The Next Best Thing To Robert Redford

4.70 / 5 ( 40 Reviews )
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Better than anything dessert

Robert Redford Dessert Recipe

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.

Robert Redford dessert ingredients

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 holiday blues. Plus it would be a great dessert for a Labor Day weekend BBQ! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Mixing crust ingredients for Robert Redford cake

Preparing the 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 (I recommend the medium-high setting on a mixer, the crust is thick) and press into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Let cool.

Tip: The crust mix is very sticky! Spray your spatula with cooking spray to keep it from sticking as you spread it in the baking dish. ALSO, the crust will take about 45 minutes to cool, use that time to make your other layers.

Spreading cream cheese layer over crust of pie

Adding the Cream Cheese Layer:

Beat cream cheese sugar and a half carton of cool whip. This is another thick mixture so I recommend using the medium-high setting on your mixture. Once finished, spread over cooled crust.

Beautifully spread pudding layer of better than sex pie

Adding the Pudding Layer:

For a cute added touch (see pic below), reserve 1 teaspoon of the chocolate pudding mix. Then combine the vanilla and chocolate pudding with 3 cups cold milk. Blend it until smooth and thickened. If it needs a little thickening, you can cover it and put it in the fridge while the crust is cooling. When you’re ready, spread the pudding mixture over cream cheese layer.

Sprinkling chocolate over cool whip layer of robert redford cake

Adding the Final Layer:

Spread remaining cool whip over the top. You can stop right there, but for added sexy, add the optional garnishes!

Get the chocolate pudding mix and sprinkle that on top (I used this handy mesh stainless steel strainer to sift it on top). Use a veggie peeler to make the chocolate curls to add to the top.


Next best thing to Robert Redford

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe (I don’t know how you couldn’t!). The crust is really the star of this recipe, it adds a nice texture and nutty flavor that goes so well with the other layers.

If you try this recipe yourself, be sure to come back and let us know how it went! We love to hear your stories and experiences.

Robert Redford pudding pie

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Better than rover redford cake

Better than anything dessert

The Next Best Thing To Robert Redford

This luscious dessert is known by many names! Whatever you call it, you just can't beat the flavors of cream cheese and chocolate.
4.70 / 5 ( 40 Reviews )
Print Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 12
Adjust Servings: 12


  • 9x13-inch pan


  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 package 3.4 ounce vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 package 3.9 ounce chocolate instant pudding, with 1 teaspoon reserved for garnish
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 chocolate bar grated (optional, but makes it look pretty!)


  • Mix flour, butter, and pecans until crumbly and use a spatula sprayed with cooking spray to press into a greased 9x13 baking pan (see notes).
  • Bake at 350°F/175°C for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Set aside to cool (about 45 minutes).
  • In the meantime, beat cream cheese, sugar, and half container of cool whip until smooth.
  • Spread over cooled crust.
  • Reserve 1 teaspoon of chocolate pudding mix to sprinkle over the top of finished dessert.
  • Combine both the vanilla and chocolate pudding powders with 3 cups cold milk. Blend until smooth and thickened. Spread over cream cheese layer.
  • Spread remaining cool whip over the top and sprinkle with reserved chocolate pudding mix and the grated chocolate bar.

Recipe Notes

The crust mix is very sticky! Spray your spatula with cooking spray as needed, as you spread the crust in the baking dish.
Use the medium-high settings on a mixer for the crust and for the cream cheese layer mixtures (they are very thick).
Approximate cooling time for crust is 45 minutes. Mix up all of your layers while this cools in order to save some time!


Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g
Ingredients: Butter, Cheese, Chocolate, Cream Cheese, Flour, Instant Pudding Mix, Milk, Pecans, Sugar, Walnuts
Meal Type: Desserts, 4th of July, Christmas, Easter, Father's Day, Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, Super Bowl Party, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Meatless
Categories: Cakes and Cupcakes, Oven

Comments & Reviews

4.70 from 40 votes (37 ratings without comment)

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