The Next Best Thing To Robert Redford

5 / 5 (3 reviews) 47 Comments


Jessica’s husband’s family introduced her to The Next Best Thing To Robert Redford. After that no holiday was complete without it. She was forever grateful… 😉 In 2012 Jessica introduced this recipe to the readers of Fabulessly Frugal and we found out that this amazing recipe has been known by many other names! Some of those names include  The Next Best Thing to (Insert any actor/actresses name here), Better than Sex Dessert, Almost Better than Sex Dessert, Better than Anything Dessert and Chocolate Pie Squares. Some readers use a lemon pudding instead of vanilla and call it Aileen Torte or Lemon Lush.

My parents used to make this dessert all the time when we were growing up and they called it 4 Layer Dessert.  We called it For Later Dessert because they always seemed to wait forever to let us have some. You can not beat the mixed flavors of cream cheese and chocolate. I am bringing Sexy back (insert Justin Timberlake song) today because I think this is an awesome dessert to help you get over those end of summer blues. Plus it would be a great dessert for a Labor Day weekend BBQ! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Prepare crust: You will need to chop your pecans. You can do this by hand but it is much faster in a food processor or blender. I use my dry blade vitamix.


Mix flour, softened butter, and pecans until crumbly and press into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.


Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Let cool.


Layers: Beat cream cheese sugar and half carton of cool whip. Spread over cooled crust. Combine vanilla and chocolate pudding with 3 cups cold milk until smooth or thickened. Spread over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining cool whip over the top and sprinkle with the grated Hershey bar. Enjoy!


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The Next Best Thing To Robert Redford

5 / 5 (3 reviews)
Prep Time: 15mins | Cook Time: 15mins
Yield: 9x13 | Serves: 18


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 7 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 package (5.1 ounce) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 package (5.9 ounce) chocolate instant pudding
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 chocolate bar, grated (optional, but makes it look pretty!)


  1. Prepare crust: mix flour, butter, and pecans until crumbly and press into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Let cool.
  2. Layers: Beat cream cheese, sugar, and half container of cool whip. Spread over cooled crust. Combine vanilla and chocolate pudding with 3 cups cold milk until smooth and thickened. Spread over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining cool whip over the top and sprinkle with the grated chocolate bar.
Ingredients: Butter, Cheese, Chocolate, Cream Cheese, Flour, Instant Pudding Mix, Milk, Pecans, Sugar, Walnuts
Meal Type: Desserts, Father's Day, Mother's Day
Categories: Cakes and Cupcakes

Comments & Reviews

  • Cheryl H

    Hmmm, looks yummy enough but I don’t think anything can be better than Robert Redford!!!

  • terri

    I would have to name it “Next best thing to Steve Young” lol

  • Qpnjet

    That is what our family calls Chocolate Delight. It’s a REQUIREMENT that we have this at every thxgvng n Christmas gathering on my moms side of the family. I like it with Graham cracker crust myself.

  • stacy

    THANK YOU for this. I was looking for something new and simply and I do believe this is the winner. Can’t wait to eat it. My thighs thank you too.

  • Bea S

    We’ve been making this for years and love it. For a great variation use 2 pkgs. Pistachio pudding. Lemon is also wonderful. We like it slightly frozen too. Yummy.

  • Becky

    Oh My Gosh!!! I love this dessert!! We make it every year!

  • Tracey

    We have always called this 4 layer dessert..but I prefer your name so much better…lol…This is awesome with butterscotch pudding!!

  • Joni

    My mom makes this with sugar free stuff. It’s great for people who can’t have sugar in their diet.

  • Christie

    This is a holiday staple at our house…. with the same name, I might ad! EVERYONE should take the time to try this dessert…. or not, if you are dieting! LOL

  • Jacqui

    Oh this is what we call better than sex cake. A staple at our house for
    new years parties!

  • Lisa

    My husband’s family calls this recipe husband’s delight

  • mllasalle

    We call this recipe “Chocolate Pie Squares.” I guess Chocolate Pie Squares is easier to say than Chocolate Pudding Squares! I have made this for years and it always gets rave reviews!

  • Tina B

    My cousin makes a lemon version of this called Lemon Lush, with the pecan nut crust. Oh boy, is it luscious! This chocolate version looks yummy too. I’ll have to try it. I have cream cheese just waiting in my fridge.

  • Brooke

    No one makes this better than my mom! 🙂

  • Lorrie

    I’d call it “The Next Best Thing To Brad Pitt”!

