Texas Pudding Surprise
Texas Pudding Surprise

Texas Pudding Surprise Recipe

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Texas Pudding Surprise Recipe
Texas Pudding Surprise

Many years ago, my mother acquired what I call a “pudding surprise” recipe. While the original recipe calls for instant pudding and Cool Whip, I reworked it and made everything from scratch. Enjoy my Texas Pudding Surprise recipe!

It took until I started high school to appreciate how easy and amazing from-scratch home cooking can be. I chuckle when I hear others say that they love homemade meals, yet never have time to make those meals. While some recipes are laborious, the majority are quite simple to prepare.

For the crust, the original recipe calls for chopped pecans. Since I have braces, I put the pecans in a food processor. You are more than welcome to stick to the coarsely chopped version. You might be surprised to see there’s no sugar in the crust. Honestly, you don’t need any. The sweetness from the layers is more than enough.

Texas Pudding Surprise
Texas Pudding Surprise – YUM!

Homemade pudding, by far, out shadows anything pre-made or in a package. You can literally make any flavor into a pudding. If you don’t have time for the forty minutes it takes (only twenty if you’re making one batch), then you can break this up into about four ten-minute intervals. Remember that you can always mix the dry ingredients ahead of time and keep them stored until you need them. You can also apply this for the wet ingredients. However, their shelf life is much shorter, so I would recommend that you use them in the next two to three days to guarantee freshness. As a side note, you never want to pour a hot liquid into a powder that can gelatinize. That is why I put the milk in the freezer.

Texas Pudding Surprise - Whipped Cream
Whipped cream, freshly made. Check out the peak!

If you plan on making the whipped cream from scratch, like I did (super yummy and without the processed taste), you can make it ahead of time. I hand whipped this and it took about 5-10 minutes (with a few short breaks to rest my arm) and would have been significantly faster using a hand or stand mixer. Making whipped cream is very similar, but easier, than making a meringue, and there are a couple of tips to remember to always get the best results. While you can use whipping cream, heavy whipping cream is best because it has a higher fat content. I used regular sugar when I made the whipped cream, but you can also use powdered sugar. The preference is yours. Remember those tips we talked about earlier? Do what I say and you’ll have perfect whipped cream. The most important part of making whipped cream is the metal bowl and whisk. Why? Because both need to be chilled in the freezer before using.

As mentioned earlier, you can always make the layers ahead of time, since doing this all at once does take a significant amount of time. I strongly suggest making the pudding the day before. Then you only have to make the whipped cream and the cream cheese mixture.

Texas Pudding Surprise
Texas Pudding Surprise

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did!

Texas Pudding Surprise

Prep Time: 1 hr.

Bake Time: 50 min

Chill Time: 5 hrs.

Total Time: 6 hrs. 50 min

Crust: 

Texas Pudding Surprise Crust
Texas Pudding Surprise Crust, before and after

Prep Time: 5 min

Bake Time: 20 min

Total Time: 25 min

1 cup flour

1 stick melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350o F. Mix flour and pecans together. Melt butter and add to dry ingredients. Mix until crust can hold together into a ball. Press crust into bottom of 13x9x2 in pan. Do not press up the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes and then cool completely before adding other layers.

1st Layer, Cream Cheese:

Prep Time: 25 min

8 oz cream cheese

1 cup powder sugar

1 ½ cups whipped cream (see recipe below)

Put cream cheese into a medium bowl and allow to soften. Use a fork to work the cream cheese into the consistency of thick mayonnaise. Cream in the sugar. Once fully incorporated, add the whipped cream. Pour layer on top of crust.

Texas Pudding Surprise - Cream Cheese Layer
Cream Cheese Layer

2nd Layer, Chocolate Pudding:

Prep Time: 5 min

Bake Time: 15 min

Chill Time: 2 hr

Total Time: 2 hr 20 min

2/3 cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ tsp. salt

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 ½ cups milk

4 large egg yolks

2 tbs. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Put milk into freezer for 5 minutes for a brief chill. In a medium bowl, use a whisk to combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa powder. This will take away the need for a sifter. Slowly add milk to the dry ingredients, constantly whisking. Fully incorporate mixture before adding the egg yolks. Transfer mixture to a medium sauce pan. Turn burner onto medium high. Constantly whisk. When mixture starts to boil, continue to whisk for another 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium low and continue to whisk for another 3 minutes. Add butter and vanilla. Transfer to bowl, cover, and cool for two hours. Then pour over cream cheese mixture.

Texas Pudding Surprise Dry Ingredients
Dry Ingredients – Chocolate Pudding
Texas Pudding Surprise Wet Ingredients and Cooking - Chocolate Pudding
Adding Wet Ingredients and Cooking – Chocolate Pudding
Texas Pudding Surprise - Chocolate Pudding Layer
Smooth as Silk Chocolate Pudding Layer

3rd Layer, Vanilla Pudding:

Prep Time: 5 min

Bake Time: 15 min

Chill Time: 2 hr

Total Time: 2 hr 20 min

2/3 cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ tsp. salt

2 ½ cups milk

4 large eggs

2 tbs. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Repeat the steps for the 2nd layer while omitting the cocoa powder. Pour over chocolate pudding.

Texas Pudding Surprise Vanilla Pudding Ingredients and Cooking
Vanilla Pudding Ingredients and Cooking

4th layer, Whipped Cream:

Prep Time: 20 min

1 ½ cups milk

2tbs. + 1 ½ tsp. sugar

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

Put both the whisk and a medium sized bowl inside the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Once chilled, pour the heavy whipping cream into the bowl. First gently whisk the cream back and forth for about 30 seconds. Pour in the sugar. Whisk vigorously for about 10-15 minutes.

You will notice the mixture will thicken throughout this process. You will stop when you have reached a hard peak. If you continue to whisk you will eventually get butter.  After you have a hard peak you can mix in the vanilla extract. Then top the vanilla pudding with the whipped cream.

Texas Pudding Surprise - Whipped Cream
Making the whipped cream.

Once all the layers are put together, chill the dish for 1-2 hours before serving.

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Afriel Townshend
About Afriel Townshend 17 Articles
Afriel Townshend is a regular contributor to the Big Grey Horse Media blog. She works closely with her mother, Laura Townshend, as they travel around Texas. Afriel also assists with marketing and social media campaigns. In addition to riding show hunters on the Texas Hunter & Jumper Association circuit, Afriel is currently in college pursuing her bachelor's degree.

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