Monday, July 1, 2013

Strawberry Delight {No Bake!}

I'm so excited about the fourth of July this year.  We are going to Ohio to visit my husband's family for the long weekend and it will be three days of jam-packed visiting!  And so much food.  It's always a whirlwind but I enjoy it.  

I love Ohio.  I love the people, the corn fields, the country... it's just awesome.  And what a nice break from the daily grind in Boston.  People in Ohio say hello.  There are no car horns beeping unless someone is in the middle of a legit emergency.  People there understand what personal space means - it's weird in Ohio to stand so close to someone in line that you're touching the stranger in front of you.  

Oh, Ohio.  I do appreciate you.

One thing I have to remember:  It's dang hot in Ohio.  No one wants to turn the oven on when it's 95 degrees outside. That's why everyone should have some yummy no-bake recipes up their sleeve.  They are almost always made up of just a few easy to find ingredients.  They can usually be prepared in advance.  They are almost always cold.  Perfect.

Now, you'll notice there are a few strawberry recipes on my site.  The truth is, I can't get enough of them.  They are one of my favorite things!  And when they're cheap and in season, I'm totally using them all the time and in this case, they star in Strawberry Delight.

I know I sound like a broken record here but honestly, this is just so easy.  And you will not have leftovers.  This is always gone in minutes.  Perfect for the fourth of July or any hot day!

Shall we begin?

You'll notice in the picture I have two containers of Cool-Whip.  The recipe only calls for 12 oz. but these containers were buy one, get one at my grocery store so that's what I got.  I just used one whole one, and a half of the second one.

Now, the first thing you want to do is slice your strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar.  Then park them in the fridge while you make the filling so they can get nice and juicy.

Next, whisk together your pudding mix and milk until completely smooth.

In a larger separate bowl, combine your cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk and beat with an electric mixer until nice and smooth.


Throw your Cool-Whip on top of the cream cheese condensed milk mixture and with a spatula, fold it in gently.

It's like a beautiful, delicious cloud.  But it gets better.

Add your pudding mixture and fold it in gently until everything is combined.

And that, my friends is the filling.  You're 95% done!

Now line a 9x13 inch pan with shortbread cookies.  I personally love Lorna Doone Cookies.  I ended up using about 2 sleeves (1 box) for this part.

Grab your strawberries from the fridge and layer them on top.  If they got too juicy or watery while they were chilling, just use a slotted spoon to get rid of the excess liquid.

Pour on the filling and smooth it out on top of the strawberries and cookies.

Now beat up the remaining shortbread cookies.  Not too fine, some larger chunks are good.

Sprinkle them evenly on top of the filling and refrigerate this for at least 4 hours before serving.  You can serve it up to 30 minutes after it's done but I recommend waiting if you can.  The flavors meld and more of the magic happens after several hours in the fridge.  Also, you can cut it like cake once it's completely set up but I won't judge you if you want to scoop some of this out in a half hour and enjoy a bowl.  Trust me, I get it.

I wanted to show you how nicely this filling sets up after several hours in the refrigerator.  Rich, creamy, perfect.

Strawberry Delight
Adapted from Paula Deen

1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 5 oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. container of Cool-Whip
2 Boxes Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, divided*

*note - you can use vanilla wafers or any cookie you want.  Just make sure you have plenty!

Sprinkle the sugar over your sliced strawberries and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.  In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and pudding mix until completely smooth.  Set aside.  

In another large bowl, beat together softened cream cheese and condensed milk with an electric mixer until smooth.  Fold in the Cool-Whip by hand with a spatula until completely combined.  Add the pudding mixture to this bowl and fold that in until completely incorporated.  Filling should be a cream color and very thick.

Line the bottom a 9x13 pan with shortbread cookies (about 2 sleeves of the Lorna Doone cookies).  I like to use a more "square" shaped 9x13 for this instead of my glass pan, which has more of a curve to the sides.  Place your strawberries evenly on top of the shortbread cookies.  Pour the filling over everything and smooth out evenly.

Crush a sleeve of the shortbread cookies in a plastic bag until you have coarse crumbs (about a cup or so, more or less does not hurt!).  Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the filling evenly.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Cut with a spatula and serve in squares.  


  1. Oh these look so good! (Especially so today because it's hot-and-humid, so they'll be perfect for dessert!)

  2. So bummed we're going to miss you guys' visit to Ohio! As penance I will personally make this tastacular sensation in Tennessee. Hope to see you both soon!

    1. Us, too! But we will plan on next time. Hope you guys have a blast in Tennessee!

  3. This looks amazing! I'm going to try this recipe using dried apricots instead of strawberry! :)