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Cardinal Sin Recipe

Updated on September 5, 2014

This Dessert is a Guilty Pleasure!

This chocolate dessert recipe is so full of gooey sweetness, and is so easy to make, it is no wonder someone decided eating it must amount to a Cardinal Sin. All of my Catholic friends might have to go to confession after enjoying this rich, chocolate dessert! I don't know if it is truly a cardinal sin as far as the Church is concerned, but it might make you feel like you have committed one! It is truly a Guilty Pleasure, which is another apt name!

This dessert is easy to make for family and friends, and is perfect for a large gathering! It is easily portable, and popular at potlucks. This would appreciated anytime it is your turn to bring something to share with your office mates! It is sure to get you rave reviews!

Try this sweet treat and see if you agree! Let me know what you think!

Photo credit

The History of this Recipe

Among my Aunt Susy's recipes was one for a chocolate layered dessert called Cardinal Sin. I do not know the history of this name. I have found similar recipes on the internet under the names chocolate layered dessert and Guilty Pleasure. Since my Aunt Susy called it Cardinal Sin, so do I.

You may remember your own aunt or mom making this dessert when you were a child! It's so much fun to give new life to these old heritage recipes!

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License | Source


  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 stick margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 ounce container of Cool Whip
  • 2 packages of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk


  1. 1. Melt a stick of margarine or butter, and combine with the flour and nuts. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13 inch baking pan to form a thin crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. 2. Mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 cup of the Cool whip. Spread this mixture on the cooled crust in the baking pan.
  3. 3. Prepare the chocolate pudding with the milk. Mix two minutes with an electric mixer or wire whisk. Spread the pudding over the second layer.
  4. 4. Spread the rest of the Cool Whip over the top of the pudding, then sprinkle with more chopped nuts. Put this into the refrigerator to chill and become firm.
Cast your vote for Cardinal Sin Recipe

Great to Make in the Summer

The oven is only used for a few minutes to prepare the crust. Everything else is done in the fridge for a cool treat at the end of the day! The perfect thing to enjoy after a summer meal!

Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook - A Great Source for More Homespun Dessert Recipes!

Do you like old fashioned desserts? Check this out!

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

You will find more delicious and down-home dessert recipes in this fun cookbook!


Please Take a Moment to Answer This Poll!

Have you ever eaten this sweet treat?

See results

A Variation You Might Like

Maggie's Chocolate Layered Pudding Dessert is a bit different from my aunt's recipe, but there are enough similarities for you to get the idea how to put this together. Who knows! You might want to include some of her suggestions, such as adding peanut butter to the cream cheese mixture or crumbled Oreo cookies between layers. Get creative! Have fun with this!

Got a Moment for Another Poll?

What do you call this dessert?

See results

Tell us about your Cardinal Sin! - Have you made this chocolate layered dessert? Do you plan to?

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    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      OMG girl what have you done to me today. It's a Cardinal Sin because now I am going to be haunting out my local cafe for some form of absolutely to die for dessert treat. Wow that cake looks heavenly.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is similar to my friend's chocolate eclair dessert. She would use graham crackers on the bottom, pudding mix with whipped cream next, then a layer of frosting. When I couldn't have chocolate anymore, she changed to caramel frosting. It was even better. Your recipe sounds a bit more involved and more fattening and yummy.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This really sounds like it's really a cardinal sin. I would love to try it.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      7 years ago

      This is the kind of stuff that is just way, way , way too good. (Which, of course, makes it a cardinal sin.)

    • LisaDH profile image


      7 years ago

      What a tasty way to commit sin. :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      If I share this chocolate layered dessert recipe, would it be a Cardinal Sin? I will try it, as it seems easy to make and sounds delicious.

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 

      7 years ago from New York

      I've had Cardinal Sin, but it was never called that. I've also had it with other flavors...particularly pistachio. They are all good, and easy to make.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I might have to call on a Priest to give me confession (even though I'm not Catholic!) because it truly does sound like a Cardinal Sin...on the other hand, anything forbidden is always fun, so maybe I'd call it Guilty Pleasure, and sneak to eat it before my family got to it!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      I'm not confessing my cardinal sin, lol. but the cake sounds audacious!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I'd better not keep this recipe in the same file as the Better-Than-Sex cake. Who knows what might happen.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am so glad you gave us Cardinal Sin Recipe. I can't wait to try it. It looks so yummy. Great lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Never hear of it, sounds fattening....


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