices in.

Prepare orange Jell-O. Chill 1–2 hours before dropping mandarin slices in.

1. Prepare one small package of orange gelatin by dissolving in 1 cup boiling water, whisking for 2 minutes. Then add 1 cup cold water. Refrigerate 60 minutes.

2. Add drained mandarin oranges to orange gelatin. Refrigerate 4 hours until set.

Jell-O and Yogurt Mixture

Second layer looks like an orange creamsicle.

Second layer looks like an orange creamsicle.

3. Dissolve the second package of orange gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Whisk until completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.

4. Stir 2 cups of plain yogurt into gelatin. I used one cup of full-fat organic Horizon plain yogurt for richness, and one cup of 2% Fage Greek yogurt for texture.

5. Stir in sour cream if desired, for added richness. I like Horizon organic sour cream, which is unbelievably good. Whisk until blended. It will look like orange creamsicle.

6. Gently pour yogurt mixture over mandarin orange gelatin, not disrupting the gelatin.

7. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Jell-O and Milk Mixture

Third layer is made with about 1/2 of the lemon fluff mixture.

Third layer is made with about 1/2 of the lemon fluff mixture.

8. Dissolve one small box of lemon gelatin and 1 cup sugar in 1 ½ cup boiling water, whisking about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

9. Pour cold milk into a large mixing bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 3–5 minutes. Fold into lemon gelatin.

10. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Note: I made my dessert in an 11-cup Pyrex dish. All was well until the 3rd layer. My dish would only accommodate about one-half of the lemon fluff on top of the second layer. I recommend making the full recipe of lemon fluff. If you only whip a half can of evaporated milk, then the texture will be off for the final layer. I put half of the fluff in another container. The original recipe is just the lemon fluff poured on a graham cracker crumb layer. Alternatively, you could double the recipes for layers one and two, and use a much larger dish.

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

I found this recipe for pumpkin layered pie on the label of the Keebler pie crust. I updated with my modifications.

Ingredients

  • 1 package cream cheese, 8 oz
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups Cool Whip
  • 1 large Keebler graham cracker crust, 9 oz
  • 1 large package instant vanilla pudding, 6 serving size
  • 1 small package instant vanilla pudding, 4 serving size
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin pie mix

Instructions

1. Soften cream cheese for 4–8 hours, or overnight.

2. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and milk. The label said to beat with a whisk, but I had to use the electric mixer.

3. Stir in Cool Whip.

4. Pour into pie shell, and spread evenly. Refrigerate 2–4 hours.

5. Whisk both packages of pudding with the 1 cup milk.

6. Whisk in pumpkin pie mix.

7. Pour over the cream cheese layer and spread evenly.

8. Refrigerate for 4 hours before cutting.

Creamy Lemon Squares

This recipe is from the Kraft recipes website, although I did make some modifications, which is the version below.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 packages (8-oz ea) cream cheese
  • 3 cups milk, divided
  • 12 oz Cool Whip, thawed and divided
  • 2 packages 3.4-oz Lemon Instant Pudding

Bottom Crust

1. Finely chop toasted pecans in a food processor. Combine with flour, ¼ cup sugar, and melted butter. Mix thoroughly.

2. Press mixture into 9” x 13” pan or oven-proof dish. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°. Cool for 30 to 60 minutes.

Cream Cheese and Cool Whip Mixture

3. With an electric mixer, beat together softened cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ milk, and 4 oz Cool Whip.

4. Spread cream cheese mixture over crust. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours.

Lemon Pudding and Cool Whip Layers

5. Whisk pudding mixes with 2 ¾ cups milk. Whisk for 3 minutes.

6. Pour pudding mixture over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

7. Cover with 8 oz Cool Whip. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours.

© 2010 rmcrayne

Comments

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on May 15, 2015:

Every one of these desserts look fabulous and sooooo delicious!! Voted up.

william.fischer29 on July 13, 2011:

Wow!Great recipe.You can surely have a great Sunday with this.THanks for posting.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on December 22, 2010:

Thanks sunnyglitter. I'm lukewarm on the stuff with Cool Whip. It's not a great texture for me.

Sunnyglitter from Cyberspace on December 20, 2010:

I have a serious weakness for layered desserts, and these all look delicious.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on June 19, 2010:

Thanks Lily!

Lily Rose from A Coast on June 19, 2010:

These sound great! Will have to bookmark this...