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Coconut Refrigerator Dessert

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  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup, softened Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup, chopped Pecans
  • 1 Cup, shredded Coconut
  • 8 Ounces, softend Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup + more for topping Whipped Cream / Cool Whip
  • 2, 3 Ounce Packages Coconut Cream Pudding Mix
  • 3 Cups Milk

Coconut Refrigerator Dessert

Coconut is the star in this cool and refreshing summer treat.

1 hour, 30 minutes plus more time to chill

Serves: 8-12


Coconut pudding and a light cheesecake filling sit on top of a nutty cookie crust. It's a project but so very worth it!

Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Ingredients

This Coconut Refrigerator Dessert is a MAJOR hit! If you like coconut you will absolutely love this perfect summertime treat. It features layers of a cookie crust, sweet cream cheese filling, creamy coconut pudding and whipped cream top with toasted coconut. What could be better? The recipe as a whole is a bit of a process in creating each of the layers. As long as you give yourself enough time though, this dessert really is pretty simple. Making sure everything is cooled properly is definitely key!

We had frozen some fresh coconut recently so I got that out and let it thaw and then shredded it on our handheld grater. You can easily skip this step and just buy shredded coconut in a bag. Also, the coconut cream pudding was hard to find in our local grocery store so I purchased off of Amazon. Mom suggested that Grandma would sometimes make this dessert with chocolate pudding mix and I could see that being great, too!

I did stick closely to Grandma’s recipe for this one, however, I did make my own whipped cream. I just think it’s so easy to make and tastes so much better than the stuff in the tub. For that I used about 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and whipped to form peaks. You’ll want to add a bit of sugar and some vanilla extract to flavor it, too. A trick I learned from Mary Berry is instead of vanilla extract (which is just vanilla flavoring in vodka) you can just use a flavorful liquor. We had some Jamaican rum on hand so I used that. That just added a little extra tropical taste. I highly recommend.

Ok, so now start planning when you’re going to make this, cause trust me you will want to!! I’m already dreaming about when I’ll be making it again. I cannot wait!! If you give it a try, let me know what you think and please share a picture with me on Instagram (@bdhbakes)

Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Recipe Front

Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Recipe Back


  • Preheat Oven to 325º 

    At this point be sure your butter and cream cheese are out on the counter and coming to room temperature.

  • Chop and Shred 

    Chop your pecans and shred your coconut.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Coconut
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Pecans
  • Make the crust dough. 

    Add your softened butter and sugar and cream together. Add the flour and mix on slow until just combined and all the flour has been moistened. Add the chopped pecans and mix on slow until evenly distributed.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Butter and Sugar
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Cream Butter and Sugar
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert All Creamed
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Add Flour
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Add Pecans
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert All Combined
  • Press dough into prepared 9" x 13" pan 

    Spray your 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray or butter it lightly. Tip the dough into the pan and press it flat so that it completely and evenly covers the bottom of the tray.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Pressed Dough
  • Prepare Coconut 

    At this time get your coconut into another flat tray where it can be well spread out. Be sure to spray the pan first with cooking spray.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Coconut
  • Bake the Dough and Cocunt 

    Bake the dough and coconut for 15 minutes. Shake the coconut in its tray every five minutes or so. The coconut should be just starting to brown and the dough should be just taking on a light brown color. Cover the coconut and set aside until ready to use. Allow the dough to cool for 10 minutes or so on the counter and then cover and place it in fridge to get it nice and cold.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Finished Dough
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Toasted Coconut
  • Make the Cream Cheese Filling 

    Add your softened cream cheese to the mixing bowl and whip it good for a minute or two to get it soft, light and airy. Add the powdered sugar and mix again until smooth. Next, GENTLY fold in (by hand) the cup of whipped cream / cool whip.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Soft Cream Cheese
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Whipped Cream Cheese
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Add Powdered Sugar
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Added Sugar
  • Add Cream Cheese Filling 

    Spread the cream cheese filling over the cooled dough. It is important the dough be completely cooled so if it's still a bit warm, just wait. Immediately return to the fridge to keep it cool and help it set.

  • Make the Pudding Layer 

    In a large sauce pan, add your milk and begin to heat over medium heat. Add the two packages of pudding mix and whisk, whisk, whisk. Keep stirring constantly until the milk comes to a boil. As soon as its boiling, take it off the heat and pour it into a separate bowl. Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes and then cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic wrap contacts the pudding directly. The pudding will thicken as it cools. Put it in the fridge to cool completely - about an hour.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Heating Milk
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Add Pudding Mix
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Whisking
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Finished Pudding
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Cover Pudding
  • Add Pudding Layer 

    Once the pudding is cooled, add it on top of the cream cheese layer and completely and evenly cover.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Spread Pudding
  • Final Layer and Topping 

    Now add the remaining Cool Whip / Whipped Cream (about a cup and a half) and frost the entire dessert. Top with the toasted coconut.

    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Whipped Cream
    Coconut Refrigerator Dessert Toasted Coconut



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