This Berries and Cream Layer Dessert is made with a vanilla cookie crust, dulce de leche and a fruit-filled cream layer! It’s so fresh and creamy, every bite is a little bite of heaven!
So we got snow in our area of the Atlanta ‘burbs this weekend, but not quite as much as we’d have liked. We wanted things covered. It’s just so pretty and doesn’t happen often so when the predictions are seriously saying it’ll happen, you get excited. 🙂 Even though we didn’t get as much snow, it was still just enough to be fun. Kids were sledding and it was beautiful watching it fall.
Of course it was cold! So cold! With the wind chill, walking Jessie was a touch brutal. So we made a fire Saturday night. The hubs uses fire starters to get the logs lit and we have your typical lighter thingy where you press the button and at the end there’s a little flame. Well, apparently both of the ones we had ran out and weren’t working. I offered to run to the store, but the hubs had a better idea.
“Hey, where’s your blow torch thing?” he said.
“What thing? Oh you mean my kitchen torch? Like for creme brûlée?”
“Yea, that. That’ll work,” he says.
“Umm, there’s gas in the handle and stuff. Are you sure you aren’t going to blow the house up?”
“Yea, it’ll be fine.”
Hesitantly I go and grab the torch and show him how to use it. It’s a strong, powerful flame and immediately his face lit up with excitement to use it.
The next thing I know he is having a grand old time at the fireplace with the torch. I walked over to him and reminded him that it was my torch and it is for the kitchen. The smile I got in return was not promising. I have a feeling I’ll soon find that my kitchen torch is missing. 😉 Fortunately no torch is needed for this dessert. It’s *almost* no bake. So close!
The base layer of this layered delight is made with vanilla wafers. You could use another cookie or even graham crackers, but I love the vanilla flavor of those cookies. They make a great crust with great flavor. There’s a fairly thick crust on the dessert, which I love. The crust is also the only part of the dessert that is baked and I do recommend it. You don’t absolutely have to, but it makes the crust more stable. Since everything else is not baked and stays somewhat soft, a stable crust makes it easier to cut and serve the dessert.
On top of the crust is the dulce de leche layer. I folded some homemade whipped cream into the dulce de leche to lighten it up a bit, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt anything if you wanted to leave it as is. The homemade whipped cream is made with powdered sugar to stabilize it, so that it doesn’t wilt or melt in the fridge. You might be tempted to reduce the powdered sugar, but I wouldn’t suggest it or you’ll have a softer whipped cream. Alternatively, if you don’t want to make homemade whipped cream, there’s always Cool Whip.
The main layer of this dessert is the berries and cream layer. It’s made with cream cheese, vanilla, whipped cream to lighten it up and fresh chopped fruit. There are few things more delicious than fresh berries and cream, and when paired with the dulce de leche, it’s just SO GOOD!
The whole thing is topped with a thin layer of whipped cream and more fresh fruit. The fruit are the star of the show here and not only are they delicious, they look beautiful on top.
The whole thing should be refrigerated until firm. It’s a fairly large and thick dessert, so I’d recommend letting it sit overnight. Since fruit can get less pretty looking after being cut and sitting, I added the cut fruit on top just before serving. It will soften as it sits out of the fridge too, so I definitely recommend storing it back in the fridge after serving.
The dessert was a hit! It’s so creamy and such a great mix of flavors. I always love a pop of fruit is dessert! Plus, with the fruit in it, it’s my nod towards healthy dessert in January. 🙂
Yield: 12-15 servings
2 1/2 cups (334g) vanilla wafer crumbs
3 tbsp (39g) sugar
1/2 cup (112g) butter, melted
1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
13.4 oz dulce de leche
16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (104g) sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
2 cups (260g) chopped berries*
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup (29g) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C). Prepare a 9×13 inch pan with non-stick spray.
2. To make the crust, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Pour the mix into the prepared pan and press into the bottom.
3. Bake the crust for 8 minutes then remove from oven. Place in the refrigerator to cool while you make the filling.
4. To make the dulce de leche layer, add the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar to a large mixer bowl, then whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
5. Gently fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the dulce de leche.
6. When mostly combined, add another third of the whipped cream, then fold in the remaining whipped cream.
7. Pour the dulce de leche mixture over the crust and spread into an even layer. Place in the refrigerator while you make the next layer.
8. To make the cream layer, add the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Beat until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
9. Add the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar to another mixer bowl, then whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
10. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese in two parts.
11. Add the chopped berries and gently stir to combine.
12. Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture over the dulce de leche layer, then spread into an even layer. Place in the refrigerator while you make the next layer.
13. To make the topping, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a mixer bowl, then whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
14. Spread the whipped cream into an even layer on top of the cream layer. Refrigerate the dessert until firm, I recommend overnight.
15. Top the dessert with chopped berries, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Dessert is best for 2-3 days, or until the fruit spoils.
Note: I used two 6 oz containers of raspberries, 1 lb container of strawberries and 1 pint of blueberries. Feel free to use a different mix of fruit.
I recommend keeping the dessert refrigerated. It will soften as it sits out at room temperature.
You might also like: