This beyond easy and super fast dessert is another recipe inspired by what I dub “Grandma food.” The exception compared to other Grandma recipes is that this one wasn’t super special, just her response to just about always serving some form of dessert when we were visiting and this one showed up when she spent her effort on the actual dinner dishes. As I was running through a grocery store gathering the last few things I needed for dinner I stumbled on a pile of angel food cakes on sale and decided to use her mixture of pudding and cake as the base of my own variation, this one inspired by the big can of peaches I already had in my basket. Necessity can be the mother of invention and this peaches and cream dessert turned out to be a keeper.
Like many moms and grandmothers, my grandmother ALWAYS had a couple of boxes of pudding and jello mix on hand and they made frequent appearances at the end of the meal. I infinitely preferred her angel food cake concoctions to jello with fruit in it, so I was always glad when the beat up brownie tin appeared on the table with bits of chocolate pudding peeking through a layer of cool whip. There were a few other pudding-based desserts that were popular in the rotation as well, but this was the fastest and most common one to appear when she hadn’t thought far enough ahead to make jello. Using instant pudding and a store bought cake (day old is GREAT for this) can have it all come together in less than 10 minutes before chilling, and if you use instant you don’t neccessarily need to chill it, it’s just better if you do. You will definitely have leftover angel food cake after making this if you use a medium sized casserole dish, so you can either serve that on it’s own later or use it to make this again the next day, or double the pudding and fruit and make it in a 9×13 dish.
This also works great with other kinds of fruit, but if you’re using canned I’d stick to peaches or apricots. Fresh or previously frozen peaches are great too, as are strawberries, raspberries or just about any kind of stone fruit or berry.
Peaches & Cream Angel Food Dessert
1 small box vanilla cook & serve pudding mix
2 cups milk (any kind)
1 store bought angel food cake
1 large can sliced peaches
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Cool Whip (optional)
Mix pudding packet with milk and cook according to package directions, stirring in almond extract when done. While waiting for it to heat up, drain peaches and rip about 1/3-1/2 of the angel food cake into bite sized pieces. Layer the cake pieces into an 8-10 inch square casserole dish, adding more cake if needed to cover bottom of pan. Pour pudding evenly overtop cake and distribute peaches over pudding and cover with a layer of cool whip if desired. Put dish in fridge to chill and serve cold.
Chocolate variation (AKA: Grandma’s Original):
Layer angel food cake in pan, cover with a batch of instant chocolate pudding, smooth with a spatula and then top with a layer of cool whip. Chill.
Instant pudding is fine with either variation, I just prefer the cook and serve vanilla’s taste, especially when using it to make trifle-type desserts or pie fillings, and I personally think it works better when flavoring with extracts.
Using non-dairy milk will result in a less opaque pudding, so if looks are important to you you may wish to use more peaches to totally cover the top of your dish if you’re not using the cool whip to cover it. It might not photograph pretty but it does taste very, very good.