A wonderful memory of my young adult years when I started to take an interest in baking, was enjoying all the delicious homemade desserts that were served at my in-laws’ gatherings. It seemed that not only was my Mother-in-law fabulous at cooking and baking but so were every single one of daughters and daughter-in-laws too and even one of the son-in-laws.

My favorite dessert was one they called “Sex in a Pan”. It was layers of graham cracker, cream cheese, chocolate pudding and whipped cream. It was utterly dreamy. What I loved most about it was that you felt like you had had dessert without feeling the need to check your glucose levels. To me it was absolute perfection.

I shared this recipe with my family and friends and it became a favorite everywhere it was served.

A few years later, I learned that it was also called “Heaven in a Pan” and that was such a better name for it. It was also a child friendly name. Let me tell you there were a number of cringe worthy times when someone asked the name of the dessert only to have their child say “what is sex mommy?” It was at that moment I was apologizing and running away in embarrassment leaving them behind to address the awkward question.

Purple, pink and yellow sunset

So whatever you choose to name it, I hope you try it and I hope it becomes one of your favorites too!

INGREDIENTS FOR HEAVEN IN A PAN

Graham Cracker Base

  • 1.5 cups Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Melted butter

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz Cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 container Cool Whip (large container)
  • 2 tbsp Milk

Chocolate Pudding Layer

  • 2 boxes Chocolate pudding mix (4 serving boxes)
  • 3.5 cups Cold milk

Top Layer

  • 1/2 container Cool Whip

Ingredients for Heaven in a Pan dessert

Step 1: Creating the base

Following these instructions is very important because if you don’t you could end up with a base that is extremely hard and will break apart in pieces.

Grease base and up one inch on sides of 9 x 13 glass pan with butter. This is a must to keep the base from sticking to the pan.

Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar.

Add melted butter to above items and mix well.

Mixing ingredients for base
Mixing ingredients for base for Heaven in a Pan

Spread the mixture in the base of glass pan evenly. Press down lightly but firmly so it is nicely packed but not steam rolled.

Heaven in a Pan dessert base in glass pan

Step 2: Second layer – cream cheese

Beat cream cheese, sugar and milk until well mixed.

Fold in half of the large container of Cool Whip into the mixture.

Heaven in a Pan cream cheese and sugar being mixed
Folding cool whip into cream cheese and sugar

Drop in blobs onto the graham cracker base and then spread together. Do so carefully so that crumbs are not mixed into the cream cheese.

Cream cheese layer on top of graham cracker crumb base
Cream cheese layer in glass pan

Step 3: Third layer – pudding

Pour two 4 serving packages of chocolate pudding into a large bowl.

Pour in 3.5 cups of cold milk.

Follow instructions for beating pudding. Beat until smooth and thick.

Milk being poured into chocolate pudding mix
Chocolate pudding being mixed for Heaven in a Pan

Pour over top of the cream cheese layer.

Cover with saran wrap and chill in a fridge overnight.

Chocolate pudding layer in glass pan for Heaven in a Pan

Step 4: Fourth layer – Cool Whip

Spread remaining half of the Cool Whip on top of the chocolate pudding layer.

Optional: You can sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles or shaved chocolate. Just be warned that the sprinkles will slightly melt into the cool whip after a few hours and the cool whip will no longer be perfectly white.

Cool whip topping on top of pudding, cream cheese and graham cracker layers

Enjoy!!!

For the easiest removal, use a nice thin metal flipper to extract the pieces of dessert. I find thin metal flippers slide nicely under the graham cracker crust and pull it out nicely intact.

This Heaven in a Pan dessert recipe is just sweet enough and the creamy chocolate pudding is perfect combination to satisfy your sweet tooth without overwhelming it.

I hope you love this family favorite as much as we do.

Heaven in a Pan dessert on a white plate with a gold fork

Heaven in a Pan dessert on a white plate with a gold fork

Heaven in a Pan

The most delicious dessert, not too sweet but the perfect combination of everything delightful!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 minute
Cooling Time 8 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 251 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Mixer
  • 1 9×13 pan
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Measuring cups
  • 1 Measuring spoons

Ingredients
  

Graham Cracker Base

  • 1.5 cups Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Melted butter

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz Cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 container Cool Whip (large container)
  • 2 tbsp Milk

Chocolate Pudding Layer

  • 2 boxes Chocolate pudding mix (4 serving boxes)
  • 3.5 cups Cold milk

Top Layer

  • 1/2 container Cool Whip

Instructions
 

Graham Cracker Base

  • Grease base of 9 x 13 glass pan with butter
  • Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
  • Add melted butter to above items and mix well.
  • Spread mixture in base of glass pan evenly. Press down lightly.

Cream Cheese Layer

  • Beat cream cheese, sugar and milk until well mixed.
  • Fold in half of the large container of Cool Whip into the mixture.
  • Drop in blobs onto the graham cracker base and then spread together. Do so carefully so that crumbs are not mixed into the cream cheese.

Chocolate Pudding Layer

  • Pour two 4 serving packages of chocolate pudding into a large bowl.
  • Pour in 3.5 cups of cold milk.
  • Follow instructions for beating pudding. Beat until smooth and thick.
  • Pour in over top of the cream cheese layer.
  • Cover with saran wrap and chill in a fridge overnight.

Top Layer

  • Spread remaining half of the Cool Whip on top of the chocolate pudding layer.
  • Optional: You can sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles or shaved chocolate. Just be warned that the sprinkles will slightly melt into the cool whip after a few hours and the cool whip will no longer be perfectly white.
Keyword chocolate pudding, cool whip, cream cheese, graham cracker crumb base

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