August 9, 2011

Summer is winding down here, not weather wise, but in less than two weeks Meeshie goes back to school.  In our small town, fourth grade means another school.  Kindergarten is one school, first through third is another, fourth through sixth is another, then seventh and eighth, and finally high school.  When I was a girl it was kindergarten through sixth, then junior high and finally high school.  So basically, once she’s gotten into a groove with the school, she has to change and start over. 

It’s giving her some anxiety.  In fourth grade, Meeshie will have four teachers and switch classes and she’s really worried about the homework.  I told her to just sit back enjoy the rest of her summer, finish reading her book and takes things as they come.  Hysterical advice from me, who never takes things as they come, plans out everything and drives myself crazy with worry.  But I can dream that my daughter will do better than me, right?

So as a celebration of the end of summer (and this heat), we’ve been spending some time  by the pool.  Not our kiddie pool, but at some great pools of great friends.  This past weekend we spent time at a great friend’s house who has been so kind in helping me with Meeshie this summer. 

I decided I wanted to celebrate the end of the season, and my friend, with a great and easy dessert.  I’ve been making this dessert forever, and we’ve always called it a torte.   I think I was about Meeshie’s age when I first had it.  I don’t remember where my mom found this, but I’m glad she did.  

It’s a light dessert that’s easy and can be made a million different ways.  The not so secret ingredient is pudding, and that’s what makes it so versatile.  Think of your favorite pudding: butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla,  coconut, banana, lemon, pistachio.  Now think of a garnish: nuts, toasted coconut, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, chocolate, bananas.  Keep the flavors together or mix them up (black forest or banana split)!  Can you see where this is going? 

I made half of the torte in a 8×8 pan and the rest in my mini pie plates, because I didn’t want to lug the half eaten pan back home.  I used a chocolate fudge and grated part of a cocoa bar on top.  I’ve actually made this recipe in a cupcake pan, with the liners, for a bridal and a baby shower.  The bottom is nice and crisp, like a cookie.  Each layer compliments the next without overpowering the whole thing.  See the layers?

The other thing that I love about this dessert is that you have most of the ingredients in the house.  Or is it just me that keeps cream cheese around like butter?  Maybe most of the ingredients then, because I always a package of pudding in the pantry and cool whip in the freezer.  And if you don’t have the ingredients, you’re not go all over trying to get them.

Easy Summer Torte

  • Cookie Crust layer:
  • 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 2 T Sugar
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Nuts, chopped
  • Filling 1:
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 C Cool Whip
  • Filling 2:
  • 2 packages Instant Pudding
  • 2 C Milk
  • Cool Whip for topping

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the flour and nuts to combine.  The cookie crust layer will be crumbly.   Press into an ungreased 9×13 pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.   Remove from the oven and cool completely.

 For the  first filling, cream the cream cheese with the powdered sugar and add the cool whip.  Spread over the cooled curst.  Next, combine the pudding and milk and spread over the cream cheese mixture.  Top with additional cool whip and let set for at least an hour before serving.  Right before serving,  garnish with nuts, berries, chocolate, bananas, toasted coconut, etc.




  1. This sounds delicious and I like how you can vary the flavors so easily. My hubby loves banana creme pie, so I could totally see trying to mimic the flovors of that pie using your recipe. And, I hope Meeshie has a great school year as a 4th grader!

  2. The town I’m in right now has a normal elementary (k-5) but then you go to an intermediate (6-7) middle (8-9) and then high school. It used to be worse, the 6th graders used to get sent to their own school, but the building was really old and they started doing the intermediate schools and yeah…

    Anyway, I swear I’ve had something like this before, it looks really good, I’ll have to try it.

  3. Meeshie sounds like I was when I was in grade school. I was always worried about making it to class on time, getting my homework done, etc. Hopefully this fun summer torte got her mind off of that anxiety!

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