No Bake Strawberry Lush Dessert

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Strawberry lush is an easy no bake dessert recipe with layers of vanilla wafers, vanilla pudding, fresh strawberries, and a cream cheese Dream Whip filling.

Welp, I really love making my original strawberry delight recipe. But let me tell y'all, I think I've fallen even more in love (if that's possible) with this amazing strawberry delight with vanilla pudding.
 
There is something so refreshing about layers of cold vanilla pudding with freshly chunked and sliced strawberries and that cream cheese Dream Whip filling that makes the heart go pitter-patter.

How to Make the Best Rice Krispie Treats

Make it a strawberry delight with vanilla wafers, and you don't even have to bake a crust. You just layer the vanilla wafers in the bottom of the pan, and you're good to go.
 
How's that for easy summer dessert? Or winter or spring or fall? I could make this no bake strawberry shortcake any time of the year and still relish every single bite.

Keep reading because we'll talk about crust options, fruit alternatives, how to make it gluten-free, and a whole lot more.

More of my no bake favorites include cherry delight, pumpkin delight, and blueberry delight.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my dessert making tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the no bake strawberry dessert recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.
no bake strawberry dessert scooped out of blue baking dish onto white plate, topped with a fresh strawberry, served with a jar of milk

INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:

  • Dream Whip – or your favorite whipped cream. I've had readers use Cool Whip and homemade whipped cream, as well.
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Fresh strawberries
 
Remember, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer and Large Bowls – While you can whisk everything together by hand, an electric mixer with a whisk attachment is wonderful for mixing up both the Dream Whip and the pudding.
Spatula
9×13 Baking Dish
strawberry lush scooped out of blue and white baking dish

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY LUSH

I like to start by gathering every single ingredient I need and prep anything that needs prepping. That way it's easier to work down through every single step of the recipe more quickly and efficiently.
Be sure to get out your cream cheese ahead of time, so it can soften. Then wash the strawberries, hull them, slice a few berries, and chunk a few, so they're ready to go.

TO MAKE THE DREAM WHIP FILLING…

  1. Add the Dream Whip, milk, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk them together, according to package directions, 'til the mixture begins to form soft peaks. It'll take about 4 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese well. Then add both the cream cheese and the powdered sugar to the Dream Whip mixture.
  4. Whisk for about 3 to 5 minutes, or 'til smooth and creamy.
mixing Dream Whip with milk and vanilla in KitchenAid mixing bowl; then mixing cream cheese and powdered sugar into Dream Whip mixture to make lush filling

NOW TO MIX UP THE VANILLA PUDDING…

  1. Add both pudding mixes and the milk to a clean mixing bowl.
vanilla pudding mixes with milk in KitchenAid mixing bowl
  1. Whisk them together for about 2 minutes, and let sit for 3 to 5 more minutes. The pudding will thicken up more as it sits.
instant vanilla pudding in KitchenAid mixing bowl with spatula

HOW TO LAYER THIS STRAWBERRY LAYERED DESSERT…

  1. Layer the vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Spread the vanilla pudding over the vanilla wafers.
  3. Add a layer of sliced strawberries on top of the pudding.
  4. Then add a final layer of Dream Whip on top of the strawberries.
making strawberry layered dessert by layering vanilla wafers in 9x13 baking dish, then vanilla pudding, then fresh sliced strawberries, then Dream Whip cream cheese layer
Now you need to cover and refrigerate your strawberries and cream lush for at least 4 hours before serving.

HOW TO SERVE THIS NO BAKE STRAWBERRY DESSERT

When you're ready to serve the dessert, sprinkle chunked strawberries and cookie crumbs all over the top of the Dream Whip cream cheese layer.
no bake strawberry shortcake topped with fresh strawberry chunks and crushed vanilla wafers in blue baking dish
While you can use a food processor, I usually crush the vanilla wafers by putting a few in a gallon bag, then crush them into small pieces and fine crumbs with a rolling pin.
Then just scoop and serve! You can even add a dollop of whipped topping if you wish.
Yum, yum, yum! I love the cool, creamy layers combined with fresh strawberries and vanilla wafers that moisten and almost taste like little bits of cake.
forked bite of strawberry delight with vanilla wafers on white plate
Be sure to store this in the fridge if not serving right away. Keep any leftovers in the fridge, as well.

