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Recipe: Layer Dessert

February 12, 2014


Indiana Recipe Box Note



            Would you like a very easy-to-make, but delightfully special dessert recipe to serve for Valentine’s Day?  The four simple layers of this dessert form a fantastic, creamy sensation. 


            From the kitchen of Mrs. Lois Parker, friend of Mrs. Kay Fanyo who became the mother-in-law of my sister–this recipe came into our family on November 15, 1975, when it was served at my sister’s bridal shower in Muncie, Indiana.  About ten years later, when my sister and her family went to California, our Aunt Kay served this recipe.  From Aunt Kay, we learned that in California, this recipe was called “Next Best Thing to Robert Redford.”  While you can find a number of similar recipes online, I wanted to share with you our version of Layer Dessert—Indiana style, which both my sister and I have made many times.



Layer Dessert



First Layer


one cup flour

one-half cup pecan bits

one-half cup butter


(1.)  Mix together flour, pecan bits, and butter; to form crust for this dessert, pat the flour mixture into the bottom of an 11”-by-7” glass baking dish (A 13”-by-9” glass baking dish may be used.)


(2.)  On the middle rack of your oven, bake the first layer for fifteen minutes at 350 degrees.


(3.)  Allow the baked first layer to cool.


Second Layer


eight-ounce package of cream cheese

one cup powdered sugar

one-half of eight-ounce carton of Cool Whip  (The other half of the carton will be used later in this recipe.  If you prefer more whipped topping, you may use a twelve-ounce carton.)


(4.)  Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip.


(5.)  Spread this mixture over the first layer.  If you refrigerate these two layers, spreading the third layer will be easier.


Third Layer


two four-ounce packages instant pudding mix (chocolate, strawberry, lemon, butterscotch or a flavor of your choice)

three cups milk


(6.)  Prepare instant pudding according to package direction—EXCEPT use only three cups of milk.


(7.)  Gently spread the pudding over the second layer.  If you refrigerate these three layers, spreading the fourth layer will be easier.


Fourth Layer


(8.)  Spread remaining Cool Whip over the third layer.


(9.)  Top with toasted (shredded) coconut.


(10.) Refrigerate until you are ready to serve this dessert.  (Refrigerating the Layer Dessert overnight or four to eight hours is recommended.)  For a special Valentine’s Day treat, top each square piece with a cherry, strawberry, or piece of red or pink candy—just before serving.


Bon appétit!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Alice and Zoe


February 12, 2014, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Next best thing to Robert Redford? Sounds like it should be called, How To Increase your waistline, because I would probably eat the whole thing! Yum! dp

  2. Alice this dessert sounds absolutely to die for. Thank you for sharing.

    • Paula Lumb permalink

      Sounds easy, and luscious! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing, Alice! Be well.

  3. I bought the ingredients today, so I can make this favorite dessert soon!
    Love, Mary

    • Reading recipes is too appetizing, but does bring back tastes of fond memories. If there were not so many states and miles between us, I would ask you to save a piece of Layer Dessert for me. AJM & Z

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