Sex in a Pan (Robert Redford Dessert)

Sex in a pan dessert

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 to 18 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
323 Calories
19g Fat
35g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 18
Amount per serving
Calories 323
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 394mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 91mg 7%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 159mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This sinfully rich layered dessert is similar to the chocolate delight dessert, with layers of cream cheese, whipped topping, and two kinds of pudding on a simple baked shortbread crust.

We're not sure how the name came about, but you can call it anything you like. Alternatively, it's called "Robert Redford Dessert," "Next-Best-Thing to Robert Redford" and "Better-Than-Sex Dessert." Whatever you choose to name it, your friends and family will love it. If you take it to a party or potluck event, make sure you have a few copies of the recipe.

You can try topping the dessert with Heath toffee chips and mini semisweet chocolate chips. See the tips and variations for more substitutions and ideas.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 4 cups frozen whipped topping (approximately 12 ounces), thawed as directed, divided

  • 1 (5.1-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix

  • 1 (5.9-ounce) package chocolate instant pudding mix

  • 4 cups cold milk, divided

  • Shaved chocolate, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, chopped pecans, or toffee chips, garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Sex in a Pan ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Combine flour, butter, and pecans and press into a 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 16 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan to a rack and cool completely.

    Combine ingredients and bake
    The Spruce
  3. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and then fold in 2 cups of the whipped topping. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled cookie layer.

    Cream cheese layer
    The Spruce
  4. Beat the package of vanilla pudding with 2 cups of cold milk. Spoon evenly over the cream cheese and whipped topping layer.

    Vanilla pudding layer
    The Spruce
  5. Beat the package of chocolate pudding with the remaining 2 cups of milk. Spread the chocolate pudding over the vanilla pudding layer.

    Chocolate pudding layer
    The Spruce
  6. Spread the remaining 2 cups of whipped topping over the chocolate pudding.

    Whipped topping layer
    The Spruce
  7. Sprinkle with miniature chocolate chips, milk chocolate shavings or curls, toasted coconut, toffee chips, chopped pecans, or a combination.

    The Spruce
  8. Cover the pan and refrigerate the dessert until serving time.

    Sex in a pan dessert
    The Spruce


  • Remove the R-rating and call it "Robert Redford Dessert."
  • An offset icing spatula is a handy tool; use it to spread the layers evenly in the pan all the way to the edges. 
  • To quickly toast coconut or pecans for the topping, spread them in a large dry skillet. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned and aromatic.
  • Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the second tub of whipped topping with 2 cups of fresh sweetened whipped cream and top the dessert just before serving time.
  • Substitute two envelopes of Dream Whip whipped topping for the frozen whipped topping, made as directed with cold milk.
  • Replace the vanilla or chocolate instant pudding with butterscotch, cheesecake, or French vanilla instant pudding.

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