With layers of cream cheese, chocolate and vanilla pudding, and whipped cream, all on a buttery walnut crust, this dessert is sure to be Gone with the Wind!
Today, I’m so excited to share one of our family’s favorite desserts: Gone with the Wind! The reason it’s called that is because when you eat it, it goes so fast, it’s “Gone with the Wind”!
This is another dessert that’s been around for decades! Over the years, I’ve discovered this Gone with the Wind dessert goes by other names too like Chocolate Lasagna, Chocolate Lush, Four Layer Delight, or Pudding in a Cloud. Fitting names to be sure, but I’ll stick with our family’s favorite!
Gone with the Wind Dessert Equipment
Here’s a suggested list of equipment needed to make this dessert:
While I recommend these pieces of equipment, you can also use other kitchen items you already have. For example, you can use a food processor instead of a knife and cutting board. The only thing that is a must is the baking dish.
Gone with the Wind Dessert Ingredients
One of the things I love about this dessert is that most of the ingredients are pantry items. Growing up, we almost always had all the ingredients to make this dessert. The only thing we may need to pick up at the grocery store is whipped cream and milk.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
- Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
- Dairy Milk
- Whipped Cream
For the bottom layer, you’ll combine flour, melted butter, and chopped walnuts. The next layer is very similar to a cheesecake, but it’s much lighter in texture and flavor. Then, you’ll mix together the pudding mixes for the next layer. Finally, you’ll top everything with whipped cream.
When gathering your ingredients, be sure to use 2 boxes of instant pudding. You do not want to use Cook ‘n Serve! The preparation for the two different kinds of pudding is very different. And if you use the wrong kind of pudding, the Gone with the Wind will not set up properly.
Speaking of preparation, you NEED to use dairy milk when making the pudding. Trust me! If you try making it with almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk, the pudding will not set.
Our family likes using one box of vanilla and one box of chocolate pudding mix. But you can always change up the flavor of the dessert by using different flavors of pudding.
Whipped Topping or Whipped Cream?
For the whipped cream, you can use Cool Whip (aka whipped topping) or homemade whipped cream.
If you buy the store-bought kind, you’ll need a 16 oz Tub of Whipped Topping. Even though the net weight is different, you’ll get about 3 cups of whipped cream. You’ll use half in the cream cheese layer and use the remaining half for the topping.
If you prefer, you can use an equal amount of homemade whipped topping instead of Cool Whip. To substitute whisk 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream until medium peaks form. You can also add a little powdered sugar and vanilla for more flavor too.
In the beginning, our family always used Cool Whip. But as years have gone by, we love taking the extra steps to make homemade whipped cream. But both are delicious, and you can’t really go wrong.
Gone with the Wind Dessert Prep Tips
Use a food processor (or a blender) to chop the walnuts until finely ground. Alternatively, you can chop the nuts into small pieces using a Chef’s Knife and Cutting Board. You want the nut pieces to be no larger than the size of a whole peppercorn.
Next, mix the nuts, melted butter, and flour together until well combined. The texture should be similar to wet sand. Pour the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ Baking Dish. You do not need to grease the bottom of the dish since the butter will help naturally grease the bottom of the pan. Lightly press the crust into a smooth even layer.
Then, cook the crust in a 350 F degree oven for 15 minutes. The crust should just start to turn golden brown. Be careful not to overcook the crust or it will become crumbly. It’s better to have an slightly underdone crust than an over-baked one.
Even though the pudding is the third layer in the dessert (after the crust and cream cheese), I like to make the pudding mixture after making the crust. That way, the pudding can set up for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator before you need to use it.
In a mixing bowl, combine the pudding mixes and milk. Then using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or whisk, mix everything together for 2-3 minutes until everything is well combined. Refrigerate the pudding while making the cream cheese layer.
Cream Cheese Layer Preparation
The most important things to remember about this layer is to use softened cream cheese! If you do not use softened cream cheese, your final mixture will be lumpy!
Whenever I mix cream cheese, I like to use a stand mixer or hand mixer. It helps me get a smooth consistency without stirring forever. I also highly recommend mixing the cream cheese and powdered sugar together on their own.
Once they are light and airy and mixed well, gently fold in half of the whipped cream with a rubber spatula. This preparation method will help you keep a light and airy texture.
Once all your components are ready, you are ready to layer everything together. First, add your cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled crust. I love using an offset spatula to smooth everything down into an even layer.
Next, carefully add spoonfuls of the pudding on top of the cream cheese layer. And use the same offset spatula to gently smooth everything into an even layer.
Finally, add the remaining whipped cream on top of the pudding, and smooth that out into an even layer too. Refrigerate the Gone with the Wind Dessert for at least an hour to allow everything to set up together.
Want More Family Favorite Desserts?
Our family loves Gone with the Wind, and it’s absolutely perfect to bring to potlucks, parties, and holidays. It is one of my top three picks for my birthday cake.
If you love this recipe, you should checkout out some of my family’s other favorite Desserts and Main Dishes:
- Chicken Harris (AKA Cheesy Chicken Crescent Roll Bake)
- Dad’s Beef Spanish Rice
- Cherry Cheesecake Dump Cake
- No Bake Scotcheroos
Or you can check out all my dessert recipes here!
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Gone with the Wind Dessert
- 1 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Butter Melted
- 1 cup Walnuts Finely Chopped/Ground
Cream Cheese Layer Ingredients
- 8 oz Cream Cheese Softened
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 8 oz Whipped Cream Topping
Pudding Layer Ingredients
- 3.4 oz Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
- 3.4 oz Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
- 3 cups Milk Cold
Whipped Cream Topping Layer Ingredients
- 8 oz Whipped Cream Topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, melted butter, and ground nuts. Evenly spread mixture into a 9" x 12" baking pan, and bake for 15 minutes until the crust is lightly golden brown.
- Whisk together pudding mixes and milk. Refrigerate for 10 minutes while you prepare the next layer.
- Using a hand mixer, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in , and 1 1/2 cups (or 8 oz) of whipped cream.
- Use an offset spatula to evenly spread cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust.
- Next, carefully, add spoonfuls of the pudding mixture on top of cream cheese mixture. Using the offset spatula, spread the pudding into an even layer.
- Finally, spread remaining whipped cream on top of the pudding mixture.
- Let cool in fridge for 1 hour to allow everything to set up together.