When I was growing up, one of my mom’s favorite desserts to make was this Chocolate Lasagna with Shortbread Crust. This dessert has four layers, starting with a shortbread crust followed by a cream cheese mixture, a pudding layer, and then topped off with creamy Cool Whip. I also like to add a little grated chocolate on top, too.
This Chocolate Lasagna with Shortbread Crust recipe is made in a 9×13 pan like my No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake. The recipe is super versatile and can be adapted to what you have on hand or to your personal taste preferences. Instead of a shortbread crust, you can switch it out for a no-bake graham cracker crust or a no-bake Oreo crust, and it would be just as delicious!
I’ve also seen this dessert made with different types of pudding–pistachio, lemon, and even pumpkin spice pudding in the Fall. My mom always used chocolate, or at least I THOUGHT it was chocolate. It wasn’t until I was newly married and making this dessert for a potluck that I got the recipe from my mom and realized the pudding in the middle was actually vanilla and chocolate pudding mixed together. I guess I’d never watched my mom make the pudding step. Mixing the two puddings together results in a very smooth, almost milk-chocolate-type chocolate flavor. You can use all chocolate pudding instead of mixing it and still get a great-tasting dessert, but you should try it mixed at least once. It’s yummy!
Great Desserts You Can Make in a 9×13 Pan
- Tres Leches Cake
- Magnolia Bakery Blueberry Jamboree
- Perfect Mint Brownies
- Easiest, Best Ice Cream Cake Ever
- Chocolate Scotcharoo Rice Krispy Treats
- No-bake Fresh Peach Cheesecake Dessert
- S’mores Rice Krispy Treats
- Fresh Raspberry Lemon Tart Bars
Step-by-Step Photos for How to Make Chocolate Lasagna with Shortbread Crust
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Make Chocolate Lasagna with Shortbread Crust
How Many Servings Does this Recipe Make?
This recipe is made in a 9×13 pan. So depending on how big you want the pieces to be cut, it can serve anywhere from 12-20 people. I generally cut it in a 4×4 or 4×5 grid.
Can I leave the nuts out of the crust?
Yes, you can definitely leave the nuts out of the crust. I like the flavor that the pecans give the crust, but if you are nut adverse or if there are allergies, leaving them out will not make a huge difference in the overall flavor of the dessert.
Are there other options for crusts if I don’t want a shortbread crust?
Yes. You can make a graham cracker crust or a cookie crumb crust. I’ve had Chocolate Lasagna made with traditional Oreo cookies, and it is really good and super chocolaty. Golden Oreos or Nilla Wafers would be other fun options for a cookie crust.
Can I use fat-free cream cheese in this recipe?
You can, but I don’t recommend using fat-free cream cheese in this recipe. Fat-free cream cheese is sometimes extra tart, and I have had a few bad experiences where it messed up the consistency of the dessert. I usually use 1/3-less-fat cream cheese or full-fat cream cheese because I like the flavor better and have never had a bad experience with them.
Can I use cook and serve pudding or does it have to be instant?
Yes, you can use Cook and Serve pudding. You just need to make sure you let it completely cool before you spread it on top of the cream cheese layer. I suggest only using Cook and Serve pudding if you can’t find instant. Instant is easier to prepare and makes the recipe come together quicker.
Can I make Chocolate Lasagna a couple of days in advance of when I need it?
Yes. It can be made up to two days before you need to serve it. Just make sure that you keep it completely covered and refrigerated.
How should I store the leftovers?
The Chocolate Lasagna with Shortbread Crust leftovers should be stored in the fridge, completely covered. I make mine in a 9×13 glass baking dish that has a lid. This way it is easy to just pop the lid on and store it in the fridge.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
- 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip (I buy a 16 ounce because you need 8 more ounces to spread on the top after the pudding.)
- PUDDING LAYER:
- 1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding
- 1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant chocolate pudding
- 3 cups milk
- FINAL LAYER
- 8 ounces of Cool Whip
- chocolate to grate on top
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine the flour, softened butter, and chopped nuts. Mix well and press evenly into the prepared 9x13 pan.
- Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool completely before the next step.
- When the crust is cooled, prepare the cream cheese layer by using a hand mixer on high speed to thoroughly combine the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Once they are well mixed, add the 8 ounces of Cool Whip and mix on medium speed until completely combined.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the shortbread crust. See step-by-step pictures.
- Next, prepare the pudding layer. Pour the vanilla and chocolate pudding packages into a medium-sized bowl and add the milk. Whisk together by hand or using a hand mixer until the pudding starts to thicken and is completely combined.
- Pour the pudding mixture over the cream cheese layer.
- Follow that step by spreading the Cool Whip over the pudding layer.
- Lastly, using a small grater or zester, grate or zest chocolate over the top of the Cool Whip. I have used Hershey bars or even just chocolate chips.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving. Leftovers should also be refrigerated.
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