This Easter we had a simple meal of ham biscuits, pimento cheese, salad and this Charlotte torte for dessert.
My cousin Emily and I worked in a grocery store bakery during college, and we learned how to make these! While I think they look so festive and impressive, they are very simple and this one did not even involve any baking! I just bought one angel food cake from the bakery and we used it for the layers.
While I did use a springform pan for this torte, you could easily use a regular cake pan (just may have trouble removing it) or a glass bowl or trifle dish would also work! I happened to find these soft lady fingers in the bakery section of the grocery store but you could also use whatever you layer you use for banana pudding… graham crackers, Nilla wafers, Pepperidge Farm cookies, etc.
For the filling, I used to always use vanilla pudding + one container Cool Whip and it’s great! But because I really don’t care for the taste of Cool Whip anymore, I hardly ever have it on hand and have evolved to using some combination of sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, sour cream or homemade whipped cream… Just adding something to the plain vanilla pudding to make it more rich and decadent.
Fruit Charlotte Torte
2 packs Lady Fingers
2 large (5.1oz) instant Vanilla pudding
1 tub Cool Whip (optional- see notes below)
1 angel food cake (or 1-2 cake layers)
fruit to decorate- I love raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, and blueberries
Make the pudding according to the box instructions.
*Note: To make it more decadent and “thicker” than plain pudding, I usually add some combination of sweetness and fluff: either one tub of Cool Whip or one can of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) or whipped cream (or container Cool Whip) and sometimes a block of cream cheese or a cup of sour cream, mixing well.
Line the bottom of springform pan with cake layer. I keep cake layers 1/2 – 1 inch thick.
Line the sides of springform pan with lady fingers.
Add one layer of pudding mixture.
Follow with cake layer. Repeat until you reach the top, ending with pudding layer.
Then the fun part! Decorate with fruit! If I am taking this somewhere, I usually add the fruit with only a few hours to go. Especially cut fruit (like strawberries) can sometimes leak their juices a little. This one above was refrigerated overnight and nothing leaked at all.