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Sex in a Pan

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sex in a pan

No, I didn’t come up with the name.

The popular dessert has been around since at least the 1970s, and it goes by many titles: Sex in a Pan, Six Layer Dessert, Chocolate Yummy, Better than Sex Dessert, Better than Robert Redford… It makes for a great conversation piece or icebreaker at a party.

That is… if you are brave enough to tell people what it’s called!

Sex in a Pan.

I first heard of the dessert when someone asked on facebook if I could come up with a healthier version. Obviously, the name intrigued me (How could you not wonder?), and it went straight onto my list of things to try. But finding a good time to serve the dish was tricky… It might not be the best idea to show up with something called Sex in a Pan at a neighborhood gathering, a christening, or an Easter brunch.

However, a Super Bowl party sounded perfect. So this is what I made yesterday, and it went over very well with everyone. To make it healthier, my version is a little different from the original (which calls for a butter-shortbread crust, chocolate and vanilla pudding, cool whip, heavy cream, etc.). This version is also much easier to make—with no baking required!

better than Robert Redford

Sex in a Pan

  • 1/2 cup almonds or pecans (70g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup quick oats (or sub shredded coconut)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (For all substitution notes, see nutrition info link below) (80g)
  • 8 oz cream cheese-style spread, such as Tofutti
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar or sugar-free powdered sugar (33g)
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream (just the cream, not any water that might be in the can) (160g)
  • 1 1/2 cups any thick chocolate pudding (such as this one) (360g)

Line an 8-in square pan with parchment or wax paper. In a food processor, combine first four ingredients, then press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cream the next three ingredients together until smooth, then spread over the crust. Spread the chocolate pudding on top. If desired, you can top with another cream layer and shaved chocolate. Best to fridge at least 5 hours—uncovered—so the dessert firms up.

View Nutrition Facts

chocolate pudding dessert

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. BAHAHAHAHA omg I started laughing when I saw the title of your blog post – love it!

    1. Haha, same here. But I guess it’s a perfect title 😉

  2. I’m shocked I’ve never heard of this! Your version looks delicious. Will be making for the next party I go to!

  3. Kat says:

    I think the name is fitting. It looks so good as good sex or even better. I need to make this NOW!
    I didn’t watch the superbowl, I am not a football fan and being overseas I really didn’t feel like staying up all night to catch the event. I could go for some yummy superbowl desserts though!

  4. Short ingredient list + no bake= perfect! I love the pudding/crunchy layers going on

  5. Alexis says:

    This looks so yummy!

  6. Ed says:

    I have tried sex in a pan once…was really awkward and I had a cramp afterwards…. lol

    1. A says:


      1. Anonymous says:

        Lol! Too funny.

  7. Nicole says:

    Raisins and chocolate? Ew. The “better than sex cake” I know (maybe too well) is a chocolate cake with holes poked in it. Then you cover the whole thing in a can each of sweetened condensed milk, hot fudge and caramel sauces. Let it sit in the fridge at least overnight to soak everything up, then cover with whipped cream and smooshed candy bars. It is amazing…and raisin-free!

    1. 0246 says:

      not to mention nutritionally void, terrible for you, inaccessible to veg*ns and those with allergies. yeah, sounds great!

      i mean, how dare a food blogger create a recipe so people have a more healthful alternative? the horror.

    2. Kate says:

      I’m guessing you could use dates instead of raisins 🙂

    3. noi says:

      I thought this was a VEGAN site? Why recommend a recipe which is not vegan? Some of us do like raisins you know!

    4. Allie says:

      wow folks….she’s entitled to her opinion and her taste preferences! Katie made a great alternative, but I’m sure someone who isn’t vegan or has any allergies would prefer the dessert as she knows it.

      1. Anonymous says:

        However, that is not the point of this blog…so it makes no sense

        1. Kylie says:

          Nice recipe Nicole! I tried it with my family, and it was amazing! And 0246, you are extremely rude to others. There is nothing wrong with having a treat that isn’t good for you once in a while in stead of some birdseed with coconut. (Not that this is a bad recipe, but the bottom layer, just doesn’t seem tasty even though I like raisins )

    5. Nicole says:

      Wow, wait. I understand that this entire site is built off of remaking healthy, vegan recipes. And that’s why I love it. I’m just saying that the basic flavor profile and technique of this version of the dessert is very different than the one I know, which is chocolate/caramel based and is poked and then sits overnight to soak. Katie said she was given the original recipe from someone on Facebook, so I’m interested in how that unhealthy version compares to the unhealthy version I’m familiar with. No need to get all worked up, holy cow.

      1. Mary says:

        Nicole, I got what you were saying. You weren’t criticizing. Katie’s version is completely different than the one I know too. Usually she sticks to the same idea just healthier so I was kinda thrown off too. I myself HATE raisins so I would use dates instead:) I thought I hated dates til I discovered this blog and made fudge babies. Now I use dates in a bunch of recipes.

        1. Nicole: I will have to look into your version! I like the idea of poking holes and pouring something on top of the cake…

          I actually like when people write about non-vegan desserts in the comment section. It can be a great source of inspiration… One of my favorite sources of inspiration is actually those little (non-vegan) Taste of Home recipe booklets at the grocery store :).

