Desserts like this really interest me. I mean seriously- how many delicious ways can you prepare cream cheese, cool whip, and pudding?!? There are SO many variations of desserts using those ingredients, it’s incredible. A month or so ago I made one such recipe- Pudding Lust Cake. They were phenomenal- simple, cool, and creamy. A big hit with people. BUT this dessert here is on a whole new playing field.
It’s called Frozen White Chocolate Strawberry Dessert and it made be one of my new favorite ice box dishes. The base is an almond cookie crust, just enough of it to give the whole thing some texture without taking over the show.
The middle layer is a concoction of sweetened cream cheese, frozen strawberries in syrup, and cool whip. This layer is placed in the freezer to firm up before moving on. That is an absolutely vital step!
And last but not least, the top layer- a sour cream/heavy cream, instant pudding mixture. GENUIS. That is spread on the strawberry center to create a beautiful layered affect for serving. The entire masterpiece is frozen and served as such.
Since the dessert is frozen, all the layers stay very firm (almost to the point where it’s difficult to cut) and turn out like little squares of ice cream cake. And if you’re not a huge white chocolate fan, don’t sweat it- you can always sub the white chocolate pudding mix out for some vanilla or cheesecake flavored. Personally I didn’t think the whole “white chocolate” flavor was that detectable. It might as well have been vanilla, it just wasn’t strong. But that was fine, it worked out perfectly!
AND you could even take things one step further with this dessert and use a chocolate cookie bottom (maybe Oreo or chocolate graham cracker?), keep the strawberry center, and then use vanilla pudding to make a vanilla top. Get where I am going with this? It’d be a Neapolitan dessert! That’s never been my favorite flavor combination, but my parents used to buy it for us all the time when we were kids so even just prepared as is, this dessert brought back memories.
- Bottom Layer:
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
- ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup finely chopped sliced almonds
- Middle Layer:
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 (10 oz) package frozen halved strawberries in syrup, thawed
- 1 (8 oz) container frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed (cool whip)
- Top Layer:
- 2 (3.3 oz) packages instant white chocolate flavored pudding mix
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch pan.
- In a medium bowl, beat butter and ¼ confectioners’ sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in flour until combined. Add almonds, beating until combined. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add strawberries in syrup, beating until combined. Stir in whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over prepared crust. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, beat pudding mix, cream, and sour cream at med-high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread pudding mixture evenly over cream cheese mixture. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours. Cut into squares to serve.