Easy Robert Redford Dessert

5 from 1 vote
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The Next Best Thing To Robert Redford dessert is a creamy, layered dessert made up of a pecan crust, chocolate and cream layers. A nostalgic dessert that is great for parties, holidays, and more.

Plate with pudding dessert and cherries.


You will love this Robert Redford Dessert Recipe

This Robert Redford recipe takes me back to my childhood because it’s one my mom would make for family gatherings and potlucks. This dessert became popular in the 70’s and goes by several names like Better than Robert Redford Dessert, Chocolate Delight, and Chocolate Lush. 

This cool, creamy, pudding dessert has a pecan crust, cream cheese layer, pudding layer, and cool whip layer. It’s the perfect make-ahead recipe if you need something delicious to serve your guests. I guarantee everyone will be asking for the recipe.

Alright, now go watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and make some Robert Redford Dessert!


  • Crust: chopped pecans, all-purpose flour, butter
  • Cream cheese layer: Softened cream cheese, sugar, Cool Whip, instant chocolate pudding mix, instant vanilla pudding mix, milk
  • Topping: Cool Whip


  • Have a nut allergy in the house? You can substitute the pecan crust for a graham cracker crust.
  • You can easily substitute the chocolate and vanilla pudding with a different flavor like butterscotch or lemon.
Bowl of melted butter, cool whip, flour, cherries, pecans, and pudding mix.

How to make Robert Redford Dessert

Step one: Make the crust by mixing chopped pecans, melted butter, and flour together. Place the mixture in a 9 x 13 baking dish and form to make a crust by pressing it down into the dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes and then let the crust completely cool.

Chopped pecans formed into crust.

Step two: To make the cream cheese layer, mix together softened cream cheese, sugar, and Cool Whip. Spread it over the top of the crust.

Bowl of cream cheese and sugar.

Step three: Now it’s time to make the second layer, the chocolate pudding layer. Mix together chocolate pudding mix, vanilla pudding mix and cold milk until creamy. Spread that over the cream layer.

Chocolate pudding in a bowl and then spread in pan.

Step four: Finish by topping with more Cool Whip and garnish like cherries, chopped pecans, chocolate shavings, or chocolate curls. Let set up in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Baking dish with layered pudding dessert.

Recipe tips

  • The pudding layer is thick and almost fudgy. 
  • I like to save adding the garnishes until ready to serve. 

How to store leftovers

You will want to store any leftovers in an airtight container or you can cover the dish with plastic wrap. Make sure to keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

This dessert does not freeze well. The creamy layers loose the consistency once frozen and thawed. 

More easy dessert recipes

Make this retro dessert? Let me know in the comments below.

Piece of layered pudding dessert on plate.
5 from 1 vote

Better than Robert Redford Dessert

By Heather
Robert Redford Dessert
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 32 minutes
Servings: 8


  • Crust
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 8 oz block cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz cool whip
  • 1 large box instant chocolate pudding or lemon, or butterscotch
  • 1 large box instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • 8 oz cool whip
  • marchino cherries chopped nuts for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • For the crust, combine pecans, flour, and butter in a bowl. Spread in a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  • Bake for 12 minutes and then let cool completely.
  • For the first layer, mix together cream cheese, sugar, and 8 oz of cool whip. Spread over crust.
  • For second layer, mix together chocolate and vanilla pudding and milk. Spread over cream cheese mixture.
  • Spread remaining 8 oz of cool whip over pudding layer. Garnish with cherries and chopped nuts.


Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 383mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 279mg | Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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