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Easy Four-Layer Chocolate Dessert

Out of all the easy chocolate desserts I make, these nutty, chocolaty layered treats have become my family's favorite. I make sure to whip up my mom her very own batch, since she loves this chocolate delight so much! —Kristen Stecklein, Waukesha, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    15 servings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cartons (8 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 packages (3.9 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
  • Chocolate syrup


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place flour in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in 1/2 cup walnuts. Press onto bottom of an ungreased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake until light golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth; fold in 1 carton whipped topping. Spread over crust. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Gently spread over cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with chocolate chunks and remaining walnuts. Refrigerate until cold.
  • Cut into bars. Just before serving, drizzle with chocolate syrup.
Editor's Note
To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 434 calories, 26g fat (15g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 195mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • pammy54
    Jun 19, 2020

    I am from Ohio originally, and had never heard of this recipe, but knew I wanted to try it. After reading the ingredient list through and the instructions, I decided to tweak a little bit. I used pecans instead of walnuts, and I sprinkled a little kosher salt on them while they were roasting. That little change really made the sweetness in the other ingredients stand out. I also used dark fudge chocolate pudding, and my granddaughter just loved it! Like other reviews, I think next time I will double the crust though. Love, love, love this recipe!

  • Yvette
    Jun 3, 2020

    It is a great recipe even though my mom created it in 1981 for her women's league. The only thing they changed was the chocolate shavings on the top.

  • resalee
    Apr 24, 2020

    This is so good and we didn't even take the time to drizzle the chocolate syrup on top. The only thing I found difficult was spreading the crust mixture over a 9X13 pan. Next time I will probably double the crust recipe. Delicious!!

  • Marcia
    Feb 6, 2020

    This sounds a lot like a recipe I have called “Chocolate Lasagna”. Same ingredients and directions. Very good!!

  • Jessie
    Aug 21, 2019

    We add peanut butter to the cream cheese layer

  • slocook805
    Jun 30, 2019

    Like another reviewer mentioned, I used pecans instead of walnuts just because they're my favorite. Since I do not like frozen whipped topping I always substitute sweetened heavy cream beaten till very stiff. To the cream cheese whipped cream mixture and the chocolate pudding I added 1 tsp vanilla extract. I used half and half in place of the 2% milk in the pudding for not only richness but a higher dairy fat content will always make your pudding much thicker and richer and you won't end up with the pudding being runny.

  • Kimberly
    Apr 21, 2019

    I called it almost Robert reford when I sumitted the recipe in 1999 when you had the contest to submit your favorite recipe it's good to see people enjoy it even if not almost Robert reford

  • Greatgranny25
    Feb 4, 2019

    Found this recipe to be lacking flavor. I will try again using half of the Cool Whip. Using an entire carton for the cream cheese layer reduced the flavor. There was not enough crust to fit 13X9 pan, will increase the crust ingredients. Being from the deep south all my life; I used pecans in the crust. Will try again. Not bad, just not outstanding.

  • RNshamrock
    Jan 23, 2019

    This is a family favorite for gatherings. "Robert Redford" is always requested by our niece. I use chocolate most of time with pecans instead of walnuts

  • Eloisa
    Jan 13, 2019

    Excellent and easy to make