This Coconut Cream Lush is a spin off of a fabulous dessert that’s been rotating through Southern kitchens in a variety of flavors for decades. This version begins with a pecan shortbread crust, next a whipped cream cheese layer, then a thick layer of coconut cream custard. The top is frosted with billows of whipped cream and it’s finished with a sprinkle of toasted coconut and chopped pecans making it a dessert dream come true for coconut fans.
While layered desserts aren’t a new phenomenon, the ones I have here on my website have been personalized in my kitchen to suit our taste. They’re a tried and true family favorite dessert and one we never get tired of enjoying. The first flavor I can ever remember eating was made by my bestie’s Mom for us when we had sleepovers and it was made with a chocolate fudge layer.
In the springtime for us it’s all about lemon lush or this coconut cream lush. In the summer months my family would consider it an absolute travesty if we didn’t have banana split lush at our backyard picnics. At Thanksgiving I often make pumpkin spice layered lush and serve it in place of pumpkin pie. Christmas is the perfect time to serve an impressive dessert like my Black Forest lush. Then, my love of caramel and banana pudding collide in my caramel banana pudding lush. The best part about these types of layered desserts, apart from the opportunity to be super creative with variations, is they provide the perfect sweet ending to most any gathering be it laid-back or casually elegant in theme. It doesn’t matter what the occasion, celebration or featured flavor, there’s never a spoonful leftover.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Coconut Cream Lush
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter cubed [1 stick]
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans divided
- 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 2 3.4 oz boxes instant coconut cream pudding
- 3 cup whole milk or half & half
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray the bottom only of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl sift together the salt and flour. Cut the cold butter into the flour until it resembles cornmeal. Mix in 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
- Press firmly onto the bottom of the dish. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool completely.
- Spread the remaining chopped pecans and coconut on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the coconut is golden. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium size mixing bowl using a hand mixer cream together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla, Whip until smooth and creamy, then by hand fold in 1/2 of one (8 oz) whipped topping. Spread evenly on the cooled crust
- In the same bowl, Whip together both boxes of pudding mix and milk. Whip until thickened but still pourable. Spread over the cream cheese.
- Frost the top with the remaining whipped topping and sprinkle with toasted pecans and coconut,.
- Chill for 4 hours or overnight before cutting. Store chilled.
When toasting the pecan pieces and coconut for the garnish put on separate sheet pans as the coconut may take slightly longer than 8 minutes to begin to caramelize and turn brown.