Layered Strawberry Dessert

I did not consciously set out to make a red, white and blue dessert yesterday.  My focus was using fresh strawberries (which are cheap right now) and using up a box of red Jell-O I’d purchased for no apparent reason. This was the result.

Strawberry Layered Dessert

I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first since it’s pretty heavy on the red gelatin and looks like something out of an old cookbook that people would make fun of, but Todd commented on how much he liked it. I probably wouldn’t serve it at a dinner party, but it would be great for a pot luck or casual get together. It’s almost like strawberry pie, but in casserole form.

Layered Strawberry Dessert
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Dessert with a shortbread crust, layer of cream cheese, and topping strawberries in red gelatin.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (5 oz)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped pecans
Layer 2
  • 8 ounces of reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups of whipped topping
Layer 3
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon-lime soda
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 3 oz package strawberry gelatin
  • 4 cups (or as needed) sliced strawberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Glass will be prettier, but I used metal since I was plating and didn’t care how the pan looked.
  2. Mix the flour and powdered sugar together, then stir in butter and vanilla until mixed. Stir in pecans. Press this mixture across the bottom of the pan and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are brown. Let cool completely.
  3. Make the second layer. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth, then fold in the whipped topping. Spread over the cooled crust and chill.
  4. Make the topping. Put the sugar, cornstarch and sauce in a large saucepan. Add cold soda and water and stir well, then turn on heat and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until mixture goes from cloudy to clear. Let it boil for about 1 minute after it clears and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin powder. Let mixture sit for about 10 minutes to cool slightly. If you haven’t done so already, this is a good time to slice the berries.
  5. Spread the berries over the cream cheese layer, then pour the red gelatin mixture over the berries so that it coats them. Chill for about four hours or until set. Cut into squares and serve with extra whipped topping or fruit.


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  1. Sue says

    I understand your hesitation about this dessert but at the same time I know many people who love this kind of dessert. I’m really glad Todd liked it. It’s also fortunate that you can make it work for July 4th fare if needed!

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