A no-bake delight full of festive layers of white chocolate and peppermint.
The holidays are a time of year where dessert production seems to increase ten-fold (not that I’m complaining), but that doesn’t mean that it all has to happen in the oven or on the stove-top. There are some desserts that are so easy you don’t even need a microwave, let alone a mixer or a candy thermometer, but you can still keep things super festive. Take this Candy Cane Lush, for instance.
It’s a creamy and dreamy no-bake creation with a chocolate cookie crust and layers of lush white chocolate and peppermint. In other words, delicious, and the perfect holly jolly treat when you don’t feel like baking up a big production.
The word lush brings to mind all things elaborate and swanky, but when it comes to dessert it just means an easy and simple layered confection that tastes rich. A crunchy base of cookies is topped with a couple of silky layers of cheesecake or pudding and whipped topping and chilled until set, and there you have it – the incredible, irresistible lush. For this one, you’ll need oreo cookies, white chocolate pudding, candy canes, cream cheese, and some whipped topping (Cool Whip, if you’re going name brand).
First, you’ll make your crust, which is just a matter of crushing the Oreo cookies into crumbs and mixing them with melted butter and a pinch of salt. You’ll then press that into a 9×13-pan and let it chill and harden while you start on the other layers.
And this is all about layering. The next layer is a cream cheese-candy cane mashup. Think cream cheese frosting meets whipped cream and gets kissed by peppermint. That gets spread over the cookie crust and forms the base of the dish.
The next layer is white chocolate pudding and the final flourish is a layer of whipped topping. White chocolate pudding can be a little hard to find, but vanilla works just fine if that’s what you can find in your grocery store.
A sprinkle of more crushed candy canes over the top makes this beautifully festive, but if you were feeling extra you could add some white chocolate shavings too.
Once your layers are compiled, you need to chill the whole lush until it’s set enough to slice, which should take about four hours. You can also opt to freeze it, which creates a firmer pudding layer but gives you cleaner slices to serve.
Lushes have many great qualities but one of those is that you can make them at least a day ahead of when you need them. That’s helpful any time of year, but especially in a season when there’s so much hustle and bustle!
Candy Cane Lush
15m prep time
1 cook time
For the crust:
- 36 Oreo cookies (a 14 oz package)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the layers:
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 (12 oz) carton whipped topping, thawed (such as Cool Whip), divided
- 3/4 cup crushed candy canes, divided
- 2 (3.3 oz each) packages white chocolate pudding mix
- 2 3/4 cups cold milk
- In a food processor, pulse cookies into fine crumbs. Add salt and melted butter and pulse just until combined. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Chill while you prepare the filling.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar and milk and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping along with 1/2 cup of the crushed candy canes. Spread mixture over chilled crust.
- In a clean bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes until thickened. Spread over cream cheese layer.
- Spread remaining whipped topping over the top. Cover dish with plastic wrap or foil and chill at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle with remaining crushed candy canes. Enjoy!