Strawberry Shortcake Parfait Recipe

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I love strawberry shortcake! It’s delicious, easy to assemble, and makes me think of summer. I decided to play on this popular dessert by turning it into a parfait. The beauty of this recipe is that you can prep the individual portions ahead of time and refrigerate them to save on serving time.

Warning though, this recipe may be a little too good. Proceed with caution.

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Two pounds of fresh strawberries (two smaller containers, or one larger one)
  • One package instant vanilla pudding (the larger, 5.1 oz size)
  • Three cups cold milk
  • Four ounces cream cheese (1/2 of a package)
  • Angel food cake bar or pound cake, cut into small cubes
  • Four tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • Whipped cream and mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Total time: 15 minutes Serves: 6-8

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I did all my shopping at Fred Meyer and that helped keep the cost of this recipe down, for sure! The cream cheese and pudding were only $1 each!

The cake was $2.99, and they had lots of other options that would’ve worked well for today’s recipe too, such as pound cake. Strawberries often go on sale at Fred Meyer this time of year, too.

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Start by making your pudding mixture. Now, I decided I wanted to make mine a little extra special, so I mixed in 1/2 of a block of cream cheese into an instant vanilla pudding package.

The key to avoiding/reducing lumps here is to start by whipping your cream cheese mixture. THEN, add the pudding mixture plus three cups cold milk and stir. (On my first attempt, I tried working in the cream cheese into the set pudding and got horrible lumps. No good.)

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According to the directions on my pudding mixture, it said to whip the pudding for two minutes and allow 5 minutes until set. To streamline my prep time on this recipe, I left the mixing to my KitchenAid mixer while I worked on prepping my strawberries!

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Now this recipe is going to have a fair amount of sweetness to it, but I still decided to add a little bit of sugar to my strawberries before mashing. Before you do this, however, you may wish to reserve a few berries to top your parfait! I set aside one berry per parfait. This is purely up to you.

The other berries, you can mash up a bit, to your preference. I left mine pretty chunky, as you can see from the photo above.

Now you’re ready to assemble your parfaits! To make things easier, gather everything you’re going to need: the berries, the pudding, and your cubed cake.

Here is the order you’re going to use:

  • One layer of cubed cake
  • One scoop strawberries
  • One-two scoops pudding
  • One layer of cubed cake
  • One scoop strawberries
  • One-two scoops pudding

For a total of six layers.

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By the way, let’s chat a moment about parfait cups. I found these adorable Anchor Hocking individual parfait cups at Fred Meyer for $2.99 each. But, when I was there, they had a “buy one, get one 1/2 off” coupon I could use PLUS a “10% off Home Department” coupon. I highly recommend checking them out for cute options!

Other ideas – champagne flutes or wine glasses, mason jars, small clear bowls. Take a look in your cupboards to see what you may have that could already work. Of course, you could always make this recipe as ONE larger parfait if you had a trifle bowl.

At this point, you could refrigerate until ready to serve. When you’re ready to eat, top with your optional garnishes! I added whipped cream, a sliced strawberry, and a sprig of mint fresh from my garden! You could also add different berries or some fresh shaved chocolate.

Have fun with this recipe!