LET'S TALK ABOUT CRUST OPTIONS

There are several different crust options you can choose from.
  • Graham cracker crust
  • Pecan Sandies crust – Make it like you would a graham cracker crust.
  • Vanilla Wafer crust – Made like a graham cracker crust vs. just placed in the pan.
  • Golden Oreo crust – Again, like a graham cracker crust.
  • Pound cake – Slice up chunks of pound cake to layer in the bottom of the pan.
  • Angel food cake – Slice of chunks of angel food cake to layer in the bottom of the pan.
  • Pecan nut crust – Or buy a store bought crust and press pecans into it.
  • Store bought crust
  • Homemade single pie crust
If you're going to make a more complicated crust than just vanilla wafers, be sure to make your crust ahead of time, so it's all set and ready to go. From that point on, there will be no baking necessary.
strawberry delight with vanilla pudding scooped out of blue baking dish

ALTERNATIVE FRUIT OPTIONS

You can also make this with just about any kind of fruit, including blueberries, cherries, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, and more.
And one of my favorite things about this is you simply just have to sprinkle the fruit onto the dessert. No need to cook or mix up a pie filling or do anything else.
strawberry shortcake lush served on white plate with fork, topped with fresh strawberry, and served with jar of milk

CAN I MAKE THIS GLUTEN-FREE?

Yes, you can. In fact, I did by using gluten-free vanilla wafers.
Be sure to check all of your other ingredient labels, including the instant pudding, just to be sure nothing has gluten.

CAN I FREEZE STRAWBERRY LUSH?

Yes, you can freeze it. Just be sure it’s in a sealed container or covered really well so it doesn’t get freezer burnt.
It should last up to 6 months in the freezer.
strawberries and cream lush served on white plate with fresh strawberry and fork
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YIELD: 15

NO BAKE STRAWBERRY LUSH DESSERT

No Bake Strawberry Lush Dessert
Strawberry lush is an easy no bake dessert recipe with layers of vanilla wafers, vanilla pudding, fresh strawberries, and a cream cheese Dream Whip filling.
PREP TIME45 minutes
CHILL TIME4 hours
TOTAL TIME4 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope Dream Whip*
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 - 3.4 ounce boxes instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 45 vanilla wafers, whole
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
  • 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs*
  • 1 cup strawberries, washed, hulled, and chunked
 

Instructions

  1. Be sure to set out your cream cheese ahead of time, so it can soften. Then wash the strawberries, hull them, and prepare them, so they're ready to go.
  2. To make the Dream Whip filling, add the Dream Whip, milk, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk them together, according to package directions, 'til the mixture begins to form soft peaks. It'll take about 4 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese well.
  5. Then add both the cream cheese and the powdered sugar to the Dream Whip mixture, and whisk for about 3 to 5 minutes, or 'til smooth and creamy.
  6. To mix up the vanilla pudding, add both pudding mixes and the milk to a clean mixing bowl.
  7. Whisk them together for about 2 minutes, and let sit for 3 to 5 more minutes. The pudding will thicken up more as it sits.
  8. Layer vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  9. Spread the vanilla pudding over the vanilla wafers.
  10. Add a layer of sliced strawberries on top of the pudding.
  11. Then add a final layer of Dream Whip on top of the strawberries.
  12. Cover and refrigerate your strawberry shortcake lush for at least 4 hours before serving.
  13. When you're ready to serve the dessert, sprinkle chunked strawberries and cookie crumbs all over the top of the Dream Whip cream cheese layer.
  14. Then just scoop and serve! You can even add a dollop of whipped topping.
  15. Be sure to store this in the fridge if not serving right away. Keep any leftovers in the fridge, as well.

Notes

*Or you can use your favorite whipped cream without the added milk and vanilla extract, since there's no need to mix up the Dream Whip. I've had readers use Cool Whip and homemade whipped cream, as well.