Pistachio Dessert

A delicious Pistachio pudding dessert with layers of crushed Sandies Cookies, cream cheese/cheesecake layer, pistachio pudding layer and topped with whipped cream!

We love layered desserts, especially for the holidays, and if you love them too be sure to check out our: white chocolate lasagna, peppermint chocolate delight and cookie delight.

Pistachio dessert on red plate

Easy Pistachio Pudding Dessert

This next recipe is one my mom tried out long ago. It’s one we’ve made different variations of since I was little. The reason we keep making it is because it’s easy and so delicious!

If you love pistachio and Shortbread Cookies you will definitely love this dessert. It has so many delicious layers including a shortbread cookie crust, cream cheese layer, pistachio pudding layer, and a topping of whipped cream.

It’s a cool treat so it’s great for summer, but we love to enjoy this recipe all year long (it’s even great for Christmas with it’s green color).

We’ve shared other similar recipes like this Lemon Lasagna and White Chocolate lasagna, so if you love today’s recipe you’ll also love these ones.

Crushed sandied crust with a cream cheese layer

How to Make Pistachio Dessert

This recipe is quite simple and takes just 10-15 minutes to prep before you have to let it refrigerate for at least an hour.

Begin by smashing you shortbread cookies in a Ziploc bag until fine (you can even put these in a food processor if you want them super fine). Add melted butter to your bag with crumbs and mix around and then press into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes in the oven until golden. Let cool.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and whipped cream together until smooth. Pour an even layer over crushed cookie crust.

In another bowl, mix the milk and pudding mix together until thickened. Pour and spread over the cream cheese layer.

Spread your remaining cool whip or whipped cream over the top and refrigerate.


TIP: Chill the dessert in the fridge as you are making the next layer. It helps each layer set before adding on the next.

What type of shortbread cookies did you use? I used Keebler sandies, but any shortbread cookie should work (even homemade ones). Golden Oreos or any other kind of cookie also work great. If you feel like your crust is too dry and crumbly add 1-2 more tablespoons of butter.

Why did my crust come out crumbly? I’m not quite sure why this happens for some and not others. Perhaps it’s the type of shortbread used. If you feel like your crust will be too dry and crumbly add 1-2 more tablespoons of butter. 

Can I use skim milk? I recommend whole milk as it creates a creamy pudding mixture. However, you can use 2%, 1% or even skim. 

Can you use other toppings? Of course! Here are some other great options:

  • Toasted coconut
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Sprinkles
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Chopped nuts (we like to use pecans)
Pistachio pudding dessert with layers

How to Store + FAQ

How far in advance can I make this dessert? We typically do not make this more than 24 hours in advance just so it’s fresh. Also, I would definitely wait to add sprinkles or candies on top until right before serving so they don’t discolor the whipped cream on top. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until serving time. 

How to store leftovers:  Store leftovers covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Pistachio Pudding Dessert on red plate

We really hope you enjoy this pistachio pudding cake. It’s been one of our go-to recipes in our home and we think you’ll love it just as much as we did.

For more layered desserts, check out:

Pistachio Dessert Recipe

4.9 from 19 votes
Pistachio Shortbread Dessert – layered treat with a Sandies Cookies crust, cream cheese layer, pistachio pudding layer and topped with Cool whip! YUM!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 15
Calories 304 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna


  • 13 oz shortbread cookies
  • 3 tbsp butter melted
  • 6.8 oz pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 oz whipped topping divided
  • M&Ms


  • Smash shortbread cookies in a ziploc bag, till fine. Put crumbs in melted butter and press into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes in the oven until golden. Let cool.
  • Smooth together cream cheese, sugar and 2 cups of your cool whip. Pour an even layer over crushed cookie crust.
  • Mix the milk and pudding mix together till it thick. Pour over the cream cheese layer.
  • Spread your remaining cool whip over the top and refrigerate.


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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. I like to make a flour, sugar, chopped nuts and butter for my base and bake it and cool it. I use cream cheese, powdered sugar and cool whip for the next layer. Next layer the pistachio pudding using 2 boxes and 3 cups of milk as next layer. Final layer of cool whip. Sprinkle with color candies before serving.

  2. Your recipe calls for 16oz of whipped topping divided to be used for two different layers but you say the second layer with the cream cheese and powdered sugar needs 2 cups of cool whip…. 2 cups is 16oz so how do we have left over for the top layer?

    1. So a serving size for a 16 oz tub of Cool Whip is 2 Tbsp. There are about 50 servings in that tub. Which would be about 100 Tbsp. 1 cup = 16 Tbsp, so that full 16 oz tub should yield about 6.25 cups of Cool Whip, which should be enough wiggle room for the cream cheese layer and for the top. 🙂 We haven’t had any troubles with not having enough when using the 16 oz tub. Hope you enjoy the recipe!!

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