Cherry Cheesecake Lush Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/3 cups cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/3 cups chopped pecans
  • 3 and 1/3 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (about 76 cookies)
  • 4 cups Cool Whip, divided
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 packages (3.4 oz each) vanilla instant pudding mix

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Crust:
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    • Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter.
    • Crush vanilla wafers into fine crumbs until you have 3 and 1/3 cups.
    • Mix the crumbs with melted butter until well coated.
    • Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
    • Bake for 15 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely.
  2. Make the Cheesecake Layer:
    • In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
    • Fold in 2 cups of Cool Whip until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the Pudding Layer:
    • In another bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla pudding mixes for 2 minutes until thickened.
    • Let stand for 5 minutes to fully thicken.
    • Fold in the remaining 2 cups of Cool Whip.
  4. Assemble the Dessert:
    • Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled crust.
    • Top with the cherry pie filling, spreading it out evenly.
    • Carefully spread the vanilla pudding mixture over the cherry pie filling layer.
    • Top with the remaining 1 and 1/3 cups of Cool Whip.
    • Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the top.
  5. Refrigerate:
    • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Tips and Variations:

  • Crust Alternatives: If you prefer, you can use graham cracker crumbs or crushed shortbread cookies instead of vanilla wafers.
  • Fruit Options: Try using different pie fillings such as blueberry, strawberry, or mixed berry for a new twist.
  • Nut-Free Option: If you’re allergic to nuts, simply omit the pecans or replace them with crushed cookies or chocolate chips.
  • Homemade Whipped Cream: For a richer flavor, you can use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. Beat 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.

How to Store:

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The dessert tastes even better the next day as the layers meld together.
  • Freezing: This dessert can be frozen for up to 1 month. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

FAQs:

1. Can I make this dessert ahead of time?

  • Yes, Cherry Cheesecake Lush is perfect for making ahead. Prepare it the day before you plan to serve it and refrigerate it overnight.

2. Can I use fresh cherries instead of cherry pie filling?

  • Yes, you can use fresh cherries. Cook them down with some sugar and a bit of cornstarch to thicken, creating a homemade pie filling.

3. Is there a substitute for Cool Whip?

  • Homemade whipped cream can be used as a substitute. Beat heavy cream with powdered sugar until stiff peaks form and use in place of Cool Whip.

4. What if I don’t have a food processor to crush the cookies?

  • You can place the cookies in a zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are fine crumbs.

Enjoy this delightful Cherry Cheesecake Lush as a sweet and creamy treat perfect for any occasion!

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