Introducing Girdle Buster Pie: The Grandma-Approved Dessert of Our Dreams

And it couldn't be easier to make.

<p>Allrecipes/Karen Hibbard</p>

Allrecipes/Karen Hibbard

Many of us have special connections to the desserts of our childhood. Those who grew up in the 1970s and 80s particularly have fond memories of desserts made with packaged shortcuts like cake mixes, instant pudding, instant gelatin, frozen whipped topping, fruit from a can, and candy bars chopped up as fillings. They were sugar-laden treats, inhaled after a hard day of playing outside or at family holiday dinners, and they were delicious.

Desserts such as Watergate Salad (which is not a salad at all) made with pudding and whipped topping, homemade Pudding Pops made with instant pudding, and Fantasy Fudge made with marshmallow cream, canned evaporated milk, and chocolate chips were all very popular at the time and have recently made a comeback.

When writer Lisa Donovan recently wrote about her favorite 1970s dessert for The New York Times, she waxed poetically about the recipe her mother never shared with anyone, despite having gotten it from a popular women’s magazine. It was a treat her mom made just for Donovan’s family. She mentioned that she’s discovered the recipe had several regional names, including Better Than Sex Cake, Layered Lush, and simply The Delight. Her mother called it Four Layer Surprise.

Her mother's version called for instant pudding, whipped topping, a block of cream cheese, and a bottom crust. For her article, Donovan updated the recipe, making the pudding and whipped topping from scratch. While we totally understand why someone would want to elevate the recipe, sometimes, you just want the original nostalgic dessert you remember from childhood.

We have two versions of the recipe here on Allrecipes, and true to what Donovan wrote about regionality, they have two different names: Next-Best-Thing-to-Robert-Redford Pie and Grandma Bowen’s “Girdle-Busting” Pie. Today, these recipes might be called Next-Best-Thing-to-Ryan-Gosling Pie and Grandma Bowen’s “Spanx-Busting” Pie, but their deliciousness remains the same as the day they were written.

What Is Girdle Buster Pie?

To (badly) paraphrase Shakespeare, “That which we call a Girdle Buster Pie by any other name would taste as sweet.” We’re going with the name Girdle Buster to talk about what’s in this pie, but know that it goes by so, so many other names.

Girdle Buster Pie is a dessert built in a 9x9-inch pan and made up of four layers:

  • A bottom crust made from finely-crushed chocolate sandwich cookies mixed with butter, baked and cooled before adding the remaining layers.

  • A second layer of instant chocolate pudding.

  • A third layer of cream cheese mixed with confectioners’ sugar and a little whipped topping.

  • A top layer of more whipped topping.

The most common variations on this base recipe swap the pudding flavor or crust base. For example, the Next-Best-Thing-to-Robert-Redford version uses a crust of flour, butter, and chopped nuts. Donovan’s version in the NYT uses a similar crust, while other versions have shortbread cookie crusts.

<p>Allrecipes/Karen Hibbard</p>

Allrecipes/Karen Hibbard

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How to Make Girdle Buster Pie Your Own

There are so many Allrecipes community member comments on the Next-Best-Thing-to-Robert-Redford version that are testaments to this pie and how it’s been made with many different tweaks.

Many members play with the type of pudding used. Rhonda B suggests substituting lemon pudding with lemon zest for the chocolate, while Sarah M. has used half-chocolate and half-vanilla pudding, doubling the recipe and putting it in a 9x13-inch pan. Mikomine uses half-chocolate pudding and half-pistachio pudding, and Bmadrian uses a mix of chocolate and butterscotch puddings and sprinkles crushed Butterfinger and drizzled chocolate syrup on top. We'd like to invite ourselves over for that one.

Allrecipes members have other tips and tricks to make the dessert the best one it can be. Sue K recommends folding in the whipped topping after the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar have been mixed together because it creates “a fluffier layer.” She also uses cooked pudding, giving it a “much better flavor and texture.”

Reviewer Beth Spangler went with a store-bought graham cracker crust; Andrew S. substituted the nuts for Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the crust; many members substituted pecans for the walnuts in the crust.

The beauty of Girdle Buster Pie is you can customize it to however you like—or however you remember it from your childhood. Travis C recalls his grandmother adding sprinkles to the top of the pie and the color of the sprinkles would vary depending on the holiday.

Regardless of the variations, one thing is for certain: those who had this dessert as a kid loved it then and still love it today, and you will, too.

Read the original article on All Recipes.