      2. Anonymous says:

        I have had a recipe for “sex in a pan” for years and this version is the same. “Better than sex cake” must be different because “sex in a pan” is basically an eclair cake in a pan. Very much like this. I’m sure different parts of the country call them both different things but from my perspective Katie is spot on with this recipe! 🙂

      3. Alana says:

        WOW LOOKS LIKE PEOPLE ARE HANGRY!! Maybe it would do them some good to eat something with a little more substance. I’m not vegan but I enjoy this blog as well as other non vegan blogs. Everyone needs to take a Xanax and relax already!

  8. I’ve always been a huge fan of this dessert, which my mom referred to as her “Chocolate Eclair Dessert.” When I used to bring it to work potlucks, my co-workers changed the name to “Better Than Sex.” I even made a raw version of it for the We Like It Raw blog back in 2008 ( So good. Yours looks delicious, too 🙂

  9. Jamy says:

    Can’t wait to try it! Your comment made me laugh! ‘Then again, I guess someone who brings a dessert called Sex in a Pan has no right to judge’. I totally agree, though. Although, the commercials are usually worse. I had to ask my son to get something for me from the other room to limit all the skanky skin he saw. Sheesh!

    1. Agape says:

      Haha. Just made me laugh. Thanks!

  10. Alyssa says:

    Looks yummy! You can market it as Paleo too 🙂 well, if you replace the Tofutti with something else. Super Bowl has lost its appeal for me…I went to bed early and my astounded husband was like “How will you know how it ends?!!?” I replied, “Hasn’t the news been around a while??” 🙂

  11. Mmmm! This looks gorgeous. I’m always a little apprehensive about using vegan cream cheese in recipes as I don’t like it all that much, and find it has a ‘chemical’ taste. I imagine the other ingredients must mask that flavour well in this?

    1. Do you use Tofutti? I remember trying a different brand once and disliking it. But otherwise, I imagine you could omit the cream cheese altogether and simply sub that much more coconut cream.

      1. Maureen says:

        Not easy (if not impossible) to get Tofutti BTCC over here in South Africa.. so I would have to try it with more cream I guess. Any other suggestions gratefully received :).

  12. Katie, this look fabolous!! I am so wanting this dessert and healthy too! Yes please!!! I have to make this and soon!!

  13. sherry says:

    Looks yummy and seductive!! 🙂

    Not a Beyonce fan to start and totally inappropriate — way too many cr*tch shots … oh well, who are we to judge?? I’m sure most people enjoyed it. Give me Rock N Roll !!!

  14. Alysha says:

    OMG!!!!!!!! SOOOOO EXCITTTTED TO MAKE THIS!!!! I grew up with this dessert and it was my all time favourite. When I found out I was casein intolerant and the gluten intolerant, the only thing I was upset about was not being able to eat this dessert. I started yelling in joy in my dorm room when I saw your recipe. In my family it is known as “Dairy Princess Delight”. Thank you soo much for making this 😀

  15. I agree with Kit-Kat, I was a sucker for the Clydesdale commercial too!

    I’m not really a Beyonce fan, so while I didn’t think she did a bad job, I wasn’t all that into it. I thought Alicia Keys could have been phenomenal but she slowed the song down way, way too much and the shots of people looking confused trying to sing along was a touch cringe-worthy. How cute were the Sandy Hook chorus kids though?!

  16. Monica says:

    What is coconut cream? I follow your blog all the time, but don’t remember that ingredient before. Is it the kind in a can? Or Coco Lopez?

    1. It’s like coconut milk, but it’s ONLY the thick part at the top of canned coconut milk. Look for it at Trader Joes or Asian markets. Or just scoop the cream off of a few cans of coconut milk.

      1. Monica says:

        Thank you for responding so quickly!

  17. Katelyn says:

    I’ve always known this dessert as “Robert Redford” or “Better than Robert Redford.” It’s one of my absolute favorites. My grandmother’s recipe never called for raisins, though. It’s 4 layer dessert, though, that is to-die for. Crust layer, cream cheese layer, pudding layer, then whipped cream layer. Top with chocolate shavings. I hadn’t thought about how to make this dairy/gluten/sugar free, but maybe I will try this one out. 🙂 I will say that I have yet to find a sugar-free, dairy-free cream cheese substitute. I’ll keep looking, though! Thanks for the inspiration! It looks delicious!

  18. This looks SO good! I’ve heard of this dish in passing, but never really knew what was in it (I was pretty young, so I think the name scared me into staying far, far away from it!).

    I always mean to watch the Superbowl, but never really do. Tuned into the puppy bowl and kitty halftime show, though! So cute.

  19. tammy says:

    Yummy, can’t wait to try this. If you don’t like the raisins, you can always use dates as a substitute. It is just to bind the crust together.

  20. This dessert by any name would be just as yummy. Though I think you chose the most provactive of the bunch! well done. I have to agree with you on Beyonce’s performance–even the power couldn’t handle it! 😉

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