Rich, creamy and so easy to make, this no-bake coconut layered dessert is a must-try if you’re looking for a quick dessert recipe.
Three decadent layers, each with a unique flavor and texture come together to make this delicious no-bake coconut layered dessert. It may seem like a fancy dessert that takes a lot of effort to put together, but in reality, it is anything but that.
Tempted enough to give it a shot? Here’s all you need to know about it.
Ingredients For the Recipe
You’ll need three sets of ingredients to make this coconut layered dessert.
- 4 cups vanilla wafer cookies (about 1 box of cookies)
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 oz whipped cream
- ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
For the topping
- 3 oz instant coconut cream jello pudding
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon gelatin
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup toasted coconut
Kitchen Tools Needed
How to Make the No-Bake Coconut Layered Dessert
Once you have all your ingredients ready, here’s what you will need to make the dessert from scratch.
Prepare the pudding per the directions on the box and chill until thick.
Cover a springform cake pan with butter to prevent the cake from sticking.
Place the vanilla wafers in a food processor and process them until you have fine crumbs.
Add the melted butter to the crumbs, then stir a few times until the crumbs are all moist.
Press the moist crumbs into the bottom of the cake pan as the first layer of the cake.
In a big bowl cream together the cream cheese and the sugar.
Add the whipped cream and the coconut to the cream cheese mixture.
Mix everything together until the ingredients are well combined then add this to the cake pan and smooth it neatly.
Place the cake back in the fridge until you are ready to make the final layer.
Add the gelatin to the warm water and stir together well.
Mix the chilled pudding and the gelatin mixture together.
Add this pudding and gelatin mixture to the top of the cake and smooth it neatly.
Decorate the cake with toasted coconut and leave it in the fridge at least 4 hours before you serve it.
Frequently Asked Questions
The crust is made using two simple ingredients, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. You can sneak some desiccated coconut into the mix if you like an extra coconut-y flavor, or throw in some chopped nuts of your choice (walnuts and almonds are the best). Even better, you can just add some almond flour into the mixture to improve its texture and nutritive value.
The crust for this coconut layered dessert is made using Nilla wafers. They are simply the best choice because they have the perfect texture needed for the base and the right subtle flavor that works perfectly along with the other ingredients.
If you don’t have Nilla wafers, you can use graham crackers, digestive biscuits, golden Oreos, or any other vanilla-flavored biscuits instead.
This coconut layered dessert has simple flavors and ingredients, but being versatile that it is, you can experiment to your heart’s content. For instance, you could add an extra layer of chopped nuts or crushed Nilla wafers to bring some texture into the dessert.
You could also add an extra layer of chopped fruit of your choice to make this dessert a bit more healthy. Make sure you choose a fruit that goes well with the flavor of coconut- mangoes, pineapples, and bananas for example.
This creamy dessert can be topped with some toasted coconut flakes for a bit of texture, or drizzled with some caramel sauce for some extra flavor- it all depends on your personal taste.
You could also saute some bananas in butter and a bit of sugar and cinnamon powder and use them as a topping for this delicious coconut dessert.
Any leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container. You can definitely store this coconut layered dessert beyond that too, but the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the soggy the crust will get.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
Think you’re all ready to give this recipe a try? Wait up! You might want to keep these additional tips and tricks in mind to make sure you nail the recipe.
- Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before you use it for this recipe. Using softened cream cheese will help your layer get the perfect smooth texture as opposed to being grainy and clumpy.
- Since this dessert is layered, it is a good idea to allow each layer enough time to chill individually so that it sets well, and doesn’t end up falling apart when you serve it. If you’re making this in a rush, you can pop it into the freezer instead.
- You can replace the vanilla-flavored pudding in this recipe for coconut flavored pudding instead if you want an extra boost of flavor.
- Use a clean, cold knife to cut out the individual portions. Make sure you clean the knife after every single cut. It may take a few extra minutes, but you’ll get that perfect-looking slice.
How to Serve the Coconut Layered Dessert
You can assemble this layered dessert in a large mold and then cut out each serving, or do it the easy way and assemble them in individual dessert glasses.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to top each serving with a nice dollop of whipped cream and some toasted coconut flakes on the top. If you want, you can also top it with some Lotus Biscoff crumbs for a little pop of flavor and deliciousness.
On the hunt for some more simple and interesting recipes like this? Here are a few good options to get started on.
- Nutella Oreo Banana Pudding Trifle Recipe
- No-Bake Eclair Cake Recipe
- Easy Black Forest Icebox Cake Recipe
- 4 cups (311g) vanilla wafer cookies (about 1 box of cookies)
- 6 tablespoon (89ml) unsalted butter, melted
- 8 oz (227g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup (201g) granulated sugar
- 8 oz (227g) whipped cream
- ½ cup (48g) sweetened coconut flakes
- 3 oz (85g) instant coconut cream jello pudding
- 2 cups (256g) whole milk (chilled)
- ½ cup (64g) toasted coconut
- 1 tablespoon (9g) gelatine
- 1 cup (237ml) warm water
- Prepare the pudding per the directions on the box and chill until thick.
- Cover a springform cake pan with butter to prevent the cake from sticking.
- Place the vanilla wafers in a food processor and process them until you have fine crumbs.
- Add the melted butter to the crumbs, then stir a few times until the crumbs are all moist..
- Press the moist crumbs into the bottom of the cake pan as the first layer of the cake.
- In a big bowl cream together the cream cheese and the sugar.
- Add the whipped cream and the coconut to the cream cheese mixture.
- Mix everything together until the ingredients are well combined then add this to the cake pan and smooth it neatly.
- Place the cake back in the fridge until you are ready to make the final layer.
- Add the gelatin to the warm water and stir together well.
- Mix the chilled pudding and the gelatin mixture together.
- Add this pudding and gelatin mixture to the top of the cake and smooth it neatly.
- Decorate the cake with toasted coconut and leave it in the fridge at least 4 hours before you serve it.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g