  • Briana

    Our very old recipe says it’s called “Four Layered Dessert”, but our family renamed it “Texas Yum Yum”

  • Beth

    My mom made this pie every once in a while when i was a kid. So yummy!

  • Bobbie

    We call this Fat Man Pie!!!! Now I want one but no time to make it 🙁

  • T Sharpe

    My mother-in-law makes this and she calls it “Plush”. We love it. Over the years she has modified it some. In my favorite version she completely cuts out the pudding and adds fresh sliced sugared strawberries. Absolutely delicious!

  • Dori

    wow! my family calls this Michigan dessert too! how weird is that. so glad you posted this =)

  • Lori

    WE MAKE THIS! It is delicious and this is what we call it too! ive never known anyone to have any idea what we are talking about!

  • Cassie Robbins

    Also named “Republican Dessert” – I grew up on this dish at church potlucks and it was ALWAYS one of the first dishes to get eaten up! Making it for Christmas this year and can hardly wait…. 🙂 🙂

  • amanda tuscany

    Oh how I love this dessert!! I never knew so many people knew about it hahaha we call it three layer dessert…… not counting the crust I suppose… not sure but my mom made it my entire life for all holiday events 🙂 it is so awesome to see everyone’s names and different variations 🙂 love ♥

  • Geri R.

    This is so good! We call it “Arizona Yum Yum” over here. And we use the graham cracker crust.

  • jenny

    When I was a kid I remember it being called “Better than S-E-X dessert,” said just like that because my mom, grandmother, aunts, etc. always spelled it out and blushed when they said it! Jello used to make a Butter Pecan pudding and that is still my favorite variation aside from pistachio, which is a close second.

  • toni

    Our family has been making this since the 70’s and we also call it next best thing to Robert Redford. You are the first ones that I have found that call it the same thing! Its one of my favorites. Its also really good it you use thickened fresh raspberries instead of the chocolate pudding.

  • Deb

    My husbands family calls this Dallas Delight and no holiday is complete without it.

  • Marlene

    We call it Aileen Torte and make it w/chocolate & lemon. My absolute favorite dessert!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sharma

    Better than sex is what I’ve always heard it called. This is what I served at my wedding reception 24 years ago.

  • mac

    so excited to make this! there is no such thing as a “6 3/4 oz. box of pudding.” does this recipe use 2 large or 2 small pudding boxes…thanks!

  • Laura

    We call it “better than sex cake” it’s very good…I don’t agree with the statement though lol!

  • Jamie

    Better than Sex in a Pan, YUM!

  • Emily

    My friend’s mom used to make this, but I never had the recipe till now, so thanks! I’d call it “The Next Best Thing to Ryan Gosling.” ;o)

  • Janet

    I have a question about the recipe! I am allergic to nuts, so what do I need to do in relation to the crust? Will it turn out too mushy or soft w/o the nuts?

  • Melissa H.

    Wow! This desert not only looks like it tastes really good, but sounds rather versatile and easy, and it has even started a whole conversation about itself. lol Can’t wait to try this easy recipe with the kids! Maybe the next one we can add our of tweaks to it.

  • Mary

    I love this Texas Yum Yum, but have also heard it called “Hippo Delight”
    Call it what you will, OH MY GOODNESS, it’s rich, and thick and chocolatey…
    Ooh, I can try it with cherries, im sure someone will eat it 😀

  • Bonnie N

    My mom also made it with pistachio pudding and it was my favorite!

  • Debbie

    Do you use real sugar or powder sugar!! ??? I saw one Receipes used the powdered sugar!!

  • Susanne Bolen

    Hello. Has anyone tried this using a peanut butter/chocolate version? 😊

    • Cathy Yoder

      Oh man, I’ve never heard of a chocolate/peanut butter version but that sounds divine! I’m assuming you’d just melt the peanut butter and pour it in the poked cake? OR do you mix peanut butter with the sweetened condensed milk?

  • Kim

    Have been enjoying this Robert Redford dessert sine the 1970’s! Truly indulgent. Nothing is better, especially at Thanksgiving. Variations sound interesting (except for peanut butter one…..yes I do like peanut butter) but I am not really into bastardizing Robert Redford. It is a classic and a tradition for us! Enjoy! It’s eorth the calories! 😊😜😊

  • Stephanie

    You actually need 2 SMALL boxes of pudding, not the 5 ounce boxes indicated in the recipe. That would make it way too thick and dried out. I’ve made this recipe like a hundred and fifty times. Lol. My favorite dessert ever!!!


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