Okay, have you guys had a lush before? We’ve got a seriously yummy strawberry lush that always gets rave reviews, so it was only natural that we go for round two with a cherry version of our tried-and-true staple. The key to a lush is that you’ve got a crushed cookie base, a cream cheese filling layer, a cheesecake pudding layer, topped with a fruity topping of your choice – here, we went with cherry pie filling – and then you top it all off with frozen whipped topping or whipped cream. Put it in the fridge so it sets nice and firmly, then slice it up, serve it and enjoy!
You could make a crust out of anything you want (shortbread, nuts, etc.), but we really like using vanilla sandwich cookies here to lend a subtly sweet flavor, without competing with the other flavors in the dish, namely the cherry cheesecake vibes we’ve got going on in here. With the cream cheese layer AND the cheesecake pudding layer, along with the cherry pie filling (secret: we’re suckers for the store-bought stuff!), this dessert is unbelievably yummy.
One thing though, do make sure to let your cherry cheesecake lush set in the fridge or freezer long enough if you want to see all those pretty layers – it’ll taste just as good either way, but we love how pretty this dessert looks…everyone’s always impressed when we make it!
1 package vanilla sandwich cookies (approx. 36 cookies), crushed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 (16 oz.) containers frozen whipped topping, divided
2 (3.4 oz.) boxes cheesecake instant pudding mix
3 cups whole milk
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Add melted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt to large bowl and toss until cookie crumbs are all thoroughly coated.
Pour crumb mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish and press into an even layer. Place in refrigerator and chill until ready to use.
In a large bowl or mixer, beat cream cheese for 1-2 minutes, or until creamy and smooth, then add in powdered sugar and 1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping. Beat until just combined, then spread out over chilled crust.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, cheesecake pudding mixes and remaining 1 cup frozen whipped topping. Mixture will thicken.
Carefully spread pudding mixture out over cream cheese layer, then top with a layer of cherry pie filling.
Gently top with frozen whipped topping, trying not to drag cherry filling through it too much, then refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours, or until set.
When ready to serve, top with chopped pecans. Slice, serve and enjoy!